How to Watch & What to Watch: Silver Dollar Short Track

FloRacing is the live streaming home of Progressive American Flat Track. Complete coverage of this Saturday’s Silver Dollar Short Track at Silver Dollar Speedway will kick off with the day’s first practice session at 7:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. PT). Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action live at 

FOX Sports coverage of the Silver Dollar Short Track, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, May 25, at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT). 

Event Rewind: Memphis Shades Ventura Short Track Main Event Highlights

Progressive AFT Completes California Swing with Inaugural Silver Dollar Short Track 

Progressive American Flat Track will make its first-ever appearance at Silver Dollar Speedway this weekend.  Read More

The Shape of Things to Come 

Prior to the start of the 2024 season, there was every expectation that the new year would serve as a rematch for the year prior, again featuring reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750), in his quest for an unprecedented tenth crown, and the sport’s heir apparent, Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), in search of what he plans to make the first of many. 

It’s still early, but thus far ‘24 has played out less like a rehash of ‘23 than a remix of ‘22, a season in which there were five riders in contention for the title all season long and six different winners in all. 

This despite four of the opening five rounds taking place on a single discipline, which a specialist might have otherwise stepped forward to grab the reins. 

Of course, a reversion to a Mees/Daniels-centric confrontation remains among the most likely of all possible outcomes. Their relentless consistency will need to be matched lest the season tilt back in their favor. 

As it stands, the two have combined for more than half of all possible podiums, 8 out of 15 (53.3% with 66.7% being the highest possible percentage). That’s pretty much exactly on par with last season’s number (30 of 54 (55.6%). 

The difference lies in their victory strike rate. Last year, they combined for 14 of 18 wins (77.8%). This year, they’re down to 2 for 5 (40%). Instead, more than half of the wins, 3 of 5 (60%), have gone to would-be contenders Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke). 

Mees and Daniels can be expected to continue to bring it as they have, both outstanding riders well insulated against developmental and discipline-based dips. 

It’s now up to Robinson and Bauman to continue to ramp up the intrigue.  

Can Robinson continue to perform at a championship level, week-in and week-out, no matter the venue? 

And was the drubbing Bauman delivered in Ventura just a high point on the ongoing developmental rollercoaster or the first evidence of a genuine breakthrough? (If the latter, this season could yet take on a wholly unexpected shape). 

Gimme Five 

We’ve already seen four different winners in four Short Track this season. And if ‘24 is going to mimic ‘22 as suggested above, more winners still will need to emerge. Could we make it five for five this weekend? 

Fortunately, there is no lack for candidates capable of making that a reality. Here’s a quick rundown of the more obvious ones: 

Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750) 

Not all that long ago, Vanderkooi was on the rise, actively closing the gap to the established title contenders. During the 2021 and 2022 seasons, the Ohioan secured nine podiums, including six runners-up, culminating with his maiden premier-class victory and the Progressive Triple Crown in the ‘22 finale weekend. 

His quest to establish himself a legitimate championship threat got off to a strong start in ‘23, with a runner-up finish on the opening weekend. However, he has yet to return to the podium since, more than twenty races later. 

But Vanderkooi may just be on the verge of rediscovering his peak form, as he battled for the box last weekend and walked away with a fourth-place finish. 

Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) 

Fisher enjoyed his season as a Mission AFT SuperTwins pilot last year, ending the year ranked inside the top five. While he’s yet to repeat his first and only premier-class win, which was earned in the ‘21 finale, he was consistently fighting inside the top five throughout the ‘23 campaign (if consistently just behind the fight for victory).  

He’s carried that same form into ‘24 and requires just a relatively minor uptick in pace to steal away a second-career win. 

Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Dodge Bros. Racing/Castrol Harley-Davidson XR750) 

Halbert ranks among the most accomplished riders in the sport’s modern history. Even if he’s no longer a season-long participant, he still has the skills to win pretty much any time he shows up. That fact was most evident at this year’s Daytona double opener, where Halbert was just about as dominant as a rider can be without actually sealing a victory. 

