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Tuesday 25 April 2023


Mees Takes Dallas Half-Mile Win

Reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750) penned the latest chapter of a career of Half-Mile heroics with a victorious run in the Mission Dallas Half-Mile presented by Roof Systems (Round 5) at the Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, on April 22.

Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle

The premier-class king was one-quarter of an early scrap for the lead, along with a trio of Yamaha-mounted challengers in JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07).

The opening stages of the contest proved to be a battle of extreme high and low lines. The high line showed itself to be the fast track up the order initially before giving way to a high-risk, high-reward tight-rope line at the bottom.

Just prior to half-distance, Mees and Daniels (second) exploited that tricky low line to break free and settle into a rematch of their Senoia shootout. Meanwhile, Beach (17th) and Bromley (sixth) fell into a five-rider fight for the final spot on the podium after being reeled in by the charging Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750 - third), Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere's BMC Racing Indian FTR750 - fifth) and Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 890 Duke - fourth).

Daniels made a couple of determined attempts to zero in on Mees, but never got quite close enough to make a serious attempt at an overtake. A small bobble on the part of Daniels with less than a minute remaining gave the champ a bit of breathing space. He was then ceded even more as his young rival called off the assault to accept second.

The win was the 34th Half-Mile win of Mees' historic career, placing him just one short of the all-time record held by Scott Parker.

Positions 7-10 were filled by Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Indian FTR750), Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing/2 Wheelz KTM 890 Duke), Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750) and Kolby Carlile (No. 36 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07), in that order.

After the weekend, Daniels continued to hold down the championship lead with 113 points in his pocket following his 1-1-2-2-2 start. Mees now ranks second with 96 points, while two-time champ Bauman (78) edged ahead of Beach (76) for third.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) can finally call himself a Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER Main Event winner after repeatedly knocking on the door of that landmark achievement for years. 

Lowe's maiden Progressive AFT victory headlined a race that represented a monumental reversal of fortune compared with the four rounds that led into it.

After getting off to a slower-than-expected start to the season, the American Honda-backed Turner Racing team entered the day with just one podium between its talented trio of Lowe, Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R - third) and Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R - second).

The three went straight to the front and turned the first half of the race into a glorified poster shoot for the team, running side-by-side-by-side, with the field struggling to stay in their wake.

Lowe eventually shook free while the pack closed in on second-placed Saathoff and third-placed Mischler, but they ultimately held strong to secure the podium lockout.

Meanwhile, the championship's "usual suspects" struggled before coming good in the end. Defending champ Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) ran as low as eighth before securing fourth by a mere 0.172 seconds, Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) was seventh and Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) scored fifth. Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) was sixth.

Next Up: The series now heads to California for the Ventura Short Track (May 6), followed by the Sacramento Mile on May 13, then onto the Red Mile at Lexington, Ky., on May 27. After another three-week gap, Round 9 will mark the half-way point in the 2023 Championship, with 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, followed by the West Virginia Half-Mile at Mineral Wells, WV, on July 1st and the Orange County Half-Mile at Middletown, NY, a week later (July 8).

Royal Enfield - Build.Train.Race.

With four rounds each at MotoAmerica and AFT races this season, Royal Enfield's Women Riders 'outreach' program to bring new female talent into racing had its first Flat Track outing for 2023 at the Mission Dallas Half-Mile race at the Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, on April 22.

With all racers on air/oil-cooled Bosch fuel-injected Royal Enfield INT650 parallel twins that they themselves have race-converted and prepared, star of the weekend was Morgan Monroe, who took the win by five laps ahead of Kenzie Luker in second, ahead of Zaria Martens by 0.638 second.

Rider, team and series sponsors include Parts Unlimited, Drag Specialties, S&S Cycle, chassis specialists Harris Performance Products, Arai, Öhlins Suspension and Maxima Racing Oils.

The Road Race series, on Royal Enfield GT 650s, will kick off at Road America (Elkhart Lake, WI) in June. The next three BTR Flat Track races will be at the Ventura Short Track meet in California on May 6, the Mineral Wells, West Virginia Half-Mile on July 1 and the Bridgeport Half-Mile at Swedesboro, NJ, on July 22nd.