By Kali Kotoski
September 20, 2020
Battling through rain-soaked conditions on Sept. 11, at the New Jersey Motorsports Park, veteran racer Tyler O’Hara captured the 2022 Mission King of the Baggers Championship for Indian Motorcycle and S&S Cycle. With his second-place finish, he earned the necessary points to stand on the top podium — his second Championship in three years.
O’Hara’s 2022 run was consistent over the seven-round series, with five podium finishes. He edged out Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle rider Travis Wyman, who crashed midway through the second lap on New Jersey’s slick track while pursuing O’Hara.
Starting from fourth and fifth positions respectively, O’Hara and teammate Jeremy McWilliams jumped out to a fast start and moved into second and third positions coming out of turn one. From that point, McWilliams held back the competition after Wyman aggressively pushed to close the gap, resulting in him low-siding and sliding into the infield.
“Even though it’s one rider that earns the Championship, this was a situation where the support from Jeremy and our ability to work together made all the difference, and I could not be more grateful for his support and the tireless work of my entire Indian Motorcycle-S&S team,” said O’Hara. “Every member of this team sacrificed so much of themselves over this past year and to stand on that podium and celebrate this Championship with them is a testament to our commitment and nothing short of a dream come true. I’m so proud to reclaim the crown and the No. 1 plate for such an incredible and talented group of guys who put their hearts and souls into this season.”
McWilliams, a road racer of Moto GP fame, joined the Indian Motorcycle-S&S factory team at the start of the season and continually provided technical input to refine and improve the Indian Challenger race bike to optimize setups for different tack conditions.
“Jeremy’s expertise and experience, combined with Tyler’s skill and competitive fire is something truly special,” said Gary Gray, Vice President of Racing, Service and Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “When you back those two guys up with the expertise, commitment and heart of this entire Indian Motorcycle-S&S crew, you come away with a Championship. On behalf of everyone at Indian Motorcycle, I could not be prouder of our team and what we’ve accomplished this season.”