ELI TOMAC MAKES HIS MARK Is it so hard to believe that Eli Tomac took the world by storm only four short years ago when he won the first 250 National he ever entered? My, how time flies. Tomac probably felt like he was living in a vacuum. To have immediate success, followed by a struggle to find the top step of the podium again, Eli had to endure through a plethora of trials and tribulations. Heat exhaustion, crashes, inconsistency, injuries—all culprits that foiled his plan of being the 250 National Champion. And, given that he plans to move up to the 450 class in 2014, this summer proved to be his final chance at earning the coveted 250 crown. KTM’s Ken Roczen started out the season on a hot streak, getting superior starts that put him in a position to win. A swell of confi- dence from winning the 250 West Supercross title helped K-Roc surge into the points lead by winning five of the first seven motos. It was a lead he would not relinquish until a massive crash in the first moto at Millville caused a DNF. Moto giveth but it also taketh away. Up until Millville, it was a dogfight between Tomac and Roczen for the title. Of the two classes, it looked like the 250 boys were going to go down to the wire, while the 450s were a Villopoto playground. That Millville front-end washout changed the shape of history. Roczen lost 25 points, while Tomac was reaching his peak. The Geico Honda rider closed out the chase by scoring maximum points in nine of the last 10 motos. Perhaps more alarming is that he managed to do so despite mediocre starts. Eli’s combination of will, determination, focus and conditioning made the difference. While the rest of the field began floundering at the 15-minute mark, Tomac put on the afterburners. He sliced through the competition and established his worthy credentials in the class. In doing so, Eli Tomac finally landed the one title that he had to win this year. It was now or never.