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250 Words: Southwick

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Back in the September 2009 issue of Racer X Illustrated, I penned a story called “Suddenly Someone” about Justin Barcia, the 17-year-old rookie GEICO Powersports Honda rider. Barcia turned a lot of heads after his pro debut at Glen Helen back in May, where he led both motos and finished 9-3 on quite possibly the roughest track the young rider ever saw.

While working on the story, I spent a lot of time talking to his mother, Lorraine, who shared several stories about her son. One such story that really stands out to me was about Justin catching his first big break as a mini rider.

“They do an invitational race at Southwick every year, and one year Jeff Emig was there,” Lorraine recalled. “It was just for practice, and Justin ended up on the track with him [Emig] and it was almost like they were racing. Jeff noticed Justin and signed a pair of goggles for him, and then after that he called Shift and got Justin a gear deal.”

She then went on to tell me something that she didn’t want printed in the magazine, as to not to jinx Justin. But she really felt that if her son was to win anywhere in his rookie season, it would be at Southwick. She was confident in it. As it turns out, she was right. Leave it up to a mother and her intuition to make a prediction like that.

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