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Aug 11, 2019

American Flat Track: More From The Sacramento Mile (Updated)

Jared Mees (1) at the Sacramento Mile. Photo by Scott Hunter, courtesy of AFT.

Mees Strikes Back to Win Sacramento Mile

Texter gives KTM first Mile win in Singles; Gauthier delivers first win for Harley-Davidson XG750R

Note: It was a comparatively quiet night for AFT’s road racers with the likes of JD Beach and PJ Jacobsen pulling MotoAmerica duty this weekend, and Larry Pegram not in attendance. James Rispoli was the headliner, taking his third consecutive top-five in the AFT Production Twins class. Dallas Daniels appeared in podium contention early in the AFT Singles Main, but suffered a mechanical DNF, while Roger Hayden struggled to find the pace at Sacramento and failed to make the AFT Twins Main.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Defending Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) successfully rebounded from Tuesday’s Black Hills Half-Mile crash by defeating title rival Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) in Saturday’s tense Law Tigers Sacramento Mile Presented by Cycle Gear.

Cal Expo served as the latest battleground in a series of captivating showdowns waged by American Flat Track’s leading men. In the opening stages of the 25-lap AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event, Mees appeared quite content to suppress the pace and jostle with the pack.

Bauman had other ideas, however, and forced Mees’ hand by leaping out front and pulling the pin. Mees responded, and then some. He rolled back around his adversary and pushed Bauman to his limits with his sheer pace. The championship leader barely clung on, giving chase from right around a second back over the race’s second half.

Bauman somehow managed to dig deep and summon up a final-lap charge. He lined up a last-gasp draft to the flag, but Mees’ decisive launch out of Turn 4 proved too perfect to overcome, powering him to a 0.151-second margin of victory.

The race was yet another demonstration of the resilient determination of the two championship rivals. Over the last five rounds, Bauman has twice bounced back from 16th-place finishes to win the next time out, while Mees has done the same on the heels of 15th- and 14th-place results.

The latest of those bounce-back triumphs saw Mees up his career record to 44 premier-class wins. That moves him out of a tie with Jay Springsteen and into sole possession of third place on the all-time AFT Twins victory order.

Mees said, “I banged the holeshot and then was keeping the pace kind of mediocre just to get the tires warmed up slow and try to get some players up in there. It worked out good -- I finally just dropped the hammer and the bike was working so good. You don’t really get perfect motorcycles even if you win a race. You win a race and usually you think the bike still could have been a little bit better. But this bike was really, really dialed-in. It was perfect tonight.”

Third-place was an equally good story, as 2015 AFT Singles champ Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere Beaverton Motorcycles/Dick Wall 60 Indian FTR750) at last secured his maiden premier-class podium after racking up multiple fourth-place finishes in 2017 and 2018.

The achievement comes just days after Fisher selflessly crashed his machine in an intentional act to avoid hitting a fallen Mees during the main event at Black Hills Speedway.

A couple seconds back, Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) overcame seven-time Sacramento Mile winner Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki Ninja 650) to claim fourth.

Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

AFT Singles superstar Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450) added to her legend on Saturday night.

Texter featured up front throughout an epic 15-lap Main that saw a freight train numbering in the double digits do battle for the bulk of the race before whittling away to “just” an eight-rider lead pack in the end. She led the penultimate lap and looked well in control before being unexpectedly shuffled back to fifth to start the final lap following an assertive pass on the part of teammate Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F).

Undeterred, Texter powered around the outside of two riders entering Turn 3 for the last time, and then launched out of the last turn to blast by leader Bromley and Red Mile winner Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) in the decisive sprint to the checkered flag.

As a result, Texter now boasts eight Mile wins among her class-leading 17 career victories. Afterward, she said, “I definitely got pushed off the groove a little bit, unfortunately, by my teammate. I didn’t see that coming, so that elevated my heart rate a little bit coming to that white-flag lap. I just put it in so hard into 3, and got myself in a really good position and then got a draft off these guys into the lead.”

Rush and Tristan Avery (No. 16 Waters Autobody Racing/Staci Howell Honda CRF450R) also powered past the big-bodied Bromley to finish second and third, respectively.

Bromley held on for fourth, while former AFT Singles class champ Ryan Wells (No. 94 Estensen Racing Yamaha YZ450F) rounded out the top five despite being just 0.214 seconds off the win.

AFT Production Twins

Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) made history in Saturday night’s AFT Production Twins class, guiding Harley-Davidson’s production-based XG750R racebike to its maiden American Flat Track Main Event victory.

Title leader and top qualifier Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07) jumped out to the lead early and threatened to return to his winning ways early. However, Gauthier and teammate James Rispoli (No. 71 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R Rev X) responded en force, running down Texter in tandem and hounding him as a duo.

