DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 23, 2017) – American Flat Track continues its southeast swing, heading north for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle on Saturday, March 25. The best flat track racers in the world will take to the Georgia clay on the 3/8-mile Dixie Speedway in Woodstock in another all-new event.
The battle for the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines title resumes at round two between rivals Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) and Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750). Mees fired the first shot at the historic season opener at the Harley-Davidson DAYTONA TT presented by Politis & Matovina and goes into the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle hopeful to carry his winning momentum. If the three-time Grand National Champion can pull off back-to-back victories, he will not only keep his points advantage rolling, he will score his first Short Track win, the final victory he needs to complete the coveted dirt track Grand Slam.
“I’m excited to race at a new venue,” said Mees, who gave Indian Motorcycle its first major victory in nearly six decades at Daytona. “I seem to like the unexpected because the team and I can adapt well. I have some laps on the track from last year testing on the Indian so I can at least start with a base line. Winning that opening round was huge for me because I seem to do well once I build momentum and I have never won a race early in the season, let alone round one. I’m looking forward to Atlanta because it’s the only short track on the circuit and now with winning the TT it would be nice to complete the Grand Slam with that Short Track win. If it doesn’t happen this weekend, it will have to be next year as there is only one Short Track this season.”
Smith is also looking forward to Atlanta and the new era of Twins on a Short Track, as the defending champ struggled to find a comfort zone on the 450cc single-cylinder motorcycles used on Short Tracks and TTs in the past. Having scored a runner-up result at the DAYTONA TT on a twin-cylinder machine, the Michigan native was happy to leave Daytona trailing Mees by just five points and looks to close that gap at Dixie Speedway.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to winning,” Smith said. “People have always looked at me and said, ‘that Smith guy struggles on the Short Tracks,’ but actually I’ve won on a Short Track before. I’ve just struggled on the 450 Motocross bikes, never liked the feel of them. Now that we’re racing on Twins, I like my odds.”
Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) plans to return to action in Atlanta after being sidelined from a Heat race crash at the season opener. Pending medical clearance to resume racing, the return of the 2013 Grand National Champion will give the Indian “Wrecking Crew” a three-rider threat in Georgia.
After a rough start at Daytona, Harley-Davidson’s Factory Team will be looking to rebound. Jake Johnson (No. 5 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) had the squad’s best finish, placing fifth in the opener. Johnson is part of a three-rider Factory effort, competing alongside fellow Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) and up-and-coming star Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R).
Sitting third in the standings is TT specialist Henry Wiles (No. 17 DOC Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650). Although Wiles is mostly known for his dominance on the TTs, the Michigan-native is no slouch on the Short Tracks, as evidenced by his Grand National Championship Singles title from 2010. With a new team for 2017, Wiles brings a lot of confidence into the new era of American Flat Track and looks to spoil the factory teams’ party.
Completing the top-five in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class are Johnson and Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Rod Lake Kawasaki Ninja 650).
Like Mees, Dalton Gauthier (No. 22 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) got his title run in the AFT Singles class off to a good start in Daytona, winning on a sensational pass in the final turn heading to the checkered flag. As one of the sport’s top up-and-coming riders, Gauthier looks to carry that momentum into Atlanta. Sitting second in the points is Wyatt Anderson (No. 120 Waters Autobody Racing KTM 450 SX-F) followed by Kolby Carlile (No. 36 K.C. Cycle Honda CRF450R). Rounding out the top five in the AFT Singles standings are Jesse Janisch (No. 132 West Bend Harley Honda CRF450R) and Brit Oliver Brindley (No. 124 Kawasaki UK KX450F).
Event Entertainment provided by AFT Events
In addition to the action on the racetrack, there are a host of off-track festivities during and leading up to Saturday’s event. Bike nights sponsored by Steel Horse Law will feature display bikes and ticket giveaways throughout the region. On race day, starting at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT), fun for all ages will begin at the Strider Adventure Zone, and there will be live bands and an “Old Time Flat Track Racers Reunion” & Vintage Dirt Tracker Race Bike Exhibit in the vendor area. There will also be BMX exhibitions by the Freestyle Connection BMX Stunt Team taking place throughout the day. Headlining the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle and serving the Grand Marshall will be motorcycle racing legend David Aldana, heralding the sport’s return to the Peach State for the first time since 1974.
Saturday’s on-track action begins with the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines and AFT Singles practice at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT). Opening Ceremonies will commence the evening’s racing activities at 6:00 p.m. ET (3:00 p.m. PT).
Tickets for the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle are now on sale and start at just $30. Kids 12 and under are free, and a special military discount of 50% off is also available as a thank to you to our American heroes. Don’t miss the chance to catch the next edition of the Great American battle between Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. To purchase tickets, please visit https://www.showclix.com/event/georgia-short-track.
High-definition, live streaming coverage of every minute of the action from the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle can be viewed on FansChoice.tv at http://www.fanschoice.tv/watch-live/american-flat-track.
Television broadcast coverage of every American Flat Track round will air in a series of one-hour primetime telecasts on NBCSN beginning in July. The complete NBCSN schedule will be announced in the near future.
Source: American Flat Track