Photography by Larry Lawrence
Kyle Wyman rode a strategically perfect race to win the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XR1200 final at Road America Sunday. Wyman emerged from a four-rider, last lap battle to take victory over Danny Eslick (Ruthless Racing, Trev Deeley Motorcycles), Ben Carlson (Suburban Motors) and Tyler O’Hara (Josh Chisum Racing, Bartels Harley-Davidson).
Wyman managed to miss hitting a downed Steve Rapp, who’d led the race in the early going, and came back from the near crash to take the win.
“Steve Rapp took a wild ride,” Wyman said. “I was very lucky not to hit him. This is redemption for me. I came here to win. This is a home race for Millennium Technologies.”
This marked the second XR1200 victory for Wyman. He last won here in 2012.
O’Hara led the opening lap before Rapp went around the outside to take over the lead at the high-speed carousel. Rapp opened a small gap in the second half of the four-mile track. O’Hara and Wyman ran side by side in second with Carlsen right there in fourth.
On the second lap it was Danny Eslick making his move to third and now it was a five-rider breakaway at the front.
Rapp’s biggest advantage was through the carousel, where he opened a gap by going through that high-speed section much faster than the rest of the field.
Eslick made a huge move at the start of lap four he made a move around Rapp in turn one. Rapp looked a little shocked and it broke his concentration just enough that he slipped and suddenly crashed, nearly being hit by the following riders.
With three laps to go the three leaders ran side by side down the front straight with Carlson taking over the lead in turn one.
In the closing laps O’Hara moved back into the lead group to make it a four-way battle to the finish.
The crucial move came at the end of the back straight where Wyman outbraked Eslick to take over the lead. He then ran a perfect last sector to hold on by inches over Eslick, Carlson and O’Hara. The official margin of victory was 0.033 seconds. Just 0.165 second separated the top four.
O’Hara’s fourth gave him the series points lead.
Gage McAllister better the rest of the field in fifth, 14 seconds behind the leading quartet.
Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Results from Road America
1 Kyle Wyman
2 Danny Eslick +0.033
3 Ben Carlson +0.157
4 Tyler OHara +0.322
5 Gage McAllister
6 Ryan Kerr
7 Hayden Schultz
8 Eric Stump
9 Nick Hansen
10 Josh Chisum
1 Tyler OHara 48
2 Gage McAllister 41
3 Danny Eslick 40
4 Ben Carlson 39
5 Nick Hansen 33