American Flat Track: 2020 Season Begins This Coming Weekend In Daytona

American Flat Track: 2020 Season Begins This Coming Weekend In Daytona

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By American Flat Track:

DAYTONA TT To Kick Off 2020 American Flat Track Season in Epic Fashion

Saturday, March 14 to open with 79th running of DAYTONA 200 presented by Comoto

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 10, 2020) – Following months of high-profile announcements and anticipation, the 2020 American Flat Track season has finally arrived. The dawn of the AFT SuperTwins era will begin in just about the most epic fashion imaginable, as the season-opening DAYTONA TT will round out an historic doubleheader at Daytona International Speedway following 79th running of the DAYTONA 200 presented by Comoto on Saturday, March 14, in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

Round 1 of the revamped AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines class will see three manufacturers set to do battle, each one with a legitimate shot at claiming the first checkered flag of the new campaign.

 

If anyone in the field hopes to score an upset, they’re going to have to come through the Indian Wrecking Crew to do so. The powerhouse squad — again featuring reigning Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), living legend Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and rising star Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) — has reigned supreme in each previous running of the DAYTONA TT.

 

On each occasion, that season-opening triumph set the stage for a Grand National Championship run with Bauman successfully building upon his ‘19 victory the same way Mees had in ‘17 and ‘18.

 

The Harley-Davidson / Vance & Hines Factory Flat Track Team expects to step its game up another notch in 2020 following an offseason reshuffle. The talent-laden three-rider team is headlined by former Grand National Champion Bryan Smith (No. 4 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X). While Smith is best known for his mastery of the Miles, it’s worth recalling that he did finish as the race runner-up in the 2017 DAYTONA TT and has been actively testing the TT-spec XG750R in preparation of the opener.

 

Meanwhile, Smith’s young teammates, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) are acknowledged TT standouts, and there’s no question both are extremely motivated to become the first rider to take the XG750R to its maiden premier-class victory.

 

Yamaha has a TT heavyweight of its own in its corner. The hugely talented JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) was victorious in two of the four TTs last year and came within a half-second of victory at the 2018 DAYTONA TT. He looked to be among the fastest riders on track again a year ago, but he failed to make the Main after crashing in the Semi — a fate he will no longer need to concern himself with as a result of the revised AFT SuperTwins rules.

 

AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

 

The 2020 AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys title fight looks to be a wide-open affair with the class’ three most recent champions having all graduated to AFT SuperTwins duty.

 

Even in their absence, the buzz surrounding the class is arguably greater than ever, amped up in large part due to the addition of Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R). Wiles expects to make his presence felt right from the start: he’s arguably the most accomplished Singles riders in the history of the sport, the winningest TT rider in AFT history, and a premier-class podium finisher in all three prior runnings of the DAYTONA TT.

 

Last year’s AFT Singles championship runner-up, Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), will have his say as well. Rush was strong virtually everywhere in 2019 — including the TTs — and he should only increase in strength with a full season of AFT Singles experience under his belt.

 

16-year-old wunderkind Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) should not be overlooked either. Daniels went on a tear to conclude his rookie season in ‘19, ripping off five top-fives in the season’s final seven races, including a dominant win and three podiums. Perhaps even more alarming for the competition is the fact that the DAYTONA TT track configuration should play to the strengths of the ascending joint flat track/roadracing ace.

 

The DAYTONA TT is destined to extend the glitz and glamour of the highly anticipated season opener far beyond the confines of the High Banks. A free “Bike Night with American Flat Track” will take place two days prior to the doubleheader at ONE DAYTONA on Thursday, March 12, from 6:00 p.m. ET until 8:00 p.m. ET. The celebration will feature race bikes on display, photo ops with the racers, and Q&As with riders representing both the DAYTONA TT and DAYTONA 200.

 

On race day, “Mr. Daytona” Scott Russell will serve as the DAYTONA TT Grand Marshal to highlight Opening Ceremonies that will include a jump and presentation of the red, white, and blue by the US Army Black Daggers Jump Team. Live music and vendors will feature in the UNOH FanZone, along with numerous other family-friendly Bike Week activities. For children there will be STACYC electric balance bike demos and Strider balance bike races courtesy of Mimi & Moto. Infield parking will be free for motorcycles and, for the first time, other vehicles will be welcomed to park in the infield as well for just $20.

