BRASELTON, GA, APR 22 – Bartel’s Harley-Davidson’s Tyler O’Hara took advantage of the problems of some of his rivals to race to victory in the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 final on a cool, windy and sunny day at Road Atlanta.
The complexion of the race would be determined on the warm-up lap when Paul Schwemmer crashed on the approach to the hard braking turn 10A. The crash left fluids on the track that initially went undetected. When the pack went hurdling in for the first lap Kyle Wyman (KWR/Vesrah/Kuryakyn) hit the deck. The race was soon red flagged, but Wyman would be forced to start from the back of the pack.
The re-start quickly became a race between O’Hara and veterans Steve Rapp (Harv’s Harley-Davidson) and O’Hara’s teammate Michael Barnes. OHara and Rapp swapped the lead repeatedly while Barnes lurked in the shadows. Rapp’s final pass of O’Hara came in turn 10A on the eighth of 10 laps. But as he accelerated through the ensurng right he slowed dramatically, with O’Hara and Barnes speeding past. Rapp was then forced to retire.
By now Wyman was well entrenched in fourth place, having taken the spot on the fourth lap. His lap times were slower than the leader’s and he wasn’t likely to improve his spot. Then came Rapp’s misfortune and Wyman suddenly found himself in third.
O’Hara was in control for the final two laps to speed to his second XR1200 victory. His first came in race one at last year’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. Barnes held onto second, with Wyman third.
The win vaulted O’Hara to the top of the point standings with 57. Wyman is second on 52 with Barnes third at 43.
Vance & Hines XR1200 Results:
1. Tyler O’Hara
2. Michael Barnes
3. Kyle Wyman
4. Travis Wyman
5. Barrett Long
6. Shane Narbonne
7. Benjamin Carlson
8. Michael Corbino
9. Gerry Signorelli
10. David Estok