Kevin Windham brought a crowd of nearly 50,000 to its feet at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, tonight, by claiming his first Supercross main event victory since winning a muddy Anaheim race in 2005. And the Torco Fuels Honda rider did it with relative ease.
At the start of the 20-lap final, Windham gated just inside the top three and then took the lead when holeshotter Davi Millsaps washed out the front end on his factory Honda. All the while, series points leader Chad Reed was trying to work his way up from a disastrous start, which had left him sitting toward the bottom side of the top 10.
Reed finally moved his San Manuel Yamaha into second on lap 11, but by then Windham had built a substantial lead and smartly navigated lapped traffic to maintain his advantage.
Windham was all alone when he took the checkers, while Reed led Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry, Team Yamaha’s Josh Hill and Honda’s Andrew Short across the stripe.
"I have been working hard this year, and tonight it paid off," said Windham. "I could not have won in front of a better crowd. I put my head down tonight and used the crowd to my advantage. The crowd was on their feet for the entire race."
The win allowed Windham to close the gap slightly on Reed in the series standings heading into next week’s race in Atlanta. However, Reed still maintains a 32-point advantage, 169 to 137, over Windham, with Ferry holding down third with 119.
In the Lites division, the showdown between Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence and Rockstar Suzuki's Ryan Dungey was settled on the second lap of the 15-lap final when Dungey crashed out of the lead and then crashed again a few laps later, leaving Lawrence out front to battle Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe for the win.
Dungey was quickest at the start and led the pack through turn one but was soon passed by Stroupe’s teammate Brett Metcalfe. However, Dungey retaliated a few turns later and quickly pulled a slight lead before losing control in the whoops and going down, allowing Lawrence to take over.Two laps later Dungey suffered another crash.
On lap five, Stroupe moved past Lawrence to take the lead, which he held for the next 10 laps. However, Lawrence seemed content to sit in second and gain valuable points.
Dungey eventually worked his way back into fifth and on the final lap gained a position when Metcalfe went down. The final order was Stroupe, Lawrence, Torco Fuels Honda’s Jake Weimer, Dungey, and Metcalfe.
"I finally had a decent start, and that helped me in the beginning of the race," said Stroupe. "I put myself in position to stay up front and that's what I did."
1. Kevin Windham (Hon)
2. Chad Reed (Yam)
3. Tim Ferry (Kaw)
4. Josh Hill (Yam)
5. Andrew Short (Hon)
6. Nathan Ramsey (Yam)
7. Charles Summey (Yam)
8. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
9. Nick Wey (KTM)
10. David Vuillemin (Suz)
1. Austin Stroupe (Kaw)
2. Jason Lawrence (Yam)
3. Jake Weimer (Hon)
4. Ryan Dungey (Suz)
5. Brett Metcalfe (Kaw)
6. Dan Reardon (Hon
7. Robert Kiniry (Hon)
8. Wil Hanh (Yam)
9. Michael LaPaglia (Suz)
10. Thomas Hahn (Kaw)