Kevin Windham

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Kevin Windham
Wyndham Geico.jpg
Kevin Windham, 2010
Nationality  United States
Born (1978-02-28) February 28, 1978 (age 36)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Current team Geico Powersports Honda
Bike number 14
Website http://www.kevinwindham.com/

Kevin Windham (born February 28, 1978 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), is a retired professional motocross racer raised in Louisiana (New Orleans & Baton Rouge area).[1] At 17 he received a full factory ride from Team Yamaha. He has raced for many factory teams and holds several titles, back to back AMA 125 West Supercross Championships in 1996 and 1997, the 2005 Motocross des Nations team championship,[2] and 2nd in points for the 2008 supercross season. Also, in 1999 Kevin won the United States Grand Prix of Motocross held at Budd's Creek, MD. Despite his longtime status as one of the world's fastest motocross racers, he is yet to win a major (250cc or 450cc) National or World Championship. He is better known by the nickname K-Dub on the racing scene. He announced his retirement from racing at the third round of the 2013 Supercross season.

Personal[edit]

Kevin Windham grew up in the south, and was riding dirt bikes from the age of three with friends in the spillways around the New Orleans area, and racing minibikes.[3] He is married to Dottie. They met at around age twelve, when Dottie went with her sister to watch a race at the local motocross track.[4] The couple have four children; daughters Madelyn, Annabelle and Elizabeth, and son Kevin Jr. Windham lists his non-motocross hobbies as "anything outdoors", including bmx, fishing and flying his own plane.[5]

Windham is known by the nickname K Dub.[6] Mattel released a Hot Wheels model of Kevin Windham on a 2000 Honda CR250 in 2001.[7]

Amateur experience[edit]

The 1994 AMA Amateur and Youth National Motocross Championships, at Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch, was the venue for Kevin Windham’s final races as an amateur. He won both the 125cc A Modified and the 250cc Open A Modified classes, setting a new lap record, taking out his seventh and eighth amateur national titles, and extending his personal winning streak at Loretta Lynn’s to eighteen consecutive motos.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Hot Wheels model of KDub on #14
Windham riding for Geico Powersports Honda
At Glen Helen Raceway, in San Bernardino, California, in 2009

Kevin Windham has been described as "arguably the best rider to have never won a National Championship".[9] Regarded as one of the most naturally talented riders competing in motocross and supercross, Windham has finished second in the overall points standings five times, without once winning.[9] Though one of the oldest riders on the track in 2011, his acknowledged class, grace, and riding ability make him a favourite with the fans.[9]

In 1994 Windham turned professional midway through the season, riding a Kawasaki. He was awarded the AMA Rookie of the Year award, and after an impressive performance at Mt. Morris, PA, where he nearly beat Doug Henry for the moto win, he was signed by Team Yamaha.[9]

In 1995 Windham took five podium finishes in the 125cc East Region Supercross Series, with a best result of second at Minneapolis. He finished that series in 5th overall. He also had some strong performances in the outdoor nationals with a top 125cc Motocross finish of fifth at Delmont, PA.[9]

1996 was a breakthrough year for Windham, with six supercross wins he scored his first 125cc West Coast Championship. Later that year he won four 125cc Nationals and placed second to Steve Lamson in the championship.

In 1997 Windham had another strong season. He won all but two rounds of the 125 West Region Supercross series and earned his second title in as many years. He also had 125cc National Motocross overall wins at Buchanan, MI, New Berlin, NY, and Delmont, PA. Windham also made history by winning a 250cc Supercross main event in Charlotte, NC while still a full-time 125cc rider. He was the first person,[10] and so far only, in motocross history to do this.

In 1998 Windham moved to the 250cc class full-time for Yamaha and won the New Orleans and St. Louis 250cc Supercross rounds. he took five additional podium finishes and finished outside the top-10 just once in the 1998 Supercross series. He finished 4th overall. He took podium finishes in the 250cc Motocross National races at Budds Creek, MD, and New Berlin, NY, but failed to score an overall victory. He broke his leg at the Washougal, WA, event and withdrew from the series. After a bitter contract dispute, Kevin Windham signed with Team Honda for the 1999 season.