Gauthier overhauled Rispoli and Texter around the outside in quick succession and went about making his escape at the front as Rispoli and Texter continued to tangle behind him.

Gauthier would open up a three-plus second advantage before backing off late to secure the XG750R’s breakthrough triumph with 1.926 seconds in hand.

Gauthier said, “The whole Vance & Hines crew, everybody at Harley and Black Hills Harley-Davidson put me on this awesome motorcycle… This bike was working so good tonight. I couldn’t believe it. Right from the first lap in the Main, I knew it was going to be a good one. I got off to a good start, just like I wanted. I passed Cory around the outside in Turn 3 and just set sail. I just did consistent laps and tried to do my own race. I looked back halfway through the race and nobody was there, so I was like, ‘sweet!’”

The battle for second continued to grow in scope as the race evolved. Texter and Rispoli were first joined by a charging J.R. Addison (No. 24 Smith/Addison Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650), and finally by Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) and Cody Johncox (No. 196 Sunnyside Cycle/Luczak Racing Yamaha MT-07), who made it a five-rider scrap for the position on the final lap.

In fact, Texter and Rispoli were ultimately left off the podium altogether, as Addison earned second in the end, and Carlile squeaked through as well to steal away third at the flag. Texter picked up fourth-place points for his title campaign, finishing just 0.087 seconds behind Carlile, with Rispoli another 0.014 seconds behind in fifth.

Catch the feature broadcast of the Sacramento Mile on NBCSN with flag-to-flag coverage of the Main Events, enhanced by exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage. The broadcast will debut on Sunday, August 25, at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and will re-air on Wednesday, August 28, at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

Next Up:

American Flat Track will go from TT to Half-Mile to Mile and back to TT again in less than two weeks’ time with next weekend’s Law Tigers Peoria TT Presented by Country Saloon at Peoria Race Park in Peoria, Ill., on Saturday, August 17. Live coverage will again be available at FansChoice.tv. Tickets are available for purchase at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/73rd-american-flat-t...

Fans can keep up-to-date with American Flat Track on Facebook (@American Flat Track), Twitter (@AmericanFlatTrk) and Instagram (@AmericanFlatTrack). AFT mobile apps are available for iPhone on the App Store and for Android at Google Play. For more information, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com.


How to Watch:

NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2019 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT maintains its highly-coveted, weekend afternoon 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/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT's digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.


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 at FansChoice.tv and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.


More, from a press release issued by Estenson Racing:

Kolby Carlile Leads the Way for Estenson Racing’s Twins Team in Sacramento

Kolby Carlile made a late-race charge to earn his third podium this season in American Flat Track’s Production Twins class on Saturday night in tough conditions at the Sacramento Mile. His teammates Jake Johnson and Roger Hayden had a tough night on the challenging track, with Johnson ending the night 11th and Hayden coming just short of a transfer spot to the Main Event.

Although the day didn’t start out as well as he hoped, Carlile and his team put their heads down and worked hard to make progress. He finished third in his Semi, but unfortunately got shuffled back to sixth in the Main Event. As the laps wore down, Carlile was able to make the move into the top five. Things started clicking and on the last lap he caught up with the three-rider group battling for the final spots on the podium. The 2017 AFT Singles champ was able to use his talents on the Mile to move into third in the drag race to the checkers. His podium performance at Cal Expo helped him in the title chase, moving him up to third in the standings.

In spite of the challenging track conditions, Johnson was having a decent day crossing the line fourth in the Semi. With riders opting out of the inside spot on the front row, qualifying eighth, the veteran decided to give it a go. It didn’t pan out as he was unable to get on the groove, putting him back into 11th. He worked his way up to 10th and had a solid grasp on that position until the final moments of the race when he lost grip, ultimately settling for 11th.

As for Hayden, he continued to make progress with the team in just his second Mile race of the season. The newly retired road racer’s comfort level on the Yamaha Twin continues to grow and he was able to put in some solid times, but unfortunately was unable to transfer to the Main.

The Estenson Racing squad now heads to Thunder Valley for the 73rd Peoria TT on Saturday, August 17, in Peoria, Illinois.

Kolby Carlile – AFT Production Twins #136:

“I’m super-excited about my podium finish. The day turned out way better than I thought it was going to. I came in here with expectations to win, as I do at every race, but the track was pretty rough. We kept trying different things today. In the Semi, we had a good result and we finished third. I had a bad start, so I was a little ways back, but I knew I had the speed to win.