That performance, highlighted by a stirring runner-up result, made a 503rd win for the iconic Harley-Davidson XR750 feel like a genuine possibility. 

Brandon Price (No. 92 Memphis Shades/Corbin/OTBR Yamaha MT-07) 

In recent seasons, Price’s goal was simply to land a competitive full-time ride. Now that that has been taken care of, he can return his focus to what’s long been his primary mission: a first-career Grand National Championship Main Event victory. 

The Pennsylvanian has come oh-so-close on several occasions in the past, earning runner-up finishes in four different seasons, including this one.  

That first win feels like it’s coming, more a matter of when than if. 

Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) 

We know Lewis isn’t going to win this weekend, as he’ll be sitting this one out following last weekend’s Main Event crash. But could he give Royal Enfield its first Mission AFT SuperTwins victory sometime later this year?  

The marque is a bit of a unique case in that its general history is exceptionally long while its racing history is comparatively brief. 

Royal Enfield jumped into Progressive AFT competition with both wheels, but did so on its own terms, choosing to develop a racebike around an air/oil-cooled engine. That’s required the team to unearth massive horsepower gains in order to compete. But compete they have, even if it sometimes feels as if they are threading the needle to do so, a fine line separating top fives from top fifteens. 

But the potential to win was made most obvious last season when Lewis outgunned Mees and Daniels to take top honors in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the Orange County Half-Mile. 

If everything clicks some Saturday evening this season, Lewis might just add a second-career premier-class win to his résumé more than a decade after claiming his first aboard a Honda CRF450R in the 2012 Daytona opener. 

Ventura Chargers 

You’ve heard of the San Diego Chargers.  

You’ve heard of the Los Angeles Chargers. 

But how about the Ventura Chargers? 

By several measures, Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing Mission Foods KTM 790 Duke) should have been included in the previous section.  

Bauman finished third in the championship in 2019 on the strength of five podiums, highlighted by his maiden win. He later proved himself capable of running up front even without access to works Indian equipment, most notably via a second-place finish aboard the Latus Motors Harley-Davidson XG750R in 2022. And he should just be entering his prime, having just turned 27 a week ago. 

However, it’s largely proven tough sledding as of late while developing the Fastrack KTM; Bauman still seeks his first top five since joining the outfit at the start of the 2023 season. 

Ventura looked to be more of the same, as he struggled to break into the top ten throughout practice and qualifying, failed to make the Main straight out of his heat, and only made his way in through the LCQ. 

Once in though, he caught fire, first executing a stunning maneuver to avoid the downed Lewis and then by completing a charge up through the field, moving up from 15th to sixth.  

It was good to see, and hopefully an indication of more to come. 

Meanwhile, local ace Kayl Kolkman (No. 98 Underground Suspension/Öhlins USA Yamaha MT-07) lost his opportunity to battle for a podium in his hometown when he crashed moments after the first restart. 

While a top three wasn’t in the cards, he gave his friends and family plenty to cheer about, matching Bauman’s climb by slashing up from 16th to take the checkered flag in seventh. 

Live Life Like it’s the Last Lap 

Second place can be heart wrenching. But depending on the context, it can be just as heartwarming. 

While Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) no doubt wanted that win, last weekend’s second place was of the latter variety. 

Originally slated to skip the West Coast swing due to a lack of funds, the former class champ was able to race thanks to an angel. 

Since losing his wife, Lisa Marie Pattison, this past Christmas Eve due to pancreatic cancer, Progressive AFT starter Patrick Pattison has been doing everything in his power to honor her memory. 

The plight of Gauthier – one of Lisa’s favorite riders – provided another opportunity to do so in a meaningful way in the paddock where “Big P” and “Little P” were fixtures. 

Gauthier repaid that generosity with an inspired ride, all while sporting the winged “LMP” decal on his helmet, as he’s done previously this season. 

