Steve Rapp Wins 2013 AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Title at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
NEWS September 28, 2013
Photo by Brian J Nelson
MONTEREY, Calif. (September 28, 2013) - Aerostar Global/Suburban Harley-Davison's Steve Rapp finished off the AMA Pro Vance & Hines Series in appropriately dominant fashion, securing his first-career GEICO Motorcycle AMA Pro Road Racing title with a blowout victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Rapp earned the $25,000 prize that's awarded for winning the XR Showdown by taking his sixth win of the season in convincing fashion. The veteran AMA Pro star, who entered Saturday's finale with a healthy 23-point advantage after taking pole earlier in the day, ripped open a 1.233-second advantage on the race's opening lap and he only piled it on from there. He never put a wheel wrong despite the immense pressure of racing towards his first AMA Pro title.
Rapp gradually widened the gap to over seven seconds before cruising on the race's final two laps to a margin of victory just under six seconds.
The 41-year-old racer said, "It's just a dream. I didn't even think I'd be able to race with some new things in my life with work and what-not. Thanks to the guys from Suburban Motors, they took me in and gave me an awesome bike and team… It's a culmination of 15 years of a lot of hard work and a lot of trials and tribulations and a lot of things that go along with it. It's just great to finally do it, and do it here at home in front of a lot of friends and family."
Once again, there was significant drama behind the all-conquering Rapp in the struggle to determine second.
Eco Fuel Saver/Scrubblade's Tyler O'Hara's 'A' bike suffered an engine problem on the warm-up lap. The race was momentarily delayed as a result, allowing O'Hara to hitch a ride back down to the grid and jump on his back-up bike. However, he was forced to start from the back of the field rather than the spot he earned on the front row.
Undaunted, O'Hara slashed up to eighth on the race's first lap and continued his charge through the field from there, finally arriving in second with a three-man overtaking maneuver entering the Corkscrew on lap 4 of 11.
After that, he fended off the repeated advances of Rapp's Suburban teammate, Ben Carlson, and young Hayden Schultz (Kyle Wyman Racing), who raced in a tight pack that also included Spyke's Harley-Davidson's 2012 champ Michael Barnes and Folsom Harley-Davidson's Gage McAllister.
O'Hara held on for second at the flag (and overtook Harv's Harley Davidson's Travis Wyman as the XR Showdown runner-up), with Carlson and Schultz close behind in third and fourth, respectively.
Barnes finished fifth, while McAllister fell off the podium pack but still finished safely in sixth.
Wyman was a distant seventh with Thrashed Bike Racing's David Estok, Ruthless Racing Inc.'s Darren James, and MOB Racing's Shane Narbonne rounding out the finale top 10.
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