2020 Daytona Short Track 1 And 2 Results

| October 18, 2020

Following 15 rounds of Progressive American Flat Track action, Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) successfully completed his bid to repeat as AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Champion in Saturday evening’s decisive Progressive AFT Finale at Daytona II.

Daytona Short Track 2

SuperTwins

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Briar Bauman celebrates his second consecutive AFT SuperTwins Championship.

Even with an extended pandemic-imposed pause, the highly anticipated 2020 showdown between Bauman and multi-time series king Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) proved more than worth the wait. The momentum swung back and forth on a nearly weekend-by-weekend basis, leaving both superstars still in control of their destiny heading into this weekend’s Daytona finale.

Bauman seized control of the title fight with a clutch runner-up finish on Friday, which seemingly made the final task before him relatively easy by his standards. All he needed to do at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night was score an eighth-place finish to cap off a title defense that saw him rack up six wins, four seconds, three thirds, and one seventh along the way.

However, the level of difficulty was ratcheted up significantly due to weather; rainy conditions forced multiple delays in the program, the Semis were cancelled, and the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Main was pushed to the front of the pack once conditions allowed to ensure the season’s premier-class champ was crowned before the night was out. The changes and unpredictability of the day could have easily thrown an admittedly stressed Bauman out of his rhythm.

Instead he responded like a champion. Starting on the front row with Mees as a result of their qualifying performance, Bauman got away in third and glued himself to the rear wheel of his championship rival.

Meanwhile, Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) proved invincible around the Short Track at Daytona for a second consecutive night. He assumed the lead on lap one and held the position through the checkered flag.

Mees did well to keep Robinson in his sights, clinging on in hopes of a win that would give him the best possible shot at the championship should Bauman make a critical mistake.

Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Happy Trails Racing FTR750) ran in fourth deep into the contest, holding back a racy Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) for a solid five minutes. Unable to find an opening, Halbert finally made one; he pushed up the inside of Carver to take over fourth, knocking his rival back to seventh in the process.

Halbert then reeled in the leaders, arriving within striking distance of Bauman and a potential podium finish just as the race entered its final two laps. Bauman saw what was happening and understood full well what could happen. Rather than risk getting similarly bumped down the order and out of the points lead, Bauman allowed Halbert by and then cruised to a title-clinching fourth-place finish.

After claiming his eighth-career victory, Robinson said, “This is amazing. Through the ups and downs we’ve had this season to come out of here with the Daytona double — there’s nothing better. This is insane. We’re going to be able to go into this offseason and get healthy and come out swinging in 2021. I’m ecstatic.”

“Obviously, things went really, really well,” back-to-back champ Bauman said. “I was able to do what we came for and what we set out to do all season for Jess Garcia and the whole Garcia family — win the championship. Jess was with me every step of the way. It means a lot to me to be able to fulfill what I showed up to do. He was one of my best friends. It’s just an honor to win for him, Indian Motorcycle, Progressive Insurance, and everyone else behind the team.”

AFT Singles

Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R) demonstrated once again why he’s widely considered one of the greatest Short Track riders in the history of the sport, holding off Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) and Trent Lowe (No. 48 Roof Systems of Dallas, TX/Shoei Helmets Honda CRF450R) to win an abbreviated AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event.

Shortened to just four minutes plus two laps due to the numerous weather delays, Wiles shot out to the lead from the start, and protected the groove from there. Whale sought any way past Wiles but simply could not find one. Lowe closed in as well, but the experienced ST master ahead of them refused to give way.

After taking his second win of 2020, Wiles said, “I was stoked to get that start. I told myself I can’t not win now. It was my race to win. Max kept me honest, and I could see Trent was in the picture too. I put in smooth, consistent laps. I’d go just a touch easy on some laps, and then I’d pick it up a little bit on some other laps. I tried to ride the best that I could so I didn’t give Max a good shot at poking it up on me. I’m stoked my wife and daughter came out for this — it means a lot to me.”

Despite losing to Wiles on the night, Whale’s runner-up result was enough to beat him for second in their championship fight (215-208).

Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) set the fastest lap of the race en route to fourth with Andrew Luker (No. 11 Rackley Racing/Keeran Racing Yamaha YZ450F) completing the top five just behind.

2020 AFT Singles champ Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) was forced to start from Row 4 with no Semi to improve his starting position. He made up a couple positions to end his title-winning season with a run to ninth. Sandwiched between his opening round failure to qualify for the Main and his ninth-placed finale, Daniels packed in a remarkable eighth wins, nine podiums and twelve top fives.

AFT Production Twins

2019 AFT Production Twins champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) made the absolute most of his last chance to run the #1 plate before handing it over to the newly-crowned James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R), logging a blowout victory in the final race of the 2020 Progressive American Flat Track season.

Rispoli crashed and found himself trapped under his motorcycle after coming together with Friday-winner Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) in the race’s opening corner. That incident brought out a red flag and moved Rispoli from Row 1 to the back of the field.

Texter ripped into the lead off the line at the restart and proceeded to assemble a massive advantage en route to his fourth triumph of a hard-fought yet ultimately unsuccessful title defense.

He said, “It feels amazing. I’ve wanted to win in Daytona my whole life. I was actually the first rider to ever ride this racetrack back in 2010. I helped test it out for them, but I’ve always sucked here. So this is awesome. I feel competitive everywhere right now. I wish the season could keep going or start over right now.”

Lewis backed up Royal Enfield’s maiden Progressive AFT victory with its second-ever podium finish the very next night.

Lewis was followed closely to the flag by third-place finisher Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07), while Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) edged Patrick Buchanan (No. 175 Parkinson Brothers Racing/PRO 1 Industries Kawasaki Ninja 650) as the two completed the top five.

Meanwhile, despite being faced with an extremely difficult track to overtake on and very little time in which to do it, Rispoli made his way up to finish his season with an impressive sixth-place finish. The result was actually the worst of an incredibly consistent campaign, which also included seven wins, four seconds, two fourths, and a fifth. CN

2020 American Flat Track Championship

Round 15 of 15

Daytona Short Track 2

Daytona International Raceway

Daytona Beach, Florida

(RESULTS) October 17, 2020

AFT SuperTwins Main (Top 10)

1. Brandon Robinson (Ind) 28 Laps
2. Jared Mees (Ind) 1.658
3. Sammy Halbert (Ind) 2.089
4. Briar Bauman (Ind) 2.709
5. Dan Bromley (Ind) 4.641
6. Robert Pearson (Ind) 8.578
7. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Ind) 9.034
8. Jarod Vanderkooi (H-D) 9.354
9. Dalton Gauthier (H-D) 9.616
10. Brandon Price (Ind) 11.191

AFT Singles Main (Top 10)

1. Henry Wiles (Hon) 15 Laps
2. Max Whale (Kaw) 0.142
3. Trent Lowe (Hon) 0.396
4. Michael Rush (Yam) 1.282
5. Andrew Luker (Yam) 3.097
6. Morgen Mischler (KTM) 3.275
7. Jacob Lehmann (Hon) 3.952
8. Tanner Dean (Hon) 4.300
9. Dallas Daniels (Yam) 4.845
10. Michael Inderbitzin (Hon) 5.355

AFT Production Twins Main (Top 10)

1. Cory Texter (Yam) 15 Laps
2. Johnny Lewis (R-E) 3.130
3. Ben Lowe (Yam) 3.556
4. Ryan Varnes (Kaw) 4.306
5. Patrick Buchanan (Kaw) 4.974
6. James Rispoli (H-D) 5.360
7. Jeremiah Duffy (Kaw) 6.487
8. Cody Johncox (Yam) 7.359
9. Shelby Miller (Kaw) 15.104
10. Jimmy McAllister (Kaw) 17.243

AFT SuperTwins Final Point Standings (Top 10)