After the race, he said, “I can’t thank this guy enough for getting me out here… I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for him and Lisa. I can’t thank them enough. This is definitely a dream come true for me. I feel like my hard work is paying off, and I can’t thank Big P enough. That one is for Lisa.” 

Patrick joined Gauthier on the podium and said, “I’m speechless. His hard work – you can tell he wants it so bad.”  

He then turned to Dalton and added, “I appreciate it brother. You could tell she was on your shoulder tonight.” 

This is For Ya, Cali-for-nia 

There’s a contingent of quick Californians currently locked together in the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles championship chase, each one seemingly primed for a breakthrough… and likely growing increasingly desperate to make breakthrough happen. 

James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450), Travis Petton IV (No. 82 ECG Racing/A.M Ortega KTM 450 SX-F), Tarren Santero (No. 75 Vinson Construction, P&M Motorcycles Honda CRF450R), and Tyler Raggio (No. 55 Raggio Racing/Sluggo Racing KTM 450 SX-F) are currently jammed up in sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth in the points standings. 

And, for better or worse, those rankings are entirely reflective of their week-to-week form thus far this season, having combined for 12 finishes of between sixth and tenth without a single top five among them.  

You can be certain all four would love to snap that top-five drought as soon as possible. Can one (or more) of them step forward this weekend with their home fans rooting them on? 

Numbers Game 

Briar Bauman has frequently credited his brain trust of multi-time Grand National Champions in allowing him to quickly come to grips with a heavily revamped and reframed Rick Ware Racing KTM 790 Duke this season. 

After scoring his blowout victory at Ventura, Bauman lavished his inner circle – which, beyond wife and team manager Shayna Texter-Bauman, consists of Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. and Jake Johnson – with praise, crediting them for making the achievement possible. 

Bauman admitted that they’ve had to dip deep into the well of their collective knowledge in order to balance out the equation in their struggle to steal the title back from all-time great Jared Mees. 

And in fact, their collective accomplishments do balance that equation pretty evenly. 

Together, Bauman (25), Coolbeth (37), and Johnson (21) boast a combined 83 career premier-class victories to Mees’ 73. 

However – and remarkably considering the legends we’re discussing – Mees alone still holds the advantage in terms of Grand National Championships, with his record-tying nine putting him one ahead of the total earned by Bauman (two), Coolbeth (four), and Johnson (two). 

So that’s the number they are now attempting to even out. And there’s no cheating allowed on that front, for the temptation to include in that tally the Grand National Championship earned by the architect behind Bauman’s new mount, Ricky Howerton, risks invoking the ridiculous numbers of Mees’ crew chief, Kenny Tolbert (134 Main Event victories, 14 Grand National Championships, and counting) in response. 

Great Drane 

Just how good has emerging superstar Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) been from jump? 

Once you examine the numbers, you’ll see he’s likely been even better than you realized. 

There’s no recency bias required to cite Dallas Daniels and Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F) as the two greatest riders in Parts Unlimited AFT Singles history. 

In just three seasons, Daniels became the class’ first two-time champion. And now, in his fourth season, Kopp is on track to become its first three-time champion. Additionally, Kopp is a heavy favorite to end the season as the class’ all-time winningest rider, a stat in which Daniels ranks third despite his brief stay in the category. 

Recognized as rare prospects from their amateur days, Daniels and Kopp both lived up to the hype and made a huge impact on the class in short order. 

As it turns out, Drane has done the same with eerily similar statistical excellence. 

This weekend will mark the Australian's 25 Progressive AFT round (not including a visit to the Springfield Mile in ‘22 where Drane won the Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Challenge before the Main was canceled due to inclement weather).  

Here’s where he stacks up with Daniels and Kopp in some major categories at the same point in their careers: 

Top Tens:  

  • Daniels: 19 
  • Drane: 19 
  • Kopp: 17 

Top Fives: 

  • Daniels: 17 
  • Drane: 17 
  • Kopp: 12  


  • Drane: 15 
  • Daniels: 12 
  • Kopp: 10 


  • Daniels: 9 
  • Drane: 6 
  • Kopp: 5