How to Watch & What to Watch: DuQuoin Mile

How to Watch & What to Watch - DuQuoin Mile [200]

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – June 14, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – FansChoice.tv is the live streaming home of Progressive American Flat Track.  Complete coverage of this Saturday’s DuQuoin Mile will kick off with the day’s first practice session at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT).  FOX Sports coverage of the DuQuoin Mile, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, June 25, at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT). 

Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action live at https://www.fanschoice.tv. 

Red Mile Highlights

Event Rewind: Red Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle of Lexington Main Event Highlights

SuperTwins Storylines

DuQuoin Mile to Serve as Centerpiece of Father’s Day Weekend Dirt Track Extravaganza

The stars of Progressive AFT are destined to shine as the world’s greatest motorcycle dirt trackers return to the “Magic Mile.”  Read More

Kingmaker

From this past Wednesday until next Tuesday, the nation’s top amateur dirt track racers will be in DuQuoin to compete at the 2023 Mission Foods AMA Flat Track Grand Championshipsanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association. There they will vie for the ultimate honor of being named this year’s recipient of the Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award.  

And smack dab in the middle of that – on Saturday night – the prospective Horizon Award winners will be treated to an up-close look at the goal that follows – becoming one of the world’s elite professional racers competing in Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. 

While no guarantee, the award has proven an extraordinarily accurate predictor of future success, performing far better in that capacity than, say, the Heisman Trophy, or even the NFL’s first overall draft pick that exists specifically to do so. 

Past winners of the award have combined to claim the most recent eleven Grand National Championships, courtesy of the likes of Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750), Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 890 Duke), Bryan Smith, and Brad Baker. 

That trend looks to be a strong bet to continue as Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle points leader Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) is currently in position to make that twelve straight. 

This weekend’s premier-class entry list boasts six former Horizon Award winners: 

  • Jared Mees 
  • Dallas Daniels 
  • Briar Bauman 
  • Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) 
  • Kevin Stollings (No. 99 Weirbach Racing, CP/Carrillo Kawasaki Ninja 650) 
  • Jeffrey Lowery (No. 223 Lowery Racing, Gray Hogs Yamaha MT-07) 

Among that group, each have earned numerous podiums at the Progressive AFT level, five of the six have won multiple Progressive AFT races, four have taken national titles, and two own multiple Grand National Championships. 

Racer Dads

One week ago was June 9 – or 6/9 – which has come to be known in two-wheeled circles as Nicky Hayden Day, an annual celebration meant to remember and honor the late World Champion and his father, Earl Hayden, who both famously brandished the #69 during their racing careers. 

Nicky (who happened to be the inaugural winner of the AMA Flat Track Horizon Award, which has since been renamed for him) and Earl are among the most beloved father-child combos in racing history, and that’s even considering the long, long list of such pairings.  

In a sport where future pros regularly embark upon their racing endeavors around the age of three, fathers frequently play a critical role in their children’s racing careers. That was certainly true for Earl, who, along with wife Rose, sacrificed so much, for so long, to help their children realize their championship-winning dreams. 

The paddock at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds will be lined with dads who have happily chosen to spend their Father’s Day weekend wrenching and rooting for their kids. And that’ll be true both at the amateur races and the Progressive AFT event. 

Swinging For a Grand Slam

Speaking of Hayden, one of the few racing accomplishments that eluded him before his life was tragically ended was his oft stated goal of becoming just the fifth rider in history to score an old school Grand Slam. 

To date, only Dick MannKenny RobertsBubba Shobert, and Doug Chandler have managed to win a premier-class national road race along with a Mile, Half-Mile, TT, and Short Track. 

That same charge has now been taken up by JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), who has Nicky’s older brother, Tommy Hayden, in his corner as Estenson Racing’s Director of Racing Operations. 

A win this weekend would be a huge step toward that towering achievement. 

Singles Storylines_DQ

On the Horizon

Naturally, the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER class is brimming with recent Nicky Hayden AMA Flat Track Horizon Award winners as well. 

 And like in Mission SuperTwins, those riders are major players in the title chase. 

 This weekend’s grid sports four past winners: 

  • Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) 
  • Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R)  
  • Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) 
  • Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin/Vinson Construction Yamaha YZ450F) 

Kopp, obviously, is the reigning champion and points leader, while Saathoff is tied for second in points, with Brunner not all that far behind in fifth. Together, they have combined to score three wins and ten podiums in the season’s opening eight races. 

Bromley, meanwhile, just so happens to be a former class champion himself – and one who demonstrated a year ago he has what it takes to land on the box on any given weekend even when running a partial slate. 

Experience a Mile Long

Jared Mees comes into the DuQuoin Mile with all the momentum, having defeated his young rival, Dallas Daniels, in back-to-back Miles by 0.573 seconds and 0.042 seconds, respectively. 

It’s often said that winning at a Mile is more down to experience and tactics than sheer speed or aggressiveness. 

And there is no stronger support for that notion for the example that has been set by Mees himself over the years. 

Consider the following: 

Throughout his decorated Mission SuperTwins career, the factory Indian Motorcycle star has finished on the podium at a Mile 59 times. 

And in 38 of those 59, Mees either won or finished within a second of victory. 

The first of the 38 came at the 2009 Springfield Mile II, where Mees powered out of Turn 4 with victory in his sights, only to spin up and lose his drive, allowing Jake Johnson to edge him to the line by 0.049 seconds. 

Mees would finally get his first Mile win with a revenge performance at Springfield two years later. That one came by an even tighter 0.016 seconds – but proved an aberration. 

If you look at the first 19 – the opening half of the aforementioned 38 in which Mees finished on the podium and either won or came within a second of doing so – he was victorious just once while finishing second or third on 18 occasions. 

That’s right: 1-18. That’s a 5.2% meager strike rate. 

Included among that group of heartbreakers was his 0.000-second photo finish defeat at the hands of Bryan Smith here at the DuQuoin Mile in 2015. In fact, during that season alone Mees brutally missed out on four Mile wins by a combined 0.228 seconds. 

But now the boot is on the other foot. Mees may indeed be faster now, but even more crucially, he’s smarter. He has a tactical edge gained via all of that experience, much of it hard-earned. 

In his most recent 19 Miles in which he either won or finished on the podium and within a second of the victory, Mees’ record has radically improved to 14 wins compared with just five second- and third-place finishes. 

Yep: 14-5, equating to a 73.7% strike rate. 

Let’s repeat it one more time: 

First 19 = 1-18 

Last 19 = 14-5 

Astonishing. 

The Chase Continues 

Chase Saathoff has not-so-patiently waited his turn to secure a maiden Progressive AFT win, being forced to watch from the second step on podium as Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) and Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) added their names to the series’ list of Main Event winners. 

Saathoff has made good use of that time spent waiting however, especially as of late.  

In his most recent four races, the Turner Honda sophomore has climbed from fifth place and 31 points out of first, into a points tie for second and just 15 points out. 

He’s done so via four straight podiums, including three runner-ups. 

Last time, we noted that the average number of prior podiums for the seven riders who have earned their maiden win in the class dating back to Daniels is just 1.85. 

Saathoff is now up to seven and counting. A win this weekend wouldn’t just take care of that, it would also thrust him into the points lead should Kopp – who’s coming off 10th and sixth-place performances – finish 11th or worse. 

SuperTwins Round 8

Singles - Round 8

Broacast Schedule_DQ

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

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