ATLANTA (Feb. 25) — The GEICO Honda race team cleaned up at a sold-out Georgia Dome Saturday with reigning series champion Justin Barcia taking his second victory in a row in front of 70,481 vocal fans. Barcia was joined on the podium by Lites teammate Justin Bogle, who finished third in just his second career start.
Supercross star Kevin Windham celebrated his 200th career race with an eighth-place result, but the brightest spotlight remained on Barcia, who is now 12 points up in the Lites East standings after two races.
“Two for two — not a bad way to start,” Barcia said. “To see two GEICO Hondas up here on the stage is big. We all work so hard and this is what it’s all about, getting wins and getting on the podium.
“I wanted a good start and I got the holeshot and just rode hard from there. The track was super tough tonight. It was very slick and there were a lot of places where the bike was sliding around. I was trying not to make any mistakes. Fortunately, everything went really smooth and we got the win.”
Adding to the haul was the $1,000 Barcia claimed for earning the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award. Barcia’s mechanic, Mike Tomlin, celebrated his birthday by winning the $500 Motorcycle Mechanics Institute Top Tech Award for the best wrench job of the event.
While Barcia went wire-to-wire, Bogle had to fight through a few spots for his third-place finish. The extra effort was worth it, especially considering he was knocked around in the first race of the season last weekend in Dallas and finished 14th. Bogle’s podium finish lifted him all the way to sixth in the rankings.
“We’re keeping it in the family tonight,” Bogle said. “Bam Bam (Barcia) got the win and I got third so we put two GEICO Hondas up there on the podium. That’s perfect. What a night; what a rebound for me. I couldn’t be happier right now.
“I didn’t have the best start but it wasn’t bad either. I was able to get past a few guys right away. I was running fourth for quite awhile but I really wanted the podium and I could see the guy I needed to pass to get it. I just put my head down and got after it. I capitalized on a couple of mistakes he made and was able to get past him with a maybe five laps left and just rode it out from there.”
Windham pointed to a slow start as the reason for his eighth-place finish, although he remains a player in the championship points with a No. 6 ranking, just one point behind fifth-place Jake Weimer.
“The start killed me,” Windham said. “I was asleep at the switch. That hardly ever happens but it happened to me there. I’m not sure why. I got after it from there but I was mid-pack and just fighting for spots.
“This isn’t the way I wanted to celebrate my 200th start. It was incredible the way the fans treated me here and it’s pretty cool that I’ve lasted so long out here. I stuill feel great and that’s important.”
The tour heads to St. Louis for next Saturday’s race at the Edward Jones Dome.