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GEICO Powersports Jacksonville race report

Jacksonville

Supercross Lites points leader Barcia makes big gain in Jacksonville

I just put it out of my head and did what I had to do in the Main Event.

Justin Barcia

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 19) -- GEICO Honda rider Justin Barcia pushed his lead in the AMA Supercross Lites series from six to 17 points with a huge victory Saturday night at EverBank Field.

GEICO teammate Kevin Windham, who competes in the 450cc Supercross class, also showed well on Florida's east coast, taking fourth place overall.

Clearly, Barcia was the big star of the night, as he became the first Lites East rider to win twice this year. Barcia has either won or come in second in the first five races on the Lites East schedule.

"I want this thing bad," Barcia said of the 2011 championship. "This was a crazy race. I wrecked hard in practice and wrecked again in the heat race but I just put it out of my head and did what I had to do in the Main Event. I'm fully stoked right now."

After tangling with fellow championship contender Blake Baggett and crashing in the second heat, Barcia was forced to pick his starting gate for the Main Event after all the top-ranked riders. But that didn't matter when the bar dropped as he took the $1,000 Nuclear Cowboyz holeshot prize and led from wire to wire, finishing 5.7 seconds ahead of Dean Wilson and 11.3 seconds in front of Ryan Sipes, who is now second in the points.

Baggett, who was second coming into the race, failed to qualify for the Main Event and leaves Jacksonville with no points, which dropped him back to fourth place, 31 off Barcia's pace.

"It stinks that kid (Baggett) didn't make the race but it didn't change the way I rode," Barcia said. "I just charged at it from the start and I kind of rode mad. I've been mad all day and I came out of the gate knowing I really needed the holeshot. Once I got out front I just attacked. It was an awesome race."

There was plenty of carnage at the start of the Supercross Main Event but veteran Windham managed to avoid the crash and finish a lofty fourth overall.

"I think I was dead last around the first turn trying to stay away from that huge pile-up and then it was just a matter of picking off riders one by one," Windham said. "I hooked bars with James Stewart and (Ryan) Dungey before that first turn and just backed out. It put me way back in the pack but the silver lining was a missed that wreck.

"No matter what age you are, when you have three, four crashes like I did earlier this year you're forced to ride a little more cautiously because you can only beat yourself up so much. I've been focused on keeping the bike under me and now that I've had a few races with no incidents I'm riding better again. If I had been with the lead group around that first turn, I would have finished better than I did, but I'm really happy with this ride."

Barcia's Lites East stablemate Blake Wharton began the night strong, winning his heat easily after leading the entire race. He started the Main Event well also, taking the first turn on the rear wheel of teammate Barcia and keeping him in sight for the next few circuits while battling Wilson for second place. But as he was traversing the whoop-de-dos in Lap 4 he wrecked out and by the time he regained his bearings he was too far behind to catch up and smartly abandoned the race.

"I hurt my shoulder when I fell and it knocked the breath out of me," said Wharton, who is tied for fifth in the rankings. "I was riding terribly and I crashed in the whoops all by myself. I don't know how to find a positive in a night like this."

The AMA circuit goes over the border to Toronto, Canada, for next Saturday's stop at the Rogers Centre.

-source: geico powersports

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Tags ama, jacksonville, powersports, supercross

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