2020 Springfield Mile 1-2 Results

| September 7, 2020
American Flat Track superstar Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) added to his burgeoning Mile legend with a triumphant ride in Sunday’s thrilling Springfield Mile II presented by Memphis Shades at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

AFT SuperTwins

2020 Springfield Mile 1-2 Results
Jared Mees scored a hard-fought win at the Springfield Mile 2.
Almost from the start, the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event took shape as a four-rider showdown emerged, one foreshadowed by the top fastest times clocked in the AFT SuperTwins SuperPole qualifying event. A battle featuring Mees, home-track hero Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Happy Trails Racing FTR750), ‘13 Springfield double winner Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) and reigning Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) left fans breathless as the leaders diced it out throughout the race.
Robinson looked to be the first to drop from contention, drifting to more than a half-second back when the high line stopped working for him with eight minutes to go. Rather than cruise to an easy fourth, however, he altered his strategy and made a dive-bombing low line work to his advantage. He officially rejoined the fray with five minutes left, just as Carver and Mees were throwing elbows at triple-digit speeds.
With two minutes to go, Bauman struggled to maintain the pace. He stayed close enough to take advantage should anything happen but didn’t appear to have what it took to go for the win.
Carver, on the other hand, was in rare form; the Springfield crowd favorite was comfortable enough to blast around the high line while looking back over his shoulder at his rivals, sliding his FTR750 at full song. Unfortunately, his race ended in bitter disappointment when his machine broke while running a close second with less than two laps remaining.
That unfortunate turn of events for Carver left Mees and Robinson to decide the winner. Robinson attempted to square up Mees coming off of Turn 4 for the final time and nearly pulled it off, falling just 0.043 seconds short of victory. Bauman rounded out the podium just under two seconds back.
Mees said, “I’ve raced a lot of Springfield Miles from like 2002 on, and this was one of the most different Springfield Mile racing lines I’ve ever raced. I’m not saying that in a bad way — it was cool that we had a really different track from yesterday to today, and it was just down to which team and rider could adapt to it the quickest.”
Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) won out over Davis Fisher (No. 67 BriggsAuto.com Indian FTR750) and Bryan Smith (No. 4 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) in their battle for fourth.
Saturday’s winner, Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), was stuck in the second pack early before suffering a mechanical issue, which forced him out completely with eight minutes remaining on the clock, after another day of clocking very fast times in qualifying sessions and the AFT SuperTwins SuperPole.
As a result, Mees now boasts a relatively healthy title advantage over primary rival Bauman (132-119). Halbert remains in third with 95 points but lost most of his padding over Robinson (88) and the second Bauman (81) going into next weekend’s doubleheader at Williams Grove Speedway.

AFT Production Twins

It took James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) more than 10 years to return to the top of the dirt track podium but only two races to get back there again. The AFT Production Twins points leader extended his championship advantage on Sunday with a victorious ride in an absolute stunner at the Springfield Mile.
Reigning champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) stole the holeshot but was quickly eclipsed by the twin XG750Rs of Rispoli and Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R).
During the opening few minutes of the race, those three were in control; Cose did the bulk of the leading over Rispoli, with Texter keeping him honest from close behind in third.
However, when Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) blasted around the outside to move into second and then Hayden Gillim (No. 159 Burcham & Glidden Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) went way low to drive under the entire pack and briefly move into the lead, all bets were off.
An astonishing final five minutes saw eight riders within a half-second of the lead, trading positions in a relentless, nearly un-trackable fashion. Virtually every line was in play and none of the eight seemed any more likely than another to get to the checkered flag first.
The wild Main Event took another twist with less than a minute remaining on the clock when Patrick Buchanan (No. 175 Parkinson Brothers Racing/PRO 1 Industries Kawasaki Ninja 650) went down and brought out the red flag.
After a short stoppage, the melee picked up right where it left off. At the restart, Varnes seized control of what had become a four-lap sprint to the stripe. Saturday’s winner held the lead spot until the clock hit 0:00 — indicating that two laps remained — and Cose and Lowe stormed up alongside.
Rispoli re-entered the picture as the white flag waved, diving under Cose to take the lead on the final lap. A perfect launch off of T4 secured the win, while Lowe and Cose also overhauled Varnes to finish in second and third, respectively.
Gillim finished fifth with Texter, Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650), Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Lessley Brothers Racing/Competitive SheetMetal Yamaha MT-07), Ryan Wells (No. 94 Parkinson Bros./Waters Autobody Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R), and Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Roof Systems/Motion Pro Kawasaki Ninja 650) finishing 6-10, all within one second of the win.
Race-winner Rispoli said, “Man, I am so stoked! I love it! I got second here last year and finished fifth yesterday and we were in a bit of a dismal place. We had to respond, and the whole Latus Motors team put together a great package today. We made a lot of changes to get in the hunt.
“It was a carnage race — absolute carnage. In the end, I fired it up the inside in Turns 3 and 4, was able to get a little bit of a gap, tucked for dear life, and no one came by. I’m fired up.”

