Kevin Windham Ready to Defend Salt Lake City Title, While Eli Tomac Counts Championship Chips
For Windham, a 17-year veteran competing in the Supercross category, Salt Lake City represents a chance to defend his last event title. It was in between snow flurries at last year’s race when the legendary crowd favorite won his 19th career title. He’s had chances to win since – leading the Houston event for the first several laps and racking up a runner-up result in Seattle, but Salt Lake remains the last place he tasted victory.
“I’m looking forward to our return,” the 33-year-old Windham said. “Last year’s race was great for us. There’s something about heading into a city where you’ve done well a few times. It’s just a good vibe.
“I’m excited. We had an off weekend so we’re coming in with our batteries recharged. The season is pretty brutal at times and I’ve been on the ground a few times so it was nice to let my body rest.
“There’s two races left and there’s a bunch of craziness going on. Hopefully, I can be up in the mix and get a trophy for GEICO, DVS, and all my other sponsors before we’re done.”
With an incredible string of 12 straight podium finishes, the team is proving to be one of the best in the business and Tomac, who claimed his own runner-up finish in Supercross Lites action before the break, is making a strong championship push. The young rider from Cortez, Colo., is just seven points off the lead in third place.
“It’s nice to be on the offensive side of things,” Tomac said. “I’m not worried about being chased down, I’m the one on the attack, so I’m comfortable with that.
“I think this should be a really good race for me since I live and train at elevation. Plus, I’ll be practicing at my house in Colorado leading right up to the race so that will give me a little bit of on edge on the other riders.”
Broc Tickle and Josh Hansen are the two veteran riders ahead of Tomac, but the 18-year-old is doing a good job of running down the experienced pros.
“My goals are the same every weekend,” Tomac said. “I want to get in there, ride hard, do my thing, and try to pick up some points. If I ride the way I’m capable of riding, good things will happen. It’s really exciting to even be in this position in my first year in Supercross so I’m enjoying the experience.”
Team rider Jimmy DeCotis, who was subbing for the injured Wil Hahn, suffered an injury of his own in Seattle and will be unable to ride this weekend.
“It’s a bummer but what are you going to do,” DeCotis said. “It’s going to take a few more weeks to recover but I should be good for outdoor action.”
The 17th round of the Monster Energy Supercross series begins at 7 p.m. PDT, Saturday, at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Gates open at 12:30 p.m. for practice.