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Steve Rapp (1) held off Danny Eslick (69) and Ben Carlson (45) for his first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Steve Rapp (1) held off Danny Eslick (69) and Ben Carlson (45) for his first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo by Brian J. Nelson / courtesy AMA Pro Racing

Rapp wraps up Indy XR1200 win

Written by  on Monday, 11 August 2014 07:59

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Reigning champ Steve Rapp emerged from a five-way drafting war to claim Sunday's AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series checkered flag at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.

The victory was not only hard-earned, it was long-awaited for the Californian, who had been the victim of the slipstream down the long start/finish line straight of the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway on more occasions than he'd prefer to remember.

Rapp turned that history on its head Sunday, however, storming past his Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson teammate, Ben Carlson, and Ruthless Racing's Danny Eslick to lunge ahead for the win by a margin of 0.011 seconds.

Saturday winner Jeremy McWilliams suffered the fate usually reserved for Rapp, as he was shuffled from the lead down to fifth in the race's decisive final laps. The ex-GP hero finished a few bike lengths behind fourth place finisher Kyle Wyman on the KWR/Millennium Technologies XR1200 and less than a half-second off the win.

The 10-lap contest was split into two parts. A red flag stopped the race at mid-distance, setting up a five-lap sprint for victory. At the restart, the top five riders quickly broke free from the remainder of the field and resumed their dogfight for victory.

Rapp led across the stripe to take the white flag but Eslick overhauled both the defending champ and Saturday's winner McWilliams entering Turn 1. Carlson found himself in fifth on the final lap but diced ahead of all four of his foes. The lanky Wisconsin resident charged out of the final corner with the lead, just as he had on Saturday. However, that strategy backfired for a second time, as he proved to be a sitting duck for Eslick, who was in turn sniped by Rapp.

The win was Rapp's first-ever victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

"I had a lot of years to practice where not to be," Rapp said. "I could tell going down the back Danny sat up but I didn't want anything to do with it either so I sat up. Ben went by and I was like, 'cool, that works.' We got back in line and I wasn't sure if I was going to pass them but it worked out pretty good. They got next to each other and built a little draft there. It went great.

"To win at Indy finally - I wanted to check that off my list. I'm running out of time and I finally got it, so that's cool."

While Eslick wasn't able to take the win, he did take a significant step toward becoming the first-ever two-time AMA Pro Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson champion. His closest title challenger entering the race, Josh Chisum Racing/Bartel's Tyler O'Hara, crashed out of contention on the race's third lap. As a result, O'Hara is no longer in championship contention and Carlson remains the only other man still alive, 16 points back of Eslick (159-143) heading into the season finale.

"There was lots of crazy stuff on the first start," Eslick said. "McWilliams missed a shift and I had to swerve to go around the outside of him. I had a couple-of-hundred-yard tank slapper, which is an eye-opener when you're in the lead of the championship.

"I tried to calm down and settle in and then we had the red flag. Everyone had their strong sections of the track and we had to figure out where we wanted to be for the run to the finish line. I was on the lead on the back straightaway and I wanted no part of the lead through the last section of turns and onto the front straight. I sat up and pulled off to the side and let Benny go by. I tucked back in line and thought I had enough. I got by Benny but Steve came by and caught the draft perfect. It was a great race and these guys rode awesome."

For Carlson, it was the same old story - close but no cigar - as that first-career AMA Pro Road Racing victory continues to prove frustratingly elusive. 

"It was the second day coming on the front stretch in first and it ended up working out not so well," Carlson said. "Nonetheless, being on the podium two days in a row is an ultimate result and we moved up in the championship; it doesn't get much better than that. I just wished we would have knocked down Danny or something. But hey, it was great."

ChiliPepperRacing.com's Hayden Schultz narrowly beat Aerostar Global Suburban Motors' Nick Hansen for sixth. Meanwhile, Thrashed Bike Racing's David Estok finished eighth while Josh Chisum Racing/Bartel's Josh Chisum edged Bell Helmets/Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson's Brice Cooper to the flag by 0.068 seconds in their clash for ninth and 10th.

