After seven years in the 450SX class, Eli Tomac has finally done it. He’s finally held onto the red plate when it matters most. Finally etched his name into the record books as a premier-class champion in the 2020 AMA and World Supercross series. And he’s finally silenced the doubters who’ve repeatedly reminded the Colorado native that he’s long been the sport’s winningest rider not to win a premier-class supercross title.
But let’s not overlook the other fascinating stats about Eli Tomac’s 2020 title win. For instance:
- At age 27, Eli Tomac was the oldest rider in AMA Supercross history to win the premier-class title. Which is quite something, given that he’s the class’s 23rd different winner;
- He was the first rider to ever win his first premier-class title after amassing more than 30 Main Event wins (from 113 starts, Tomac has now racked up 34 wins and 64 podiums);
- He was the first dad to ever to win an AMA SX title. And how fitting was it that he did it on Father’s Day weekend in the USA; and
- Tomac handed Kawasaki their first 450SX class title win since 2014, when Ryan Villopoto gifted the green team their last of four on the trot.
With Eli Tomac only needing to place 19th and collect 4 points at the Round 17 series finale to clinch the title, the odds weren’t stacked against him. But after getting a mid-pack start in the Main, he still had to keep his composure and methodically pick off multiple riders on what fast-became a very slick and sketchy track en route to his fifth-place finish. Tomac followed home the Husqvarna freight train of Zach Osborne, Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson, and Honda’s Malcolm Steward, while his main title combatant for the back half of the season and reigning champ, KTM’s Cooper Webb, didn’t appear himself all day at the season finale. After a first-turn crash, Webb could only claw his way back to eighth, which put an end to an incredible eight-race podium streak, but secured him second place in the title hunt.
Credit should also be given to the series’ promoter, Feld Entertainment, for deftly ushering 2020 AMA Supercross series into the position of being the first professional sport to re-boot after the Covid-19 king hit and successfully complete its championship season.
If you didn’t catch it on Foxtel, here’s a highlights video of that final round at Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, a day that Eli Tomac will never forget.