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Tuesday 28 March 2023

American Flat Track

Mees Beats Daniels in Stunning Senoia Short Track

Reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750) came out victorious following an epic showdown featuring two of Progressive American Flat Track's biggest stars in the Yamaha Senoia Short Track on Saturday March 25, at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia.

Meanwhile, two-time Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER championship runner-up Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) earned his first victory of the '23 season in convincing fashion.

SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle

Mees entered the weekend with the knowledge that his place atop the pecking order was under threat from the fast-rising Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), who had opened his '23 title campaign with two dominating wins at Daytona two weeks earlier.

Initially Mees got away to a good lead, but seeing what the factory Indian ace was up to, Daniels stuck a hard pass in on teammate JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) to slot into second and then put his head down in hopes of reeling Mees back in.

Daniels ultimately arrived on Mees' rear wheel and at last took the lead at half-distance, just as the two made their way into lapped traffic. The second half of the contest was relentless, with passes for the lead executed on nearly every lap, all the while slashing their way past slower riders.

Mees reclaimed the lead with twenty seconds remaining on the clock and then leaned on his decades of experience advantage to cling on for the victory by 0.174 seconds.

While the Mees-Daniels showdown was the headliner (and quite possibly a preview of more to come), the battle for the remaining positions were nearly as exciting. Beach snatched third spot from Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) on the final lap; Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere's BMC Racing Indian FTR750) earned his second top five of the year, outdueling Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Indian FTR750) sixth.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Australian Max Whale's defending class champion teammate Kody Kopp (No. 18 and No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F respectively) had a massive target on his back after his double win at Daytona, but Whale's was a convincing first victory of the 2023 season.

Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) ended up missing the podium with a 5th place finish, after a huge scrap played out behind him for second. An impressive James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) took second ahead of Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) in third, with Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) fourth.

Morgan Mischler took sixth (No. 13 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), with Factory Honda CRF450R teammates Trent Lowe (No. 48) and Chase Saathoff (No. 88) in seventh and eighth respectively.

Next Up: The series now heads for the Arizona Super TT (April 1), the Dallas Half-Mile (April 22), Ventura Short Track (May 6), the Sacramento Mile (May 13), and the Red Mile at Lexington, Ky., on May 27 before a three-week gap to Round 9, the last in the sequence of Mile races at DuQuoin, Il., on June 17. After which the first of a four-race run of Half-Miles kicks-off with the popular Lima, Ohio Half-Mile on June 24.