Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac on brink of GEICO Honda history
The GEICO Honda team has never swept the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Lites East and West championships in the same season, and the team’s young riders have a strong possibility of doing just that this Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Barcia, who has finished either first or second in every race this season, has a 20-point lead in the East and needs to finish 15th or better to clinch the title.
“Just because I have a lead in the class doesn’t mean I plan on taking it easy on the guys,” Barcia said. “I still want to win the race and the shootout so we’ll just have to wait and see if I can make that happen.”
Tomac, who has won two of the last three West races, has a slightly more work to do for the title. Tomac trails leader Broc Tickle by just two points. If Tomac finishes ahead Tickle in the main, Tomac is the champ.
“It was a big thing for me to be in control of my own destiny heading into Vegas,” Tomac said. “It wouldn’t have been as good if I had to worry about hoping he messes up or worrying about someone else coming in between us.
“Right now it seems like the tides are kind of changing and heading my way. It’s definitely nice to feel like we have everything lining up at the right time.”
As Tomac is coming off last weekend’s win in Salt Lake City, Barcia has been waiting a few weeks for his opportunity to finish off the competition.
“I’m going to go out there and ride my race,” Barcia said. “I’m going to ride smart and make sure I ride a good race and hopefully if I do those things I can bring home the championship for the GEICO Honda team.”
The team’s 450 rider, Kevin Windham, is looking to finish the Supercross season on a high note, but he said he knows his work is going to be cut out for him.
“The guys up in front are really fast,” Windham said, “but the past few weeks I’ve been making up some ground and catching up with them. So with all that, I hope that I can finish the season strong and maybe collect one more podium or even a win in Vegas.
“This season has been a tough one I’m thankful I’ve been able to stay in the Top 10 — it looks like I’ll end up seventh. I mean of course I want to be in the title hunt but I feel satisfied with my season and can’t wait to get to outdoors and hopefully ride a little better out there.”
The 17th and final round of the 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series will get under way with practice at Sam Boyd Stadium starting at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Opening ceremonies will commence at 7 p.m. SPEED will broadcast it all live beginning at 10 p.m. EDT.