MONTEREY, CA, JULY 11 – It was no surprise that it was a battle between Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson’s Steve Rapp and Ruthless Racing’s Danny Eslick for the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson win at Mazda Raceway Raceway Laguna Seca. The practice and qualifying sessions set the stage for it. And at the end of the day when it had all played out, the winner of that battle was Eslick after Rapp incurred a jumped start penalty and was knocked back to second. The win was Eslick’s first on the Harley this season.
Eslick led the race straight away with Rapp and Kyle Wyman in tow. But all that hard work ended up being a practice run as it was red-flagged on that first lap due to an incident between Josh Chisum and Dave Estok in turn six.
Chisum was unhurt, but Estok was transported by ambulance to be evaluated. The latest update from Chisum was that Estok seeking medical attention for injured fingers in the crash.
The race was a complete restart, and in the second act Rapp took the lead. Although Eslick put up a good fight and challenged the reigning Harley champ, Rapp started stretching a healthy gap on Eslick. Ultimately that lead was not enough to overcome the 10-second penalty for the jumped start and Rapp would end the day in the number two spot.
“I’ve been getting a lot of seconds and just kind of getting beat up on this deal,” Eslick said. “I think everybody expected me to come in and win and it just shows these guys have been busting their butts and riding the crap out of these Harleys… It’s a lot of fun to get up here. Not the way I wanted to win it, by a penalty, but a W is a W and we needed the points and definitely take the money and move on to Mid Ohio.”
Wyman, who’s on the mend from knee surgery earlier this week, rode steady in third to claim the final spot on the podium.
Behind Wyman, the battle for fourth was fought between Tyler O’Hara, Ben Carlson, Gage McAllister, and Ryan Kerr. Coming out on top was the former series-points leader, O’Hara on the Josh Chisum Racing Harley. Behind O’Hara was Rapp’s teammate Carlson, Ryan Kerr on the Thunder Roads Magazine, and Folsom H-D’s Gage McAllister.
Chili Pepper Racing’s Hayden Schultz was in that mix as well, but lost some ground on that pack on the last lap and had to settle for eighth.
Trev Deeley Motorcycle’s Darren James finished ninth, with Chisum rounding out the top 10.
2014 Laguna Seca
AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Final Results
1. Danny Eslick
2. Steve Rapp
3. Kyle Wyman
4. Tyler O’Hara
5. Benny Carlson
6. Ryan Kerr
7. Gage McAllister
8. Hayden Schultz
9. Darren James
10. Josh Chisum