At Southwick Motocross 338, the penultimate round of the 2009 AMA Motocross Championship, GEICO Powersports Honda rookie racer Justin Barcia stole the 250-class spotlight, winning his first-ever professional AMA Motocross Lites race and taking the overall victory.
Overcoming extremely wet and muddy track conditions, seventeen-year-old Barcia set a blistering pace on his CRF250R to lead and win the first moto. Disaster struck in the second moto when the start gate malfunctioned and delayed Barcia's start. He rounded the first turn in dead last way behind the leaders. While such a setback may have derailed other riders, Barcia instead put his head down and showed the depth of his talent and determination, catching and passing all but two riders in the field to finish a remarkable third and secure his first overall victory.
"It's incredible to be up on the podium and win not only my first race but my first overall," said Barcia, who was one of the country's top amateur racers before turning pro this year. "I had a lot of home-crowd support and fans trackside which makes this win all the more special for me. I scored my first-ever professional win in the morning moto and rode a great come-from-behind race to finish third in the afternoon. After my gate failed to drop on the start line, I was a long way behind everyone by the time I managed to get going. I'm really happy with the way I came back from dead-last to a podium finish. I'm on top of the world right now."
Heading into the final round of the championship in Pennsylvania, Barcia's victory moved him up to fifth in points. His GEICO Powersports Honda teammate Brett Metcalfe maintains third position in the championship after finishing third overall at Southwick.