The inaugural AFT Laconia Short Track (New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., June 15) proved to be an intense, multi-stage affair that ultimately saw the emergence of a first-time winner in Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), who led every lap in his way to victory despite three restarts - with the all-new circuit proving to be an "extraordinarily demanding battleground, developing considerable bumps in the corners and rapidly altering lines."
|Photo: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track|
Bauman's brother Briar was second - his fifth consecutive runner-up finish as he maintained his perfect 2019 podium record. Short track ace Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) was third, Vanderkooi and Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki Ninja 650) were fourth and fifth respectively.
Briar Bauman now has a 34-point advantage at the top of the series leader board over Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750), who finished sixth at Laconia.
The bike of defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) stalled while awaiting the third restart, eliminating him from contention. Mees finished 15th and is now third in the standings, one point behind Robinson.
In the AFT Singles the win was taken by Mikey Rush (No. 15 RMR Honda/Red Riders Rewards Honda CRF450R) for the second consecutive race, moving him into the championship lead. Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) was second and moved up into second in the championship, with Australian Max Whale (No. 18 Weirbach Racing Kawasaki KX450F) earning his first AFT career podium in third; Andrew Luker (No. 11 Keeran Racing/Baker Racing Kawasaki KX450F) was fourth; defending AFT Singles champion Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) fifth.
Next up is the Lima, Ohio, Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile presented by Johnny K's Indian at the Allen County Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 29. Then comes the New York Short Track (Weedsport, near Syracuse, July 13); the Buffalo Chip TT on August 4th and Black Hills Half-Mile (Rapid City, SD) on August 6th before the re-arranged Cycle Gear Sacramento Mile August 10th.
The series then descends on Illinois for three races on the spin - the Peoria TT, August 17, the re-arranged Springfield Mile I on August 31 and the as originally scheduled Springfield Mile II the next day, September 1st.
The 2019 series wraps up in September with the Williams Grove Half-Mile (Mechanicsburg, PA., September 9), the Minnesota Mile (Minneapolis, September 21) and the final round, the Meadowlands Mile, East Rutherford, NJ, September 28.