Eli Tomac has won the race most riders in the field equate to NASCAR’s Daytona 500 for the fifth time consecutively and seventh time overall, tying King Richard Petty for the most wins in the iconic race. Last year, he broke his tie with Ricky Carmichael for the most Daytona wins at six, but Carmichael’s record of five consecutive wins still hung over him. However, Tomac has now matched that record with five consecutive wins. He has also broken his tie with Carmichael for the third-most wins in the race. With 50 wins, James Stewart’s record is the next milestone for Tomac to reach, and it is expected to happen in the next few rounds.
At the top of the podium, Tomac thanked his rival Cooper Webb and recounted their close competition during the race, including some contact on the double before the shelf. Tomac expressed his love for Daytona and the fans who rushed the stage.
Tomac looked beatable at the start of the day. He was outside the top five in practice, rose to fourth in qualification, but once the money was on the line, he won his heat to gain a great gate pick.
“I was struggling in practice straight up,” Tomac told James Stewart on NBC Sports. “My confidence wasn’t high. I was consistently getting beat by a second there, but when the lights come on here the track comes to me and I really find my flow again.”
Last year Tomac passed Webb late in the 2022 Daytona Supercross race and denied him the win, so the early lead was incredibly important. Tomac grabbed the holeshot by inches, but Webb took the early lead, but he could not shake the points’ leader. Tomac stayed on his back tire until a little mistake with 12 minutes remaining on the clock allowed Tomac to pass.
“It was a great fight. I have to tip my cap to myself and also to Eli,” Webb said. “I was trying my balls off up front. He’s just so damn good here it’s tough. I made a little mistake and we collided. I was hoping I didn’t bump him and mess something up on the bike. I hit neutral kind of randomly and he was able to get by. He put on the after burners and I was trying as hard as I could. It was a dogfight.”