Champions Mees, Kopp Star at Inaugural Silver Dollar Short Track

240519 Champions Mees, Kopp Star at Inaugural Silver Dollar Short Track [678]

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – May 19, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – Nine-time Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750) reigned supreme in the inaugural Silver Dollar Short Track, Round 6 of the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.

The big crowd that turned out at in Chico, California, to see the world’s elite motorcycle dirt trackers compete at the historic Silver Dollar Speedway were treated to a virtuoso performance on the part of one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Mission AFT SuperTwins king Mees was fastest in both practice sessions and both qualifying sessions, and then proceeded to win his heat, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, and the night’s Main Event.

If it sounds clear cut, it was anything but.

Mees grabbed the early lead from holeshotter Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) but then came under heavy pressure from Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Dodge Bros. Racing/Castrol Harley-Davidson XR750).

In fact, Halbert actually worked his way into the lead after the two broke free from the pack at the front. They then proceeded to dice it out for several laps, all the while Daniels settled in and upped his pace.

Mees finally broke Halbert’s challenge and set about building up a big lead at the front. Halbert in turn shifted his attention to harrying Daniels over second. But even with that delay, the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07-mounted ace quickly closed in on Mees’ factory Indian FTR750 after dispatching of Halbert and his venerable Harley-Davidson XR750.

The title rivals would spend the contest’s final three minutes dueling for victory with Mees ultimately holding strong after his young challenger’s last-lap, last-corner bid came up just short.

“It definitely feels good to get that win,” Mees said. “Dallas got the holeshot, but I was able to get by him. And then here comes Sammy on the ole Hog, and he was giving me a run. He actually stretched it out a little bit, but I was able to get back up to him. I felt like I had a good pace and was maybe checking out, but I lost my rhythm in the lappers. I peeked back and there was Dallas. We went back and forth, and I had to get a little aggressive a couple of times. He’s been riding so good. It feels like every week I have to dig deeper and deeper.”

Halbert completed the podium in third, but only after reclaiming the position from Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) on the race’s final lap.

Last week’s winner, Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke), completed the top five. He was followed to the stripe in sixth through tenth by Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Transalp), Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing Mission Foods KTM 790 Duke), Max Whale (No. 18 Latus Motors Racing/Liqui Moly Harley-Davidson XG750R), and Declan Bender (No. 70 GOMR/ Trucking Indian FTR750).

Despite being bitterly disappointed by Saturday’s result, Daniels continues to lead the points chase with 124 points to Mees’ 118. Robinson is one point further adrift at 117, followed by Bauman’s 99.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F) continued his march toward a third Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER championship by scoring his third Short Track victory of the ‘24 season on Saturday night.

While Kopp would eventually take hold of his customary position out front, the opening stages of the contest saw his primary challengers, Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Chase Saathoff (No. 88 JPG Motorsports Honda CRF450R), wage their own battle over first, trading the lead back and forth with intersecting lines.

Saathoff’s strategy proved superior in that early fight, and he then put his head down to break free at the front. Meanwhile, Kopp closed in on Drane’s rear wheel in second.

A bobble on the Australian’s part gave Kopp the small opening he needed. Once through, he not only shook Drane but instantly reeled back in Saathoff after trailing him by as much as 1.5 seconds a small handful of laps earlier.

In fact, the Rick Ware Racing pilot’s momentum barely stalled upon catching Saathoff; he merely rode around the outside and continued to walk away in the lead.

However, with the top three seemingly settled at that point, a lapped rider went down upon Saathoff’s overtake as the leaders negotiated traffic. Drane became collateral damage in the crash, going down in a two-part incident that summoned the red flag.

Kopp and Saathoff lined back up in first and second, respectively, while Drane was forced to the back of the pack after looking as if he might not be fit enough to continue.

There was little drama at the front once the action resumed. Kopp powered away in the same fashion he had prior to the red flag. Saathoff completed his run to second, while Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) claimed the final step on the podium.

“We worked hard for that one,” Kopp said. “We were fast all day, but I was one of the only ones shifting out here today. It was fast, but would it have been consistent in this whole Main when we were running up on the top? Probably not. So we made a game-changing call right before the (Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Challenge), and I had to go out and learn how to ride the bike again because we weren’t shifting all of a sudden. Thanks to my team. This was a big one for us.”

Californians Tarren Santero (No. 75 Vinson Construction/P&M Motorcycles Honda CRF450R) and James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450) rounded out the top five.

As for Drane, he not only gritted his way to the finish, he actually charged all the way up to sixth to keep his championship hopes very much alive.

Kopp now leads with 133 points, followed by Saathoff at 111 and Drane at 108.

Next Up:

Progressive American Flat Track will head back east for the Orange County Half-Mile at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York, on Saturday, June 15. Visit to secure your tickets today.

For those who can’t catch the action from the circuit, FloRacing is the live streaming home of Progressive AFT. Sign up now and catch every second of the on-track action, from the first practice to the victory podium, at

FOX Sports coverage of the Silver Dollar Short Track, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, May 25, at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT).

For more information on Progressive AFT visit

About Progressive American Flat Track: 

Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, 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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