Bench Racing Ammo:  Second Half Surge

Bench Racing Ammo: Second Half Surge

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The Hangtown opener of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship might be the one that gets us pumped up the most, but the 250 championship playbook is placing increasingly less importance on it. Once again, we’re seeing a second-half title drive make all the difference, this time under the controls of GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac.

We’ve seen it before, and recently. In 2010, Trey Canard completed an epic title comeback courtesy of five overall wins in the final seven rounds. Up until that win streak started, Trey had never even won a 250 National overall in his career. In 2011, Dean Wilson launched a similar attack, failing to win an overall through the first half of the season, then ripping off overall wins in three of the final four rounds.

Now it’s Tomac’s turn. He was a little stronger than Canard and Wilson early (taking the overall win at round two in Colorado), but he really found his stride in the second moto of the Budds Creek National (round five). He didn’t win the overall there, but his 13th-to-first charge in the second moto seemed to light a fire. The second half of the season has been all Eli.

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Dean Wilson won three of the last four to capture the 2011 250 Championship.
Andrew Fredrickson photo

Let’s check the moto scores of all three riders during their surge.

Trey Canard 2010

Overall wins in first half of season: 0

Red Bud 4 – 1 (Overall Win)

Spring Creek 2 – 1 (Overall Win)

Washougal 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Unadilla 1 – 2 (Overall Win)

Southwick 1 – 9 (3rd Overall)

Steel City 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Pala 4 – 3 (3rd Overall)

 

Dean Wilson 2011

Overall wins in first half of season: 0

Spring Creek 1 – 2 (2nd Overall)

Washougal 5 – 1 (3rd Overall)

Unadilla 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Southwick 3 – 2 (2nd Overall)

Steel City 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Pala 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

 

Eli Tomac 2013

Overall wins in first half of season: 1

Southwick 1 – 2 (Overall Win)

Red Bud 1 – 2 (2nd Overall)

Washougal 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Millville 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Unadilla 1 – 1 (Overall Win)

Utah ?

Lake Elsinore ?

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Eli Tomac has been on fire. Will he join Wilson and Canard as champions?
Simon Cudby photo

While Canard needed every point he could get to sneak in his 2010 comeback, Wilson had been consistent before he started winning races. Once his surge began, he built a huge points lead and wrapped the 2011 title a round early at Steel City. Tomac, just two weeks removed from sitting second in points, could potentially wrap it early this weekend.

And what about Hangtown? In each of these three seasons, a different rider stole the headlines at the opener. In 2010, Canard holeshot the first moto of the season and then suffered arm pump, fading back to seventh. The race winner that day was actually Tomac, who was making his pro debut.

In 2011, Blake Baggett’s pair of stirring come-from-behind charges launched the El Chupacabra reputation. Wilson actually went 1-3 that day for second overall. This year, Tomac was third at Hangtown, but Ken Roczen’s brilliant 1-1 dominated the story.

In each of these seasons, though, the real story didn’t begin until the second half of the year.

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