2020 American Flat Track Championship

Illinois State Fairground
Springfield, Illinois
RESULTS (September 6, 2020)

AFT SuperTwins Main (Sunday)

1. Jared Mees (Ind) 25 Laps
2. Brandon Robinson (Ind) 0.043
3. Briar Bauman (Ind) 1.991
4. Bronson Bauman (Ind) 7.749
5. Davis Fisher (Ind) 8.067
6. Bryan Smith (H-D) 8.260
7. Dalton Gauthier (H-D) 11.940
8. Jarod Vanderkooi (H-D) 13.944
9. Ryan Varnes (Ind) 14.928
10. Dan Bromley (Ind) 14.935

AFT Production Twins Main (Sunday)

1. James Rispoli (H-D) 17 Laps
2. Ben Lowe (Yam) 0.091
3. Chad Cose (H-D) 0.125
4. Ryan Varnes (Kaw) 0.145
5. Hayden Gillim (H-D) 0.326
6. Cory Texter (Yam) 0.588
7. Danny Eslick (Kaw) 0.613
8. Nick Armstrong (Yam) 0.672
9. Ryan Wells (H-D) 0.909
10. Kevin Stollings (Kaw) 0.990

SPRINGFIELD MILE 1

(Saturday)

Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) provided an undeniable reminder of his immense talent with a commanding performance in Saturday’s AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event at the Springfield Mile I presented by Memphis Shades.

2020-Springfield-mile-1-results
Sammy Halbert won the first of two Springfield Miles this weekend. Photo: Dave Hoenig

“Slammin’ Sammy” has long been regarded as one of the elite riders on the American Flat Track scene, but his 14th career Grand National Championship race win came as his first in more than four years. Over that span, he’d found himself on the wrong end of Indian Motorcycle’s recent series domination. Now that he’s got an FTR750 of his own, Halbert once again figures to be a significant factor in the ’20 AFT SuperTwins title fight.

That possibility seemed obvious in Saturday’s 14-minute plus two laps Main at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Halbert and multi-time champ Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) broke free from the pack as early as the race’s opening lap and settled in for what appeared likely to be a race-long shootout to the checkered flag.

After the two swapped the spot back and forth numerous times early, Mees seemed content to just sit on Halbert’s rear wheel and bide his time. However, with two minutes to go, Halbert proved that it was him, in fact, who was waiting to make his move.

At that point, Halbert threw down the fastest laps the track had seen all day. Mees had no answer and all he could do was watch Halbert sprint away to a near two-second margin of victory.

Halbert said, “Oh man, it’s so long overdue. It’s sort of surreal. Some days it just happens — like I didn’t even have to try too hard. I’m so stoked. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Kenny Coolbeth and John Weiss with the Coolbeth-Nila Racing team.

“I had a fun race there. For a while, I didn’t think I could shake Jared, but I just started to put it together. I could tell he was struggling off of Turn 4, spinning a little bit. I just kept trying to break him and finally, I did. It feels amazing — I’m going to try to make a habit of it.”

Mees was able to cruise to second with a multi-rider fight for the final spot on the box more than ten seconds back of the win.

Springfield hero Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Happy Trails Racing FTR750) took home third in the end, out-dueling fourth-placed Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) and fifth-placed Davis Fisher (No. 67 BriggsAuto.com Indian FTR750).

Reigning Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) finished in seventh, 0.150 seconds behind Brandon Price (No. 92 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750).

As a result, Mees has reclaimed the points lead and remains the sole rider with a perfect podium record on the season. Bauman is now five points back (107-102), while the on-form Halbert is a strong third with 91.