1. Briar Bauman (Ind) 309/6 wins
2. Jared Mees (Ind) 300/5 wins
3. Sammy Halbert (Ind) 239/1 win
4. Brandon Robinson (Ind) 181/2 wins
5. Bronson Bauman (Ind) 181
6. Brandon Price (Ind) 175
7. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Ind) 174/1 win
8. Davis Fisher (Ind) 143
9. Jarod Vanderkooi (H-D) 139
10. Robert Pearson (Ind) 130

FRIDAY

Daytona Short Track 1

SuperTwins

With all eyes trained on the Progressive American Flat Track Grand National Championship points leaders, Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) stepped forward and stole the show in Friday night’s Progressive AFT Finale at Daytona I at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines title rivals Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) opened the Main Event from first and second on the line. As they went elbow to elbow in an attempt to gain an early advantage over one another, their melee opened the door for Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X), Robinson and Robert Pearson (No. 27 Rackley Racing Indian FTR750) to rush past.

Vanderkooi enjoyed a short-lived spell out front before giving way to Robinson, who then proved utterly dominant over the race’s final nine minutes despite racing with a broken right foot.

Robinson, who accepted his winner’s trophy on crutches, said, “I’m absolutely ecstatic right now — I can’t believe this. My Roof Systems team gave me an awesome motorcycle. All my guys stuck behind me through all the injuries. They believed in me and told me to go have fun, and here we are. This is unbelievable. I couldn’t be happier; these guys deserve it, and all I wanted to do was get a win for my team.”

With Robinson long gone, Bauman and Mees frantically fought their way forward to collect as many points as possible ahead of tomorrow’s decisive race.

Reigning champ Bauman ultimately proved more successful in those efforts. He dispatched Pearson for third with a hard pass with six laps remaining, and then spent the remainder of his race chasing down Vanderkooi. That relentless pursuit paid dividends with less than a minute remaining on the clock when he worked his way through to earn second place and the 20 points that came along with it.

Despite being passed by Bauman late, Vanderkooi equaled his best ever premier-class finish in third.

Mees shook free from Davis Fisher (No. 67 BriggsAuto.com Indian FTR750) to reel in and sail past Pearson, moving into fourth position with four minutes remaining. However, Bauman and Vanderkooi were too far out in front, leaving him one spot off the box at the flag and with a considerably deeper hole to climb out of heading into Saturday’s rematch.

With just one race to go, Bauman leads Mees 294-280. That means even if Mees wins tomorrow, Bauman needs only to finish eighth or better to repeat as AFT SuperTwins Champion.

AFT Singles

Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450) finally broke through in the season’s finale weekend to claim his first victory of 2020 in a hard-fought AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event, a huge moment for his Wally Brown Racing effort, backed by factory Suzuki.

Cose twice beat Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) for the holeshot in the once red-flagged and restarted Main and never once gave up the position. That doesn’t mean he had it easy, however; Cose was pushed throughout with Whale and Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R) both showing him a wheel at different times, including a final-lap attempt to steal away the win on the part of Wiles.

After taking the checkered flag, Cose said, “I’m just so pumped. Last year and the year before, it was a black eye just to be on this bike, and that’s credit to my team giving me a good motorcycle. I’m just overwhelmed with emotion. It is so awesome to get my win here in DAYTONA. This is like my second home here, and I’m so happy for everybody who supports me. I know there’s been some down days for us, but as long as I have these guys on my side, we’re going to keep fighting, we’re going to keep grinding, and we’re not going to give up.”

Wiles’ runner-up result tightens the battle for second in the championship just a bit. Despite missing the previous round, he now trails Friday’s third-place finisher, Whale, by 12 points (195-183) heading into tomorrow’s season finale.

Also in the mix throughout was already crowned 2020 AFT Singles champion Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F). Daniels was fighting an uphill battle starting from Row 3 as a result of a crash in the Semi, but he still managed to join the battle for the win. He ultimately finished fourth, falling just 0.749 seconds short of extending his six-race win streak to seven.

Meanwhile, Daniels’ teammate, Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) was forced to start from the back of the pack due to an opening-lap incident that saw him go down while running third. Still, he somehow managed to slash his way up from last place to take an impressive fifth on the little bullring circuit.

