Monday Conversation II: Kevin Windham

April 21, 2008 1:18am

Torco Racing Fuels Honda’s Kevin Windham is quietly having one of the best supercross seasons he’s ever had, it’s just that there is one guy that, by points, is still having a little bit better of a season, and that’s his championship rival Chad Reed. Windham has yet to finish outside the top five in a single race this year, and the St. Louis round this past weekend marked his third win of the series. Unfortunately for Windham, Reed finished only one spot behind him, which made his points gain minimal on the 2004 champ.
    Still, Windham has a lot of fight in him yet, and he’s not afraid to talk about it.

Racer X: Tonight’s race seemed pretty straightforward for you: You were fastest in practice, rode well in your Heat, and then won the main.
Kevin Windham: It was a good night – all except for the points thing. I just didn’t make enough points. But I’m losing sight of what I did tonight, and how good I rode, and it’s kind of one of those nights where I rode good from start to finish, and I need to be happy with that. If I don’t win the championship, that’s fine, but the closer you get, the hungrier you become, and the tougher the pill is to swallow, hypothetically speaking, if you lose the thing. But we’re going to the wild Northwest, where it’s more than likely going to be wet, and I love that kind of stuff, so anything can happen. I don’t know what’s going on with that shoulder of his, but he sure did ride good for having a cracked scapula.

Once you got by him, though, it seemed like he was quick to back it off, and it seemed like he didn’t put up much of a fight.

I was ready for a fight. I know his weak side, and I was ready for a fight. That would’ve played into my hand better. I’m sure that’s probably why he didn’t [fight]. There’s certainly no love lost between us at the moment, so I’m sure he would love to take a shot at me, but I guess both of us have really had some runs at each other here in the last couple of weeks, and neither one of us have a lot good to say about each other at this point, so it is what it is. I’ve never been this close, and we’re both working really hard, and it’s something we really want, and we have a difference of opinions right now, so that’s the way it goes. Once again, though, tonight was a great night for me, and it’s been one of those seasons where if things go like I hope them to, I can win as many, if not more races than I’ve ever won before, and I’ve had consistency this year that’s been second to none. I feel really good about that, and I want to keep that streak going, and however it falls is how it falls. It’s been a great year for us, and I don’t want to lose sight of that if I end up losing this championship by a couple of points, and it’ll be easy to do if that happens. And if I win, it’s going to be a whole different story, but right now, I’ve really just got to focus on what I have to do.

I heard a bit about you and Chad Reed having a confrontation at the track walk. Is that true?
Yeah, I mean, he’s not happy with me calling him out, you know? But I don’t feel like last weekend he worked like a lapper. A lapper’s supposed to give way, and I think he ran me high, and I think it’d be easy for a guy going for a championship to be kind of pissed and run somebody high who was coming by to challenge him. I think that would be kind of easy to do, and I don’t know, maybe I called it wrong, but I called it like I felt it and like I saw it, and if it’s different than what he did, then oh well. That’s just the way it goes. And ever since then, he’s supposedly lost a lot of respect for me, so the feeling’s mutual, and we’ll just race. That’s what we do. I’m not good at all the rest of this stuff that goes into it, I just really want to race it out and I want to get closer, and I want to pass him. We’ll just see where it goes.

With Reed calling you out on the stand during opening ceremonies and letting you have it, does it fire you up that much more when you’re around him on the track?

I’m fired up seven days a week right now, you know? I read his Monday Conversation [last Monday] about how he couldn’t believe that he was that much better than everybody with a hurt shoulder, and I don’t think very many people would show up to watch Chad Reed ride 20 laps by himself, so I think he needs to give some credit to the guys, whether or not they’re as fast as him or as good as him – they’re working their asses off to make it in this race, and they deserve credit for being on the track. If he don’t think I made enough points that weekend, or anything like that, that’s fine, but don’t knock these guys because these guys make his job, his career, and his life, and made him the millions that he’s made coming from Australia over here to race against us Americans in an American series. I think he needs to be pretty grateful to these guys. The talking that’s been going on, it’s commenced, and it’s not going to stop until somebody wins the championship. The only difference between me and him is if I’m not in this championship hunt next year, I don’t care, because a good person’s a good person, and I think we’ve had a different run of opinions, and I’ll stay true to mine.

Is your plan simple for the next couple races? Is it as simple as just going out and trying to win, and that’s it?

Yeah, that’s it. It sounds like a simple plan. I’ve got one objective in my plan, so I wish a lot of the other guys would’ve been up there. I wish [Timmy] Ferry would’ve been up there, I wish [Davi] Millsaps would’ve... It’s like, every opportunity I had today kind of went to the wayside. Dan [Reardon] didn’t make it... I just wish there was a lot of people up there that could’ve gotten between us, but it wasn’t in the cards. That’s just the way it goes. He rode a great race tonight, and the damage control for him was incredible, so at this point, I can only worry about myself, and what I need to do is win. It’s pretty simple. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do, but it’s a simple plan.
    I guess tonight it was pretty easy, though. I just need to keep what I have good going for me. There are two rounds left, and I’m as focused as I’ve ever been right now. To not be thinking about going into the outdoor series right now is really helping me to remain focused and try to go for this thing.

And finally, if you were Trey Canard, and you had the inside going into that turn before the finish line with all that was on the line, would you have done the same thing he did?

I’d race, and I think that’s what Trey did. Emotions are tight there, and I’m going to stay out of it. Mitch [Payton] is a great friend of mine, and Trey’s a great competitor, and I can understand it being heated and stuff. You’d like to think that there could’ve been a way out of it and those guys could’ve duked it out for the remainder of the race, but I was surprised that both guys put themselves in the positions they needed to be in, and both guys seemed to handle the pressure very well, and it was a great ending for Trey Canard and not a great ending for Villopoto and his team. That’s the way it goes, but it’s tough for a rookie to come in there like that, and he did a great job.
    And the same thing’s going on with me and Chad. There’s so much that goes into one of these things, you know? So much blood, sweat and tears from everyone on our team, who all put in as much, if not more, work than I do, or any one of these riders for that matter, so it’s tough. It’s a team affair, and I’m sure it hurt ‘em, but there’s got to be a winner and there’s got to be a loser, and that’s a tough one to comment on because I’ve got a lot of respect for all parties involved.