Eli Tomac celebrates the championship early with his fourth win of the year. Photography By: Hoppenworld.com

Eli Tomac celebrates the championship early with his fourth win of the year. Photography By: Hoppenworld.com

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, APRIL 28 - Not only did Eli Tomac come from behind to win the West Lites final in front of 40,548 fans at the Salt Lake City Supercross, but the GEICO Honda rider also clinched the 2012 West Lites Championship with one round to go.

Just a few days ago, the West Lites Championship looked like it was going to go down to the final round next week at Las Vegas, but with two of the top West Lites contenders unable to make to the finish tonight, Tomac was able to win for the forth time this season, clinch his first title and give his GEICO Honda team a sweep of the 2012 East and West Lites Supercross-class Championships.

Dean Wilson, Tomac's closest rival for the championship, was struggling with a sore shoulder that he injured the week before at Seattle when he and Tomac got together. Wilson soldiered through a fall in today's qualifying and ran as high as second in the Lites final before crashing out three laps from the finish while running third behind Tomac and early leader Jason Anderson. And since third in points going into the Salt Lake round Cole Seely wasn't able to suit up after suffering an injury in practice earlier in the day, Tomac now enjoys a 29-point lead in the series, which is just enough to give him the title.

After starting off in sixth place, Tomac charged to the front, getting around Matt Moss, then Martin Davalos, Marvin Musquin, Wilson and finally holeshotter Anderson for the lead on the 11th lap. From there, Tomac pulled away, taking the win well clear of Anderson on the Rockstar Energy Suzuki.

Third ended up going to Davalos, which put two Rockstar Energy Suzuki's on the podium. It was career-best finishes for both Suzuki riders.

Fourth went to GEICO Honda's Wil Hahn, followed by Musquin, Moss and Billy Laninovich.

"It was huge to close out the night with a race win and a championship," Tomac said. "Off the gate, I got bumped around and was able to slowly pick guys off and try to pace [myself]. I did my best not to do anything stupid. That was the best way to do it."

Wilson still holds second in the West Lites Championship but is only five points ahead of Musquin, who overtook Seely in the championship.

Seely suffered a serious crash earlier in the day and was taken to the hospital.

WEST LITES SUPERCROSS:

1. Eli Tomac (Hon)
2. Jason Anderson (Suz)
3. Martin Davalos (Suz)
4. Wil Hahn (Hon)
5. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
6. Matt Moss (KTM)
7. Bill Laninovich (Hon)
8. Topher Ingalls (Hon)
9. Vince Friese (Hon)
10. Scott Champion (Hon)
11. Killy Rusk (Hon)
12. Landen Powell (Hon)
13. Preston Tilford (Hon)
14. Beau Hudson (Kaw)
15. Chris Plouffe (Hon)
16. Ryan Sipes (Yam)
17. Myles Tedder (Kaw)
18. Travis Bright (Hon)
19. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
20. Collin Jurin (Suz)

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.

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