In the 1999 season, after some initial struggles adapting to his new Honda, Windham hit his stride and won two Supercross main events and four motocross Nationals. He finished the outdoor season ranked second behind Greg Albertyn. Windham and Sebastien Tortelli both posed strong challenges to Albertyn all season, but eventually came up short. It is regarded as one of the most competitive motocross seasons ever. However, A high point of kevin's motocross career came in 1999. Kevin decided to race the USGP being held at Budd's Creek, MD only three days prior to the event. European Champion and motocross hero overseas Stefan Everts made a comment concerning the top US racers deciding not to race the GP, rather to focus on the US races and the time off the week end allowed. Everts said he thought the US racers were being cowards. This angered Kevin Windham greatly. Stefan Everts at the time was one of the toughest racers to beat. Kevin went on to dominate the race and left no doubt that Everts had nothing for him on that day. This race was very emotional for Kevin and it took years for Kevin to finally say he was okay with Stefan Everts. Kevin put the motorcycle he won that race on his trophy room, suspended from the ceiling.

The 2000 season was more of a challenge to Windham, as he scored just one supercross victory at Dallas, TX, and lost both the supercross title to Jeremy McGrath and the outdoor title to Ricky Carmichael, who was in his rookie 250cc National season.

For 2001, hoping for a positive change, Windham switched to Team Suzuki. It was a tough season, as it saw the beginning of Carmichael's domination for years to come. Windham did turn things around outdoors though, winning six motos. A titanic duel at the Washougal National between Carmichael and Windham is known as one of the best races ever, with Windham gaining the upper hand in both motos. He also won the season finale at Delmont, PA.

In 2002, he began the season for Team Sobe Suzuki with a broken finger, and had difficulty adjusting to the race situation with crowds and lights. He also had problems with fitness, suffering arm pump, and fired his trainer.[11] Windham broke his femur in a horrific crash in Atlanta. Windham did not return to the circuit that season and many speculated that he would retire at the young age of 23, however the enforced rest allowed him to fully recover mentally and physically.[11]

In 2003, Windham missed the supercross series to spend time with Dottie and their new-born daughter. After over a year off, Windham announced his comeback for the 250cc Nationals aboard a Factory Connection Honda CRF450R. With an emphasis on having fun and just enjoying the sport, Windham rode better than ever before, claiming two overall victories at Unadilla and Washougal, and finishing on the podium at all but two events. He placed second to the champion Carmichael and cemented his status as a fan favorite.[12]

Carmichael withdrew from the 2004 Supercross season for knee surgery. After a long battle with Yamaha's Chad Reed, Windham claimed 5 victories but still finished second to Reed in the title chase. By his standards, Windham had a mediocre summer and failed to win any races, finishing a distant third in the championship.

In 2005, several weeks before the start of the season Kevin's mechanic, Jonathan, committed suicide.[13] Windham went on to win the muddy opening round in Anaheim. After a season long battle, he ended third in the championship behind Carmichael and Reed, but ahead of James Stewart. Windham won just one moto that summer at Unadilla, but was the only rider who could keep Carmichael in sight and finished 2nd overall once again. Teamed with Carmichael and 125cc Champion Ivan Tedesco, Windham helped his team win the 2005 Motocross des Nations in Ernee, France.

Before the 2006 season Kevin Windham broke his arm in training and returned near the end of the supercross season. He rode a consistent outdoor series to finish a strong second overall once again.[9]

The 2007 Supercross season was lackluster for Windham, he had some good races and podium finishes, but went winless to end the season 4th overall. Carmichael had switched to a partial schedule, and Windham was beaten by eventual champion Stewart, Reed and Tim Ferry. The outdoor season began with similar results, with Kevin finishing off the podium. But once the series headed to Unadilla, Windham broke through with his first outdoor overall victory since 2003 and first moto win since 2005. Windham would win the final moto of the season at Glen Helen Raceway. His series was up and down, and he finished a close 5th overall.

