Sallstrom, Libhart, and Williamson take AMA Pro Hillclimb Round 7 wins at White Rose Hillclimb II in Jefferson, PA.
The White Rose Motorcycle Club hosted round seven of the AMA Pro Hillclimb Series, sponsored by Wiseco and PsychMXGrafix, on their historic hill near Jefferson, Pa., much to the thrill of a record crowd. When the day ended, Jay Sallstrom and Phil Libhart had taken wins in the Unlimited Class and Xtreme Class, respectively, while newcomer, Broc Williamson, won the Pro Sport Class. Libhart also posted the day's fastest time out of all riders in all classes on his Xtreme-class Yamaha.
The Xtreme Class riders were the first to face off with Jockamo Baldina setting the pace at 7.812 seconds. Libhart quickly upped the ante with a 7.672 E.T. Libhart and Baldina were the only riders in the sevens in the first half, with Anthony DeHart in third place at 8.045 seconds.
Xtreme Class drama heated up in the second half, with riders gunning for Libhart while he sat out waiting to see if his time would hold. Six riders scored below eight seconds, but only Nuzzolilli, at 7.590 seconds, and Sallstrom, at 7.554 seconds, bested Libhart, forcing him to ride. Libhart did not disappoint, laying down a flawless, fan pleasing ride, cresting in just 7.311 seconds for a decisive win.
Pro Sport riders followed the Xtreme Class and found their groove in the first half. Williamson set the winning time at 9.344 seconds early in the order. Molly Carbon and Nick Drummer moved into second and third, respectively with 9.863 and 9.893 E.T.s. But points leader, Nick Bleau, had other plans. He laid down a 9.478-second run, edging into second and knocking Drummer off the podium.
Pro Sport podium positions held tight in the second half with Williamson on top, followed by Bleau and Carbon. For Carbon, this was her second podium appearance in a row. Bleau has six top-three finishes in seven hillclimbs this year.
In the Unlimited Class, Nuzzolilli rode second in order and set a blazing pace at 7.513 seconds. Greg Dunbar topped the hill in 7.710 seconds, just two-tenths off Nuzzolilli's time. But both were eclipsed by Sallstrom's 7.339-second ride as he took the lead. Libhart rode last, edging out Dunbar for third at half-time with a 7.626 E.T.
The Unlimited Class order remained unchanged in the second half, but not for lack of effort- Nuzzolilli crashed trying to retake the lead, taking a trip to the hospital instead and seriously clouding his chances of winning his second series championship in as many years. Nuzzolilli's was not the only crash on the day, but surely the worst. Conditions all over the hill deteriorated steadily as the day progressed with deepening ruts and soft dusty soil. But the real problem spot was just above the second jump, where the soft soil claimed 12 of the 15 crashes of the day, including Nuzzolilli's.
In Unlimited Class series points Nuzzolilli and Sallstrom are numerically tied at 152 points for the lead, with Nuzzolilli ahead based on finishes- both have two wins, but Nuzzolilli has three second-place finishes to Sallstrom's two. John Koester trails them by 15 points but leads the Xtreme Class with 155 points, seven more than Sallstrom and 17 over Libhart. Bleau dominates Pro Sport with 154 points, a nearly untouchable lead over Devin Sweitzer's 130 and Carbon's 129.
The eighth and final round of the series will be at Dayton Motorcycle Club's Devil's Staircase hill in Oregonia, Ohio on October 13. AMA ProHillclimb's Champions will be crowned there, don't miss it!
U/L: 1. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 2. Vinny Nuzzolilli (Hon); 3. Phil Libhart (Tri); 4. Greg Dunbar (Yam); 5. John Koester (Hon).
Xtreme: 1. Phil Libhart (Tri); 2. Jay Sallstrom (Yam); 3. Vinny Nuzzolilli (Hon); 4. John Koester (Hon); 5. Jockamo Baldina (Hon).
Pro Sport: 1. Broc Williamson (Hon); 2. Nick Bleau (Hon); 3. Molly Carbon (Hon); 4. Nick Drummer (Hon); 5. Lester Kline (KTM).