 

Tickets for the first-ever DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT doubleheader are on sale now. Watch both historic motorcycle racing events during Bike Week at DAYTONA for just $35 when you purchase an advance General Admission ticket online at tickets.americanflattrack.com. Multiple upgraded ticket options are available, including trackside seating (which has the potential to sell out), the premium Presidents Row ticket, and the $40 Paddock Admission Upgrade, which offers access to the paddock until the start of the Main Events.

 

Live coverage of the entire day’s racing activities will be available via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. Coverage will begin shortly after the gates open at 8:00 a.m. ET/5:00 a.m PT. The DAYTONA 200 festivities kick off with a Fan Walk, Autograph Session, and Opening Ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. ET/6:30 a.m. PT, while the legendary race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. ET.

 

Fans with DAYTONA TT only tickets will be granted entrance starting at 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT with AFT’s opening practice sessions slated to start at 4:10 p.m. ET/1:10 p.m. PT. Opening Ceremonies for the DAYTONA TT kick off at 7:50 p.m. ET/4:50 p.m. PT and the Main Event program will close out the day starting at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT.

 

The DAYTONA TT is the first of two American Flat Track events this season to enjoy same-day coverage on NBCSN. The feature broadcast — enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage — will air that same evening, Saturday, March 14, at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.

 

How to Watch:

NBCSN and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2020 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT remains in highly-coveted programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold – the most-robust motorsports offering in the digital marketplace – is a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event and maintaining an active archive of all AFT content.

 

About American Flat Track:

American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events with TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

 

 

 

More, from another press release issued by American Flat Track:

KTM and American Flat Track Renew Partnership for 2020

RIDE ORANGE STREET DEMO TOUR to provide demo rides at select AFT events

 

Shayna Texter (52). Photo by Scott Hunter, courtesy of AFT.
Shayna Texter (52). Photo by Scott Hunter, courtesy of AFT.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 10, 2020) – American Flat Track and KTM North America proudly announced today a renewal of their partnership for the 2020 season.

 

With a successful inaugural 2019 season of participation in American Flat Track, the entire Red Bull KTM Factory Race Team finished within the Top 10 in championship points.

 

For 2020, KTM is READY TO RACE with its full support behind the winningest rider in the AFT Singles class, Shayna Texter, as she prepares to make another run at the AFT Singles championship aboard her factory-tuned KTM 450 SX-F.

 

Fans can look forward an expansion of KTM’s wildly successful RIDE ORANGE STREET DEMO TOUR at five events in 2020: the March 28 Yamaha Atlanta Short Track presented by Law Tigers, May 2 Texas Half-Mile, May 30 Red Mile, June 13 Laconia Short Track presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys and July 4 New York Short Track. In 2019, demo rounds at the Atlanta Short Track were booked up before racing began, so fans looking to test ride the latest in KTM’s fleet of machinery are encouraged to pre-register upon arrival.

 

For more information on KTM’s RIDE ORANGE STREET DEMO TOUR visit www.ktm.com.

 

“We are very happy that KTM is once again bringing their Ride Orange Street Demo Tour to AFT weekends, complementing their powerful on-track presence,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “Motorcycling is all about the riding experience and our fans can get up close and personal with KTM at AFT venues across the season.”

 

Tickets are now on sale for the first-ever doubleheader – DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT – at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. Watch both historic motorcycle racing events during Bike Week at DAYTONA for just $35 when you purchase an advance General Admission ticket online. Get yours at www.americanflattrack.com.

 

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

 

How to Watch:

NBCSN and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2020 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT remains in highly-coveted programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold – the most-robust motorsports offering in the digital marketplace – is a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event and maintaining an active archive of all AFT content.

 

About American Flat Track:

American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events with TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

 

About KTM North America:

Powered by a distinct READY TO RACE mentality, KTM is the world’s leading high-performance Street and Off-road sport-motorcycle manufacturer, with North American headquarters based in Murrieta, California. Over the years, KTM has built a reputation as a fierce competitor on racetracks around the world, and the brand’s remarkable global success is reflected in every product it develops and every move it makes.

 

 

 

More, from another press release issued by American Flat Track:

Riki Rachtman Joins AFT’s Live Talent Team for 2020

Scottie Deubler and Brad Baker return as announcer and expert commentator.