As a result, Rush retains a slim mathematical shot at a second consecutive championship runner-up finish; he now trails second-ranked Whale by 25 points with tomorrow’s race left to decide the final order.

AFT Production Twins

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James Rispoli clinched the Production Twins title Friday.

An historic AFT Production Twins Main Event saw Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) claim Royal Enfield’s first-ever AFT victory and season-long dominator James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) crowned the class’ champion.

Despite his underdog status on the upstart RE effort, Daytona Short Track genius Lewis controlled the evening in the AFT Production Twins. He escaped to an easy win in his Semi, qualified on pole and finished things off by going wire-to-wire in the Main Event.

Lewis fought back an early challenge from Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07), asserted at the front himself mid-race, and then successfully held off a desperate charge from Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) in the race’s waning moments to secure the win.

Afterward, Lewis said, “I was skeptical coming here riding twins on this track, but it’s actually a lot of fun. It’s a little bit more work than riding a 450, but it was a lot of fun to ride this Royal Enfield around here.

“Everybody’s support for this program has been awesome. We’ve been busting our butts all season, and it feels good to not only get to the podium, but win a race. I’m excited to continue this effort with Royal Enfield, and I’m excited to come back out tomorrow.”

Rispoli, meanwhile, sat a safe-yet-close fourth behind Lewis, Texter, and Lowe for almost the entire race. Even if Texter had beaten Lewis to the checkered flag, all he needed was a seventh to end the title fight early. Fourth was more than enough.

With tomorrow’s race still to go, Rispoli has racked up seven wins, four runner-ups, two fourths, and a fifth en route to the 2020 AFT Production Twins throne. This championship marks the first for Harley-Davidson since the introduction of the XG750R, a pivotal moment for one of the most iconic manufacturers in the history of the sport.

“I’m so fired up — thank you to my HogSpoli nation out there!” an exuberant Rispoli said. “Tonight I thought we had a shot at the win, but these guys were riding so good. To be honest, I didn’t want to throw it away. Tomorrow, we’ll come back and go for the win, and then we’ll let the celebrations begin.” CN

2020 American Flat Track Championship

Round 14 of 15

Daytona Short Track 1

Daytona International Raceway

Daytona Beach, Florida

(RESULTS) October 16, 2020

AFT SuperTwins Main (Top 10)

1. Brandon Robinson (Ind) 35 Laps
2. Briar Bauman (Ind) 2.360
3. Jarod Vanderkooi (H-D) 3.715
4. Jared Mees (Ind) 4.905
5. Sammy Halbert (Ind) 10.598
6. Davis Fisher (Ind) 10.824
7. Robert Pearson (Ind) 11.177
8. JD Beach (Yam) 12.207
9. Bronson Bauman (Ind) 12.477
10. Dan Bromley (Ind) 17.186

AFT Singles Main (Top 10)

1. Chad Cose (Suz) 22 Laps
2. Henry Wiles (Hon) 0.270
3. Max Whale (Kaw) 0.491
4. Dallas Daniels (H-D) 0.749
5. Michael Rush (Yam) 2.968
6. Trent Lowe (Yam) 3.244
7. Tanner Dean (Hon) 4.253
8. Jacob Lehmann (Hon) 5.571
9. Michael Inderbitzin (Hon) 5.690
10. Jesse Janisch (Hus) 7.061

AFT Production Twins Main (Top 10)

1. Johnny Lewis (R-E) 21 Laps
2. Cory Texter (Yam) 0.247
3. Ben Lowe (Yam) 0.956
4. James Rispoli (H-D) 1.210
5. Patrick Buchanan (Kaw) 1.838
6. Cody Johncox (Yam) 3.347
7. Jeremiah Duffy (Kaw) 3.794
8. Shelby Miller (Kaw) 5.322
9. Danny Eslick (Kaw) 7.512
10. Jimmy McAllister (Kaw) 13.768

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By Contributor