GEICO Honda rider Tomac sweeps Steel City, cuts points deficit in half
DELMONT, Pa. (Sept. 1) -- Eli Tomac won both 250cc motos at Saturday's FMF Steel City National to trim his deficit in the championship points standings to just 14 with one event left in the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Series.
Tomac's GEICO Honda teammate, Justin Barcia, fared almost as well, taking second and third to grab an overall finish of third place. Wil Hahn registered a ninth and sixth-place result for sixth overall, while Justin Bogle rebounded from a nasty collision in Moto 1, which left him 25th, with a solid seventh-place finish in Moto 2 to take 15th in the day's final order.
"It was another great day for the GEICO Honda team," Tomac said. "I'm super pumped right now. To cut (Blake) Baggett's lead in half in one day is pretty encouraging. If we can go to Lake Elsinore and do the same thing, we'll be tied. It's going to be very interesting. I wish we were racing tomorrow."
Baggett, who recorded a pair of fourth-place finishes, entered the day 24 points ahead of Barcia and 28 up on Tomac. He now leads Tomac by 14 points and Barcia by 18.
"He was really fast earlier this summer but he's kind of come back to us a little here towards the end," Tomac said. "He still has a decent lead but we're going to push as hard as we can to pull this thing off."
After leading Tomac for most of the first moto, Barcia settled for second, and then pretty much rode by himself in third place throughout the second moto. Although he was pleased to reduce Baggett's lead, he leaves Pittsburgh wishing he had done more.
"Not my best ride," Barcia said. "I had a chance to really make a move but couldn't quite put it together. It was pretty hot and humid in the first moto and then it rained and was extremely slick in Moto 2. I don't know...I'm a little frustrated.
"It'll be a wild race next weekend. I'm not sure what Baggett's up to, if he's just been taking it easy lately or what. All I can do is ride my best and finish strong. If I get the starts I need and something happens to the other guys, you never know how it might turn out."
Better starts are also on the mind of Hahn, who rode well after the first turn in both of his motos.
"I kind of fell into my spots and couldn't do much to catch up," Hahn said. "To make a pass here you had to be really aggressive, which is fine, but in your mind when you make a move like that you're also wanting to make sure you don't go backwards.
"It's important for me to finish the year strong and get all these GEICO bikes up front. If I can help Eli and Barcia, I'm going to do all I can."
Bogle was riding near the front in Moto 1 before getting tangled up with Jason Anderson and going down hard midway through the race. He managed to finish 25th, then quickly found a second wind and decided to race Moto 2 despite abrasions down the left side of his back.
"I'm always going to ride if I can," Bogle said. "I'll be sore tomorrow, I'm sure, but the season is almost over and we've got one more race, so I'll suck it up and go. I'm not sure why Anderson cleaned me out like that. We were riding fine. I was maybe falling back a bit and he got into me, I don't know. It's part of the deal. I'll be fine and ready to race next weekend."
The season concludes next Saturday with the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National in southern California.