Fireworks Expected as Progressive AFT Heads to DuQuoin for Independence Day Weekend

240703 Fireworks Expected as Progressive AFT Heads to DuQuoin for Independence Day Weekend [678]

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – July 3, 2024 – (Motor Sports NewsWire)Ten rounds into the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the series at last prepares to do battle on a Mile racetrack – the Memphis Shades DuQuoin Mile at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois, this Saturday, July 6.

The world’s elite motorcycle dirt trackers dicing it up on a Mile is widely recognized as one of the greatest spectacles in all of motorsport. A unique test of pace, courage, and strategy, Mile nationals are commonly decided by mere inches despite being waged at triple-digits speeds.

The DuQuoin Mile is considered special even inside its category. Known as the “Magic Mile,” DuQuoin has played host to a some of the most legendary and thrilling races in Grand National Championship history.

And this Independence Day weekend’s atmosphere is destined to be that much more electric, as Saturday’s Progressive AFT event will conclude a full week of competition that will also crown this year’s amateur national champions during the 2024 Mission Foods AMA Flat Track Grand Championship, sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association from June 30-July 6.

Progressive American Flat Track has its resident Mile magician in Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750). The nine-time and reigning Mission AFT SuperTwins king has won an astonishing 17 of the most recent 24 premier-class Miles dating back over the previous five seasons.

That includes last year’s DuQuoin Mile, which saw Mees avenge his 2015 defeat to Bryan Smith in the closest race the series has ever seen, decided by an official 0.000 seconds. Last year’s contest was nearly as close, with Mees taking top honors over Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) (0.033 seconds), Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) (0.097 seconds), and Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke) (0.160 seconds).

There’s a lesson in there for Estenson Racing Yamaha star Daniels, who comes in with a 21-point advantage, a perfect podium record on the season, and fresh off a dominant victory at the Lima Half-Mile. He fully understands that if he doesn’t play his cards just right this weekend, he could potentially see that hard-earned points lead eaten into and his podium streak snapped, even if he manages to finish just a fraction of a second behind the winner.

The Indian-mounted Mees and Robinson will both be looking to make that possibility a reality, while Bauman will be motivated to showcase the prodigious top-end speed of his KTM after using it to such good effect in the 2023 season finale at Springfield, the last time the field lined up for a Mile.

If a genuine pack war is to take hold, it’ll likely include some or all of the following premier-class standouts: Brandon Price (No. 92 Memphis Shades/Sody Ent/OTBR Yamaha MT-07), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750), Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Transalp), and Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing Mission Foods KTM 790 Duke).

It’ll also provide a high-profile stage for rookies Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Mission Foods/Zanotti Racing KTM 790 Duke) and Declan Bender (No. 70 GOMR/BriggsAuto.com/Martin Trucking Indian FTR750) to continue to prove their skills at the pinnacle of the sport.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

As stunning as last year’s Mission AFT SuperTwins Main Event may have been, the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER race at the DuQuoin Mile was even tighter. Six riders took the checkered flag within 0.262 seconds of the win, and even a tenth of a second behind first was too much for a rider hoping to finish on the box.

The winner on that day was Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), who comes in riding high after also claiming top honors just days ago in Ohio. With big skills and light weight, Drane has immediately proven to be a monster on the Miles, a reputation he’ll only hope to enhance this weekend.

That combination will present quite the challenge for two-time defending class champion, Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F). Kopp will no doubt be eager to start up another win streak after seeing his three-race run snapped this past weekend. While the bulk of Kopp’s victories have come on Half-Miles and Short Tracks, he made it his mission to win a Mile and accomplished that feat in last year’s Springfield Mile I. He’ll also be motivated by the fact that he left DuQuoin last year with just a fifth-place result despite crossing the line a mere 0.106 seconds after Drane.

Another rider seeking revenge is Chase Saathoff (No. 88 JPG Motorsports Honda CRF450R), who finished second to Drane by 0.011 seconds here a year ago. Saathoff is on something of a roll, having reeled in four consecutive podiums, along with six top threes in his last seven races. As good as his form has been, his goal remains to transform more of those seconds and thirds into firsts.

The same can be said for fourth-ranked Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), who finished third at DuQuoin in ‘23 and earned a win in last year’s Red Mile.

James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450) continues to head up the next group, which consists of fellow California natives Travis Petton IV (No. 82 ECG Racing/A.M Ortega KTM 450 SX-F), Tarren Santero (No. 75 Vinson Construction/P&M Motorcycles Honda CRF450R), and Tyler Raggio (No. 55 Raggio Racing/Sluggo Racing KTM 450 SX-F), along will up-and-coming Pennsylvanians Logan Eisenhard (No. 66 Hannum’s Harley-Davidson KTM 450 SX-F) and Evan Renshaw (No. 265 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R). However, if he continues at his more recent pace, Ott will find himself instead considered a member of the top group, having scooped up three top fives in his last four races.

There will be plenty to keep spectators entertained off track as well, including numerous vendors, plenty of food and beverage options, and extensive motorcycle parking. 

General Admission Grandstand tickets can be purchased for $30 (kids 12 and under free with a paid adult GA ticket), while Reserved Grandstand tickets are $40 (all ages). The Pit Pass Upgrade can be added to either option for $40 ($20 for kids).

New for 2024 is the Opening Ceremonies Trackside Fan Experience ($150 all ages). This ticket option provides reserved seating with Pit Pass access, a guided tour of, and photo opportunities at, the infield podium and start/finish line, infield viewing of Opening Ceremonies and the heat races, and a track talk and photo opportunity with 2016 Grand National Champion Bryan Smith.

Visit https://www.tixr.com/groups/trackenterprises/events/duquoin-mile-2024-80042 to reserve your seats today.

Gates will open for fans at 4:00 p.m. ET (1:00 p.m. PT) with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. PT). You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FloRacing. Motorsports fans can subscribe to FloRacing to enjoy over 1,000 live motorsports events in 2024. FloSports is available by visiting https://flosports.link/aft or by downloading the FloSports app on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire and Chromecast.

FOX Sports coverage of the Memphis Shades DuQuoin Mile, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, July 14, at 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT).

For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.

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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