2015 AMA Pro Hillclimb Race Report and Banquet Ceremony

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 22, 2016) - The AMA Pro Hillclimb community celebrated the 2015 season in Pennsylvania at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort on Saturday, March 19 as announcer Jamie Deer emceed the banquet and awards presentation.

In the Xtreme and Unlimited Classes, podiums were secured by reigning riders, Phil Libhart, John Koester and Jay Sallstrom. Libhart, who dedicated his season and his Championship to his late brother Todd, talked about how difficult it was to race without him there but he knew that his brother was with him and was watching over him.

Both Libhart and Koester also commented on the grueling battle to conclude the season, where Libhart captured the championship by one point, while Koester won the Unlimited Class Championship over Jay Sallstrom.

Now, Libhart and Koester, among several riders are looking for the number one plate in the new season and will showcase a fight for the top spots.

Molly Carbon, who earned Rookie of the Year in the Xtreme Class also took home a tenth place finish as Cory Strickler secured the Unlimited Class Rookie of the Year award.

In the Pro Sport Class, Nick Briggs won the Championship and is looking at advancing into the Expert division for 2016. Rookies Joseph Lowe, who earned the Pro Sport Rookie of the Year, and Eddie Capelli rounded out the podium granting Lowe a guaranteed spot in the Expert ranks in 2016. Capelli plans to compete in the Pro Sport Class for another year to try and clench the title.

The community also recognizes several of its members with specialty awards. Koester was awarded the Dave Watson Hard Charger Award for his charge in the last four rounds to earn four of his five wins in the Unlimited Class to win the Championship. Koester said that Dave Watson has been a big part of his racing career ever since he saw him race at a younger age. He also earned the Shawn P. Farnsworth High Point Rider of the Year Award with the most combined points earned in the two classes. Koester's dad, Gordy Koester, was recognized for his behind-the-scenes efforts due to his extended offer to help riders both on and off the track.

The Sportsman of the Year Award is given to the rider who shows sportsmanship to everyone at the races. Devin Sweitzer exhibits this in every way with his offer to help anyone who needs it, from words of encouragement to other riders, to his perseverance throughout the year caused by various bike issues.

Showman of the Year, Jay Sallstrom, is the epitome of professionalism with his bikes, pit set up and team presence. He is a showman on the hill, as well as in his riding style by going for the win during each race.

Behind each rider there is a team of people, and Phil Libhart was happy to present Kevin Mowrer with the Mechanic of the Year Award for all of his hard work and dedication to his team.

Buffalo Valley Hillclimb at Middle Tennessee Dragway in Buffalo Valley, Tenn. was a new addition to the series in 2015. The blacktop pit area, unique hill and Southern hospitality from the fans were only a few of the many reason this venue was chosen as Promoter of the Year. The AMA Pro Hillclimb series is proud to be revisiting this venue in 2016 and looks forward to future races.

The season kicks off in Spring Grove, Pa. at White Rose Motorcycle Club on June 5, 2016.