SX Race Report
The Ricky Carmichael-designed course for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross stop at Daytona International Speedway was a sandy, tricky challenge for the four riders of GEICO Powersports Honda.
Trey Canard, a Lites West rider filling in for injured Honda Red Bull rider Andrew Short, collected his second podium finish in three starts by finishing third in the Supercross main event on Saturday. Teammate Kevin Windham used a huge late race surge to rally from 12th and cross the line fourth.
Trey Canard Speaks…
"It was a good day for sure," Canard said. "Being on the box feels like a win to me. I’m thankful to be here and thankful for the opportunity. Hopefully we can keep building on this."
Despite the podium finish, Canard was still a bit bothered by a "what if" feeling at the end of the race. Canard got a great start at the drop of the gates and muscled into the second position. Unfortunately, rider Grant Langston flew over the handlebars on the first lap and the race was red-flagged. Canard didn’t get as good of a start the second time and Ryan Dungey ran away with the win.
"I was behind Ryan and I was excited about that, because I know those guys have really good momentum right now," Canard said. "I was hoping I could learn something and ride behind him. It’s a bummer for Grant and I hope it’s all right. It’s always scary when you have to red flag and delay for something like that."
Windham also got shuffled back on that restart, but it wound up being the start of the most exciting runs of the race. Windham was able to pick his way through the pack on a night when passing was at a premium.
Kevin Windham Speaks…
"I had a lot of excitement around me. It always seemed like I was racing somebody trying to keep moving toward the front," Windham said. "I’m disappointed I didn’t give myself a better opportunity because I came on strong and was riding well throughout that race."
"In those opening laps it was so tight and such a mess that it was hard to execute a pass. You’d set one up and get passed trying to make a pass. Once everyone spread out I was able to pick people off and go where I wanted to."
In the Supercross Lites West race, Justin Barcia and Brett Metcalfe had their troubles with the tricky layout.
Barcia (bar-sha) got bottlenecked at the start and wasn’t able to ride his style of race until the end on the way to a fifth place finish.
Justin Barcia Speaks…
"I didn’t get the best of starts, but I tried to work my way through the best I could," Barcia said. "I was behind Brett for a long time, but I wasn’t able to make the pass happen because I didn’t want to get too aggressive with him."
Metcalfe, who finished seventh, added that the quick pace of the race also made the going tough.
Brett Matcalfe Speaks…
"It was difficult because everyone was running a good pace," Metcalfe said. "It was follow-the-leader, because if you left the door open, you were going to get passed."
The night started off strong for all the GEICO Powersports riders during their heat races.
Windham was smooth in the Supercross Heat 1. He worked his way to third early, then slipped back a bit before collecting himself and ultimately finishing third. Canard was in Heat 2, he got the holeshot and lunged into the lead. He led five laps before getting passed and finishing second.
Metcalfe and Barcia raced in the same heat in the Lites race. Metcalfe got a strong start before settling into second. He managed to maintain that position through the whole segment despite hitting the hay bales twice. Barcia started in fifth before charging into third place within three laps. He finished there, but he also challenged his teammate for second when the laps expired.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series works its way north the season’s 10 race takes place at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on March 13.