Eli Tomac of Cortez dodged disaster Saturday in the Nashville 450 Supercross and raced from the middle of the pack to a dominating win at Nissan Stadium.
As the gate dropped, series-leading Cooper Webb, Blake Baggett and Joey Savavtgy went to the lead at the first turn. After one lap, it was Webb, series runner-up Marvin Musquin and Baggett.
Tomac was in 11th.
In the second lap, Musquin crashed with a smoking bike and dropped to 19th, and Tomac moved up four spots to seventh place.
In the fourth lap, Savatgy crashed and took Roczen with him, giving Tomac fourth place. In the seventh, Tomac passed Baggett for third, and in the eighth, passed Dean Wilson for second place, behind Webb.
Tomac grabbed the lead in the ninth of 26 laps and didn’t look back, running his fastest lap of the race in the 11th and stretching out a 3-second lead. He led the final 15 laps and took the checkered flag 11.64 seconds ahead of Baggett. Webb, Wilson and Zach Osborne rounded out the Top 5. Musquin finished sixth after falling to 19th in the second lap.
Savatgy, Joshua Grant, Justin Hill and Justin Barcia did not finish the race.
With the win, Tomac moved into second place, tied with Musquin at 288 points. Webb remained in first with 309 points, and Roczen faded to fourth at 267 points after finishing eighth.
Earlier Saturday, Tomac was forced into the last chance qualifying round after a disastrous qualifying heat.
Tomac was 18th in his heat after starting fast and racing to the lead, but he pulled off the track with a malfunctioning bike in the first lap. His teammate, Savatgy, won the heat, and was followed by Cooper Webb, Justin Bogle, Justin Hill and Justin Barcia.
In the last chance round, Tomac was third after one lap, but moved to the front in the third. He then ran away with the win, 12.438 seconds ahead of Austin Politelli.
During qualifying rounds, Tomac was sixth, with a fastest lap of 49.369 seconds, more than a second off the pacesetter Roczen’s 48.376. Musquin was second and was followed by Wilson, Savatgy and Tyler Bowers.
Roczen won the second heat, and Cole Seely, Osbourne, Wilson and Baggett rounded out the Top 5.
The AMA Supercross series heads to Tomac’s home state on April 13 for the 15th of 17 races at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver.