DAYTONA BEACH, FL – July 14, 2021 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – For the first time since 2015, Progressive American Flat Track is back at the famously fast DuQuoin Mile presented by Black Diamond Harley-Davidson at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, this Saturday, July 17.
To this day, flat track fans are still talking about the series’ most recent stop at the “Magic Mile” in ‘15, when Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley/Howerton Motorsports Indian FTR750), Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), and multi-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth took the checkered flag three wide in a photo finish officially separated by an impossibly close 0.00-second margin.
“Mile Master” Smith was determined to be the victor that evening, and he’ll be back competing for Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle honors this weekend in hopes of adding another win in DuQuoin to his vast collection of Mile victories.
Though he’s coming off an uncharacteristic performance at his home race in Lima, the still-mending Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) was healthy enough to win OKC Mile II a week before that. Considering his peerless form on the bigger tracks over the past few seasons, Mees is well poised to rebound in style in DuQuoin.
Even in retirement, Coolbeth might just get his revenge this weekend. While the series sorely misses the injured Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), the Cooleth-Nila Racing team comes armed with a substitute rider who may be the only racer on the planet with the skills to go from the couch to the top of the podium in Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750). Further fueled by the support of his home-state fans, Carver is certain to add an element of excitement on Saturday night.
Of course, there’s the two top-ranked riders on the tour to consider in double defending Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and the streaking Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750). Throw in the likes of Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), and Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and the potential is there for another classic.
The factory-backed KTM, Yamaha, and Honda teams led by Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Henry Wiles (No. 17 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) have battled it out at the front throughout the 2021 AFT Singles. That’s a trend expected to continue this weekend.
Even after finishing as the class runner-up in 2020, Australian Whale has been something of a revelation this season, showcasing the speed and consistency to take the fight to a dominant defending champion in Daniels, who more often than not looked to be in a class of his own a year ago.
Meanwhile, Wiles has strung together two wins and a runner-up in his most recent three races, demonstrating the tools that made him the most successful 450cc rider in premier-class history.
With 14 podiums since his last (and to date, only) AFT Singles win, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) is more than due to earn another checkered flag.
Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) could use another win too; since opening her ‘21 campaign in sensational double-winning fashion, Texter-Bauman is yet to finish better than 10th, including 10th- and 12th-place results at the OKC Mile. She cannot be overlooked, however, considering she’s taken eight-career Mile wins — more than twice as many as any other rider in AFT Singles history.
AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
The story remains the same in AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines where everyone is scrambling to keep pace with 2019 class king Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07). Texter has recorded four wins and six podiums in seven attempts, allowing him to stretch out an early 39-point advantage.
There’s a great deal of talent in the class behind him, including Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Cycles/Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/Rausch Fuel Kawasaki Ninja 650). Any number of them have the potential to string together a series of top results and make this championship race a fight yet.
The day’s events will have a slightly different sound in DuQuoin; four-time GNC Main Event winner and Illinois native Johnny Murphree will provide color commentary in the booth alongside series announcer Scottie Deubler. Murphree is filling in for 2013 Grand National Champion Brad Baker, who is away getting married this weekend.
Tickets are available for purchase now at https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3377#selectTickets. General Admission tickets situated on the front stretch grandstand are $35 in advance ($65 with paddock access). Kids 12 and under are admitted for free ($20 with paddock access) with the purchase of an adult GA ticket. Prices increase on event day, so fans are encouraged to reserve all seats in advance.
The gates will open for fans at 3:00 p.m. local time with Opening Ceremonies set to begin at 7:20 p.m. ET/4:20 p.m. PT. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for only $1.99 a month via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
The DuQuoin Mile presented by Black Diamond Harley-Davidson will air on NBCSN on Sunday, August 8, at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT, featuring exclusive features and cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage.
For more information, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com.
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About Progressive American Flat Track
Progressive 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 Progressive 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 Progressive American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.
Source: Progressive American Flat Track