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Jul 13, 2014 - 06:23 AM
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Tomac Fights Off Back Pain, Charges To Another Podium
Posted by: newsla on Jul 13, 2014 - 06:22 AM
Tomac Fights Off Back Pain, Charges To Another Podium

Hours before the start of the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National on Saturday at Budds Creek Motocross, GEICO Honda 450 rider Eli Tomac wasn't sure he'd be able to race.


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Beset with nagging back issues, Tomac decided to make a go of it and he raced right to the podium.

Tomac charged from a slow start in the second moto to finish third and grab third place overall for his third consecutive podium finish.

"Honestly, at the start of the day I didn't know if I was going to be racing," Tomac said. "To turn it into a podium is awesome."

Tomac returned to the GEICO Honda team three races ago and has contended for victory each week. Not even pain in his back could slow him down.

"The adrenaline and the racing made me not think about it," Tomac said.

Tomac started the day with a fourth-place finish in the first moto, holding down the position for 15 of the race's 17 laps. In the second moto, he didn't get a good start and was 11th after the first lap, but by the end of the race Tomac had one of the fastest motorcycles. He methodically picked his way through the field and even closed on second place in the latter stages.

"It was fun," Tomac said. "I got in a good flow and had some good lines out there. Honestly, it was a really tough track to pass on. A lot of the lines drifted into each other, so when you tried to pass, the other guy would kinda cut you off.

"To make a pass, you had to be really aggressive and hope for the guy to make a little mistake, too."

Since Tomac isn't racing for motocross points, he could be aggressive.

"You can, so I don't really have much to lose, and honestly I don't," Tomac said. "I'm just gunning for podiums."

Teammate Christian Craig doesn't have goals as lofty as Tomac yet, though this was only his second race on the 450 bike. The Maryland heat and humidity got to Craig in the first moto, as he faded to 15th place.

"I'm just glad it's over, actually," Craig said. "I haven't been training too hard because I do have a real job, so I knew it was going to be a tough one when I was looking at the weather this weekend. It was really humid.

"I qualified really good and put myself in a good spot in the first moto but I just died. It was tough to hang on, and I just rode it out. I was pretty worn out after that, and I didn't know if I was going to race in the second moto because I was so depleted."

But Craig toughed it out.

"I went out there and just rode around," Craig said. "I ended up doing better than my first moto."

Craig finished 14th in the second moto and was 14th overall, matching his finish at RedBud last weekend.

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