Arlington, Texas., (February 23, 2020) The eighth round of the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship series was also Round two of both the Monster Energy Triple Crown series-within-a-series and the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship.
The event provided six great Races in front of 62,105 fans inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Eli Tomac brought his Monster Energy Kawasaki team its fourth win of 2020, the 31st win of his career, in typical Tomac style – a dramatic charge through the pack when everything was on the line.
Jason Anderson grabbed the hole shot in 450SX Race 1 of the Triple Crown format of three 12-minutes plus one lap Races. Cooper Webb went by in the second corner, but just a few turns later, Ken Roczen flew threw the whoops to get close enough to pass Webb down the following straight. Tomac was buried in the 13th place off the start and moved up slowly, reaching only fifth place by the checkers.
Roczen said after his fourth straight Triple Crown Race win, “I didn’t grab a good start out of the gate but I kinda snaked my way around the inside and then I grabbed a handful in the whoops and just made my way to the inside of Cooper there and took this one. So Im really happy now. Its always good to start the first one off like that.”
the second time the 450 riders lined up, Blake Baggett got out front with the hole shot. Just four corners in, Tomac made his move at a corner entrance and rode on to an uneventful victory for him. Cooper Webb was eight at the hole shot stripe, lost a spot early to Roczen, then mounted a charge forward. He moved up five positions in ten laps of the 17 lap race, but then has a bad crash off the Dragon’s Back on lap 16 and did not finish. Jason Anderson steadily climbed from fifth to second during Race 2, putting him in the event’s points lead with 5 points, a one point advantage over Tomac.
Tomac was feeling good on the podium, “Got around the first turn better that time and just rode a way better race. Body was looser, I felt like myself, so that was nice.”
450SX Race 3 was a barn burner; Zach Osborne grabbed the holeshot with Baggett, Anderson, Roczen and Tomac on his heels. On lap four Baggett crashed in a corner, and the tight lead pack was down to four – but they were close for the first half of the race, a couple time putting all four in the whoops section at the same time. Tomac has an intense battle with Roczen, finally closing the door by taking Roczen’s line away up the face of the triple jump. A lap later Tomas was past Osborne and has his sights on Anderson for what would be a winner-take-all between the two for the overall win in Arlington. It was another close battle for Tomac, but he pulled clear to leave Anderson in a fight with Roczen for a second. Anderson went off-track following the whoops, allowing Roczen past but recovering for fifth in Race 3, and third place overall on the night.
On the podium Tomac explained he was aware of the points during the Race, and at one point knew he was in third overall, but consentrated not on strategy but on simply winning, “My main focus was just going forward. I had a few spots on these guys where I was making up time and I knew where I could get inside after the finish line there. I ended up racing a lot better in Race 2 and 3 there. So, I was just fighting the whole night, and a great way to come out on top.”
Roczen was happy with second considering he was feeling a little of his top form during the day, “I had my struggles tonight and today in general. I wasn’t feeling it, but Eli was honestly the fastest tonight. I rode good in the first main but still I just physically didn’t feel that great. Im glad that in the last race I was able to put up a good fight. Me and Eli were going back an forth a couple of times, but I made a mistake there and he went back by. I tried to attack Zach and attack Jason; I actually went by Jason already once. But really tough, the way the turns are set up, especially after the finish line. You know you win and lose a little bit, and then Jason made the mistake so I could get into second. We salvaged a second today overall which I’m happy with, with all things considered. And championship is still all good.”
Jason Anderson commented after the race about running up in the lad again, “I haven’t been out front in a long time. Its been probably since 2018 so right now, up front, I feel good but at the same time I’m a little bit hesitant up there. I just need to keep doing it, race after race, and give myself opportunity. But all in all, I had a good race, that last lap was a little mishap, kinds cost me second overall. But all in all, Im have a good time and excited to keep going, battle these guys. Its hectic out there with this Triple Crown.”