2013 AMA Pro Hillclimb
Jay Sallstrom had a perfect day at the White Rose Motorcycle Club in Jefferson, Pa. for the 2013 opener of the AMA Pro Hillclimb Series sponsored by Wiseco and PsychMXGrafix.
He laid down a flawless ride in the Xtreme Class and followed up with another perfect ride in the Unlimited Class, walking away with top honors in both classes. Sixteen-year-old newcomer Nicholas Bleau’s fast time in the first half of the Pro Sport Class held for the win, giving him the top step on the podium in his first ever appearance on the AMA Pro Hillclimb circuit.
Anthony DeHart was first up in the Xtreme Class, setting the pace at a respectable 8.032 seconds. Robby DeBusk and John Koester vied for podium spots at three-quarters of a second off DeHart’s pace.
Sallstrom rode late in the order and posted a sizzling 7.837 E.T.- the class’s only sub-eight time. He bumped DeHart to second while Vinny Nuzzolilli wedged into third just ahead of Koester and DeBusk at the half.
Sallstrom opted to sit out the second half to see if he’d need to defend his position. Phil Libhart moved up to third with an 8.175-second ride. Koester knocked seven-tenths off his first-half score, posting a 8.079 time and knocking Libhart off the podium. Sallstrom’s first-half ride held for the win. He was joined on the podium by DeHart and Koester, second and third in order. Koester was all smiles for his first podium finish in Xtreme Class.
Six riders faced off in the Pro Sport Class. The rookie, Bleau also posted the only sub-ten-second times in the class. He held the lead at the half at 9.779 seconds, followed by Nick Drummer (10.044 seconds) and Angie Farnsworth (10.289 seconds).
In the second half, Bleau proved his first-half time was no fluke- he posted another, albeit slower, sub-10 time. Only Josh Kobel posted a faster time in the second half, edging Farnsworth off the podium with a 10.15-second E.T.
Phil Libhart led off the Unlimited Class at 8.226 seconds. He was quickly edged to second when Shane Green rode a tenth-second faster. Koester dipped into the sevens for the lead. Sallstrom rode next in the order and shaved a tenth off Koester’s time, posting a 7.868-second ride and moving into first place at half-time.
In second-half Unlimited Class racing action, Libhart fought back with 7.919 E.T., clinching the second step on the podium. 2012 Pro Sport Champ, Chris Chartier, Jr. bested Koester’s time by a mere one-thousandth-second for the third step of the podium. In his first appearance in the expert classes, Chartier demonstrated that he’s up to the challenge. Sallstrom climbed to the top of the podium for the second time in the same day where he credited the Dr Bob Racing Team in large part for his success, adding: “two wins, two rides… that’s the way I want to do it every weekend.”
Posting the fastest times in their respective classes earned Salstrom and Bleau the PsychMXGrafix Fast Time awards: a set of custom number plates.
AMA Pro Hillclimbers face off next at the Bushkill Valley Motorcycle Club’s Freemansburg, Pa., hill for round two on June 9.
U/L: 1. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 2. Phil Libhart (Tri); 3. Chris Chartier, Jr. (Yam); 4. John Koester (Hon); 5. Shane Green (Hon).
Xtreme: 1. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 2. Anthony DeHart (Hon); 3. John Koester (Hon); 4. Phil Libhart (Tri); 5. Jockamo Baldina (KTM).
Pro Sport: 1. Nicholas Bleau (Hon); 2. Nick Drummer (Hon); 3. Josh Kobel (Kaw); 4. Angie Farnsworth (KTM); 5. Molly Carbon (Hon).