DAYTONA BEACH, FL – August 17, 2020 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The 2020 American Flat Track season resumes this weekend with the return of Indy Mile as the series descends on the fabled Indiana State Fairgrounds & Events Center for its first-ever doubleheader event.
The postponement of the circuit’s scheduled resurfacing opened the door for the late return of the historic event to the ‘20 calendar. As a result, the Indy Mile I on Friday, August 21, and the Indy Mile II on Saturday, August 22, will mark the first AFT race action at the venue since 2015.
The circuit debut of the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines class is destined to add yet another chapter to the legacy of the historic Indy Mile, which already includes some of the greatest races in the history of the sport — races that helped build the legends of such icons as Kenny Roberts, Scott Parker, Chris Carr, Ricky Graham, and so many others. The atmosphere in town is bound to be electric as well, as the “Racing Capital of the World” will play host to the Indy Mile I & II and the 65th Hoosier Hundred at the same venue, on the same weekend.
A hugely popular 100-mile, 100-lap race as part of the USAC Silver Crown Series, the Hoosier Hundred – an event with an illustrious history dating back to the 1950s – waved its final checkered flags in 2019 amid the resurfacing discussions of the dirt track. Now, presented with a unique opportunity to combine the most prestigious open-wheel racing in the United States with the most revered dirt track motorcycle racing, the Hoosier Hundred is back to close out what is now THE motorsports event of the season with a Sunday night event at Indiana State Fairgrounds following the AFT Indy Mile Doubleheader.
With just the season-opening Volusia Half-Mile I & II completed thus far, the 2020 title fight is still in its earliest stages. However, with four consecutive Miles looming on the schedule, the Indy Mile I & II could play a critical role in determining this year’s AFT SuperTwins Champion.
Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) pulled off a clean sweep of the Miles a year ago. If he manages to do so again this year after executing the double in Volusia, reeling him back in could prove a tall order indeed. Reigning champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) will be desperate to prevent that from happening while completing his career Grand Slam in the process.
Don’t discount the chances of Bryan Smith (No. 4 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) turning the upset and guiding the XG750R to its maiden premier-class race win. Not only is “Mile Master” Smith a two-time winner of the Indy Mile, the race shops of both Vance & Hines and H-D Crew Chief Ricky Howerton’s Howerton Motorsports are among the 400 motorsports-related firms that call Indianapolis home.
Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), who opened his season in impressive fashion with third- and fourth-place finishes in Florida, is a past Indy Mile winner himself. Not only that, but he now also has the experience of two-time Indy Mile winner Kenny Coolbeth in his corner.
Additionally, Smith’s teammate, Jarod Vanderkooi,(No. 20 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) and Yamaha ace JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) come into the weekend with undercard victories at the venue to their credit.
The Indy Mile has the potential to play an outsized role in the AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys championship fight as well.
While much of the preseason chatter revolved around the veterans from the premier class who are now hunting the AFT Singles title — riders like Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R), Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), and Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450) — the first two wins of the season went to up-and-comers Max Whale (No. 18 Coondoo Cattle Co./Australian Road Services Kawasaki KX450F) and Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F).
The one-time premier class rider who may need a big weekend more than any other is Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). Texter is the only active rider in the class with an Indy Mile win under her belt, and another huge weekend in Indy could prove to be the springboard to the championship-winning season the category’s rider with the most all-time wins has been attempting to assemble her entire decorated career.
With no TTs yet on the calendar, 2020 is perhaps her best opportunity yet, but only if she capitalizes at the high-speed tracks. ‘19 AFT Singles runner-up Rush could prove to be the biggest obstacle standing in her way considering that he clicked off three wins and a runner-up in last year’s four Miles.
Meanwhile, reigning AFT Production Twins champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) and ‘19 runner-up Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) picked up where they left off, trading race wins in the season’s opening two races.
Multi-time roadracing national champion James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) battled for victory in both races, walking away with a pair of runner-up finishes. Rispoli has been knocking on the door ever since his return to his dirt track roots. Perhaps the Indy Mile will play witness to his first AFT win in more than a decade.
Once again, spectator safety has been placed at a premium and AFT has worked closely with local health and government officials toward those ends. For more on the specific precautions being undertaken, please consult the AFT Events Health & Safety FAQ.
Ticket sales have been limited to 25% capacity in order to promote a safe atmosphere and allow for proper social distancing. Indy Mile I & II tickets can be purchased at store.americanflattrack.com with a $10 multi-day discount available for each pair of Friday/Saturday Grandstand General Admission tickets purchased in advance.
A range of ticket options are available, from walk-in Infield General Admission at $25 (kids 12 and under free with the purchase of adult admission) all the way up to Premium Reserved Box Seating, which can accommodate a party as large as ten. Upgraded options are extremely limited and are selling fast. Reserve yours now at store.americanflattrack.com
Gates will open for fans at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT on both days with the Main Event programs slated to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for less than $1 per event via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Both races will air on NBCSN, with the Indy Mile I airing on Thursday, August 27, starting at 1:00 a.m ET/10:00 p.m. PT, and the Indy Mile II to follow on Saturday, August 29, at 12:00 a.m. ET/9:00 p.m. PT. The broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and the expert commentary of AFT legend Chris Carr.
About American Flat Track:
American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events with TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.
Source: American Flat Track