Sunday, February 17

Windstorm

Carl Stone photo

Back when Kevin Windham first broke into the pro ranks with Yamaha, they ran an ad campaign harkening back to the days of Bob "Hurricane" Hannah. After each win, they rang up the Kevin "Windstorm" Windham nickname in hopes of creating another Hurricane. Well, now I get the chance to get all poetic and symbolic and deep.

A giant windstorm swept through Texas last night, enough to trash most teams' tents and apparently knock out power transformers all over the area. It was also enough to ground us in the Houston airport this morning, and now we are stuck in Charlotte after our whole flight schedule got jacked up. The weather forecasters were actually right this time, since they were predicting these winds. Same for the forecasters who predicted the Windstorm would plow through the supercross field. Last weekend, Kevin Windham only notched fifth and never quite got to the same level he was on at Anaheim 3. But everyone was still calling the #14 for Houston. He designed the track, he had tons of fans from his native Louisianna heading in to cheer him, and then he threw down a faster lap than Chad Reed in the final qualifying session.

Then the main started and in a perfect script, KW and Davi Millsaps, who have been the biggest thorns in Reed's side this year, got out 1-2 while Reed was mired midpack. The culprit, unfortunately was Reed's teammate Nathan Ramsey. On the webcast, I theorized that riders like Ramsey may not actually want to get holeshots, because they know the pace up at the head of the pack on the first lap will be furious, and it will be a mad, nerve wracking run while trying to avoid getting landed on, knocked down, block passed and then ultimately called a "fader" when you actually just finish in the same spot you normally finish. Only Mike Alessi seems to truly enjoy getting a holeshot even when he knows everyone is gonna' blow by him.

Anyway, Ramsey got a good jump and not only inadvertantly pinched off Reed, he also blew the first rhythm section and sent everyone on a clumsy ballet of casing and facing through the jumps. Only Millsaps escaped, and everyone else was all bound up. Reed was going to have his work cut out for him, but then Millsaps fell, and Ferry and Short didn't put up enough of a fight to stop him--honestly, Reed slicing through those guys was fully MC like. But when he got to Windham, nothing happened. Windham didn't fade, didn't lock up and didn't get rattled at all. We always hear about how good Kevin could be if he had his mind right and just flowed like he knows how, and we saw it in Houston. Reed was aggressive and charging, Windham was just smooth baby.

And he was a winner. What a great story. The guy wasn't even sure if he could get a ride this year and now he's out winning a race. Also, KW traditionally gets stronger around the halfway point of the season, and since he actually seemed able to match Reed's pace throughout the day in Houston, there's a possibility of more wins this year.

When we left the race and saw the pits totally tattered, it looked like a totally different place than it did earlier in the afternoon. After the Windstorm took to the track and won, will the supercross landscape be just as changed?

10 Comments:

Daniel said...

Listening online last night I was super excited (and pumped) to hear that Windham was going to win. As I thought of Windham winning it made me think of something else too. Now this is months away, but what if... What if Stewart isn't quite healed up for the nationals. He has lots of time still, but what if he isn't ready. Reed has proven over the last few years that he WILL finish in the top 3 in the outdoors too, but he isn't really racing motocross now. Technically Windham is also only going to race a limited number of races this summer too, but what if Stewart isn't healed. Could this summer be Windham's turn to stop being RC's bridesmaid outdoors. I know I'm 3 months ahead of myself here, especially since Windham (at least as I recall) isn't supposed to do the whole series outdoors. But as I thought about him finally getting a SX win last night, I couldn't help but think of him getting more wins in MX too. Just some random thoughts of a guy up until the wee hours of the morning listening online.

Reese said...

I could see this season going 2004 style - Windham giving us hope, but Reed still winning most races and easily winning the championship. Being from Louisiana, I am a huge Windham fan, so I was super pumped to see him win last night!

Anonymous said...

no more WINorDAMN again!

Anonymous said...

Windhamm has better style than anyone and it's magnified when he wins.

Anonymous said...

Windham has the best style PERIOD and it's magnified when he's up front.

Jason Weigandt said...

Daniel,
I know for sure that Windham knows he let a possible title last summer get away. We interviewed him at Millville when it became official that Stewart was out, and, man, he was bummed. If Stewart was really out again, I wouldn't be surprised to see KW go for it because the guy is having a lot of fun at the races right now.

The rest of you guys, you're right, KW has always looked awesome on a bike!

thom said...

great jod kevin. i've watched you since you were a little kid. your the smoothest rider since David Bailey. when your on you just flow with the bike and its so cool to watch. many more wins,we're rootin for you thom

Anonymous said...

Hey Weege, I checked the forecast for ATL and there is no chance for wind. As a matter of fact, there is no chance of wind again until Glen Helen. Sorry to ruin your "windstorm"...

Jason Weigandt said...

Mr Forecast,
Damn! They need to have a SX in Kansas, or even better, Chicago!

Anonymous said...

Kevin, if you read this all of your fans are very proud of you. Keep your head in the game. Far better it is to dare mighty dream to win a supercross now and then, even though checkered by falure, then to join the ranks of those poor soules who never suffer much nor enjoy much because they live in the twilight than knows neither victory nor defeat.

Kevin Windham FAN