Round 9 in Atlanta is the first East/West 250 Shootout



Eli Tomac is back. He wasn't missing for long, but he did seem to take a bit of a break during the Arlington main event with a crash and fade after leading the race. This past weekend in Detroit, things were different, and his performance was more on par with what we'd expect from arguably the #1 seed for the 450SX title. With it being a Triple Crown event (the second of three), consistency was key in the three main events. Two wins and a sixth is what Tomac came up with, and it was just enough to edge out points leader Cooper Webb for the overall.


Each of the three 450 mains in Detroit provided great racing, and Tomac didn't exactly run away with the first two wins. He did, however, pass and drop all of his primary title competitors at one point or another, and Webb even commented in his post-race remarks that Eli was clearly the fastest rider on the track. Blake Baggett also made a bit of a statement as well, at times running at or better than the leader's pace, but the scoreboard showed a 4-11-2 combo that was good enough only for 5th overall. Look for Baggett to come out swinging this weekend in Georgia's red clay, as he needs to get the ball rolling again with some podium finishes if he wants to stay anywhere near the lead pack in points.


Yes, Cooper Webb heads into Atlanta with a 13 point gap over Tomac, but he's only 6 ahead of Roczen and 11 over his teammate Musquin. His second-place finish in Detroit saw him spread his lead on everyone but Tomac, so he must feel good about that, and about his speed and chances for a win, going into the second half of the season this weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.


The surprise of the night in Detroit was, no doubt, veteran and two-time AMA Supercross champ Chad Reed. Nailing the starts all night is a great way to start the night of racing, and that's exactly what he did. More importantly he was definitely on pace for the front of the pack. 


Reed manages a podium or two every season it seems, despite being roughly 10 years older than the next oldest rider in the field. His 3-5-7 scores were indicative not only of his competitiveness, but also the inconsistency of many of the other riders. Reed was battling it out for each position all night, and his third place in the opening main came after passes he made on several top riders, most of which were probably at least a little bit honored to fall victim to his attack. Reed sits eighth in points heading to Atlanta.


Meanwhile, the 250SX East region triple crown opener was somewhat predictable as, yet again, Austin Forkner established absolute dominance over his competition. Winning all three main events with ease, Forkner made his practice of getting in the lead on lap one and sprinting until he breaks the confidence of everyone else, then backing it down and coasting in for the win. He's in a league of his own this year, at least on the east coast, and fortunately for us - the fans - we'll get to see just how good he is on the national level this weekend when he'll face off against...


...his West regional stablemate Adam Cianciarulo. While AC92 hasn't been quite as dominant on the West as Forkner has on the East, he has established himself as the rider to beat as his fairly comfortable points lead indicates. It's not only Cianciarulo who will be up front, though, as Shane McElrath, Dylan Ferrandis, RJ Hampshire and Colt Nichols all stand a chance of a podium at the least. It will be a great night of 250SX racing action, that much is for sure.


For the second time, AMA Supercross will make its appearance in the sparkling new Mercedes Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The red clay soil is iconic in the history of the sport, and the track layout will incorporate nearly the entire floor space with a super long start straight and long rhythm sections. This style of layout has proven to deliver great racing and with the way this season has gone thus far, it's safe to expect another amazing night of action in both classes. Check it out here or on our Facebook and Instagram pages or live on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. EST.

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