As the American Flat Track Twins presented by Vance & Hines series took its now annual swing through the Black Hills of South Dakota for two races during the Sturgis Rally, it produced two entirely different kinds of race and two entirely different results.
Indian Motorcycle Racing continued its dominating season, taking an astonishing nine out of the available ten top ten spots across the two races, and five of the six available podium places with eight different riders (seven of them privateers) filling those nine top five finishes. The reigning Championship winning Scout FTR750 has topped the podium in every race this season so far.
At the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle (August 5) Jake Johnson (Estenson Racing) secured his first win on his privateer Indian Scout FTR750, with Wrecking Crew rider and reigning champion Jared Mees second.
“For the second straight year, the Buffalo Chip TT didn’t disappoint. It’s a challenging track set up and makes for incredibly entertaining bar-to-bar action,” said Gary Gray, Vice President - Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “Jake raced his tail off, and we couldn’t be happier for him and the entire Estenson Racing team.”
Harley-Davidson got what is a rare podium this season with Sammy Halbert racing the XG750R to third place, with first time Indian Scout FTR750 riders Hayden Gillim (Indian, Cycle World, S&S Cycle, Bell Helmets) and Bronson Bauman (Howerton Motorsports/Allstate Insurance/WPS) fourth and fifth.
As Cycle World’s “Man in a Van with a Plan,” the Buffalo Chip TT marked Gillim’s first career Twins race - a race he won in 2017 riding the Singles class. Bronson Bauman finished the night in fifth aboard Bryan Smith’s factory Scout FTR750. Ryan Sipes took the singles win on the Husqvarna FC450.
At the Harley-Davidson of Black Hill Half Mile presented by Law Tigers at the Black Hills Speedway at nearby Rapid City, Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) reasserted dominance atop the podium - but only by 0.032 of a second, seeing off Indian privateer Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee Scout FTR750) to take an epic win.
Former champion Bryan Smith (No. 4 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) was third; fellow Indian privateers Briar Bauman and Kenny Coolbeth Jr were fourth and fifith to give the FTR750 all top five places.
|Photo Credit: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track|
The win was Mees’ 10th in 13 races this season. With five races remaining on the season slate, he’s already equalled the tally that carried him to a championship win in 2017. It also stood as the 26th Half-Mile victory of his career, moving him into a tie with Will Davis for second most in AFT history.
Mees is rapidly closing in on a second consecutive Grand National Championship. Thanks to racking up a quick 45 points in this year’s 78th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally doubleheader, he now leads Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/Wilco Racing/Willy Built Indian Scout FTR750) by 102 points with just 125 points left in play.
In the Singles Shayna Texter (No. 52 Husqvarna Motorcycles/JCS Racing FC 450), who's scored the most wins in AFT Singles history, took the win to back up her Lima Mile (Ohio) derring do at the end of June. That Lima win gave Husqvarna their first ever AFT Singles win but thanks to Texter and Sipes the FC 450 now has three of the last four races in the bag.
The series heads to Illinois next, for the Peoria TT (August 18) followed by the second Springfield Mile of the season on September 2 and the H-D Williams Grove Half Mile at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on September 8. After the Minnesota Mile at the end of September the series then wraps up at the Meadowlands Mile at East Rutherford, New Jersey, October 6.