Progressive AFT Set for Double Showdown at OKC Mile
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For the first time in 2021, the full power of Progressive American Flat Track will be unleashed on a big Mile racetrack with this weekend’s Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City OKC Mile I & II presented by KICKER at Remington Park, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Friday, June 18 and Saturday, June 19.
Blending maximum velocity, intensity, strategy, and bravery, the series’ Miles stand out as highlights on the annual calendar. The OKC Mile represents an outstanding example of the discipline, delivering ultra-close racing at a state-of-the-art facility in front of massive crowds.
Coming off of the cathartic victory of reigning two-time champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) at the recent Chicago Half-Mile, his Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle title rival Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) will be seriously motivated to counter with a victory (or two) of his own this weekend.
While he built his reputation largely on his Half-Mile prowess — and later his all-around game — Mees has developed into one of the sport’s all-time great Milers in recent years. Since 2016, he’s racked up an astonishing 15 Mile wins, including all three previous stops at Remington Park.
Even though title hopeful Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) is out of action while on the mend from injury, Mees’ path to victory will be all the more difficult to negotiate considering this weekend marks the anticipated return of “Mile Master” Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley/Howerton Motorsports Indian FTR750).
A tactical genius in high-speed drafting wars, Smith is tied with the iconic Bubba Shobert for third on the all-time Mile wins list at 25. Now picking and choosing his best races and funneling all of his focus and effort into winning those rather than the season-long grind of a championship chase, Smith could be a serious threat at the OKC Mile.
Despite the fact that the OKC Mile is one of the few Miles Smith has yet to conquer, he’s been on the podium in each of his three attempts. Given a sniff of the draft on the final lap, victory #26 could be within his grasp.
Estenson Yamaha teammates Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) are separated by just a single point atop the AFT Singles championship order thanks to their consistent excellence. Rush has yet to finish off the podium this year, while Daniels has finished no lower than fourth and holds the slight advantage thanks to his Atlanta Super TT victory.
Both riders are proven Mile experts — Rush in particular — so it would be a surprise if they weren’t among the lead group battling it out for the wins again this weekend.
However, all eyes will be on the class’ all-time winningest rider, Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE). Aggressive, instinctive and intelligent, Texter-Bauman is nearly unbeatable on high-speed tracks when everything is clicking, as evidenced by her record eight-career Mile wins, including one at Remington Park. Should she up that tally to ten, Texter-Bauman would instantly reignite the title pursuit she kicked off in double-win fashion back in March at Volusia Speedway Park.
Even though he’s best known for his legendary TT and ST accomplishments, Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) was actually the best Miler in the class during last year’s abbreviated schedule with a win and runner-up at the 2020 Indy Mile. The Honda ace could use a similar result this weekend to kickstart his championship campaign.
AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) leads the AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines field into the OKC Mile fresh off his second victory of the season at the Chicago Half-Mile.
The championship’s top four ranked riders — Texter, Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) — have put themselves in that position with consistently strong performances.
Oklahoma native Danny Eslick (No. 64 Pro One Industries Kawasaki Ninja 650), fresh off of a third place finish at the Chicago Half-Mile, stands confident as he prepares to line up on his home turf.
In its return, the Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City OKC Mile brings back with it the open paddock experience and the return of a rider autograph session to precede Opening Ceremonies both days. Chasing Neon will entertain with its eclectic mix of live party music that ranges from country to classic rock and everything in between. Additionally, the Fan Zone and vendor area will keep spectators fully fed, hydrated, and stimulated all day at the track.
Tickets are available for purchase at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3324. General Admission tickets on the Apron start at $35 (kids 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult GA ticket). Outdoor Premium GA Grandstand tickets are $40 ($20 for kids 12 and under), and Indoor Premium GA Grandstands tickets are $50 ($25 for kids 12 and under). A number of upgraded ticket options are also available, although several have already sold out and others are going fast. Fans who purchase Friday and Saturday General Admission tickets in advance will receive a $10 multi-day discount.
The gates will open for fans both days at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT with Opening Ceremonies set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
The Indian Motorcycle of Oklahoma City OKC Mile I & II presented by KICKER will air back-to-back on NBCSN on Saturday, June 26, starting at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT, featuring exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage accompanied by expert commentary.
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