Progressive AFT Set for Epic Daytona Bike Week Opener at Mission Volusia Half-Mile Doubleheader
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 8, 2022) – One of the most anticipated seasons in Progressive American Flat Track history is only days away as the 2022 campaign is set to kick off in an epic Daytona Bike Week doubleheader. The 18-round fight featuring the world’s most elite motorcycle dirt track racers vying for the historic championship will begin this Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11 with the Mission Volusia Half-Mile I & II at Volusia Speedway Park in De Leon Springs, Florida.
The upcoming season will provide the latest chapter in what’s already established as one of the all-time great rivalries in a sport that has been defined by them over the decades. Over the past three seasons, former mentor Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and protégé Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) have waged a titanic battle for supremacy that couldn’t possibly be any more evenly matched.
Since 2017, reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Champion Mees has collected 932 points, 20 victories, and one championship. Bauman, for his part, has collected 932 points, 14 victories, and two championships. Already among the most talented, accomplished, and determined riders in recent memory, their rivalry fuels them both to ever greater heights.
That’s not to suggest the emergence of additional championship threats is out of the question. For long stretches of each of the past three seasons, Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) has looked every bit the equal of Mees and Bauman, and he has the potential to put an entire season together at that level. Robinson’s Mission Roof Systems teammate, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), meanwhile, has another year of seasoning and experience on the Indian FTR750 under his belt. Last year, Vanderkooi notched up four runner-up results in his quest for a maiden Mission SuperTwins win, and it was a relatively rare occurrence he didn’t finish in the top four.
The Estenson Racing Yamaha effort is expected to be more formidable than ever in 2022. JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) took a big step forward a year ago, starting with his runner-up result in the season opener at Volusia Speedway Park and ending with a fifth-placed championship ranking. With a leveled playing field working in his favor, Beach has all the tools necessary to crash the party.
That same reasoning extends to Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) as well. Bauman is only a couple seasons removed from finishing third in the Grand National Championship and will be well motivated to put Harley-Davidson back up front.
And we’d be remiss if we failed to mention the class’ most recent winner, Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), who claimed a maiden premier-class victory in stunning fashion at the ‘21 season finale.
Adding considerable excitement to this year’s Mission SuperTwins class is the addition of two riders who already rank as among the most decorated and popular riders in the sport. Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) – the all-time winningest rider in Parts Unlimited AFT Singles history – and Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) – that same class’ only back-to-back champion – are set to graduate to premier-class duty in equally high-profile fashion this season.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
2022 marks the swansong season for the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines category before it merges with Mission SuperTwins in 2023. That fact only increases its relevance this season, as it’ll serve as a preview for the premier-class production-based ruleset moving forward.
And those rules will be tested on track with the exciting introduction of the Mission Production Twins Challenge, in which the top four finishers in the Mission Production Twins Main Event gain entry into the Mission SuperTwins Main as well.
Even without that tie to the premier class, the ‘22 Mission Production Twins championship offers an abundance of intrigue. Persistent class power and defending champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Mission Foods Yamaha MT-07) will put the #1 plate on the line as he looks to continue to rack up race wins along the way. Texter is long past his underdog days with the ‘19 and ‘21 championships on his résumé and last year’s season-long domination still fresh in his opponents’ collective memory.
He’ll face a multi-brand challenge right from the start with proven Mission Production Twins race winners representing three makes other than his own, including Chad Cose (No. 49 DPC Racing/Voodoo Ranger Harley-Davidson XG750R), Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT), Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Schaeffer’s Motorsports/Rausch Fuel & Oil KTM 890 Duke) and Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R).
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
With the aforementioned Daniels and Texter-Bauman having graduated to Mission SuperTwins, this year’s Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER promises to be a wide-open affair.
Two-time championship runner-up Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) will do everything in his power to prevent that from happening; his ‘21 form suggests the Australian could be tough for the competition to deal with if he continues on his current trajectory.
That said, last year’s Rookie of the Year, Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), is on an equally steep trajectory and comes armed with equal equipment.
There were times in 2021 when the American Honda-backed Turner Racing bikes looked to have speed on everyone else in the field. Riding the fleet of fast CRF450Rs in ‘22 is an all-new, ultra-talented trio in ‘19 class champ Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), last year’s third-ranked Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), and heralded rookie Chase Saathoff (No. 106 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R).
Fast rising Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) – who won a pair of races for American Honda a year ago – was signed by Estenson Racing to fill the seat of reigning champion Daniels and represent Yamaha in the hotly contested class.
And Brandon Kitchen (No. 80 Vance & Hines/Husqvarna Motorcycles FC450), Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R), and Ferran Cardús (No. 377 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bullet Strong Racing Honda CRF450R) are just small sampling of other riders who harbor genuine race-winning aspirations in a class that consistently delivers fireworks.
Buy your tickets in advance for the Mission Volusia Half-Mile I & II at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3666. General Admission Grandstand tickets are just $40 and kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Upgraded options include Reserved Grandstand, Premium Reserved Grandstand, and the Turn 1 Paddock Grandstand offering, granting fans all-day access to the pits along with exclusive access to the trackside grandstand located just outside Turn 1.
New for 2022, Paddock Access Upgrades are also available for purchase, providing 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. Get a double dose of Progressive AFT action and save some cash with the Doubleheader Discount, which knocks $10 off a pair of Thursday and Friday tickets when purchased together.
Gates will open for fans at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT on both days with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT ahead the evenings’ Main Event programs. You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities free via Facebook up until Opening Ceremonies. Fans can then purchase access to watch Opening Ceremonies, Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations via Facebook Paid Online Events for $3.99 if purchased 24 hours or more in advance, or $4.99 if purchased on the day of the event.
The Mission Volusia Half-Mile I & II will premiere in back-to-back one-hour telecasts on FS1 on Sunday, March 20, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT., including 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 Facebook are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all 18 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. Viewers can watch livestream coverage of every round in the Facebook mobile app, Facebook desktop site or on the Facebook Watch mobile app. To watch the livestream on TV, fans can download the Facebook Watch TV app, or cast to a TV from the Facebook mobile app. Facebook Watch is available through Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One.