About American Flat Track
Bigger. Better. Faster. Badder.
In 2017, American Flat Track was re-envisioned, re-branded and re-focused, with exciting new classes, updated race formats, new manufacturers, a significant TV broadcasting deal with NBC Sports, new high-end race venues, and much more.
The results were nothing short of spectacular. Ticket sales doubled vs. 2016. Broadcast viewership on NBCSN shot to new heights, with nearly 2 million total viewers, more than a million and a half total households tuning in, and on two occasions AFT was the top-rated show of the day. Also, with our NBCSN broadcasts moving to weekends in 2018, those numbers are likely to double. Live stream viewers on FansChoice.tv increased dramatically as well, with a quarter million unique viewers, nearly 400,000 total viewed hours, and an average stream time of 90 minutes.
Our social media impact was similarly impressive, with nearly 1.2 million Facebook Live viewers, a 13 percent increase in Facebook fans, and nearly 11 million video views. Our Instagram and Twitter numbers spiked as well
Mainstream interest in American Flat Track also grew, thanks not only to the compelling on-track racing, the racers themselves, and our affiliation with NBCSN, but via significant mainstream media attention from the likes of Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Popular Mechanics and Car and Driver. Additionally, major new sponsors, racers and manufacturers joined our ranks, and the racing in both classes was every bit as intense and competitive as you’d expect.
In all, a huge year for AFT. And suddenly, America’s oldest and purest form of motorcycle sport was back on the radar, and making a thunderous noise.
That trend will continue in 2018 and beyond, too, because we’re adding to the momentum created in 2017 via a host of refinements and tweaks that are sure to make the American Flat Track experience even more compelling – for fans, sponsors and an ever-widening general public watching on NBC Sports and live streaming via FansChoice.tv.
One of those tweaks is a revised race format that puts our best AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines and AFT Singles riders on the racetrack twice before the Main. To make the Main event in the AFT Twins or AFT Singles division, riders must qualify via a heat race and a semi – and there is no last chance qualifier. It’s more challenging for riders, and more exciting for fans – an ideal combination.
We’re also adding more festival-like attractions to our events, including Fan Zones that incorporate classic and custom bike displays, live music, kids’ areas, vendors, motorcycle history and legends elements, a wider selection of food and drink options, and much more. Combine all that with open-paddock walks, autograph sessions with our amazing riders, and barn-burner flat track racing in the evening, and you can bet that fans and families will have find plenty of exciting stuff to do on race days.
As in 2017, the American Flat Track series will be the battleground for one of the oldest rivalries in motorcycle racing - Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. Indian came out of the gate swinging in 2017 with a purpose-built and functionally excellent motorcycle in the FTR750, then signed three of the AFT’s top riders to ride them. Indian Motorcycle riders won 14 of 18 races in 2017, and they’ll be tough to stop this year.
Harley-Davidson continued development of its street-based XG750R machine as a replacement for its legendary XR750, and finds itself playing a bit of an underdog role in 2018. The Vance & Hines crew worked overtime during the off-season and expects much better performances from its factory riders this year, so the Harley/Indian war is shaping up to be plenty interesting for 2018.
Of course, you can’t discount the Kawasaki-powered machines and teams in AFT Twins, which won three AFT Nationals in 2017. In fact, the degree of machinery diversity in American Flat Track is astounding, with several other manufacturers vying for space on AFT Twins victory podiums in 2018, including Yamaha, Ducati, Honda and others.
The action will be hot and heavy in the AFT Singles class, as well, with 2017 Series champion Kolby ‘The Flying Tomato’ Carlile defending his title against a cadre of seasoned pros and aggressive young lions – including Shayna Texter (who won five races last year, more than any other rider) and her brother Cory, 2017 runner-up Brandon Price, 2016 AFT Singles champ Ryan Wells, Sandriana Shipman and many others. There will be fierce competition between Japanese and European manufacturers in the AFT Singles division, too, with Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha battling Husqvarna and KTM for class honors.
Boil it all down and you’re left with this single undeniable fact: There really is nothing like American Flat Track. Anywhere.
Like we said: Bigger. Better. Faster. Badder.
American Flat Track Twins
American Flat Track Twins is the pinnacle of dirt track motorcycle racing globally, and has been since the professional ranks were formalized as the Grand National Championship in 1954. On Mile and Half-Mile tracks, custom-built twin-cylinder motorcycles generating 90+ horsepower race bar-to-bar at speeds in excess of 140 mph, often drafting to the finish line and requiring a photo finish to determine the race winner. On Short Tracks and TTs, the spirited nature of single-cylinder production-based 450cc motorcycles makes for races filled with exciting passing.
American Flat Track Singles
The American Flat Track Singles class is geared for cultivating young dirt track talent as riders hone their skills en route to the AFT Twins ranks. Up-and-coming competitors make their mark in racing aboard production-based 450cc motorcycles offering upwards of 60 horsepower. Racing at speeds faster than 100 mph, AFT Singles riders compete aboard singles at all Short Track, TT and Half-Mile courses. The stars of tomorrow battle it out on motorcycles produced by Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha, to name just a few.