Riki Rachtman. Photo courtesy of AFT.
Riki Rachtman. Photo courtesy of AFT.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 10, 2020) – American Flat Track announced today an exciting addition to its at-track team of talent for the 2020 season. Riki Rachtman – longtime motorcycle enthusiast and counterculture king – will join the voices of AFT, Scottie Deubler and Brad Baker, as a member of the team on AFT’s live stream and at-track entertainment.

 

Known globally for his years hosting various primetime slots on MTV and VH1, Rachtman is adamant that motorcycling and motorsports run deepest in his roots. For 17 years he has been the host of a nationally syndicated radio show titled Racing Rocks, which pairs motorsports content with some of the best of rock-and-roll music.

 

Fans may recognize Rachtman his appearance as Grand Marshal of the 2018 Black Hills Half-Mile and from various NASCAR appearances over the last two decades.

 

“I have always been a fan of flat track racing,” said Rachtman. “Every time the races were in Pomona, I would ride to the track, buy my ticket and watch from the grandstands. I still remember the adrenaline I felt watching the battles between Chris Carr and Scottie Parker. This really is a combination of all of my favorite things, and I cannot wait to bring my passion to the fans.”

 

Rachtman will channel his natural energy and excitement for the sport into a role as an at-track announcer and overall hype man for the events – conducting rider interviews, engaging with the audience and participating in AFT’s opening ceremonies and victory lane activities.

 

The team in the booth will once again consist of Scottie Deubler, fan favorite host and play-by-play announcer, and Brad Baker, 2013 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Champion and expert analyst.

 

Now in his 12th consecutive season of anchoring for AFT, Deubler brings his own experience as a past American Flat Track competitor to the booth. A recognizable figure for AFT fans, his voice has become synonymous with American Flat Track.

 

Baker, who competed in American Flat Track’s premier class until 2018, is an accomplished veteran of the sport and served as an integral part of the introduction and development of the Indian Motorcycle Factory Team during its launch in 2017. Baker continues to be heavily involved in the sport, making his commentary an invaluable addition to events.

 

 

Tickets for the first-ever doubleheader – DAYTONA 200 and DAYTONA TT – at the legendary Daytona International Speedway are on sale now. Watch both historic motorcycle racing events during Bike Week at DAYTONA for just $35 when you purchase an advance General Admission ticket online. Get yours at www.americanflattrack.com.

 

For more information on American Flat Track visit www.americanflattrack.com.

 

To get the latest American Flat Track clothing and merchandise visit www.americanflattracker.com.

 

How to Watch:

NBCSN and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2020 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT remains in highly-coveted programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold – the most-robust motorsports offering in the digital marketplace – is a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event and maintaining an active archive of all AFT content.

 

About American Flat Track:

American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events with TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Harley-Davidson:

HARLEY-DAVIDSON™ FACTORY FLAT TRACK TEAM RACES INTO 2020 AFT SUPERTWINS SEASON

Three-Rider Team Debuts at Daytona TT During Daytona Bike Week

 

The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team: Jarod Vanderkooi (20), Bryan Smith (4), and Dalton Gauthier (79). Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson.
The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team: Jarod Vanderkooi (20), Bryan Smith (4), and Dalton Gauthier (79). Photo courtesy of Harley-Davidson.

MILWAUKEE (March 10, 2020) – The Harley-Davidson™ Factory Flat Track Racing Team will charge the track on March 14 as the 2020 American Flat Track (AFT) SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines series opens its 18-race season at the Daytona TT at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Harley-Davidson will field a three-rider team led by new crew chief Ricky Howerton. Howerton will be racing Harley-Davidson® XG750R competition motorcycles prepared by Factory Team partner Vance & Hines Motorsports.

 

The Harley-Davidson® Factory Team motorcycles will feature a new livery in 2020 featuring Jet Fire Orange, the historic color of Harley-Davidson competition motorcycles, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the legendary Harley-Davidson® XR750 flat tracker. Initially developed and tuned by a team led by Harley-Davidson racing manager Dick O’Brien, the XR750 motorcycle won 36 AMA Grand National championships between 1972 and 2015.

 

“The 2020 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Racing Team represents a continuous legacy of competition that goes back to the earliest days of motorcycle racing,” said Jon Bekefy, GM of Brand Marketing for Harley-Davidson. “With 2020 also being the 50th anniversary of the legendary XR750, this year we will celebrate the great eras in Harley-Davidson racing as we look forward to competing at the highest level of the sport with the Harley-Davidson XG750R.”

