Kyle Wyman scored his third win in the seven-round Mission King of the Baggers series, but it wasn’t enough to catch Tyler O’Hara in the points’ standings as the Indian Challenger finished 0.655 seconds behind in the runner-up position.
With rain soaking New Jersey Motorsports Park, three riders entered the season finale with a mathematical chance to win. O’Hara had a one-point lead heading into the penultimate round in Brainerd, Minn. and finished third before losing out to Travis Wyman in second. With a five-point gap from first to second and another four points back to third, the New Jersey race had a winner take all feel – so long as nothing went wrong between the top two contenders.
And if that happened, last year’s champion Kyle Wyman was in position to steal their thunder and keep the red plate affixed to his Harley-Davidson Road Glide.
The three title contenders got off the line together. In spite of the wet conditions, they pushed one another hard through the opening circuit. On Lap 2, Travis exited the picture after hitting a slick patch and dumping his bike. He managed to regain his mount in muddy, wet conditions but could not ride forward from ninth.
The crew tried to single that O’Hara’s main competition was out of the race, but the mist of war, (and of course, the rain), kept him from seeing the pit board.
And so, the attention focused on the leaders once again with Kyle withstanding pressure from O’Hara.
With a 20-second gap on the field, O’Hara needed only to finish where he rode. His competitive spirit almost got the best of him as he experienced a dodgy moment in the final laps before deciding discretion was the best course of action. As O’Hara crossed the line, his left saddlebag popped open in celebration to wave at the crowd.
On the strength of one win, two second-place finishes, five total podiums and a worst result of fourth, O’Hara beat Travis Wyman by 10 points.
“I had no idea that Travis was out, to tell you the truth,” O’Hara said. “I was really just trying to stay present and focused on the task at hand and my breathing. Kyle was slowing us down a little bit, and I was looking at my board that said +five [lengths] and then +1.2 [seconds], but I really had no idea Travis was out. Then we got a little bit sporty with Kyle there and I backed it down a little. Did what I had to do to get the job done today.”
The New Jersey race winner, Kyle Wyman finished third in the standings.
“What a nerve-racking deal,” Wyman said. “Having rain in New Jersey is never fun and I don’t ever want to that again. A hard seven laps but the bike felt pretty good. I’m really bummed that my brother crashed out, but I’m sure he was giving it his all like he always does – and as I always do.”
Michael Barnes rounded out the podium with his first of the season. This came on the heels of a fourth in Round 6 at Brainerd.
Click here for complete results.
🏆 Congratulations to @MissionFoodsUS @SSCycle @indianmotocycle Challenger rider @OHaraRacing who clinched the 2022 Mission King Of The Baggers Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park. #motorcycle #motorsport #bagger pic.twitter.com/poQDTRv7IG
— MotoAmerica (@MotoAmerica) September 11, 2022