BRASELTON, Ga. – Sunday was a day of first-time winners at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, with Ben Gloddy and Teagg Hobbs joining HONOS Superbike winner Jake Gagne in winning their first MotoAmerica races on a sunny Sunday in Georgia.
After finishing on the podium eight times last year, Gloddy finally took to the top step with a hard-fought win in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup race at Road Atlanta.
Hobbs, meanwhile, had also never made it to the top step of a MotoAmerica race until taking victory in the Twins Cup on Sunday.
In SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup, Gloddy broke through with the race win that he’s been coveting for the past couple of years.
A frequent visitor to the podium, but never on the top step, Gloddy, who races a Kawasaki for Landers Racing, took the checkers in Sunday’s race by a scant .127 of a second over Scott Powersports KTM rider Tyler Scott.
Third place on Sunday went to KERmoto Kawasaki’s Cody Wyman.
Incidentally, Wyman’s podium result completed a rare road racing trifecta, with all three Wyman brothers finishing on the podium: Travis winning in Stock 1000, Kyle finishing second in King Of The Baggers, and Cody coming home third in Junior Cup.
“It was good to get the monkey off the back,” Gloddy said. “Last year, we were finishing third. I think I finished third eighth times last year. Yesterday, we put it in second and the goal after that was just to keep making progress forward. We were able to do that today and get on the top step of the box. Me and Tyler (Scott) pulled a little bit of a gap there in the middle of the race.
“I was kind of hoping for me and Tyler’s sake, it would be me and him out front, but we got caught by that group again, and I was just trying to stay as far in front of that group as I could and not get tossed too far back. Doing that, I was able to draft Tyler down the back straightaway and cut him off in the last corner, so I was able to get the win.”
Round one of the Mission King Of The Baggers Championship featured an exciting battle at the front between Mission Foods S&S Cycle Indian Challenger rider Tyler O’Hara, who was last year’s King Of The Baggers invitational winner, and MotoAmerica Superbike rider Kyle Wyman, who was aboard his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special.
O’Hara and Wyman each took turns at the front, with Wyman getting the holeshot and leading the race until lap five when O’Hara took the lead and, ultimately, the checkers.
At the stripe, O’Hara’s margin of victory over Wyman was just under half a second.
Meanwhile, third place went to Frankie Garcia, who raced his Roland Sands Design Indian Challenger to his second consecutive King Of The Baggers podium finish.
“Kyle (Wyman) is riding awesome,” O’Hara said of the newest addition to the King Of The Baggers rider lineup. “To have that full factory effort coming in here, it’s an awesome challenge. I love a challenge, and I think it’s great for the sport and it’s just going to elevate both of our programs, and our bikes are just going to get better and better. So definitely it’s good to have. Hopefully, we can get some more bikes.
“The Indian Challenger, you can go out and buy it and basically get all the parts that I’m running on my bike and come out and race. I’m looking forward to getting more bikes on the grid, but for sure there’s definitely more of a challenge this year.”
The first double race winner of the year was M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly, who completed a perfect weekend in the Supersport class by earning the pole and winning both Saturday’s race one and Sunday’s race two.
Defending class champion Richie Escalante salvaged what started out as a rough weekend when he crashed and destroyed his 2021 HONOS Kawasaki and had to race his 2020 bike in both Supersport events.
Escalante made the best of the situation and finished second to Kelly on Saturday and again on Sunday. Class rookie Rocco Landers emerged on Sunday with a third-place finish after surviving a last-turn skirmish for the final podium spot.
In Sunday morning’s Stock 1000 race two, the middle Wyman brother Travis rode his Travis Wyman Racing BMW to victory one day after finishing third in race one.
Wyman caught up to and overtook early race leader Geoff May, who finished second aboard his Geoff May Racing/VisionWheel.com Honda. Meanwhile, Jones Honda rider Ashton Yates rounded out the podium after finishing second in Saturday’s race one.
Saturday’s Twins Cup race one winner Kaleb De Keyrel crashed his Robem Engineering Aprilia in Sunday’s race two, and the incident unfortunately also collected his teammate Hayden Schultz, who finished third on Saturday, along with two other teammates and Saturday second-place finisher Jody Barry.
All told, four Aprilia riders were caught up in the incident, and thankfully none of the five were seriously injured. The race was red flagged, but none of the Aprilia riders who crashed were able to make the restart.
As a result, the podium after Sunday’s race two was completely different from Saturday’s race one podium.
Polesitter and Innovative Motorsports/Mike’s Imports Suzuki rider Hobbs escaped the incident completely, restarted the race, and went on to win by just .264 of a second over second-place finisher Trevor Standish aboard his Pure Attitude Racing Suzuki.
Third place went to GCP Suzuki’s Chris Parrish.