To call Kyle Wyman an underdog or a Cinderella might be a stretch; after all Wyman did win both the 2011 and 2012 Vance & Hines Harley Davidson XR1200 Racing Series season openers, as well as the 2012 series championship. But underdog and Cinderella might really be appropriate considering what Wyman had to overcome just to get to the season-opening race in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Kyle Wyman at the Vance & Hines Harley Davidson XR1200 Racing Series season-opener
Wyman was set to defend his championship all winter, but just two weeks before the first race of the season, a change of plans left him wondering if he would even make it to round one.
Harley Davidson XR1200 Racer Kyle Wyman in Daytona Beach, Florida
"I had a really good program lined up al winter that unfortunately folded just two weeks before the start of the season," Wyman said.
With the help of Revolution Performance, Millennium Technologies and Ballistic Performance Components, Wyman just made it do Daytona, and he nearly made it to victory lane. Wyman made a thunderous march through the field, coming from seventh to second on the final lap.
"I'd say in some ways I'm disappointed but in other ways, I'm relieved," Wyman said. "It's disappointing because I've got that kind of history leading into the race, so I want to grab another win.
"But at the same time, when you look at that particular race, there's just so many ways it could've played out. I'm truly relieved that I was able to come out of there with a podium because of how much luck was involved."
Kyle Wyman made a thunderous march through the field, coming from seventh to second on the final lap.
Wyman said after the race that seventh was exactly where he wanted to be on the final lap, noting the huge draft that allowed the XR1200's to really pull and made for some exciting, side-by-side racing. Wyman still is not backing down from those comments.
"Drafting was a huge deal during that race," Wyman said. "Daytona always promises crazy race action, and I think this one was the craziest yet; it was a true dog-fight between eleven or so of us in the lead pack. I tried everything, leading, third, fifth, even as far back as tenth. It seemed like between fifth and seventh was the best place to be in the pack, so that's what I aimed for on the final lap."
The plan almost worked. Wyman actually took the lead out of turn 4, but Tyler O'Hara used a slingshot pass in the tri-oval to take the win. Still, considering what Wyman had overcome just to get to Daytona, it was hard for him to complain.
XR1200 Racer Kyle Wyman took the lead out of turn 4, but Tyler O'Hara used a slingshot pass in the tri-oval to take the win.
"My expectations were to win," Wyman said. "After winning the last two, there's really no other position I could finish that would be a truly satisfying result, but still at the same time, I had a ton of fun, which is always a top priority, and I got some great exposure for K&N and the rest of my sponsors who helped me get to Daytona."
Wyman is still unsure of his future plans. The series takes more than a two-month break before heading to Elkhart Lake, Wisconson, and the world-famous Road America circuit. While it will take more support, Wyman is banking on history repeating itself to get him to the next event.
"Currently the plan is to just keep knocking on doors and trying to find more support. It's a difficult time to be a motorcycle racer right now, and I think the grid sizes and amount of support out there reflects that," Wyman said. "Somehow though, I always seem to find a way to race so I'm banking on history repeating itself and having another great opportunity to show everyone what I've got, not just as a racer, but as a team owner as well.
"Kyle Wyman Racing won the XR1200 championship in 2012, the results speak for themselves."
Wyman did show appreciation for the support he received from Revolution Performance, Millennium Technologies and Ballistic Performance Components, as well as K&N Filters.
"K&N Filters is such a strong brand, and they have the products to back it up. With air and oil filters from K&N, I think the most important part of the package is that I have confidence in the reliability of the motorcycle. High quality products are what instill that confidence, and I'm proud to be a representative of the K&N Filters brand."
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