Veteran rider Justin Brayton had a career breakthrough Saturday night on one of motorsports’ biggest stages, winning the DAYTONA Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship at Daytona International Speedway for his first victory in Supercross competition. Brayton’s Honda CRF 450 runs Web Camshafts.
Brayton, a 33-year-old privateer entrant from Mint Hill, North Carolina, rode to the upset victory in the 450SX main event. He held off two-time defending Daytona champion Eli Tomac (Does he run Web Cams in his Kawasaki? No one’s telling) of Cortez, Colorado by 4.450 seconds. Tomac dramatically charged back to a runner-up finish after a first-lap accident sent him tumbling – and also sent him to the rear of the field. Cooper Webb of Newport, North Carolina, finished third on a Yamaha.
“I usually struggle so bad at Daytona, like, I come to get a top 10 but today I just felt great,” Brayton said. “I cannot believe it. I’m a Supercross winner. I’m in the record books, at freaking Daytona. Are you kidding me?”
Tomac was attempting to become the fourth rider to win the DAYTONA Monster Energy Supercross three consecutive times. “I never gave up,” Tomac said. “I did what I could but Justin was riding great, so congrats to him. When you’re that far back all you can do is charge forward. And I was just like ‘let’s get to this podium.'”
The two 450SX heats, which each advanced nine riders to the main event, were won by Brayton and Christian Craig of Orange, California. Tyler Bowers (Kawasaki) of Elsinore, California took the Last Chance Qualifier, which filled out the main event field by advancing four riders.
Jordon Smith of Belmont, North Carolina, won the 250SX main aboard a KTM, edging 2016 Daytona 250SX champion Jeremy Martin (Honda CRF) of Millville, Minnesota at the finish by 0.979 seconds. Earlier, Smith won one of two 250SX heats while Zach Osborne (Husqvarna) of Arlington, Virginia – the fourth-place finisher in the main event – took the other heat. The 250SX Last Chance Qualifier went to Richard Jackson (KTM) of Holdenville, Oklahoma.
“It was a crazy race to win at Daytona – there’s no better place to win,” Smith said. “I got to do a burnout by the checkered flag and that’s just amazing to be able to check that off my list.”
Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner landed back on the podium for the third straight week and the result of his hard work pushed him into a tie for the points lead. Forkner will be running the red plate next weekend in St. Louis after a strong third-place showing. Martin Davalos tied his season-best finish of fifth and climbed up to eighth in the points standings.
On the heels of back-to-back wins, Forkner started the day as the top qualifier. He would finish third in his heat race, giving him a good gate pick to tackle the tough 180 degree first turn. The Kawasaki of Forkner was at the front when the riders cleared the turn and he tried to settle in for a demanding race. Forkner was running a solid race but unable to close the small gap to the leader, settling for second.
“I tried to run with those guys at the start and push really hard but I wasn’t able to bridge the gap,” said Forkner. “I got a little tight and had to settle back in to make sure I was hitting my lines because the track was pretty tough and changing a lot. My goal has been to be consistent and I’ve been able to do that the past few races, putting me in a good position with the points.”
Davalos had a lot of great moments last weekend in Atlanta and tried to draw upon those moments as he took to the track in Daytona. He started the night off with a good showing in the heat race, finishing second. That helped him get a good start in the main event, starting the race off in seventh. Davalos worked hard to get up to the front-runners, making it as high as fourth place before eventually finishing fifth.
“It’s been a tough opening four rounds so it’s nice to be able to tie my best finish and overcome from an up and down weekend,” said Davalos. “I’m ready to put myself on the podium and representing Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki at the front of the pack.”
The DAYTONA Monster Energy Supercross was the first racing event of the 77th annual Bike Week At DAYTONA. Racing continues at DIS on Sunday and Monday with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross, followed by the FLY Racing ATV Supercross on Tuesday, the DAYTONA TT American Flat Track on Thursday night and the historic, 77th annual DAYTONA 200 on Saturday, March 17.
450SX Class Results
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
- Christian Craig, Orange, Calif., Honda
- Marvin Musquin, Clermont, Fla., KTM
- Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Suzuki
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
- Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrance, Calif., KTM
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., KTM
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna (223)
- Marvin Musquin, Clermont, Fla., KTM (183)
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda (170)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrance, Calif., KTM (164)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (160)
- Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Suzuki (153)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (146)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., KTM (131)
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (124)
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha (113)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
- Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Suzuki
- Sean Cantrell, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
- Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Yamaha
- Ramyller Alves, Coconut Creek, Fla., Yamaha
- Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (89)
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (89)
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM (81)
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (70)
- RJ Hampshire, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (57)
- Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha (55)
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (54)
- Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Kawasaki (52)
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C. Suzuki (51)
- James Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Suzuki (47)