One of the biggest moments of Eli Tomac’s racing career is about to happen on Sunday, if he can put his final pieces together. He currently holds a 22 point lead over Cooper Webb — the only other championship contender — in pursuit of his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship in Salt Lake City 7. Ken Roczen, another contender for most of the season, has fallen too far behind to be mathematically eligible as he sits 28 points behind the lead. It will come down between the Monster Energy Kawasaki Rider against the Red Bull KTM defending champion.
Heading into Sunday’s race, there are three scenarios in the 450SX division both Tomac and Webb will be watching to determine the 2020 champion.
First, if Webb wins the final race of the season, Tomac will need to score a minimum of four points. This not only means he must qualify for the main event, but must finish at least 19th position.No points are awarded during heat races or LCQ’s (Last Chance Qualifier). The Supercross points structure debuted an all-new Main Event point system in 2018, the first change in over two decades, so points are given to all 22 finishing positions. Since a victory earns 26 points, 19 will provide four points and result in a tiebreaker going to Tomac for holding more Main Event wins in the 2020 season.
Second, if Tomac misses the main event, Webb can win the championship by finishing in second place for 23 points. This would close out the season with Webb winning the 2020 championship by just one point. Third place has 21 points which would not be enough to overcome Tomac.
Finally, albeit rare, if a massive crash happens in the first turn when the gate drops, riders that do not complete the first lap are actually considered a DNS (Did Not Start).If this happens to a large enough amount of riders, the main event finishing positions for those writers are then referred back to gate pics, usually their heat race results. This gives another advantage to Tomac, considering if his bike breaks in a pile up on the first turn and he is unable to complete the first lap, he could still win the title no matter what Webb does in the race.
It’s easy to assume that Tomac has a lot of insurance going into the final race of the season, but expect Webb to pull out everything he has to keep Tomac honest even the slightest. In 2018, Jason Anderson broke a wheel in the first turn of the Main Event, but his crew got his bike fixed and back out on the track to finish 17th for his championship. It will truthfully be difficult for Tomac at his skill level and his domination throughout 2020 to not finish 19th or better in the main event Sunday.
In the 250SX East division, defending champion Chase Sexton holds just a six point lead over Shane McElrath, as the two are the only ones mathematically eligible for the championship. Sexton owns the tie-breaker with four victories this season over McElrath’s three, and looks to defend his title. Here are the scenarios for Sexton to secure the championship.
- If Sexton wins or finishes in second, he will secure the championship no matter if McElrath wins the race.
- If McElrath finishes second, Sexton will need to finish fourth or better.
- If McElrath finishes third, Sexton will need to finish sixth or better.
- If McElrath finishes outside of the podium, Sexton needs to finish four positions behind him or better.
- If Sexton misses the main event, McElrath will need to finish 18th or better to overcome the deficit for the 2020 250SX East championship.
As for the 250SX West division, There’s a three-way battle to determine their Champion between Dylan Ferrandis, Austin Forkner, and Justin Cooper. Currently, Forkner holds the tie-breaker with four wins, over Ferrandis’s three wins and Cooper’s one victory from Anaheim 1.
- If Forkner wins, Ferrandis will need to finish on the podium (second or third) to secure the title.
- If Forkner finishes second, Ferrandis needs to finish sixth or better.
- If Forkner finishes third, Ferrandis must finish eighth or better.
- If Forkner finishes off the podium, Ferrandis must finish within six positions of Forkner.
Then Cooper also has a few more scenarios to take the title from his current third points position, so we’ll need to combine the above scenarios between Ferrandis and Forkner when considering Cooper’s eligibility for the 2020 title. It’s a far fetch, but Cooper does have a possibility to steal the west championship if everything goes his way.
- If Ferrandis finishes 14th or better, Cooper cannot win the title.
- If Forkner finishes seventh or better, Cooper cannot win the title.
- If Cooper wins, Ferrandis must finish 14th or better, or Forkner must finish seventh or better.
- If Cooper finishes second, Ferrandis must finish 17th or better, or Forkner must finish 10th or better.
- If Cooper finishes third, Ferrandis must finish 19th or better, or Forkner must finish 12th or better.
- If Cooper finishes fourth, Ferrandis must finish 21st or better, or Forkner must finish 14th or better.
- If Cooper finishes fifth, Ferrandis must simply qualify for the Main Event to prevent Cooper from taking the title. If Forkner finishes 15th or better, then Cooper will not collect enough points to surpass Forkner in the points standings.
- If Cooper fails to finish in the top five, he cannot win the championship.
It’s important to note that the East and West 250SX classes will race simultaneously.
Tune in on Sunday, June 21 for qualifying starting at 12:30 p.m. ET only on NBC Sports Gold. Gates drop starting at 3 p.m. ET and will air on NBCSN for one hour. Then the season finale will move over to NBC starting at 4 p.m. ET until conclusion. All races will also be available via live stream on NBC Sports Gold.