Justin Brayton breaks through for 450 SX victory at Daytona
Veteran rider Justin Brayton had a career breakthrough Saturday night on one of motorsports’ biggest stages, winning the Daytona Monster Energy AMA Supercross for his first victory in Supercross competition.
Brayton, a 33-year-old non-factory entrant from North Carolina, rode a Honda CRF450R to the upset victory in the 450SX main event.
Brayton held off two-time defending Daytona champion Eli Tomac (Kawasaki) of Colorado by 4.450 seconds.
Tomac dramatically charged back to a runner-up finish after a first-lap accident sent him tumbling to the rear of the field. Cooper Webb rounded out the podium for 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.
Jason Anderson was was mid-pack at the start of the Main and came out of the first lap in 14th. He was charging through the field, but went down in the third lap before remounting in 15th. He put in some great laps to make it up to 10th by the sixth lap, and put in a charge to finish seventh. He holds on to the red plate and maintains his lead in the 450 championship by 40 points.
“I had great qualifying sessions,” said Anderson. “I fell down in the heat race after getting hit with a tuff block, but came back to ninth to qualify for the Main. I didn’t have the best gate pick in the Main, but I made my way through the pack and ended up falling down. I was able to finish seventh. My points are still good, so I’m just going to move onto next week and keep the train rolling.”
Musquin got off to a great start aboard his KTM as he began in the 3rd place position. By lap four, Musquin had made his way into the lead where he began to pull away from the pack. However, a big mistake on lap five cost him the lead when he went down in the mechanic’s area. Musquin quickly remounted only to go down once again, this time taking more time to get back going. The Frenchman fought hard to make his way back up to 5th, where he ultimately finished for the night.
“It’s really disappointing to finish 5th tonight. I felt really good all day on my bike and I feel like we threw away a win. I had a good start and was there in 3rd but this time I tried to be smarter with my passes and it worked as I got into the lead. I was able to pull away a little until I made a big mistake, almost looped out and landed on the ground in the mechanic’s area. I then had another crash in a turn quickly after getting back on the bike, which took me a little bit of time to reset and refocus so I fought hard to come back to 5th. We are looking to get back on the podium in St. Louis.”
Chad Reed finished the Daytona event in 12th place and is 16th in the championship standings on 81 points.
AMA Supercross 2018 – Round Ten – Daytona – 450SX Race Results
Justin Brayton – Honda
Eli Tomac – Kawasaki
Cooper Webb – Yamaha
Christian Craig – Honda
Marvin Musquin – KTM
Weston Peick – Suzuki
Jason Anderson – Husqvarna
Dean Wilson – Husqvarna
Blake Baggett – KTM
Broc Tickle – KTM
AMA Supercross 2018 – Round Ten – Daytona – 450SX Championship Standings
Jason Anderson 223
Marvin Musquin 183
Justin Brayton 170
Blake Baggett 164
Eli Tomac 160
Weston Peick 153
Cooper Webb 146
Broc Tickle 131
Cole Seely 124
Justin Barcia 113
Jordon Smith of North Carolina won the 250SX main aboard a KTM, edging 2016 Daytona 250SX champion Jeremy Martin (Honda) at the finish by 0.979 seconds.
“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.”
Zach Osborne started in the back of the pack in the Main after getting caught behind a pack of riders and worked hard to charge into the eighth-place spot before the end of the second lap. He was on the move and navigated into seventh the following lap. Showing amazing speed and determination, he put his head down and put on an impressive ride to get into fifth with eight minutes plus a lap remaining in the race. He made a quick pass on Martin Davalos to inherit fourth, and set his sights on a podium spot. He inched closer to third-place rider Austin Forkner and chased him all the way to end but was just out of reach. He finished fourth, and is currently tied for the lead in the 250SX East rider point standings.
“It was a decent weekend,” said Osborne. “I started in the back of the pack in the Main, but came all the way up to fourth which is great. I was really close to the top-three but I just ran out of time. I’m just going to keep plugging away.”
AMA Supercross 2018 – Round Ten – Daytona – 250SX Race Results
Jordon Smith – KTM
Jeremy Martin – KTM
Austin Forkner – Kawasaki
Zach Osborne – Husqvarna
Martin Davalos – Kawasaki
Kyle Peters – Suzuki
Sean Cantrell – KTM
Brandon Hartranft – Yamaha
Ramyller Alves – Yamaha
Luke Renzland – Yamaha
AMA Supercross 2018 – Round Ten – Daytona – 250SX East Championship Standings
Austin Forkner 89
Zach Osborne 89
Jordon Smith 81
Jeremy Martin 70
RJ Hampshire 57
Luke Renzland 55
Colt Nichols 54
Martin Davalos 52
Kyle Peters 51
James Decotis 49
Racing continues at Daytona 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.
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