Halbert will look to close in even further on Sunday. He said, “The guy that wins tomorrow is the one who gets to enjoy it all week, so we’re going to put our heads down and try to do that. I think we’re ready and I’m feeling good.”

AFT Production Twins

Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) simply would not break despite being subjected to constant, intense pressure en route to his first-career Mile win in Saturday’s AFT Production Twins Main Event.

Following an eventful opening two laps in which Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650), Jeremiah Duffy (No. 42 Sammy O Racing/ERT Kawasaki Ninja 650), James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) all took a turn at the lead, Varnes powered into first with eight minutes remaining on the clock.

At that point, it seemed likely to be just the next in a countless number of lead changes. However, as it turned out, the 2019 class runner-up wouldn’t relinquish the lead.

Varnes led a four-rider breakaway with Lowe, Rispoli, and Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) close behind in his wake. Cose maneuvered into second and then spent the next six minutes plus two laps looking for any way past Varnes to no avail.

Thanks to an ideal combination of precision, patience, and power, Varnes held on to claim the checkered flag 0.116 seconds ahead of Cose. Lowe, in turn, tried his best to overhaul Cose in Turn 3 on the final lap but came up just 0.027 seconds short in third.

Varnes said, “Springfield is definitely a legendary track — it’s pretty iconic. To get a win today feels pretty good. We had some issues earlier in the day, but we battled through them. The bike ran awful in the Semi. We tore our secondary bike apart just to get our primary bike back up and running for that Main Event and luckily it just ran flawlessly. It was so easy to ride and those couldn’t draft by me it didn’t seem like.”

Rispoli faded in the final minutes and reigning AFT Production Twins champ Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) took full advantage. Texter dropped the ex-road racing ace to fifth and clawed his way from some two seconds back to end up just over a half-second off the win in fourth.

Varnes became the first two-time winner in the class in 2020, and today’s result helped tighten the championship fight considerably. Rispoli still leads with 99 points, but Texter (91), Varnes (85), and Lowe (85) are all well within striking distance heading into Sunday’s rematch.

FRIDAY SINGLES DOUBLEHEADER

Main Event 1

Perhaps the most anticipated showdown of the 2020 AFT Singles season in the pre-pandemic age was Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R) versus Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) at the Peoria TT. Even though COVID-19 made that an impossibility this year, American Flat Track fans were provided a most worthy alternative as the two waged an epic battle just an hour down the road in Springfield.
However, for the bulk of the race, Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) seemed set to relegate their scrap to one for second place.
Expertly exploiting the ST skills that made him a winner in the discipline in both the premier class and at the AFT Singles level, Rush executed a couple of quick moves to take control of the race in its opening stages. He then rode with teammate Daniels in formation behind him.
The two looked to power their way to an easy Estenson 1-2 before their getaway was cut short by a red flag with four minutes remaining on the clock. That development provided bonafide Short Track legend Wiles with another shot at the win. Wiles had raced forward all evening after starting his Semi from dead last, and the stoppage allowed him to reset from third, lining up just inches behind Rush and Daniels.
While Wiles took full advantage and pounced on Daniels immediately, Rush was simply too strong; the 2019 class runner-up more than had the measure of the field in terms of raw speed. He blasted off and ripped open a multi-second gap… at least until he lost that imposing advantage with just over one minute remaining on the clock.
Wiles inherited the lead following Rush’s mishap in Turn 2 and was well-positioned to translate it into victory until Daniels pulled out a late strike. The second-year ace reeled in the veteran superstar and slid underneath him with just 12 seconds (+ two short laps) remaining to decide the race.
Once through, Daniels instantly opened up some breathing space and secured the checkered flag with 0.644 seconds to spare.
Afterward, Daniels said, “It was kind of a crazy race with the red flag while me and my teammate were running 1-2. It sucks that (Rush) went down. He was going away with it; honestly, I don’t think I could have caught him. I was running third and Henry was kind of going away, so I got into second as quick as I could. I settled in and saw I was kind of catching him, so I knew I had to go for it. I put my head down and caught him with about two laps to go. It feels good.
“Thanks to the whole Estenson Monster Energy Yamaha team. Those guys are busting their tails. We’ve kind of had a rough start to the year — I say that even though I’m the first double winner. But we’ll never give up, and we’ll just keep working.”
Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Roof Systems DFW/Duffy Fleet Services KTM 450 SX-F) held off Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) to claim the final spot on the box. Trent Lowe (No. 48 Roof Systems of Dallas/Shoei Helmets Honda CRF450R) rounded out the top five.
Rush remounted to finish in 13th.