“In the Main Event, we almost didn’t even make it out. The bike wouldn’t fire up. I went out there blind without a lap, and they had watered the track. So I was kind of nervous. I got an okay start, but they had a red flag so that was good. I had time to calm down and collect myself. Then I got a good start on the restart, but I just fell back to sixth, and I couldn’t do anything with it. I sat there for more than half the race, and then I passed for fifth with about five laps to go. At that point, I just completely dropped a second off my lap time and I just ran down second, third, and fourth out of nowhere. I was able to make a last-lap, final straightaway pass to get third place. The bike was working really good. The crew did awesome today, so I have to thank them a lot.”

Jake Johnson -- AFT Twins #5:

“Coming into this race, I knew it was going to be tough for us early on… just the way this place is. It’s kind of slick and skittery until it gets a groove laid down. It was weird all day. To me it didn’t seem like a typical Sacramento. The corners were kind of broken up and dusty. It never really got a good, solid, hooked-up groove on it. We just struggled all day.

“In the Main Event, I felt okay the first third of the race. I was back, but it was kind of a big, long train. I was kind of hanging there with it, then it seemed like one lap it was okay and the next lap all of a sudden, the track just completely dried out. In the middle of the corners, what was there for a groove was gone and it was just a dry dust. I pretty much just hung on. We’re back to a TT again next weekend. We know how to turn right. We’ve just got to keep working on turning left.”

Roger Hayden -- AFT Twins #195:

“Yeah, it was tough one. I made a lot of improvements throughout the day and actually was going pretty good in the Semi. There were just a lot of fast guys in there, and I missed the Main. I’m getting better and more comfortable. Even though I didn’t make the Main, my lap times were pretty good in my Semi. I’m definitely disappointed, but Peoria is next week. We get to try again. Being able to get the track time and get more comfortable on the bike has been huge. I had fun. I would just like to do a little better, but that’s part of it.”



More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:

TEXTER GIVES RED BULL KTM ITS FIRST-EVER MILE WIN IN SACRAMENTO

BROMLEY FIGHTS HARD TO FINISH JUST OFF THE PODIUM IN FOURTH

Round 13 - American Flat Track Championship - August 11, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Shayna Texter made history for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team over the weekend as she claimed the team’s first “Mile” win in the AFT Singles Class with an intense victory at the Sacramento Mile for Round 13 of the 2019 American Flat Track Championship. Texter’s teammate, 2018 AFT Singles Champion Dan Bromley, battled alongside her through the final moments of the Main Event, where he ultimately finished only tenths of a second off the podium in fourth overall.

Texter lined up in AFT Singles Heat 3 alongside Bromley, who grabbed the heat race holeshot with Texter close behind. She was able to get by Bromley on lap two and from there she set sail to claim the heat race victory aboard her KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. In the semi, she got off to a second-place start and quickly made her way up to the lead by lap three. She continued to battle with Mikey Rush for the remainder of the race as the two riders swapped the lead position back and forth several times throughout the eight-lap race. Texter positioned herself in the lead with two laps to go and she held strong to bring home the semi win. With a solid second-place start position, Texter put herself into a great position off the start of the Main Event as she rounded the opening lap in second-place. She overtook the lead on lap five and once again ensued in a close-knit battle – this time with two other riders – for the remainder of the race. Texter got knocked back to fifth on the second-to-last lap but she fought her way back to the lead battle in the final moments. In a four-rider battle coming into the final corner, Texter was able to catch the perfect draft coming out of the turn to ultimately edge out her competition and take win number three of the season in Sacramento.

Shayna Texter: “It was a great day overall. It started off slow but we were able to keep picking it off and finding time each and every session that we were out. In the Main Event, I battled the entire race with Mikey and Tristan – every straightway we were passing each other just kind of playing a chess match. I felt really good down the straightaway and I felt really comfortable with where I was at in position on the track. I can’t thank the team enough. We gained some really valuable points heading into the next round.”

Bromley had a great start to the day’s racing as he powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into the lead in the heat race. Texter was able to pass him on lap two but he stuck close behind to finish second. In the semi, Bromley got off to a top-five start and he got shuffled back to sixth by the fourth lap. He battled in sixth for a few laps before reclaiming fifth on the final lap. In the Main Event, he got a top-10 start and settled into eighth early on. He climbed up to sixth just before the halfway point and he continued to fight his way up to the lead battle just before the white flag came out. Sitting in second on the second-to-last lap, things looked positive for Bromley as he drafted into the lead heading into the final corner. However, the other riders gained some momentum coming out of the final corner and it was a photo finish for first through fourth as they all crossed the finish line within tenths of a second of each other. After 15 laps of hard battle, Bromley finished barely off the podium in fourth. With five rounds remaining, he now sits only seven points back in the overall championship standings.

Dan Bromley: “For a second there, I thought I was on the podium but Tristian nipped me at the line for third. Coming off the final turn, I knew it was a waiting game to see who is going to pass me being that I am a much larger rider but overall, I feel that I did everything I could but my size put me at a very large disadvantage.”

