Bench Racing Ammo:  K-Dub Goes for 200

Bench Racing Ammo: K-Dub Goes for 200

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Chad Reed’s big crash in Dallas serves as a stark reminder that anything can happen in supercross—even for a rider who has built the ultimate rep for consistency. This, then, only heightens the level of respect for what Kevin Windham will accomplish this weekend: race in his 200th AMA Supercross Main Event.

Well, Windham does have to pull of a clean transfer jump in opening ceremonies first. Then he has to qualify for the main. But let’s just say Windham makes it and races his 200th career race—that’s an amazing accomplishment in itself, but it’s taken another impressive streak to get there.

Windham hasn’t missed an AMA Supercross race since mid 2006, when he returned to action in Orlando following an off-season arm injury. That’s nearly 100-straight races since, which is by far the longest active streak in the field (Ryan Dungey has the second-longest current streak, as he has yet to miss one of the 41 races held since he moved up to a 450 full time).

So Windham is not only looking at career start number 200 this weekend, he’s looking at nearly half of those starts consecutively, and has not missed a race in nearly six seasons. To put it in perspective, as much as Reed is now praised as a long-running and consistent veteran of the game, his career starts number sits at 148, leaving him at just 75 percent of Windham’s total (and Windham should pile on more now that Reed is out). Nick Wey also sits at the 148 mark.

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Windham has been the epitome of consistency throughout his career.
Photo: Simon Cudby

(By the way, we should be talking about Jeremy McGrath at some point in here, as MC never missed a single race with an injury from when he started in the 250 class in 1993 through his retirement on the eve of the 2003 season. That could have been 155 straight starts for MC, but, he sat out the 1995 Vegas Supercross as part of a rider's strike. So, no start streak for MC.)

The big number to chase is Mike LaRocco’s all-time starts mark of 228. Ironically, LaRocco is now Windham’s team manager at GEICO Honda. LaRocco was at this game for a long time, in 250 SX through every year of the 1990s and racing until he broke his wrist mid way through 2006, a season he had already decided would be his last.

Windham has said he’d like to continue racing through the 2014 season (to match up nicely with his customary number 14). If he logs ten more starts this year, he’ll sit at 210. If next year’s tour contains 17 rounds again, and Windham makes them all, he’ll have 227 at the end of the 2013 season. Will he make it to 2014 to take the record? The way Windham is riding lately, it’s looking more and more likely.

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