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Eli Tomac races hard in Arlington; attention turns to Daytona

Eli Tomac placed 2nd in Arlington, leading up to the next race Daytona where he has won seven times. (Star Racing Yamaha)
Tomac places second in his best race since he ruptured his Achilles last year

At the 2024 Supercross race in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, Eli Tomac of Cortez had his strongest race since a devastating injury last year.

In the 450 main event Saturday night, Tomac placed second in an exciting down-to-the-wire race that has the racing community eagerly anticipating the upcoming race in Daytona, Florida.

Heat 1 in Arlington was a nail-biter, with Tomac and Aaron Plessinger racing down to the wire. Plessinger claimed the hole shot out of the gate, and Tomac came out on his heels.

In the final laps, Plessinger and Tomac raced neck and neck, with lap times being recorded around 43 seconds for both racers, lap times that were faster than anyone raced in the main event later on in the evening.

Toward the end of the last lap, Tomac passed Plessinger on the rhythm section to pull ahead and win the heat race.

The 450 main event did not start in Tomac’s favor, however. As the race started, Jett Lawrence took the hole shot, with Cooper Webb trailing close behind in second.

Meanwhile, Tomac, Jason Anderson, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Malcolm Stewart crashed, putting Tomac in 16th place after he got back on his bike.

Despite the less-than-ideal start, Tomac charged forward, moving quickly to sixth place midway through the race. At this time, Lawrence was riding in first by 4.1 seconds.

“For the first time this season, Tomac is doing Tomac things,” commentators said as he raced from fifth to third place in two minutes, passing Hunter Lawrence and Plessinger.

During this time, Jett Lawrence crashed, allowing Webb to pass him for the lead. Before Webb could gain a comfortable lead, Lawrence passed Webb again, then collided with a lapped rider on the last lap, this time allowing both Webb and Tomac to pass.

Webb placed first, Tomac second, Plessinger third and Lawrence fourth. Webb’s win put him three points leader Jett Lawrence in the overall standings for the season. Tomac is fifth.

Tomac’s second-place finish comes a week after Lawrence said of Tomac, “It was cool to kind of follow him because like obviously, nowadays, it’s not like, the exact same as the beast he used to be.”

“I was riding my heart out there,” Tomac said after the race. “I'm sick of people calling me the old guy. I'm just warming up, getting better. I'm coming. Second will do for tonight."

Saturday, Tomac will race at the Daytona International Speedway, where he has won a record seven times, passing Ricky Carmichael’s six wins at that venue.