Jay Sallstrom wins Round Seven at Muskegon

MUSKEGON, Mich. (Aug. 17, 2016) - Jay Sallstrom chalked up wins in the Unlimited and Expert Singles classes and won the Unlimited class All-Star Challenge at Round seven of the AMA Pro Hillclimb at Muskegon, Mich. Jockamo Baldina took his first ever Xtreme class win, while the rookie Brent Nelson took the win in Pro Sport and John Koester won the All-Star Challenge in the Xtreme class.

Xtreme class riders were first to tackle the hill. Phil Libhart led the charge with an impressive 5.935-second win, as Baldina followed up, posting a 5.866-second ride for the lead. Koester wedged into third at the half, cresting in at 6.118 seconds.

During the second half of the Xtreme class action, the order remained with only Koester dipping into the five second range. He held onto third ahead of the rookie Sheldon Farnsworth. Baldina took the win and Libhart scored second.

When the Expert Singles attempted the hill, Johnny Curry posted a time of 7.75 seconds but was overtaken by Sallstrom at 7.739 seconds. Koester upped the ante with a 7.329-second ride and Logan Cipala posted a 7.21-second time. 

In the second half, Curry lopped off two-tenths and both Koester and Cipala took off a tenth. But the big news was Sallstrom's ride at 6.974 seconds (the only rider in that range). Sallstrom took the win followed by Cipala in second and Koester in third.

Cipala rode first in the Unlimited class and posted a 6.796-second time. Libhart crested in 6.208 seconds and Sallstrom with 5.731 seconds. Then Koester wedged into third ahead of Cipala with a 6.297-second finish.

After intermission, Koester dropped into the five-second range with a 5.879-second ride to move ahead of Libhart. Cory Strickler and Baldina both moved ahead of Cipala, posting 6.456- and 6.47-seconds, respectively. It was Sallstrom for the win followed in order by Koester and Libhart. 

Two new riders turned out to compete in the Pro Sport Class, Brent Nelson and Calob Blain. Nelson posted a 8.335-second time and Blain 9.296 seconds.

The annual All-Star Challenge pits the ten fastest riders in both Xtreme and Unlimited classes against each other for one more run up the hill. Riding in reverse order (slowest to quickest) with the winner of each class taking the largest piece of the day's purse. 

Sallstrom took the win in Unlimited and Koester in Xtreme. Cash bonuses were an offer for the fastest time in each run in each class. Sallstrom took all three bonuses in the Unlimited class and posted the all-out fastest time of the day. Baldina took the first run bonus in Xtreme and Koester took the second and third run bonuses.

In series points, Sallstrom widened his lead in the Unlimited class but gave back a little in Xtreme. He leads Unlimited by 14 points and the Xtreme class by just four. Koester and Libhart are in a battle for second in both classes, separated by a single point. Sallstrom has a five-point lead in Expert Singles over rival Koester.

Hillclimbers meet again in Freemansburg, Penn. on Sunday, Sept. 11.