AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines – Round 9
Lima Half-Mile, Ohio, June 24, 2017
The 2017 edition of the Lima Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle “had it all - intense race action, dramatic twists and turns with massive championship implications, and an underdog winner.
|Photo credit American Flat Track/Scott Hunter|
“Round 9 of the American Flat Track schedule had all the makings of a promoter's dream, however, racer-promoter Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) was helpless to do anything but watch from the fences as Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) delivered a virtuoso performance to reign supreme at the Lima Half-Mile” - Mees’ home track.
Mees, who came into the event as the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship leader, was assessed a ten-second penalty for jumping the start not once, but twice, in his Semi. That added time pushed him down from fourth position to 11th – and consequently, on the outside of the Main Event looking in.
Bauman, the 2012 GNC Rookie of the Year, crushed the competition in both his Heat and Semi, storming around the pea-gravel on the high line with apparent ease, doing much the same in the Main Event – taking the win by a 2.793-second margin of victory after tangling with a lapper on the final of the 25 laps.
Bauman's Kawasaki-mounted win marked the end of Indian's season-long victory streak, while also bringing Harley-Davidson's 21-race unbeaten streak at the Lima Half-Mile to a halt in the process.
Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) was second, with Jeffrey Carver Jr. third (No. 23 Carver’s BBQ Kawasaki Ninja 650), Davis Fisher 4th and Henry Wiles 5th, both also on Ninja 650s.
Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) was 6th, his worst result of 2017, but enough to retake possession of the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship lead by five points for Mees.
The Harley-Davidson XR750s were 7th (Ryan Wells), 8th (Brandon Robinson) and 17th (Dustin Crow).
The series now moves on to Elbridge, New York, on July 8, for the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile; followed by the Harley-Davidson Calistoga Half-Mile (Calistoga, California July 29th – the third of three straight mid-season Half-Miles) before landing in South Dakota for two races in three days during the Sturgis Rally – The Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle (August 6) and The Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile at Rapid City (August 8).