Bauman Dominates in Dallas

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 26, 2020)  Reigning Progressive American Flat Track Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) obliterated the world’s best dirt trackers for the third consecutive race, putting on yet another clinic in Friday night’s Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile I presented by Law Tigers at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas.

Bauman was in control of the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event from green light to checkered flag, looking remarkably smooth throughout an unfamiliar circuit that caught many of his rivals out.

In some ways, the victory celebration started with more than four minutes remaining when the blue flags started flying in earnest. By the time the race was complete, Bauman had lapped his way all the way up to seventh position.

“I got into some battles I wasn’t supposed to be in,” Bauman said. “I got into a line of guys one time and it was pretty hectic. But they all did a great job seeing the blue flags. It’s so difficult on a small track like this to alter your lines while in a battle. Hats off to all the guys.

“I’m so happy to be here. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can as I go. I say this a lot, but I’ve made a lot of dumb moves in my career, and I’m just trying to minimize those and get better every weekend.”

Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) was the only rider that looked to be in Bauman’s league on this evening. The Springfield Mile winner maintained a gap of right around two seconds back deep into the Main before the run through packs of slower riders eventually dropped him to a final margin of 3.445 seconds.

Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) seemed destined to limit the championship damage he would absorb by rounding out the podium. However, he took another hit when he was victimized by an on-form Robert Pearson (No. 27 Rackley Racing Indian FTR750), who returned to action in Dallas following a couple rounds away with a new team and plenty of motivation.

Pearson powered his way forward from outside the top five to reel in Mees late. He then executed the decisive maneuver after the clocks showed 0:00 to notch up his first podium of the 2020 season.

Dan Bromley (No. 62 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750) -- who earlier exploited the high line to win his Semi -- ran fourth over the race’s opening half. Unfortunately, his bike was damaged in an incident, and he was forced to retire after losing his seat.

Brandon Price (No. 92 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750) completed the top five.

Bauman’s recent winning streak has pushed his championship lead up to 15 over Mees (194-179). Halbert is a distant third at 143. Everyone else is more than three full races back.

AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

It was only natural that the AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys rider to shine the brightest in Dallas was one Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F). Of course, Daniels hasn’t required any type of luck to separate himself from the pack in 2020.

The rising star seized control of the race by the end of lap one and never saw an opponent’s wheel from that point forward. In a class where no other rider has more than one win on the year, Daniels already boasts four as he has firmly established himself as the championship favorite with the season heading down the stretch.

“It’s cool, ‘Dallas winning in Dallas.’” Daniels said. “It’s awesome -- it was just a great day. My Estenson Monster Energy Yamaha team really busts their tails. They had the bike working awesome. When the track got slick tonight bike set-up was huge, and they had it figured out.

“We’ll try to do it again tomorrow. No one has done the double yet this year, and I want to be able to do it.”

Daniels’ primary challenger this season -- the hugely experienced and decorated Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R) -- chased him as deep into the Main as he could manage. However, by mid-distance he was forced to turn his attention to charging teammate Michael Inderbitzin (No. 54 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R).

Inderbitzin was the one rider who may have had the pace to beat Daniels. However, the polesitter dropped outside the top five off the line and was forced to use that speed just to put himself on Wiles’ rear wheel as they took the halfway flags. Not surprisingly, Wiles proved a hard target, fending Inderbitzin off until the very final lap.

After being displaced to third, Wiles attempted to square his teammate back up in the short sprint to the flag, but Inderbitzin narrowly held on to earn his first podium of the season by 0.089 seconds.

A couple seconds further back, Williams Grove runner-up Trent Lowe (No. 48 Roof Systems of Dallas, TX/Shoei Helmets Honda CRF450R) edged Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Roof Systems DFW/Duffy Fleet Services KTM 450 SX-F) for fourth by just over a tenth of a second.

Daniels’ teammate, Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), ran in the lead group early but ultimately crossed the stripe down in eighth.

As a result, Daniels now leads the points by 22 over Wiles and 37 over Rush ahead of tomorrow’s rematch.

AFT Production Twins

James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) continued to operate in another orbit compared to the rest of the AFT Production Twins field, streaking to his fifth win in six races with relative ease.

Defending class champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) shot into the lead off the light, followed by Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R).

Polesitter Rispoli dropped to third at the start but was already in the lead and shaking free by the end of the opening lap. Cose did all he could to give the title leader a fight, holding onto his draft for about three minutes before Rispoli put an end to his challenge and blasted off to yet another blowout victory.

After securing his fourth consecutive class triumph, Rispoli said, “We are fired up! I can’t thank my team Latus Motors Racing enough. My crew put together such a great package -- I wouldn’t be here without them. Our team is so cool, so small, and so niche. It’s making the difference.”

Title contender Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) suffered a huge moment early, dropping from third to seventh in the process. He spent the next half race clawing his way forward. Varnes did well to battle his way back into third and even closed in on runner-up Cose for a spell, but was forced to accept the final spot on the box in the end.

Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) held down fourth for much of the contest but became embroiled in a scrap for the position with Jeremiah Duffy (No. 42 Sammy O Racing/ERT Kawasaki Ninja 650). Duffy managed to find a way through to take fourth at the flag while Lowe rounded out the top five less than a second back.

After getting such a strong start, Texter’s race ended down in seventh, 0.154 seconds back of Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650).

Rispoli now holds a title lead equal to his competition number, up a full 43 points on second-ranked Texter.

The Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile I presented by Law Tigers will air on NBCSN on Saturday, October 3, at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT, with the Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile II presented by Law Tigers set to air on NBCSN later that same day at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT. The broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and the expert commentary of Progressive AFT legend Chris Carr.

Next Up:

Progressive American Flat Track will round out its doubleheader weekend at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday night with the Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile II presented by Law Tigers. The schedule is a repeat from tonight; gates will open for fans at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT with the Main Event programs set to begin at 9:45 p.m. ET/5:45 p.m. PT. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for less than $1 per event via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. A very limited number of tickets are still available for Saturday's Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile II event and can be purchased at General Admission Grandstand tickets are only $25 and kids 12 and under are free with the purchase of an adult admission.