Colorado native Eli Tomac collected a pair of third-place finishes Saturday at the Thunder Valley National to earn another overall podium finish in the 250cc class for the GEICO Honda race team.
Teammate Kevin Windham, subbing for injured American Honda Racing rider Trey Canard, also rode well on his CRF450R, almost mirroring last weekend’s results with back-to-back, fourth-place finishes in the day’s two motos for an overall fourth-place ranking.
Tomac, who hails from Cortez, Colo., rode two solid motos and kept his energy up in the mile-high climes to ascend the podium for the second time this season. He went 6-3 at High Point on June 11 for another overall third.
“I grew up in Colorado so I felt extremely comfortable racing here today,” Tomac said. “I needed better starts because the two guys that finished in front of me got too far out in both motos so I just concentrated on maintaining my position and keeping everyone else behind me. I’m pleased with the way I’m riding and it’s always good to be on the podium at theÃ‚Â end of the day for GEICO and Honda. I had a good day, and I’m happy.”
Windham announced he was sitting out several races after last weekend’s event in Budds Creek, Md., but his third-place overall finish there prompted him to try another race. After a similar day in Denver, the 33-year-old legend says he’s got a little more in the tank.
“It gets harder to get out here and race every year at my age, but its also hard to stay away and miss out on the fun and the fans,” said Windham, who moved up to fourth in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship points. “Every time the gate drops and you’re not apart of it, it feels like you are missing apart of yourself. I really thought Budds Creek was going to be my last one but I’m excited to be out here, especially with the way the bike is running, and we’ve already decided we are going to race next weekend. It’s fun being out here for the fans and riding with their support and the whole GEICO team’s support. Its like a win without even winning.”
Reigning Supercross Lites East champion Justin Barcia got the Meterman Holeshot in both motos and led five early laps, but he came off his bike a few times navigating the course’s deeper-than-normal ruts and finished 9-12 for an overall ranking of ninth.
“I started great in the first moto, got the holeshot, and was leading the race,” Barcia said. “But I got caught up with some guys and crashed. That messed me up for the rest of the race. In the second moto I got the holeshot again and led the race for a while then I got passed by some guys, crashed three times, and that was it. My day was filled with lots of crashing. It just wasn’t a good day.”
Tomac and Barcia are fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship points.
Rookie team rider Lance Vincent finished 22nd in the first moto and was unable to finish Moto 2 after his bike suffered a mechanical issue.
“In the first moto my rear brake went out around the halfway mark and I just couldn’t get it back,” Vincent said. “Moto 2, I got a great start and was second until (Dean) Wilson passed me. We battled for a little while back and forth and then something happened with my bike. I finally had a great moto and then my bike just stopped working.
“This was the first time I have competed at this track and it seemed more technical than other motocross tracks I’ve raced. The ruts were like four feet deep and there were different lines everywhere. It was a challenge.”
Up next is the Red Bud National, July 2, in Michigan.