2008 would be one of Kevin's best supercross seasons ever. He never once finished outside the top 5, and finished up the season with 4 overall victories, including the Daytona supercross. The Daytona race was one of the most difficult in memory, as torrential rain flooded the course, making for treacherous conditions. Windham would take the win after Chad Reed's bike quit with just a few turns to go.[14] As the season went on, Windham would pressure Reed extremely hard, and proved to be the fastest rider near the end of the series, but ended up falling a few points short of the title. He again finished 2nd in the championship.

2009 for Kevin has been nothing but bad luck for the Geico powersports honda rider. Kevin collided with James Stewart in the season opener while running in the top 5, finishing 15th. And a DNF in Indianapolis, while he was running in a strong in 3rd.

In the 2010 supercross series Kevin once again showed he had what it takes to contend despite his age. He held the fastest qualifying times at a number of events including Atlanta, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. He found himself on the podium more than once. Windham won two consecutive races at one point, in Seattle and Salt Lake City.[15] At the end of 2010 he signed a two-year extension to his contract with Geico Powersports Honda.[16]

In 2011 Windham finished the Supercross season in seventh position. He rode the first half of the 450 Class Motocross Championship, filling in for injured Honda riders Trey Canard and Josh Grant, achieving a number of top-10 finishes.[17] He volunteered to join GEICO Honda teammates Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac to replace Christophe Pourcel, injured two weeks before, at the 29th annual Supercross of Bercy at Omnisport Paris, however he was unable to finalize travel documents in time.[18]

In 2012 Windham continues with Geico Powersports Honda, entering his 19th season as a professional motocross racer. However, while battling with James Stewart, Jr. on the Final Lap during Heat of Round 13 at Houston, Windham crashed hard and suffered several injuries. Consequently, Windham will be out for the remainder of the 2012 Supercross Season.[19]

Career Highlights[edit]

  • 2010 2nd (SX)
  • 2008 2nd (SX)
  • 2006 2nd (250MX)
  • 2005 3rd (SX), 2nd (250MX), team 1st Motocross des Nations
  • 2004 2nd (SX), 3rd (250MX)
  • 2003 2nd (250MX)
  • 2001 2nd (250MX)
  • 2000 3rd (250MX)
  • 1999 2nd (250MX)
  • 1997 1st (WSX), 2nd (125MX)
  • 1996 1st (WSX), 2nd (125MX)[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Windham races to second straight victory". USA Today. Associated Press. 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Carmichael earns triple crown". USA Today. 2005-10-10. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Kevin Windham is Ready to Return to the Big Easy". Supercross Online. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Better Half: Kevin Windham's Wife Dottie". Alli Moto. Alliance of Action Sports. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Kevin Windham". Spy Team Motocross. Spy Optics. 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Kevin Windham Bio". Motorcycle USA. 6 July 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "2000 Honda CR250 Kevin Windham". Toy Motorcycle Museum. 
  8. ^ Kallfelz, Chris (November 1994). "Class of ’94 Loretta Lynn’s: the Past, Present and Future of Motocross". American Motocyclist (American Motorcycle Association) 48 (11): 10–13. ISSN 0277-9358. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Kevin Windham". Alli Moto. Alliance of Action Sports. 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Glick, Shav (1998-01-10). "Supercross Season Gets Off to Muddy Start at Coliseum". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  11. ^ a b "What’s Eating Kevin Windham?". Transworld Motocross. 5 February 2002. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "Profile: Kevin Windham". Amsoil Race Team. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "I-79 Suicide Follows Woman's Morgantown Shooting", Pittsburgh News, 21 December 2004, retrieved 21 November 2011 
  14. ^ White, Ron (2008-03-08). "Windham charges from behind to win". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  15. ^ "Dungey wraps up AMA Supercross season title". USA Today. Associated Press. 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  16. ^ "2011 Motocross Signing News: Kevin Windham Signs a Surprising Two-Year Extension to his Geico Honda Contract". Motocross Action. 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "Kevin Windham Completes 2011 Motocross Season". Supercross.com. 20 July 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Windham out of Bercy - Barcia and Tomac ready". MX Large. 26 October 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "SX: Honda Teams Gear Up For Supercross Season". Speed TV. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.