DAYTONA BEACH, FL – March 20, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Progressive American Flat Track superstar Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) rebounded like a champion with a convincing victory in Saturday night’s Mission Texas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems at the Dirt Track at Texas Motor Speedway.
Few expected Mees to kick off his Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle title defense as a relative non-factor, running in fifth in last weekend’s season opener at Volusia Speedway Park. That muted performance made this weekend’s showdown all that more important, and given a second chance, Mees made clear the path to the #1 plate still goes through him.
Mees looked virtually unbeatable all night long, a trend he continued once he dove underneath a quick-starting JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) to take control of the Main Event while still in its opening stages.
The defending champ pulled clear and cruised to the checkered flag, only suffering a minor scare when Beach and his Estenson teammate, Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), used traffic and their own battle for second to reduce the gap to back under a second over the race’s final two laps.
“It felt really good,” Mees said. “Last weekend we were a little off for sure, but it felt good to rebound. That Main Event was really hectic with all the lappers, but the Indian Motorcycle backed by Progressive Insurance worked awesome tonight. It was so hooked up. My guys are all working so hard.
“I really wanted to come in and have a good result today with the break we have coming up. Last week didn’t sit well… I wanted this one bad.”
The Yamaha 2-3 was another sign that the series’ attempts to balance the field are working as hoped, while also providing positive feedback for Estenson Racing in regards to their offseason MT-07 DT upgrades.
It also underlined the potency of the talented Beach-Daniels tandem. That was made especially clear when Mission SuperTwins rookie Daniels not only diced with two-time class champion Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) but got the better of him.
A bobble on Bauman’s part put him out of podium contention, but he was well clear of the pack behind and finished alone in a safe fourth. Some five seconds back, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) won out over teammate Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) in their scrap for fifth.
Meanwhile, Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R), and Brandon Price (No. 92 Briggsauto.com/Martin Trucking Indian FTR750) came home seventh through ninth, respectively, while Ben Lowe (No. 25 Helipower Racing/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R) turned his Mission Production Twins Challenge entry into a top-ten premier-class finish.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
While reigning Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) got his own title defense off to a bit of a quiet start last weekend, all it took was a return to the scene of his maiden class victory in 2019 to remind the paddock of the pecking order he’s worked so hard to maintain ever since. That and a lot of perseverance.
Texter was in control throughout the Main Event despite the numerous potential pitfalls thrown his way. Moments after he claimed the initial holeshot, Chad Cose (No. 49 DPC Racing/Voodoo Ranger Harley-Davidson XG750R)crashed after coming together with Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), bringing out an early red.
Then after getting a second holeshot and opening up a healthy advantage, Texter was forced to do it a third time when a second red flag was shown following a Jeffery Lowery (No. 223 Lowery Racing/Gray Hogs Yamaha MT-07) fall. Make that a fourth time, as Billy Ross (No. 109 Pro 1 Industries/Campbells Services Kawasaki 650 Ninja) was the next to crash and cause another stoppage.
Texter then had to set the pace and avoid any mistakes of his own on an extremely tricky dry surface before at last securing his first win of the young 2022 season.
“You don’t like to see red flags when you’re leading,” Texter said. “When you have a gap, it’s like, ‘Man…’ But I’ve been in that situation before so I just stayed calm, had confidence in my starts, and trusted my instincts. The boys said to keep doing what I was doing, so at that point you just don’t want to mess up.
“This is such an emotional win for me. The last time we were here and I won, I gave my mechanic, Jon (Reid), the victory lap, and he passed away at the end of the season. So I really wanted to win this one for him. This one means a lot.”
Ben Lowe (No. 25 Helipower Racing/Mission Foods Harley-Davidson XG750R) kept Texter honest in the final leg of the Main and was well positioned to capitalize on any mistake. While that mistake never came, Lowe did finish as the runner-up, earning a strong result at his primary sponsors’ home round.
The still-mending Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) rounded out the podium. He did so only after fending off last weekend’s surprise winner, Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07), who proved that his opening-weekend performance was no fluke with a close fourth.
New class contender Cole Zabala (No. 51 Memphis Shades/Corbin/Vinson Yamaha MT-07) made a late move around Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield Twins FT) to complete the top five.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Best known for epic, come-from-behind rides exploiting the high line, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) won in the complete opposite fashion on Saturday night. After beating polesitter Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) into the opening corner, Mischler immediately set about what would ultimately prove to be a race-long defense of the low line.
It was actually Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) who was the rider on the move in the early stages, blasting his way up from the third row and into third place on a track where no one else seemed to have much success overtaking.
However, the reason for that was made evident with the manner in which Brunner’s charge ended. His aggressive attempts to overhaul Whale for second concluded with the Yamaha pilot on the dirt. Making matters worse, Tanner Dean (No. 38 Waters Autobody Racing KTM 450 SX-F) had nowhere to go but over top of Brunner’s downed machine, the incident provoking a red-flag stoppage.
Mischler resumed the lead at the restart, but Whale lost another spot off the line. This time it was teammate Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) who displaced him, diving into second to take over the pursuit for the lead.
The three then raced in close formation for the remainder of the race. Despite Kopp sizing Mischler up for a final-lap attack, he thought better of it and accepted second rather than risk disaster.
Race-winner Mischer said, “Our team has a lot of great pieces that pull this whole program together. The whole Turner Factory Honda team is amazing and they have a wealth of knowledge. I felt really bad because in practice I wadded one of these bikes up pretty bad. This is actually my ‘B bike,’ but she got the job done today. Those guys put in a ton of work, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”
Mischler’s teammate, Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), put in a relatively lonely ride to fourth, followed by Michael Inderbitzin (No. 54 1st Impressions Services of Florida Honda CRF450R) and Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R).
The Mission Texas Half-Mile will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT., including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
Progressive AFT will make its inaugural stop at I-70 Motorsports Park in Odessa, Missouri, on Saturday, April 23. Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3775 to reserve your tickets today!
For those viewing from home, you can catch the livestream free via Facebook up until Opening Ceremonies. Fans can then purchase access to watch Opening Ceremonies, Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations via Facebook Paid Online Events for $3.99 if purchased 24 hours or more in advance, or $4.99 if purchased on the day of the event.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
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How to Watch:
FOX Sports and Facebook are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all 18 races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. Viewers can watch livestream coverage of every round in the Facebook mobile app, Facebook desktop site or on the Facebook Watch mobile app. To watch the livestream on TV, fans can download the Facebook Watch TV app, or cast to a TV from the Facebook mobile app. Facebook Watch is available through Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Xbox One.
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 us on the web, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram and catch all the Progressive American Flat Track racing action on FOX Sports.
Source: Progressive American Flat Track