Eli Tomac wins Supercross cat-and-mouse Round 8 at Arlington by one point over Jason Anderson
Eli Tomac finished 3-2-2 in the Triple Crown format of Round 8 of the Monster Energy Supercross season and won the overall by a single point over Jason Anderson.
Tomac’s third win of the season came one week after Anderson won for a third time and closed the points gap to three over Tomac. With Anderson finishing second in Arlington, the gap widens slightly to six as these two riders serve notice they intend to have the championship come down to a two-man battle.
“I was trying to get the win (in Race 3),” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien. “Gosh, that was a really fun cat-and-mouse. To be honest, my first couple of laps were not clean enough. I was making a couple of mistakes. I probably paid a little too much attention to who was behind me.
“Once I got passed by Jason, I rode on his rear wheel. I was there the whole time and I knew I had to wait until the very end.”
Tomac and Anderson rode handlebar to handlebar in both the second and third races for big swaths of the event, which made this an interesting prelude to the second half of the season.
Tomac’s win in Arlington came with consistency. He failed to win one of the three feature races, while Anderson won twice and Cooper Webb won once, but the overall finish is when the points get paid.
With his victory, Tomac is now two-for-two in regard to Triple Crown wins after also taking the overall at Glendale earlier this year. The third and final Triple Crown format will be held at St. Louis on April 9.
Anderson might have swept the night if not for an eventful Race 1.
Anderson battled Malcolm Stewart in the mid-stages of the first race as Tomac was mired deep in the pack.
Anderson and Stewart made contact in a bowl turn and crashed. As the pair prepared to remount, Stewart pushed Anderson to the ground to insure he would restart first. In the meantime, Tomac swept past the two riders and dropped Anderson to sixth.
“I’m just ready to battle,” Anderson said. “I want to give it my all every time and sometimes I may be behind a little bit, but I’m going to try and make my race craft every time.”
It was the only flaw in an otherwise perfect race. Anderson would later take responsibility for the mistake in the post-race press conference.
After sweeping all three races of the Arlington residency in 2021, Cooper Webb was prepared to make noise when the gate dropped on the first race. Last year’s residency was run on three separate nights on three different course configurations and it gave Webb momentum to eventually win the championship.
Webb struggled in the first Triple Crown at Glendale with an 8-8-5 that ended in an eighth overall.
With Anderson and Stewart taking each other out, Webb snuck through for the win Race 1 of Supercross Round 8 and put himself in a position to contend for the overall victory. He finished two points behind Tomac and one behind Anderson in the closely matched battle.
Chase Sexton finished fourth overall with a best finish of third in Race 2.
After being denied the win in Race 1, Stewart finished fifth in that feature. He followed it with a sixth in Race 2 and finally got his elusive podium in the final feature.
With his fifth-place finish overall, Stewart extended his streak to seven consecutive top-fives.
Cameron McAdoo followed up on a third-place finish in Minneapolis in the 250 East opener last week with his first win of the season in the Triple Crown format in Arlington.
McAdoo took the victory in style by backing up two podiums in the first two races with a win in the final race of the night. He entered the final event in a three-way tie with Austin Forkner and Jett Lawrence for the top spot.
“It was a crazy night of racing as everyone saw,” McAadoo told NBC Sports’ Daniel Blair. “These Triple Crowns are gnarly. We went in with a tie, me Austin (Forkner) and Jett (Lawrence). Winner take all and we all knew that.
“It was intense. I was really just trying to lock in, get a really good start. I picked the same gate every race, got a good start and I put down some good laps.”
The 250 class was filled with drama.
The stakes were high in the third race and, as McAdoo said, everyone knew that each position in the race meant a difference on the podium.
Forkner and Lawrence battled side-by-side throughout the final feature until a late-race incident between them turned into chaos.
Lawrence made a pass for third over Forkner, but as they jumped over the finish line, the two make contact mid-air and crashed hard. Lawrence was able to remount. Forkner was not and he was carted off the course by the medical staff.
“I’m really disappointed with myself,” Lawrence said after the race. “I’m bummed because I took a guy out in the air. I’m not about that, so I’m disappointed in myself.
“I hit the off ramp and clipped a Tuff Blox and it sent me to the right. I hate doing that to a rider. I was hoping we would have a good battle. I just pray that he’s okay and can come back next week.”
Finishing 10th secured the final position on the podium for Lawrence.
Wedged between McAdoo and Lawrence was Jeremy Martin who got his poor performance for the night out of the way in Race 1. He finished second in Feature 2 and secured another podium in Feature 3.
There was some good news for Forkner. He scored his first win of 2022 in Race 1 and from the podium, expressed a sense of relief because of what he thought was a slow start in Minneapolis in Round 7. Forkner finished fourth in his heat there and second in the main.
After missing his Heat with a mechanical issue and then failing to advance to the Main through his LCQ, Mithcell Oldenburg saw some redemption in Arlington with a 5-6-5.
Jordon Smith rounded out the top five with a 6-10-7 in the three features.
ROUND 1, ANAHEIM: Ken Roczen renews battle with Cooper Webb by winning the opener
ROUND 2, OAKLAND: Jason Anderson wins for first time since championship season
ROUND 3, SAN DIEGO: Chase Sexton (450s) and Michael Mosiman (250s) deliver first career wins
ROUND 4, ANAHEIM: Four races, four winners as Eli Tomac solidifies points lead
ROUND 5, GLENDALE: Tomac wins back-to-back races in Arizona Triple Crown
ROUND 6, ANAHEIM: Anderson ties Tomac with two 2022 wins
ROUND 7, MINNEAPOLIS: Anderson does it again and closes to within three of Tomac