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Anaheim II: Powersports Honda race report

Canard extends GEICO Powersports Honda team's streak of podium finishes ANAHEIM (Jan. 24) -- Rain may have pounded Angel Stadium for a week leading up to Saturday's Monster Energy AMA Supercross event but the focus of the GEICO Powersports Honda...

Canard extends GEICO Powersports Honda team's streak of podium finishes

ANAHEIM (Jan. 24) -- Rain may have pounded Angel Stadium for a week leading up to Saturday's Monster Energy AMA Supercross event but the focus of the GEICO Powersports Honda team was clearly intact as they successfully put a rider on the podium for the third consecutive race.

AMA West 250 Lites rider Trey Canard proved he isn't having much trouble recovering from a foot injury sustained last week in Phoenix and rode his GEICO Powersports Honda to third place in his heat race and a strong third-place finish in the main event. At the conclusion of the first lap of the main, Canard was all the way back in eighth place but he steadily climbed ahead until maxing out at third place in lap 12. From then on he battled to catch eventual event winner Jake Weimer but ran out of time.

"The event was good," Canard said. "It was a tough night for me but I came through and I'm just thankful for it. Now I want to focus on next week. Tonight felt great. I've had a couple of rough weeks so I'm thankful for this weekend because it's something I can really build on. I want to win but that's not how it works sometimes, and all I can do is my best. I'll keep working on it and moving forward."

Canard moved from fourth to second in the AMA West 250 Lites championship standings.

Last week, Canard's fellow Lites rider Blake Wharton made the podium for the first time in the West, leading for 12 laps and ultimately finishing in third place. This week, the second-year rider was pumped coming into the event but bad luck bit him early when he crashed on the whoops in qualifying. The unlucky turn of events forced him to the Last Chance Qualifier to earn a spot in the main and the young Wharton was up for the challenge, taking the lead early in the LCQ and holding on to earn the first of the two coveted spots.

In the main event, Wharton put his burgeoning talent to use to surge from the back of the pack despite his qualifying troubles and finished a respectable eighth.

"I know what I have to work on," Wharton said. "This track was pretty technical, I thought. That gives me something to think about when I'm practicing during this week. It was a disappointing start, and it was an off day for me. I just need to make sure this is the worst event I have. The crash in practice took a little steam out of me and in the main I felt I should have been able to catch up faster than I did. I've got a lot to work on."

Wharton, ranked third entering the event, dropped down one position to fourth.

Supercross veteran rider Kevin Windham started strong aboard his GEICO Powersports Honda 450 in his heat race and earned the holeshot but ran into trouble shortly after when he hit a spot of mud and tussled with a hay bail. At the end of the first lap, he had pulled into the 10th position and steadily gained on his opponents to earn a spot in the main. Though he had hoped for a better performance during the money round, Windham, who was 13th at the conclusion of the first lap, rode with determination for the remaining 19 laps and finished fifth.

"I'm excited and a little bit letdown all at the same time," Windham said. "It was great to see my lap times mirror and actually even better the leaders. I just didn't give myself a good start. Our GEICO Powersports Honda is running incredibly well and I'd put it against any bike on the track. I really feel like we have everything together, I just have to give us a better opportunity. Coming from as far back as I did, it was a great ride, but just so much focus is on the podium and I have to get there, hold the trophy up, and let everybody share in what we're working for. There's light at the end of the tunnel. It's good to be fast, I just need a bit different start."

The series heads now north for next Saturday's stop at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

-source: powersports honda

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Kevin Windham , Jake Weimer , Trey Canard