Sallstrom Takes AMA Pro Hillclimb Hat-Trick at Freemansburg
FREEMANSBURG, Penn. (Sept. 13, 2016) - Jay Sallstrom took wins in the Unlimited, Xtreme and Expert Singles classes at Round eight of the AMA Pro Hillclimb championship at Freemansburg, Penn. - his second set of triple wins in 2016. Sallstrom's wins widened his lead in each class by 17, 9 and 10 points in Unlimited, Xtreme and Expert Singles, respectively. Bryan Rusnak took the win in exhibition Hill-Cross competition.
Expert Singles riders climbed first with Devin Sweitzer setting the bar at 20.494 seconds. Phil Libhart followed up with a 17.603 E.T. Nick Briggs, Jockamo Baldina and John Mosko each posted in the mid-17s time range. Then Joseph Lowe dropped into the 16s and John Koester into the 15s. Sallstrom crested in 13.865 seconds for the lead at the half.
After intermission, no rider could match Sallstrom's time. Koester bettered his own time by a half-second to retain third and Rusnak posted a 14.451-second time, moving into second place.
Mosko was first among Xtreme class riders to crest the hill. He posted a 15.525-second E.T. Libhart rode next, stopping the clock at just 11.93 seconds. Baldina bested Libhart by two-tenths of a second for the lead. Lowe rode in at 13.649 seconds and Cory Strickler in 14.088. Sallstrom crossed the line in 11.059 seconds for the lead at the half, followed by Baldina and Libhart.
In the second half, Anthony DeHart led off with a 13.549-second ride. Koester posted an 11.986 E.T. after a disappointing first half performance, but still found himself just short of the Xtreme class podium. Sallstrom's first half time stuck for the win. He shared the podium with Baldina in second and Libhart in third.
Matt Luna topped the hill first in the Unlimited class, posting a time of 14.673 seconds. John Harper set the bar at 13.261 seconds. Libhart lowered it to 12.674 seconds and Koester bested them all with an 11.629 E.T. Sallstrom stopped short at 360 feet.
In the second-half of the Unlimited action, Sallstrom set the new time to beat at 11.185 seconds - nearly a half-second faster that Koester and forcing him to defend his podium place. Koester's attempt on a rutted hill under dust bowl conditions fell short. In the end it was Sallstrom who took home his fourth win in a row, followed by Koester and Baldina in second and third.
The Hill-Cross Final came down to Sallstrom, Rusnak and Libhart. Rusnak took the win followed by Libhart and Sallstrom.
Sallstrom holds a strong lead in series points with a pitched battle for second in the Unlimited and Xtreme classes between Koester and Libhart, who are separated by just a single point. In Expert Singles, Koester lags Sallstrom by 10 points with Lowe in third.
AMA Pro Hillclimbers meet again in Jefferson, Penn. On Sunday, Sept. 25 for Round nine.