Eli Tomac was the class of the field Saturday night, riding a Kawasaki KX 450F to victory in the DAYTONA Supercross By Honda at Daytona International Speedway.
Tomac, from Cortez, Colorado, became the ninth rider in the 46-year history of the DAYTONA Supercross By Honda to win the event in consecutive years. Leading the last 10 laps of the 20-lap 450SX main event, he beat runner-up Honda rider Jeremy Martin by 17.618 seconds. Husqvarna rider Jason Anderson finished third.
It marked Tomac’s fifth victory of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. He is second in series points, now only 17 behind Ryan Dungey, who rode his KTM to a fourth-place finish.
Tomac battled Martin wheel-to-wheel for a portion of the first 10 laps before breaking free – and taking off.
"We were both riding a really good pace," Tomac said. "Man that was tough. You had to settle into a groove. Once I was able to get by him, I just had fun on my dirt bike. It was all about maintaining a smooth, clean race."
Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo grew up in nearby Port Orange, Florida, which means he’s well-acquainted with the significance of winning a race at Daytona – which made his own dominating victory, in the 250SX East main event, all the more special.
Cianciarulo, a Daytona runner-up in 2014, is coming off consecutive injury-marred seasons that included consecutive absences from Daytona. He started the evening strong, finishing fourth in the first 250SX heat to secure a main-event berth.
"I always wanted to win here," said Cianciarulo, now third in the 250SX East championship standings. "This is the first Supercross race I ever attended. I was in those stands, watching guys like Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath. I was that kid … just dreaming of being out there one day.
"To think about all I’ve come through the last couple years, being hurt, to have it all culminate right here at home … to have my family and friends here, the people who helped me get back on my feet, who told me to never give up, to keep pushing. It just feels good to repay them with this. It’s unbelievable to win here."
Cianciarulo’s Kawasaki teammate Joey Savatgy finished second in the 250SX final, with Dylan Ferrandis third on a Yamaha.
Bike Week At DAYTONA continues Sunday and Monday with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross, followed by FLY Racing ATV Supercross competition on Tuesday. On Thursday, the newly rebranded American Flat Track series will kick off its debut year with the DAYTONA TT, on a .6-mile course located in the "World Center of Racing" famed tri-oval.
On Friday, qualifying will be held for the 76th DAYTONA 200, which will be run Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for all 2017 Daytona International Speedway events can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can 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.