First East/West Shootout Set for Indy


3/21/2018

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The Dome at America's Center in downtown St. Louis, Missouri is one of the most storied venues on the AMA Supercross circuit. The battles here have been epic and span decades. Last Saturday night's racing was not one of those nights.

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That's because this guy - Eli Tomac (above) - put on a riding clinic for the rest of the sport's premier riders. Tomac made short work of the pack after pulling the holeshot and immediately checking out - and by checking out, he was literally out of sight/out of mind. Tomac finished nearly 21 seconds (almost half a lap) ahead of runner-up Jason Anderson, who was another four seconds ahead of third-place finisher Marvin Musquin. If Tomac was out to make a statement, he did so. He excelled on the perfect soil in St. Louis and there's no reason to think he can't do it again this weekend in Indianapolis.

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Jason Anderson lost only three points to Tomac despite the 20+ second gap, but the mental beat down must've been immense. Of course, Anderson has absolutely no reason to try and run down Tomac and mix it up for the win since there's a 60 point gap between them. According to Anderson himself he's not lining up every weekend to not win, and that's what he wants to do. It wasn't happening in St. Louis though. His second place over Musquin's third did gain him a couple more points on his nearest rival, so all was not lost.

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The 250SX East class was somewhat more interesting, although points leader Zach Osborne did make quick work of the pack once he was able to get out front. Fully back on his stride now after a slight slump for a few weekends, Osborne is primed and ready for this weekend's debut of the first of two East/West Shootouts. The Shootout mimics the Vegas finale shootout in that the top 20 riders from each regional series will face off together and be scored points just as they normally would be. This should mix things up in the points chases nicely and it's always fun to see who truly is the fastest supercross rider in the nation on a 250cc machine.

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Austin Forkner (above) is one young rider who certainly has everything to prove. After throwing away the lead in St. Louis and winning the previous weekend to co-own the red plate with Osborne, he'll be chomping at the bit to once again prove to the Midwest fans that he - as a Midwesterner himself - has what it takes to beat the best from anywhere in the country. Osborne will be the only one running the red plate this time though, as Forkner finished off the podium and Osborne was able to open up the points gap to 8.

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The other red plate, this time for the west, will belong to another Midwesterner (nearby western Ohio), Aaron Plessinger. The #23 has established his dominance on the west coast and comes in with a scant 4 point lead over rival Joey Savatgy. The two have been back and forth all season, but lately Plessinger has had a bit of trouble and his previously large points lead has shrunk to where it is now. That means Savatgy, who will be coming up from Florida to Indy, is looking to put some riders between he and Aaron before the night's done in Indianapolis.

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Marvin Musquin's struggles continue in the 450 class. While he rode well and wasn't threatened for the third position, he essentially rode a solitary main event. Musquin was never able to make time on Anderson in second-place, and was not even in the same zip code as Tomac. Musquin was notably unhappy after the main event. Could Musquin have ran with Anderson or even beaten him? Possibly, but if he's to make up any ground on the massive 42 point gap that Anderson now enjoys, he's going to need to do better than this (and Anderson much worse).

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The newcomer to the front of the pack is Justin Brayton. After winning Daytona, Brayton's more comfortable than ever and even won another heat race in St. Louis. Running a steady fourth in the main, Brayton's just half a tick off the pace of the top three guys on a typical supercross track and as such is sitting a solid third-place in points, 15 down from Musquin. Brayton is yet another mid-westerner (Iowa) who's looking to make a statement in front of many of his hometown crowd.

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Can Tomac make it two in a row and six for the season in Indy? If he can get out front and sprint for a couple of laps, jumping combos like nobody else was able to do - and doing so consistently, lap after lap, then he'll once again be untouchable. To find out, check out our Live Timing and Scoring feed right here on amasupercross.com and also check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds for photos throughout the race day!


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