SONOMA, CA, MAY 6 - Bartel's Harley-Davidson/Scrubblade's Michael Barnes made racing history by setting a new record for the interval between two race wins with a thrilling last corner victory in the Vance & Hines XR1200 race on a warm, sunny day at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
Barnes was part of a three-rider breakaway that included teammate Tyler OHara and Kyle Wyman. The Bartel's boys dropped Wyman around the halfway mark, in the 11-lap race-Wyman would later say it was an arm pump issue-to settle the race between themselves.
The veteran Barnes appeared to be sizing up his less experienced teammate, never once making a hard charge for the front. Until it mattered. Coming out of the hairpin left final Turn 11, Barnes took the unorthodox step of going around the outside of OHara. At the same time, OHara's XR1200 jumped out of gear, effectively killing his drive.
The margin of victory was .149 sec.
"I just tried, I tried, I tried so many times and had a good run on him, pulled up beside him and said, no," Barnes said. "This guys determined. He works hard at it."
Wyman was a lonely third at more than ten seconds.
The win was the third of the 43-year-old Barnes' long AA career. The previous win came in the 750 SuperSport race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 5, 1996, a gap of 15 years, seven months and one day, or 5692 days.
"I'm just so happy to get up here," Barnes said. "It's been a long time and I just can't thank every single one of you for being up here."
OHara continues to lead the championship with 83 points to 77 for Barnes and 74 for Kyle Wyman.
The seven-rider battle for fourth petered out into a two-way fight. It was won by Suburban Harley-Davidson's Shane Narbonne over Michael Corbino (XP Motorsports/Rossiter's Harley-Davidson of Sarasota).
Vance & Hines XR1200 Results:
1. Michael Barnes
2. Tyler OHara
3. Kyle Wyman
4. Shane Narbonne
5. Michael Corbino
6. Jake Chisum
7. Tyler Wyman
8. Gerry Signorelli
9. David Estok
10. Darren James