Kyle Wyman (#33) took a close victory in the first round of the XR1200 series after a four-way battle.
RMR/Bruce Rossmeyer’s Kyle Wyman took the first win of the 2011 XR1200 Championship during the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. By a margin of just 0.016 seconds Wyman rode his Harley-Davidson XR1200 across the checkers in front of teammate, Chris Fillmore, and former AMA Flat Track Champion, Joe Kopp. Overall it was an extremely tight race with the top-three riders separated by just 0.088 seconds.
“It’s amazing. Last time I was here I ended up going to the hospital, so it’s always been kind of weird coming back here, but I was able to put it out of my mind and go out there,” Wyman said. “More important I was able to put out all the adversity of this week, because we were just down to the wire, like Chris said. It’s amazing to be first and go 1-2 for the team after all we’ve been through.”
The top-four riders fought for position throughout the seven-lap contest where drafting played a key role in determining the victor. As Wyman, Fillmore, Kopp and Steve Rapp all made their way to the finish line it was nearly a dead sprint.
Wyman managed a final draft that proved crucial in getting his front wheel across the line first. His only disappointment for the day came when he dropped his Harley while doing a post-victory burnout in celebration of his win.
Squeezing in for second was Fillmore, who was just 0.072 seconds ahead of Kopp.
“I just tried to keep it as under control as possible,” said Fillmore. “We literally thrashed all week trying to get going here…. Kyle’s dad and our mechanics worked pretty much 20-hour shifts. Like Kyle said, the bikes showed up 20 minutes or so before qualifying/practice, so to finish second and keep it under control, I feel pretty good. I just had to pay it smart, and I’m sure I scared these guys off a little bit, but second is good—I’m happy.”
“It’s been a tough weekend,” Kopp said. “Most of you know I’ve been doing dirt track and road racing—probably bit off more than I can chew—and I don’t have much road race form at all, so I’m super-excited [about finishing third]. Yesterday I hit the asphalt pretty hard and it kind of put a wall on me; it kind of affected my performance in flat track and I was a little spooked, but once the green light went today, I was ready to go.”
Overall Rapp had an excellent debut in the series after taking pole position and finishing just off the podium in fourth. Kyle Wyman’s brother, Travis, claimed fifth more than eight seconds adrift of the leader, and Latus Motors Racing’s Chase McFarland rounded out the top-six finishers.
Meanwhile five-time Daytona 200 winner, Scott Russell, placed 13th in the order.
2011 XR1200 Daytona Race Results:
1. Kyle Wyman
2. Chris Fillmore
3. Joe Kopp
4. Steve Rapp
5. Travis Wyman
6. Chase McFarland
7. David Estok
Kyle Wyman (#33), Chirs Fillmore (#55) and Joe Kopp (#3) were separated by just 0.088 seconds across the finish line..
8. Michael Beck
9. Michael Corbino
10. Brett Sassman
11. Paul Schwemmer
12. Paul James
13. Scott Russell
14. Matthew Heidel
15. Michael Morgan
2011 XR1200 Championship Points:
1. Kyle Wyman, 31
2. Chris Fillmore, 25
3. Joe Kopp, 21
4. Steve Rapp, 19
5. Travis Wyman, 16
6. Chase McFarland, 15
7. David Estok, 14
8. Michael Beck, 13
9. Michael Corbino, 12
10. Brett Sassaman, 11