Mission Foods SHNC AMA at COTA Round 7 & 8

They say things are bigger in Texas, and they aren't lying. It was a huge weekend of Super Hooligan and Bagger racing at one of, if not the premier road race courses in America, Circuit of the Americas. The track, which sits just minutes outside of Austin, is blessed by the rubber of F1 as well as Moto GP machines. The facility is top-notch, with primo garages, paddock access, suites, and plenty of indoor facilities for a weekend that was quite spicy. The 100-plus-degree temperatures didn't hamper the excitement and the racing, but it certainly strained the riders, particularly riders like Bobby Fong and Tyler Ohara doing double duty.

The Mission Foods Super Hooligans were a particularly excitable bunch, with many of the 47 riders getting to turn wheels at COTA for the first time ever. You could see the experience play out in the initial qualifying sessions, with the S and S Indian boys turning impressive lap times right off the bat, setting the stage for a Championship showdown. Tyler Ohara and Jeremey McWilliams were tied in the points coming into the final round, with only a race win giving Tyler the advantage. It would be a winner-takes-all affair with Andy Debrino 3rd in the championship on the KTM, followed by Corey West on the Harley Pan America, Mark Price on the KTM Duke 890, and the surprising Stefano Mesa 6th on the consistent Energica EV.

Qualifying would play out nearly the same as the championship, with Tyler fastest at an impressive 2:16.734, followed by Jeremey McWilliams, Andy Debrino, Corey West, and Stefano Mesa. Race one would see Tyler jump out to an early start with Mesa close behind after a near collision between McWilliams and Mesa that pushed Jeremey well back in the pack. But a crash by Rober Johnson would cue a red flag and a complete restart.

Tyler would once again jump out to an early lead with Jeremey chasing him down, followed by a close battle between Corey West on the Harley, Stefano Mesa on the Energica, and Andy Debrino on the KTM.

The last lap was one for the ages, a battle for the Championship between Tyler and Jeremey with the gloves off. This is how we like to see teammates settle things, mano y mano, no team orders. They changed lead too many times to count on the last lap, block passing and rubbing paint all the way to the last corner on the absolute limit. Tyler would come under Jeremey into turn 19 after nearly low-siding in 18, riding around the outside of Jeremey. But Jeremey didn't give an inch and pushed past Tyler going into the last corner on the inside as the riders were both off-line and pushed wide into the marbles. Jeremey fought for traction and lost as the rear tire lost grip and sent him over the high side, as Tyler gathered up to push towards the checkered flag and the championship in one of the gnarliest race finishes we can remember. With Jeremey's crash, it would seal Tyler's second Super Hooligan road race title and send Stefano Mesa into the history books as the first EV to finish on the podium against the ICE bikes in a National Road Race Championship. Andy Debrino would finish a close third.

The B main

The Super Hooligan field at COTA was huge, 47 riders and only 35 grid spots were available, so Moto America set up the B main which ran on Sunday. This gave riders who’d put the effort into to go racing a chance to compete and get there sponsors some love on Moto America TV. The race was won by Lucas Geboo on a Harley Davidson FXRP followed by Michael Smith on an HD Low Rider S and Aaron Guradado on the Harley Pan America. Brandon Quaid, Joshua Coombs, Bob Berbeco on the lone Zero EV, Charles Condit, Brendan Murphy and Joseph Gayle all on Harley’s rounded out the top 9.

Race two would see Jeremey McWilliams back on the bike after his scary high side but only 10 points in front of Debrino in the final championship round. Stefano Mesa would get a rocket start, leading half of the first half from Tyler Ohara and Jeremey McWilliams. The S and S teammates would soon make their way past the Energica, followed by Debrino and Larry Pegram, who suffered through bike issues that were only solved Sunday afternoon for race 2. A crash by Eric Stahl would bring out the red flag and restarts. Tyler and Jeremey would again jump out to an early lead, with a scrap between Debrino, Mesa, and the upcoming Pegram. Tyler would go on to win the race, with Jeremey second and securing second in the championship, with Debrino third and third in the points. Pegram would end up 4th, Mesa 5th, and AJ Peasley 6th.

King of the Baggers was as hot as a cast-iron skillet on a summer's day in Texas.

Qualifying would be a Harley lockout of the front row with Kyle Wyman, Hayden Gillim, and James Rispoli, and our own Bobby Fong on the Indian x SDI x RSD challenger 4th on the second row. The Indian x RSD challenger of Kyle Ohnsorg would qualify 8th.

The Mission challenge is always a challenge for the teams who've just finished qualifying. It's a mad dash to get tires on the bikes and ready for the grid. In true last-minute fashion, the RSD team finished the job and sent Bobby Fong out. With 5k on the line and only two laps to get it done, Bobby sent it, coming from 4th on the grid to block his way to his first Challenge win of the year.

Race one would see Kyle Wyman out to an early lead on the factory HD Road Glide; he would never look back. Bobby would sit in fourth, sandwiching the two Vance and Hines Road Glides between the Factory HD. After Jeremey Mcwilliams' Hooligan crash, he would sit out the bagger race, and the Challenger of Tyler Ohara would be missing from the Grid with a mechanical issue in the pits, leaving Bobby Fong as the only Indian in the top 5. Kyle Ohnsorg would settle behind Travis Wyman in 6th.

A late charge from Bobby Fong would see him hunting down the V and H Harley's. But with two laps to go, Bobby would low-side in the final corner and settle the finishing order. It would be Kyle Wyman 1st, Gillim, Rispoli, and Travis Wyman in 4th. The Indian x RSD Challenger of Ohnsorg would be the top-finishing Indian and his best finish in 5th.

With the inclusion of both the S and S Indian Challengers, race two would be a completely different landscape and would highlight the magic that is bagger racing. Tyler Ohara got out to an early lead with teammate Jeremey Mcwilliams jumping the start and slotting into second place, acting as a block for Tyler. It was quite effective as Tyler pulled out an impressive first lap lead, but behind him was complete mayhem as Kyle Wyman, after a terrible start, crashed trying to overtake Kyle Ohnsorg. Half a lap later, Tyler's bike would go out with a mechanical issue under braking on the back straightaway. This would open the door for Bobby Fong, who would get through the V and H Harley duo for the lead. Bobby would end up stretching his lead out, but smoke was coming out of the right side of the bike, casting doubt on his ability to finish. Two laps from the end, Bobby would pull off the track, leaving Rispoli in the lead, followed by Gillim, Travis Wyman, and Ohnsorg. With one lap to go, Travis Wyman would crash out of third, pushing Ohnsorg into third for his first podium finish in King of the Baggers."