Chris Fillmore ended the AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 season with style at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s AMA Pro Road Racing Championship Weekend by Pro-Motion, where the Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing GEICO Revolution Performance rider took his fifth win of the season en route to the class championship. Starting from pole position, Fillmore led flag-to-flag while holding off challenges from Tyler O’Hara and a determined Michael Beck.
“I feel really good,” said Fillmore. “The XR1200 series … now that I went through the year and got used to the bikes, I think I learned a lot. It’s a great series, I had a lot of fun with it. I stayed in it and learned a lot about lines, and I’m really glad that at the end of it, Richie [Morris] and I hooked up and I got the opportunity to ride with him. What AMA Pro and Vance & Hines have done with this series gave guys like us — guys who haven’t really had a chance to develop a name — a place to go to develop our names and learn the tracks. It’s been great.”
Beck (Vance & Hines J&P Cycles) crossed the line just .135 of a second behind Fillmore, and he was joined on the podium by Kyle Wyman (RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing), who took third place after working his way past O’Hara on the last lap. ”For sure I gave it my all,” said Beck, who placed fourth in the overall championship. “It was a fun race. I got a little bit of a lazy start and a couple of the guys got by me, but I never gave up and reeled ’em in. I had a little bit of back-and forth with O’Hara, but didn’t want to let Fillmore go because I knew he’d be running away with it. I saw that O’Hara ran off halfway through, but Fillmore was still right there and he had a good pace today. I gave it all I had.”
Today’s third-place finish earned Wyman, who ended the 2011 season in fifth overall, his career third AMA Pro podium. “I was struggling all weekend,” said Wyman. “I didn’t qualify that well and just wasn’t finding the feeling I was looking for. It just kind of clicked as soon as I got a carrot out in front of me in the race, though, once I saw Tyler. These Harleys have been so much fun … I had a little bit of bad luck in some of the rounds, but it’s good to end [the season] on a high note.”
Fillmore’s closest championship rival, Parts Unlimited’s Steve Rapp, finished sixth after starting the race from the back of the grid. Rapp’s team reported suspecting a mechanical problem following the warm-up lap, which resulted in their decision to forego Rapp’s front-row starting position rather than put the entire field at risk. After using the first few laps to ensure that his XR1200 was in good shape, Rapp put his head down and began a steady march through the field that netted him second overall in the championship.
Just behind Rapp in final standings was O’Hara, with Beck and Wyman completing the top five. Michael Barnes (Drag Specialtie), Michael Corbino (RMR Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing), Chase McFarland (Latus Motors Racing), Paul James, and Michael Morgan rounded out the top ten.Today’s AMA Pro action from New Jersey Motorsports Park airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on SPEED. Chris Fillmore — along with the series’ other 2011 champions – will collect his #1 plate at tomorrow’s AMA Pro Road Racing Awards Banquet in Atlantic City.