By Aaron Hansel
Windham came into the penultimate round riding a wave of momentum from last week’s victory in Seattle, and on a night when heavy rain and snow had created a slick and soupy racing surface that caused many of the other riders to struggle, he excelled.
In practice, Windham spent a good portion of his time rolling the jumps and studying the track. When he did crack open the throttle and break out the speed, he ended up with the fastest time by over half a second. Windham has a reputation as being a great mud rider, but it’s important to note that when he set the fastest time in practice, the track was almost completely dry, thanks to the efforts of a hard working Dirt Wurx crew.
In his heat race, he led every single lap, eventually winning by over seven seconds, and he was the only rider to triple out of the first rhythm section. Up to this point, Windham had been very impressive, but nobody could have predicted what he was about to do in the main.
When the gate dropped, Windham narrowly took the holeshot over Honda Red Bull Racing’s Davi Millsaps. The two banged bars and exchanged the lead several times before Windham took the lead for good halfway through the first lap. From that point on, Windham was untouchable, and just like in Seattle, the crowd showed their appreciation by getting loud and cheering him on throughout the entire race. Windham took the checkered flag 16.271 seconds ahead of Millsaps, and an amazing 56.158 seconds ahead of Andrew Short The pace he set was so fast that he lapped every single rider, except for fellow podium finishers Millsaps and Short. The feat is even more amazing when you consider that Windham had five fewer laps than normal to do it, as the lake-like conditions prompted race officials to shorten the race to 15 laps.
It was another great night for the crowd favorite, and by pummeling the competition two weeks in a row, 32-year-old Windham has answered any questions anyone may have had about his abilities to win races as a veteran. The only question that remains now, is will he do it again next week in Las Vegas?