Indian Motorcycle Racing, presented by Progressive Motorcycle Insurance, continued its strong start to the season's AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines, as the FTR750 secured its second podium sweep of the season at the Texas Half-Mile (April 20).
Back-to-back reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees collected his first win of the 2019 season, while Wrecking Crew teammate Briar Bauman finished second, and Indian Motorcycle privateer Brandon Robinson (Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.
Photo: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track
Mees and Bauman separated themselves from the field almost immediately at the start of the race. The two teammates spent the majority of the race jockeying for position, and after a series of lead changes throughout the early stages, Mees put some distance between him and Bauman in lap 22 and did not relinquish his lead again. This first victory of the season moved Mees up to third on the championship leaderboard.
"We are thrilled to see Jared get his first win of the season and make up some ground to stay near the top of the leaderboard," said Gary Gray, Vice President Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. "If this race was any indication, this is going to be an exciting season to watch Jared and Briar push each other to new heights the rest of the year."
Mees' victory snaps a seven-race winless streak and moves him into second on the all-time win list for Half-Miles (27 in total). For Bauman, the second-place finish continues a strong start to the season that has seen him reach the podium in all three races, including a victory at the Daytona TT. His impressive start has him at the top of the leaderboard with 62 points, followed by Robinson and Mees with 53 and 47 points respectively. Fellow Wrecking Crew Rider Bronson Bauman is eleventh with 24 points.
In the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, the win went to Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450; second place was taken by Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R,) with emerging 16-year-old phenom James Ott (No. 193 Media Home Inc./Kawasaki of Simi Valley Honda CRF450R), making his professional debut.
It was a family affair in the 15 lap Texas Half-Mile AFT Production Twins class as Shayna Texter's brother, Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07), was victorious in the opening race of the 11-race 2019 AFT Production Twins championship.
Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Varnes Racing/RoyBuilt/Don's Kawasaki Ninja 650) was second, with 2017 AFT Singles champ Kolby Carlile (No. 136 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07) third, and Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 Racing Unlimited Kawasaki/D&D Cycles Kawasaki Ninja 650) fourth.
Next up is the Wild Horse TT at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ., April 27; the So-Cal Half-Mile at Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA., May 11; the legendary Sacramento Mile at Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA., May 18; then the first of two visits to the Illinois State Fairgrounds this season for Springfield Mile I on May 26. www.americanflattrack.com