Main Event 2

All eyes were on polesitter Rush with the expectation that he might just take out his frustrations on the field in Main Event 2. However, any plans he held to make quick work of the competition were foiled when he was beaten off the line by heralded rookie Trevor Brunner (No. 211 Demske Racing/KMA Racing Honda CRF450R).
Rush hounded Brunner for the opening handful of laps, but then the race took an unexpected shape. Once he’d settled in, Brunner slowly started edging away from Rush at the front.
From that point forward, the 2019 Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award winner performed like a battle-hardened ten-year pro. Despite a tricky racetrack and an increasingly opaque visor, Brunner cleared off to claim his maiden AFT Singles victory with 1.354 seconds in hand.
Brunner said, “Pretty much the whole right side and middle (of my visor) was all fogged up. I could kinda see out of the left corner, so we kept her pinned and hoped for the best. It was a long race for sure. It was a really tough track which tested your fitness to the max. It felt like forever, but we pulled it off and I’m so happy. I’m ecstatic for my whole team and everyone who helped me get to where I am.”
After the youngster had asserted himself at the front, things got a bit more interesting behind him. Race favorite Rush not only fell off the pace of the leader, he also fell into the clutches of Wiles and Whale.
Wiles slashed his way up from fifth early to ultimately finish in second and may have actually had the speed to challenge Brunner if he’d gotten away more cleanly. After losing out to Wiles with 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Rush was displaced off the podium altogether at the race’s end by Aussie Whale.
Main Event 1 winner Daniels came home one position behind teammate Rush in fifth.
As a result of his double runner-up evening, Wiles now boasts a 20-point advantage in the title fight with 108 points to Daniels’ and Whale’s 88. CN

2020 American Flat Track Championship

Illinois State Fairground
Springfield, Illinois
RESULTS (September 4-5, 2020)

AFT SuperTwins Main (Saturday)

1. Sammy Halbert (Ind) 26 Laps
2. Jared Mees (Ind) 1.980
3. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Ind) 10.449
4. Brandon Robinson (Ind) 10.490
5. Davis Fisher (Ind) 11.769
6. Brandon Price (Ind) 12.367
7. Briar Bauman (Ind) 12.517
8. Bronson Bauman (Ind) 13.580
9. Dalton Gauthier (H-D) 13.639
10. Jarod Vanderkooi (H-D) 15.130

AFT Production Twins Main (Saturday)

1. Ryan Varnes (Kaw) 19 Laps
2. Chad Cose (H-D) 0.116
3. Ben Lowe (Yam) 0.143
4. Cory Texter (Yam) 0.511
5. James Rispoli (H-D) 3.836
6. Danny Eslick (Kaw) 8.984
7. Ryan Wells (Kaw) 8.985
8. Jeremiah Duffy (Kaw) 10.095
9. Patrick Buchanan (Kaw) 10.684
10. Dylan Bell (H-D) 11.198

AFT Singles Short Track Mains (Friday)

 Main 1

1. Dallas Daniels (Yam) 27 Laps
2. Henry Wiles (Hon) 0.644
3. Morgen Mischler (KTM) 1.738
4. Max Whale (Kaw) 1.966
5. Trent Lowe (Hon) 4.898
6. Michael Inderbitzin (Hon) 4.933
7. Jacob Lehmann (Hon) 5.539
8. Aidan RoosEvans (Yam) 6.415
9. Cameron Smith (Hon) 6.567
10. Trevor Brunner (Hon) 6.986

Main 2

1. Trevor Brunner (Hon) 27 Laps
2. Henry Wiles (Hon) 1.354
3. Max Whale (Kaw) 2.404
4. Michael Rush (Yam) 2.712
5. Dallas Daniels (Yam) 4.253
6. Andrew Luker (Yam) 4.603
7. Jacob Lehmann (Hon) 4.884
8. Trent Lowe (Hon) 8.058
9. Cole Zabala (Hon) 8.113
10. Brandon Kitchen (KTM) 8.629

 

Click here for complete 2020 Springfield Mile 1 results.

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