Next Race: August 17, 2019 – Peoria TT – Peoria, Illinois

AFT Singles Main Event

1. Shayna Texter, KTM

2. Mikey Rush, HON

3. Tristan Avery, HON

4. Dan Bromley, KTM

OTHER KTM

9. Kayden Downing, KTM

12. Morgen Mischler, KTM


AFT Singles Point Standings

1. Dalton Gauthier, 203 points

2. Dan Bromley, 196

3. Mikey Rush, 193

OTHER KTM

5. Shayna Texter, 153

8. Morgen Mischler, 114

11. Tristan Avery, 87



More, from a press release issued by Estenson Racing:

Ryan Wells Takes Another Top-Five Finish at the Sacramento Mile

It was another thrilling American Flat Track AFT Singles battle at the Sacramento Mile on Saturday night. Estenson Racing’s Ryan Wells was able to cross the line fifth to score championship points. Unfortunately for Dallas Daniels, a technical issue ended his race early.

Wells had a decent start to the day with a third-place finish in his Heat and fourth in the Semi. When it came time for the Main Event, he was right in there with the lead pack for the duration. There were multiple lead changes to the delight of the packed Cal Expo, but when it came down to the end, fifth was the result on the day for the New Yorker.

In just his fourth professional race, the young Daniels was in the mix for a top five, as well. The fast boy from Illinois scored a 4-3 finish in his Heat and Semi races, respectively, to line up on the front row of the Main Event with his teammate. He got a great start into third, but was shuffled back. Then around lap six, a technical issue sidelined Daniels.

The Estenson Racing squad now heads to Thunder Valley for the 73rd Peoria TT on Saturday, August 17, in Peoria, Illinois.

Ryan Wells -- AFT Singles #94:

“It was a good day. Better than the previous race, that’s for sure. It was a fun race all day, it just seemed like we were consistently off the winning pace. I think we were fast, but in the Heat race, I didn’t have enough to win it and we were third. Then, in the Semi, the same deal. I couldn’t really draft for the win and ended up fourth. In the Main Event, I was just kind of in tow. It was a fun race, one of the more fun miles I’ve raced on the 450’s; good, close racing. I was just missing some little things, I think. With these newer Yamahas, we’re learning every weekend what’s better and worse for us. But overall, it was a good day in fifth. Hopefully we can build from that going into the rest of the races this year and try to come back swinging to get a couple more wins.”

Dallas Daniels -- AFT Singles #163:

“The day didn’t start off well with a problem with the bike in Q2, so my qualifying position for the heat wasn’t very good. I got a good start and was able to finish fourth and was on the front row for the Semi. I was right up with the front guys and got third for another front-row start in the Main. I got another great start and was in the top five for a while, but then the bike did exactly what it did in qualifying. It just lost power so I wasn’t able to finish. It’s disappointing, but we will be back stronger for Peoria.”



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

DALTON GAUTHIER DELIVERS HARLEY-DAVIDSON XG750R’S FIRST RACE WIN AT SACRAMENTO MILE

First Production Twins Win for the Harley-Davidson XG750R

SACRAMENTO – Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R) won a hotly contested race that saw him and teammate James Rispoli (No. 71 Black Hills Harley-Davidson XG750R) reel back the early race leaders in the Production Twins class at the Sacramento Mile.

The victory came in Dalton’s second ride on the XG750R, and the third round of competition for the bike in the Production Twins class. The win showcased the performance potential of the motorcycle in a class centered around true production-based race machines.

“The whole Vance & Hines crew, everybody at Harley and Black Hills Harley-Davidson put me on this awesome motorcycle… This bike was working so good tonight. I couldn’t believe it. Right from the first lap in the Main, I knew it was going to be a good one. I got off to a good start, just like I wanted. I passed Cory around the outside in Turn 3 and just set sail. I just did consistent laps and tried to do my own race. I looked back halfway through the race and nobody was there, so I was like, ‘sweet!’”

“It’s great to see a rising young talent like Dalton achieve success so quickly in the Production Twins class,” said Eric Jensen, Global Brand Marketing Lead for Harley-Davidson. “As a brand with so much history in professional flat track racing, we’re proud to support the next generation of stars in the sport and really excited to see him add to the long racing legacy of Harley-Davidson Motor Company.”

About Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Since 1903, Harley-Davidson has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom by leading the innovation of two-wheeled mobility. The company offers an expanding range of leading-edge, distinctive and customizable motorcycles and brings the brand to life through Harley-Davidson riding experiences and exceptional motorcycle parts, accessories, riding gear and apparel. Learn more about how Harley-Davidson is Building the Next Generation of Riders at www.harley-davidson.com.