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Tuesday 9 July 2019

AFT Twins

Mees Triumphant in Epic Lima Half-Mile

The AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, was arguably the most thrilling of the 2019 American Flat Track season and one with massive championship implications - both factors working decidedly in Mees' favor.
The opening several laps featured an intense head-to-head showdown that put Mees up against championship leader Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750). That duel was cut short by a red flag on lap 7, which altered the complexion of the Main dramatically.

Photo: Scott Hunter/American Flat Track

Mees got a stellar jump at the restart, while Bauman was sucked into a battle for second with Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750), Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750), and rookie Brandon Price (No 192 Roof Systems of Dallas TX/DPC Racing Indian FTR750).
Bauman's luck only got worse from there, as his rear tire came clean off the rim on lap 10. That unusual mishap put an end to his perfect season's podium streak while instantly eliminating the bulk of his hard-earned championship padding.
Following Bauman's exit, Carver ate up the gap to Mees, and the two then engaged in their own wild shootout for the lead. Running divergent lines, Mees and Carver proceeded to trade the position back and forth multiple times per corner for several laps in succession. That titanic battle allowed Wiles to close in over the final several laps, setting up a three-way struggle on the final lap.

Carver attempted to square up the final turn but Mees powered neatly around the outside line, beating his opponent to the checkered flag by 0.199 seconds. Wiles came home third another 0.668 seconds in arrears.
Combined with Briar Bauman's DNF and Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) failing to make the Main event Mees' triumph elevated him to second in the standings, a mere 13 points back from Bauman (145-132). Laconia ST winner Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) put together another solid outing to round out the top five.
In the Singles Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX-F 450) took the win, ahead of Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) for a Red Bull KTM 1-2. Chad Cose (No. 49 Parkinson Bros Racing/Ritchie Reynolds Racing Honda CRF450R) was third.
In the AFT Production Twins Chad Cose earned his first-career American Flat Track victory following a race-long scrap with runaway AFT Production Twins title leader Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07). Cose's maiden win comes after more than a decade on the scene and after finishing the 2018 season ranked sixth overall in the premier AFT Twins class with a podium to his name. Highly-decorated road racer James Rispoli (No. 71 Black Hills Harley-Davidson ProBEAM XG750R Rev X) also scored his best finish of the season in third.
Next up is the New Your 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 10.
The series then descends on Illinois for three races - the Peoria TT, August 17, the rearranged Springfield Mile I on August 31 and the as originally schedule 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.