 

Howerton will lead one of the deepest teams in the sport. Bryan Smith brings veteran leadership to a squad of riders that also includes Jared Vanderkooi and Dalton Gauthier. Howerton and Smith won the 2016 AMA Grand National flat track championship for the Howerton/Crosley team. The team will field an updated Harley-Davidson XG750R flat tracker for 2020 powered by the liquid-cooled, fuel-injected and race-tuned Harley-Davidson® Revolution X™ V-Twin based on the production engine originally designed for the Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle.

 

In addition to its factory team effort Harley-Davidson will offer expanded support of the AFT Production Twins class, with race-ready XG750R motorcycles for sale and a $250,000 cash contingency program. The Production Twins class offers a path for upcoming and smaller privateer teams to compete for race victories, to study the SuperTwins class and plan for their future. The XG750R competition motorcycle is available for purchase for $35,999. For details and ordering information, please contact Vance & Hines.

 

The 2020 AFT SuperTwins schedule includes 18 events on short track, half-mile, mile and TT courses. Two fan-favorite events – the Charlotte Motor Speedway half-mile in Charlotte, N.C., and the OKC Mile in Oklahoma City, Ok. – return to the schedule. In 2020 two races on the famed Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will run as a doubleheader over Labor Day weekend.

 

Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team

 

Ricky Howerton

Howerton has been involved in flat track racing since 2012, leading the Howerton/Crosley team to win three AMA Expert Twins championships (2012-14) and the 2016 AMA Grand National Championship. His teams have earned 25 national wins and 70 podium finishes. Howerton earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technologies from Purdue University at Indianapolis and has worked in the racing field since his teenage years. He raced sprint cars and finished fourth in the USAC national points in 1990 and was named Rookie of the Year. Howerton is 49 years old and lives in Indianapolis.

 

Bryan Smith (National #4)

Known as the “Mile Master,” Smith has won 33 times in a 19-year Grand National flat track career, with 25 of those wins on demanding mile tracks. Smith is a three-time GNC Expert Twins champion (2012-14), the 2016 AMA Grand National champion, and won an ESPN X Games gold medal in the debut X Games Harley-Davidson Flat Track event in 2015. After a very successful amateur flat-track racing career, Smith moved up to the AMA Pro Flat Track level in 2001 and was named Rookie of the Year in his first season in the series. In 2019, Smith finished 13th in AFT points and had three podium appearances. Smith is 36 years old and lives in Swartz Creek, Mich.

 

Jarod Vanderkooi (National #20)

The 2014 GNC2 Twins champion, Jarod Vanderkooi (VAN-der-koy) won his first pro event on the Springfield Mile. He moved up to the top Grand National Twins class in 2015 and was named Rookie of the Year after scoring four top-10 finishes. In 2019, Vanderkooi raced his Harley-Davidson Factory XG750R to sixth place in AFT Twins points with 13 top-10 results. Vanderkooi is 22 years old and lives in Mt. Gilead, Ohio.

 

Dalton Gauthier (National #79)

Gauthier has been a rising star on the flat track scene since he turned pro in 2015 at age 16. He finished second in the AFT Singles series in 2016, and in 2019 was crowned AFT Singles champion. Gauthier rode a Harley-Davidson XG750R to two wins in the 2019 AFT Production Twins series and placed fourth in season points. The 2020 season will be his first in AFT SuperTwins. Gauthier is 20 years old and lives in Pine Grove, Pa.

 

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom with cruiser, touring and custom motorcycles, riding experiences and events, and a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gear and apparel. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.

Latest Posts

MotoGP: Two Seats Still Open For 2021

With today’s announcement from Ducati regarding Francesco Bagnaia, Jorge...

Video: Jonathan Rea “Back To My Roots – Northern Ireland”

Five-time Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea travels back to...

MRA: Lee, Moham Star In Season Finale At HPR

Lee and Moham on top at MRA Race of...

MotoGP: Bagnaia To Factory Ducati, Zarco & Martin To Pramac

Ducati Corse announces the official Ducati Team and Pramac...

International Motorcycle Shows Moving To Outdoor Format

The Progressive® International Motorcycle Shows® (IMS) Announces a Reimagined...