Tomac wins Salt Lake City; Hill clinches 250SX West championship
Eli Tomac charged to his ninth and arguably most important victory of the season Saturday night in Salt Lake City, passing title rival Ryan Dungey in the process. Tomac now holds sole ownership of the points lead, as well as the coveted red plate.
Reigning champion Dungey got out to an early lead as the gate dropped, while Tomac was left buried deep in the pack. His launch out of the gate was delayed slightly and it was amplified due to the longer starting straight.
As Dungey raced away from the pack, Tomac was left in 10th and had major work to do if he planned on maintaing the red plate. The Kawasaki rider rapidly picked off riders and found himself in third by Lap 9. He then blitzed the whoops and made the pass stick on Jason Anderson for second.
This set up a head-to-head faceoff between the co-championship leaders, with Dungey holding a favorable four-second lead. However, it quickly evaporated as the laps clicked away. Tomac pulled to his rear fender on Lap 18 and made the pass stick one lap later.
Tomac would take the win by 6.386 seconds over Dungey. Anderson brought home his Husqvarna in third with Marvin Musquin and Josh Grant rounding out the top five.
In the Western Regional 250SX Class, a dramatic turn of events allowed Justin Hill to clinch the championship with one race still in the bag.
Aaron Plessinger, who entered the race trailing Hill by 18 points, needed to stay within 24 points or less to keep his championship hopes alive. He nailed the start and quickly stretched a gap over the field, with a win seemingly in hand.
However, a crash in the whoops ended his chance at the victory and his title aspirations. Hill would bring home his Pro Circuit Kawasaki in third to secure his first career Monster Energy Supercross championship.
As for the race win, Shane Mcelrath edged out teammate and good friend Mitchell Oldenburg by 3.958 seconds.
The series now heads to East Rutherford, New Jersey, where Tomac and Dungey will be separated by just three points. The Eastern Regional 250SX championship will also resume, where the championship gap is only four points.
1. Eli Tomac
2. Ryan Dungey
3. Jason Anderson
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Joshua Grant
6. Chad Reed
7. Davi Millsaps
8. Blake Baggett
9. Cooper Webb
10. Dean Wilson
250SX West Results:
1. Shane McElrath
2. Mitchell Oldenburg
3. Justin Hill
4. Martin Davalos
5. Jimmy Decotis
6. Austin Forkner
7. Dan Reardon
8. Hayden Mellross
9. Kyle Chisholm
10. Tyler Bowers