FLASHBACK FRIDAY | KEVIN WINDHAM’S FIRST FULL SEASON BACK IN 1996
Motocross is filled with great riders who have never won a Premier championship (East/West Supercross titles are not official National Championships. They are regional series held against limited competition). There were racers that frequently ran in the top three and occasionally won races, but just couldn’t capture the big prize. Kevin Windham is among the most well-known riders in motocross history. Often regarded as the best rider to never win a championship, Windham has battled many of the greats including Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael, Greg Albertyn, Ezra Lusk, James Stewart, Jeff Emig, Mike Larocco, Steve Lamson and most memorably, Chad Reed. While Windham does hold two Supercross 125 class championships (1996 and 1997 125 West), Windham did not win an elite 125/250/450 Motocross Championship in his 19-year career. That didn’t keep him from placing second overall eight times in the AMA Outdoor Nationals.
Windham started his Pro career with a bang. His second professional race at Mt. Morris put his name on the map when he led the majority of the first moto. While 1993 motocross and Supercross champion Doug Henry would take the win on the final lap, 16-year-old K-Dub would sign with Team Yamaha later that year. In 1995, Windham would earn fifth overall in the 125 East, but was not able to race a full outdoor season.
Windham would first race a full motocross season in 1996. If the leader wasn’t Windham, he was right behind them. Two races into the 1996 125 Nationals season, Kevin took first, beating out Robbie Reynard, Steve Lamson, Mike Craig and Jeff Emig at Glen Helen. This would be his first win in the AMA 125 Nationals. Windham repeated his win with another one at Mt. Morris the following weekend. Unfortunately, his podium streak ended at Budds Creek. Windham would land on the podium four more times in 1996 and went on to take second overall in the 1996 AMA 125 National Championship.