All four AMA Pro Road Racing championships will be decided next month at the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season finale. The Kawasaki Devil's Showdown will take place on September 13-14 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey.

Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series Race 2 results

1

1

Steve Rapp

Suburban Motors Harley Davidson, Aerostar Global...

10 Laps

1:48.231

2

69

Danny Eslick

Ruthless Racing, Trev Deeley Motorcycles, Mach...

0.011

1:48.108

3

45

Ben Carlson

Suburban Motors, Suburban Speed, Bell Helmets,...

0.074

1:48.465

4

33

Kyle Wyman

KWR, Millennium Technologies, Lucas Oil,...

0.194

1:48.947

5

99

Jeremy McWilliams

Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Indiana, Warr's...

0.466

1:48.249

6

59

Hayden Schultz

ChiliPepperRacing.com, Paul Diener, H-D of...

7.091

1:51.037

7

97

Nick Hansen

Aerostar Global Suburban Motors, Suburban Speed,...

7.697

1:51.071

8

123

David Estok

Thrashed Bike Racing, Arrow Aviation, Arai, Avcal,...

9.207

1:51.192

9

10

Josh Chisum

Josh Chisum Racing, Bartels Harley-Davidson, Hi...

10.728

1:51.150

10

105

Brice Cooper

Bell Helmets, Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson,...

10.796

1:52.170

11

16

Rob McLendon III

Suburban Motors, D&D Cycles, Built Clothing,...

12.286

1:52.087

12

229

Darren James

Trev Deeley Motorcycles, Dragon Eyewear, Etnies,...

13.670

1:52.461

13

6

Joseph Rozynski

Sirius XM, Sound Waves, Motorcycle Madness Kicker

28.360

1:55.373

14

49

Jerrett Martin

CPL Systems, Aggressive Insurance, Barbara Conner...

28.450

1:55.103

15

93

Shelina Moreda

Chili Pepper Racing, She'z Racing, Philip Johns,...

36.688

1:56.115

16

175

SAM Rozynski

Sound-Waves.com, Sirius XM Radio, Parts Unlimited

40.745

1:56.933

17

710

Ryan Christian

Trackside Suspension & Engineering, 35...

58.388

1:52.511

18

47

Jon Foy

Jupiter Cycle Racing, Heroic Racing, MotoBatt,...

1:02.825

2:00.178

19

911

Aaron Borello

Air Ground Xpress, Kobold Watch Company, Clique...

9 Laps

2:01.593

20

686

Brian Mullins

National Cylinder Head's, Mullins Cycle Works,...

8 Laps

1:59.597

21

24

Travis Wyman

Harv's Harley-Davidson, Arai, Act

5 Laps

1:49.716

22

29

Tyler OHara

Josh Chisum Racing, Bartels Harley-Davidson, Hi...

10:59.804

1:50.053

23

39

Ramden Rosli

PETRONAS, KWR

4 Laps

1:48.936

24

51

Gage McAllister

Folsom H-D, California SuperMoto Schools, Intents...

3 Laps

1:51.392

25

70

Paul James

Hoban Cycle, Spectro Oils, N.E.W. Industries,...

DNF

DNF

Race Time: 20:04.879
Margin of Victory: 0.011
Best Race Lap: Danny Eslick (1:48.108)

Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson Series point standings (top 10)

  1. Danny Eslick (159)
  2. Benny Carlson (143)
  3. Tyler O'Hara (127)
  4. Steve Rapp (119)
  5. Kyle Wyman (108)
  6. Gage McAllister (84)
  7. Nick Hansen (82)
  8. Hayden Schultz (80)
  9. Josh Chisum (72)

10.     Darren James (67)

--From AMA Pro Racing

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Last modified on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:05

John Hopkins

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