DAYTONA BEACH, FL – May 30, 2022 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Progressive American Flat Track legend Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) returned to the top of the box in stunning fashion in Sunday night’s Mission Red Mile II presented by Indian Motorcycle of Lexington.
24 hours after being beaten to the stripe at the Red Mile by Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle rookie sensation Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), Mees and Daniels settled into a rematch at the front of the premier-class Main Event.
The two threatened to drop the remainder of the pack from the start but were gradually reeled back in by Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) and Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750).
However, just after half-distance Bauman’s charge faded, leaving Fisher as the only pilot with a shot at transforming the battle for the win into a three-rider affair. He made good on that promise with five minutes to go, creating a contest of contrasting strengths and lines.
Daniels led to open the last lap but with Mees and Fisher both in close pursuit. As the three exited Turn 2, it still appeared to be anyone’s race until Mees and Fisher both stormed past Daniels with unexpected ease.
The rookie’s inopportune bike issues turned the fight back into a two-rider match-up for the final half-lap. Fisher did all he could to draft by the reigning champion at the stripe, but he came up 0.126 seconds short of beating one of history’s best Mile racers at one of his best tracks.
The victory was Mees’ 23rd Mile win, tying him with Ricky Graham for fifth all-time in the discipline. It was also his fourth in five attempts in Lexington, Kentucky.
The triumphant Mees said, “It was actually beneficial to have the Jumbotron on the front straightaway because I was able to glance at it. The first couple of laps, Dallas and I had a pretty comfortable lead. That was good because I could hold back and pace off of him and see where I was strong and see where I could maybe pull out. I sat there and studied him because I have to ride very precise to make everything count.
“It felt good – it really did. I think (Dallas) had a bit of an issue going down the back straightaway, but you’ve got to get to the checkered flag to win these things. It’s unfortunate for him because he was riding so good.”
Daniels seemed capable of limping to the podium but instead got zapped at the line by 0.067 seconds by teammate JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT). While Beach’s expected challenge for victory failed to materialize, he did manage to register a late charge to climb back into podium contention. The Kentuckian overhauled eventual fifth-place finisher Bauman and sixth-placed Mission Production Twins Challenge entrant Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), before finally sailing by Daniels at the flag.
Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) finished a couple tenths back of Janisch in seventh, with Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R), Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) rounding out the top ten.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
The WBR KTM of James Rispoli (No. 43 Wally Brown Racing/Haversack KTM 890 Duke) went from untested to heavy favorite following a debut night of racing that saw it dominate Saturday’s Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event and then deliver a podium in the Mission SuperTwins Main as an encore. However, any fears that it might prove invincible on its second day were more than balanced out by reality that it’s still in a relatively early state of development.
Rather than break free after taking the lead early in Sunday’s race, Rispoli found himself embroiled in an intense battle with Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), as the two raced their way away from the pack.
Rispoli and Janisch swapped the lead back and forth repeatedly with Janisch grabbing the lead just as the clock expired. He then put his head down in hopes of corralling his opponent behind him for the final two laps, but the drama of a potential photo finish ended a straightaway early; Rispoli sat up as the two exited Turn 4 for the final time due to a mechanical issue.
After scoring his second victory of the ‘22 season, Janisch said, “The bike was getting off the corners a little better tonight. The bike was on rails. I’m stoked. It was a good race.”
A couple seconds back of the fight for the lead, Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) waged a similarly back-and-forth battle with Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) for third. The defending champ swept past Lowe late and held on to inherit second position.
Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Schaeffer’s Motorsports/Rausch Fuel & Oil KTM 890 Duke) dropped out of podium contention but managed to hold on for fourth. Meanwhile, Michael Rush (No. 15 Hellipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) charged his way from Row 4 to fifth position as he made his paddock presence felt in a big way in his return weekend.
Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07), who came into the night leading in the points, finished 12th. Despite that, Texter continues to sit second in the championship fight as both men were overtaken by race winner Janisch, who now leads Texter by one point (92-91) with Armstrong a further 10 points back in third at 81.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) took top honors in a barn-burning Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER Main Event.
The drama to come was teased early on when Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) got into the rear wheel of Saturday winner Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R). Fortunately, both frontrunners escaped the contact unscathed.
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) wouldn’t be as lucky a couple minutes later when Brunner got into him and the Australian was sent off his bike and up into the Airfence.
Following the resulting red flag, there was barely a moment to breathe as the lead pack consisted of the entire field up until the two-minute mark. With one minute remaining on the clock, a seven-rider pack emerged – and one that somehow included both Whale and Brunner, who had fought their way together up from back row starting position at the restart.
Mischler opened up a slight advantage to open the final lap but was pulled back in by the chasing group as they charged to the flag. Gauthier nipped past his teammate at the last possible moment, edging ahead of Mischler at the flag by just 0.029 seconds to earn his first win of the season.
2019 class champ Gauthier said, “Me and my teammate worked together perfectly in the race. My last corner on the last lap was my best of the entire race. I really focused on that and needed to do it to get the win. I think we’re only going to get better from here. I need to make up some points, so I really needed this win.”
Whale got his revenge by securing the final spot on the box, taking third ahead of title leader Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) and Brunner.
Rookie ace Chase Saathoff (No. 106 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) finished in sixth with 2017 Red Mile winner Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Roof Systems/Ice Barn Honda CRF450R) ending up in seventh despite finishing just 0.639 seconds back of the win.
The Mission Red Mile II will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, June 18, at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m, PT, including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
Progressive AFT will go from wide-open drafting battles to close-quarters clashes at the Progressive Laconia Short Track presented by MOMS, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire, on Saturday, June 11. Gates will open for fans at 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT ahead of the evening’s Main Event program. Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3692/ to reserve your tickets today.
You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FansChoice.tv. FansChoice.tv provides free-to-view livestreaming of Practice and Qualifying. FansChoice.tv subscribers will then be able to watch the drama unfold from Opening Ceremonies through the Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations. FansChoice.tv offers two subscription options, granting unlimited access to premium AFT content. Monthly subscriptions start at just $7.99, while a six-month subscription is available for $44.99.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.
To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
How to Watch:
FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all 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. FansChoice.tv provides livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round can watch livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round at http://www.FansChoice.tv.
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