How can you not root for the Ragin’ Cajun? Maybe it’s because K-Dub has always been the underdog. Windham does have two Western Regional 125cc Supercross Championships on his résumé (1996-’97) as a Team Yamaha rider, but that’s about it, as far as championships are concerned.
Early on, it seemed he’d have no problem winning championships in the premier class, since winning didn’t seem hard for him. In fact, he became the first full-time 125cc class rider to win a 250cc SX main event, taking the win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on April 19, 1997 (K-Dub was racing 250s on the East since he was wrapping up a 125 Championship out West).
So what happened? Ricky Carmichael happened. Here’s an interesting statistic: The last race before Ricky Carmichael turned pro was the 1996 Broome-Tioga National. The winner of the 125cc class that day was Yamaha-mounted Kevin Windham, who also won the Steel City National the following weekend, which was RC’s professional debut.
Fast forward over a decade to 2007. Ricky Carmichael races the first five AMA Nationals of the season—winning all five and bringing his career total to 150—and then retires. The very first race of the post-RC era at the Unadilla Valley Sports Center the following weekend is won by... Guess who? Kevin Windham.
Take RC out of the equation and Windham might be known as the G.O.A.T. He’s finished second to RC more than anyone. Let’s take a look:
1996 125 MX
1. Steve Lamson – 584 points
2. Kevin Windham – 455 points
Talk about a bridesmaid, that’s seven national championships that Kevin Windham finished second in. Regardless, Kevin Windham still puts 100 percent into racing and is one of the most popular racers on the circuit, and don’t think Kevin is done winning races just yet... Oh, and Happy Birthday!