American Flat Track: Ventura Short Track Is Saturday, May 11

American Flat Track: Ventura Short Track Is Saturday, May 11

© 2024, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By American Flat Track:

Back to the Beach: Progressive AFT Returns to Ventura Raceway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 7, 2024) – Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, is set to make its second-ever stop at Ventura Raceway this Saturday, May 11, for the Memphis Shades Ventura Short Track in Ventura, California.

Last season’s inaugural visit proved memorable for both the race action and the setting. With the stunning backdrop of the Pacific Ocean just beyond the fences that line the venue’s 1/5-mile dirt oval, the world’s greatest motorcycle dirt trackers put on a remarkable show in front of a packed house.

Mission AFT SuperTwins title aspirant Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) ultimately came out on top following a day that saw lines and strategies continually tested and re-evaluated.

Not surprisingly, Daniels was joined on the podium by reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750) as their double-digit podium streaks overlapped in California.

Meanwhile, 2024 championship leader Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) missed out after getting caught up in an accordion-style crash that also claimed Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750), and Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Dodge Bros. Racing/Castrol Harley-Davidson XR750).

Robinson is eager to not just make amends but extend a title advantage built upon four consecutive podiums highlighted by a pair of victories. Lewis, Vanderkooi, and Halbert, similarly, have the skills to flip the script this weekend.

Uncharacteristically, two-time series king Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke) has yet to finish on the podium this season. That feels like a drought destined to be corrected in short order, perhaps as quickly and convincingly as by way of a victorious performance this weekend.

This weekend will see Kayl Kolkman (No. 98 Underground Suspension/Ohlins USA Yamaha MT-07) race in a Progressive AFT round for the first time since the series’ last stop at Ventura Raceway. For the past 15 years, Kolkman has never raced more than a limited schedule, but he’s a threat to upset the established order whenever and wherever he turns up. That’s most definitely true on his home turf, as the Ventura native clocked the fastest time in practice and paced a qualifying session a year ago.

Several others merit monitoring, including the likes of Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), Brandon Price (No. 92 Memphis Shades/Corbin/OTBR Yamaha MT-07), and Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Transalp), along with premier-class rookies Max Whale (No. 18 Latus Motors Racing/Liqui Moly Harley-Davidson XG750R), Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Mission Foods/Zanotti Racing KTM 790 Duke), Declan Bender (No. 70 GOMR/BriggsAuto.com/Martin Trucking Indian FTR750), and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Big Red Super Twins/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Transalp).

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Last year’s Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER Main Event at Ventura Raceway ranked as among the most rollicking of the entire season. On that night, double defending champion Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F) took the honors at the conclusion of a spectacular showdown with fellow prodidy Chase Saathoff (No. 88 JPG Motorsports Honda CRF450R).

Kopp returns with the points lead and a pair of early-season Short Track wins working in his favor, while Saathoff is fresh off his long-awaited maiden Progressive AFT win and motivated to immediately claim a second.

If the entertainment factor of a prospective rematch wasn’t enough on its own, throw in Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), who wouldn’t fully find his front-running form until the round after Ventura one year ago.

While Kopp, Saathoff, and Drane come into the weekend ranked first through third in the points and the odds-on podium favorites, the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles class is famous for springing surprises. Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F), James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450), and Logan Eisenhard (No. 66 Hannum’s Harley-Davidson KTM 450 SX-F) are just a sampling of the riders with the potential to upset the plans of the top three.

And don’t overlook the contingent of quick Californians hoping to impress in their home state, a crew that includes the likes of Travis Petton IV (No. 82 ECG Racing/A.M Ortega KTM 450 SX-F), Tyler Raggio (No. 55 Raggio Racing/Sluggo Racing KTM 450 SX-F), and Tarren Santero (No. 75 Vinson Construction/P&M Motorcycles Honda CRF450R).

Off-track attractions will be in abundance as well, with numerous vendors, designated motorcycle parking, and a variety of food and beverage options featured on site.

General Admission Grandstand tickets are $45 (kids 12 and under $5), while Reserved Grandstand tickets are only $10 more (All Ages). Back this season, a Pit Pass Upgrade provides all-day access to the pit area where fans can scope out the world’s fastest dirt track motorcycles and get up close and personal with the stars of the sport.

Tickets are going fast, so visit https://www.tixr.com/groups/americanflattrack/events/ventura-short-track-85607 to reserve your seats today.

Gates will open for fans at 5:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. PT) with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT). You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FloRacing. Motorsports fans can subscribe to FloRacing to enjoy over 1,000 live motorsports events in 2024. FloSports is available by visiting https://flosports.link/aft or by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast.

FOX Sports coverage of the Memphis Shades Ventura Short Track, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, May 19, at 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT).

For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.

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