- Austin Forkner Wins 250SX Main Aboard a Kawasaki
- DeLand Native Justin Starling Qualifies for 450SX Main Event, Finishes 19th
Eli Tomac rode a Kawasaki to victory Saturday night in the DAYTONA Supercross at Daytona International Speedway, becoming the fifth rider to win the prestigious Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship event three times.
Tomac, from Cortez, Colorado, joined Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, Mike Kiedrowski, Jeremy McGrath and Chad Reed as a three-time champion. Riding the No. 3 Monster Energy Kawasaki and wearing a helmet bearing the likeness of Daytona stock car legend Dale Earnhardt, Tomac assumed the lead on Lap 5 of the 18-lap 450SX main event en route to a dominating ride. Second-place Cooper Webb (KTM) – the leader in the series’ point standings – finished 6.889 seconds behind Tomac.
“The last half [of the race] was effortless,” Tomac said. “I just got the flow and that’s so important at this track. It just started coming to me.
“[Title] number three … this is so cool at Daytona.”
Riders in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross were back at DIS for Round 10 of the 2019 season, on a challenging course designed by five-time DAYTONA Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael.
Chad Reed (No. 22 Joe Gibbs Racing Suzuki) was thwarted in his own attempt at making history, as he finished 10th in the main event. Reed was trying to become the third four-time DAYTONA Supercross champion; Jeff Stanton and Ryan Villopoto are the others on that short list.
DeLand, Florida native Justin Starling, riding a Husqvarna, qualified for the 450SX main event. He finished 19th.
Austin Forkner of Richards, Missouri won the 250SX Main Event aboard the No. 24 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Forkner started the evening with a strong run in winning the first 250SX heat. He ended with his fourth main event win of the year – and a commanding lead in the 250SX East championship standings.
“It was tough,” Forkner said about the main event. “Just not making mistakes was one of the biggest things; I honestly didn’t feel like I was going super fast. Just every rhythm, every jump, every lap was just perfect – that was the key tonight, I feel.”
Both the 450SX and 250SX classes had two heat races that advanced the top-nine finishers to the 22-rider main events. The 450SX heats were won by Tomac and Blake Baggett (KTM); Forkner and Justin Cooper (Yamaha) won the 250SX heats.
There also were action-filled “Last Chance Qualifier” races – five minutes plus one lap – that awarded main-event berths to the top-four finishers among riders not previously locked into the main. The 450SX “LCQ” went to Scott Champion (Yamaha); Lorenzo Locurcio (Kawasaki) of nearby Groveland, Florida won the 250SX LCQ.
Bike Week At DAYTONA continues at Daytona International Speedway with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross on Sunday and Monday, followed by ATV and Vintage Supercross on Tuesday. On Thursday night, the American Flat Track series will open its season with the DAYTONA TT, featuring a challenging race course that utilizes the speedway’s frontstretch and produces flat-out speeds and high jumps. Saturday, Bike Week At DAYTONA wraps up with the 78th annual DAYTONA 200, a historic 200-mile race contested on a 3.51-mile road course that travels through the speedway’s infield and atop the 31-degree banking in the turns.
Tickets for the DAYTONA TT, the 78th DAYTONA 200 and all speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay up to speed on the latest news by using #BikeWeek, #DAYTONASX, #DAYTONATT and #DAYTONA200. Stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.