DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-- Reigning Supercross Lites champion Justin Barcia rose above the mud and the muck of a rain-soaked Daytona International Raceway to score his fourth victory of the season Saturday night.
Aboard his powerful GEICO Honda CRF250, Barcia held off two furious charges by rival Blake Baggett to remain perfect on the season.
Supercross megastar Kevin Windham also had a big night for the GEICO Honda team, reaching the podium in the 450cc class for the first time this season with a solid third-place result.
A heavy rain soaked the dirt course for much of the afternoon and evening, forming huge puddles in several areas. In the earlier heat races, two of which were won by Barcia and Windham, numerous racers and motorcycles were swallowed up by the soup. Officials were forced to remove most of the whoop sections and shorten the Lites main event by three laps and the SX main event to 16 laps just to complete the event.
"That was the most demanding race of my career," Barcia said. "It was so gnarly out there. I needed a good start and I got it and just powered through from there. The biggest thanks to my trainer for pushing me to be in shape because it was just brutal conditions. Tonight was all about survival.
"This season has been mind-blowing. You would never expect a start like this, winning four in a row. This GEICO Honda team is unbelievable and my bike has been perfect all year. I needed it tonight because Baggett was on it. You could hear the crowd going nuts every time he got close. They're so close to you on the front stretch and you hear the roar and it pushes you. This was, no doubt, the best race win of my career."
Like Barcia, Windham used a strong start to stay in podium position throughout the main event. He rounded the first turn in third place and remained there as the top three riders managed to separate themselves from the chase pack.
"I've always raced well in the mud and that was certainly the case again tonight," said Windham, who jumped up two spots to fourth place. "I'm really happy to give our guys a podium finish. We've been close several times and it feels good to punch one through.
"The course was really rutted and there just weren't any areas where you could get aggressive and try to make a pass. If you got out of the one line everyone was riding you were most likely going to go down. I had to stay patient and hope for a chance to maybe get to second or even challenge for the lead but it didn't happen. I'm still pleased and I'm hoping this opens the door to more podium finishes in the weeks to come."
Rookie Justin Bogle was stuck in ninth place for the first half of the Lites main before crashing near the start/finish line. After regaining his footing and firing up his machine, he slipped off the course and slid down into a massive mud hole. Although he tried for several minutes to free himself, he could not escape, eventually surrendering the race.
Officially, Bogle finished in 18th place, earning three points.
The tour now heads to Indianapolis for a guaranteed dry race next Saturday inside Lucas Oil Stadium.