DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2022 Progressive American Flat Track season has finally arrived at its crown jewel, the Mission Springfield Mile I & II presented by Drag Specialties, which will take place at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois, for a Labor Day Weekend doubleheader on September 3-4.
Always a highlight of any Progressive AFT season, this year’s stop is especially critical. It represents two of the season’s final four rounds, and will thus pay out 50% of the remaining points to determine this year’s national champions. Additionally, it will be two of the final three opportunities to earn points toward the Progressive Triple Crown and its associated $25,000 prize.
Any rider who has accumulated as many titles and race wins as Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) has successfully faced down many a pivotal race weekend. That said, this year’s Springfield Mile must rank up near the top of that list for the reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle king.
Off the track, the event marks the first year it’s being overseen by Jared and his wife, Nichole Mees, under the Mees Promotions banner. Meanwhile, he currently holds a narrow title advantage, leading primary rival Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) by nine points and Estenson Racing Yamaha teammates Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) by 16 and 29 points, respectively.
By one line of thinking, the timing couldn’t be more fortuitous for Mees, who has won the Springfield Mile seven times in all, including five of the last six. Should he sweep here like he did a year ago, it could once again springboard him to the #1 plate.
However, that’s easier said than done. While Mees is easily the most successful Mile rider on the tour, Daniels has won two of three Miles to date this season. Furthermore, after Springfield, the season will head to its third Short Track of ‘22 – the first of which Beach and Daniels went 1-2, the second of which Bauman won – and then end right back where it started – at Volusia Speedway Park, where Bauman stood victorious.
In other words, Mees could really use another trademark Springfield performance to put him in the best position possible to retain his crown.
Other riders will more than likely play key roles in deciding this year’s championship considering their sparkling histories at the venue. Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) doubled at the venue in 2013 and is typically fighting at the front in Springfield. Home state hero Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Dodge Brothers Racing/Happy Trails Racing Harley-Davidson XR750) took a hugely popular win in Springfield in 2018 and has been on the box three times since. And Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) battled it out with his brother, Briar, and Mees (among others) en route to third here in 2019.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
Through consistent, relentless excellence, Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) has finally separated himself from defending class champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) in this year’s Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship fight.
Over the last 11 rounds, Janisch has won six times and finished as runner-up on three other occasions. The bounty of points earned in that run has allowed him to gradually work up almost a full race’s points gap over Texter (24 to be precise). While not sufficiently protected from catastrophic mistake or mechanical misfortune, Janisch is now in an enviable position.
Texter, meanwhile, must do all that he can to win, and hope the likes of Michael Rush (No. 15 Helipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R), Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin Seats/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), Billy Ross (No. 109 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) manage to steal some points back from Janisch behind him.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) enters the Mission Springfield Mile I & II with a real opportunity to leave it crowned the 2022 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER champion. He currently boasts a 48-point advantage. Should he grow it by just three more points over the weekend, he’ll be your new champ.
In fact, only five riders still have a mathematical chance at holding off Kopp, no matter how slim. That crew of talented underdogs is made up of Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), and Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R).
As it so happens, all five have been on the podium in the three prior Mile races this season, with the wins going to second-, third- and fourth-ranked Mischler, Brunner, and Gauthier.
Expect them to put up a fight, and, at the very least, do everything in their power to delay Kopp’s coronation.
Actor Butch Patrick – best known for his role as Eddie Munster in The Munsters – will serve as the weekend’s Grand Marshal. He’ll have a replica of the show’s iconic Munster Koach with him and on display in the Fan Zone. And that’s just one attraction among many to keep fans entertained at the venue, including numerous vendors and a variety of food and beverage options.
Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3668 to reserve your tickets today. Infield Standing Room Only tickets start at just $20 (kids 12 and under free with a paid adult ticket), and fans are offered a large variety of upgraded tickets to choose from, including General Admission – Bleachers, Reserved Grandstand, Premium Reserved Grandstand, and Premier Reserved Grandstand, along with an extremely limited number of remaining VIP Experience tickets.
Paddock Access Upgrades are also available for purchase, which provide all-day access to the pits where fans can scope out the world’s fastest dirt track motorcycles and get up close and personal with the stars of the sport.
Gates will open for fans at 10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT on both days with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT ahead of Saturday’s and Sunday’s race programs. You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FansChoice.tv. FansChoice.tv provides free-to-view livestreaming of Practice and Qualifying. FansChoice.tv subscribers will then be able to watch the drama unfold from Opening Ceremonies through the Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations. FansChoice.tv offers two subscription options, granting unlimited access to premium AFT content. Monthly subscriptions start at just $7.99, while a six-month subscription is available for $44.99.
The Mission Springfield Mile I will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, September 11, at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT. The Mission Springfield Mile II will air one week later, on Sunday, September 18, at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. Both broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
How to Watch:
FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice.tv provides livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round at http://www.FansChoice.tv.