Lima Half-Mile Promises to Push Progressive AFT Pilots to the Limit
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 21, 2022) – The 2022 Progressive American Flat Track tour will arrive at one of its most challenging and revered events this weekend with the Mission Lima Half-Mile at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, on Saturday, June 25.
The pea-gravel cushion Half-Mile pushes competitors to their physical limit while testing their strategic acumen as well, reliably offering a variety of line choices while delivering outstanding racing.
Reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) has proven himself a master of the demanding battleground time and again. The current points leader has reigned supreme at the Lima Half-Mile on five separate occasions, dating back to his very first premier-class victory way back in 2005.
That sterling track record is fitting too, as Mees is not just one of the most successful riders in the event’s history, he and his wife Nichole also serve as the race’s promoters. However, that hasn’t prevented the track from biting even him on occasion, including the time Mees failed to make the Main Event in 2017, as well as last season when he mustered just an eighth-place finish while combating an early-season injury.
While Mees struggled here a year ago, fellow Indian Wrecking Crew member Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) shined, earning his second victory of the ‘21 season. That wasn’t his first win at Lima, as Bauman actually earned his first win aboard a twin-cylinder at the track back in 2017. He’ll look to pull off a similar trick this year at a venue that’s well suited to his riding style and phenomenal fitness.
While the Mees/Bauman rivalry has dominated headlines for the last three-plus seasons, they currently find themselves in the midst of an intense four-way battle for supremacy that also involves Estenson Racing Yamaha teammates Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), who currently ranked second and fourth in the points, respectively.
Daniels and Beach have made history in recent weeks while claiming two of the last three races. If either rider manages to add another victory this weekend, it’ll be yet another milestone with Yamaha still seeking its first-ever win at the Lima Half-Mile regardless of category.
Mission Roof Systems teammates Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) flanked Bauman on the box here a year ago. Robinson also happens to be a past winner of the race, while Ohio native Vanderkooi would love to earn his maiden premier-class victory in his home state.
Another story to keep tabs on is the performance of Brandon Price (No. 92 Pro One Industries/Mission Foods KTM Duke 890). Price, who has raced an Indian and a Kawasaki already this season, will compete aboard a KTM Duke 890 less than a month after James Rispoli (No. 43 Wally Brown Racing/Haversack KTM 890 Duke) demonstrated the potential of the platform with a podium performance as a Mission Production Twins Challenge entrant at the Red Mile.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
Following the lightning fast start of Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07), the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines title fight has trended in the direction of a two-rider showdown featuring defending champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) and points leader Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R).
While those two have separated themselves from the pack in the points race, it’s been a different story in any given race. There have been five different winners in just six races this season, including last weekend’s debut winner, Billy Ross (No. 109 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R).
One rider still looking for their first victory of 2022 is last year’s Lima Half-Mile winner, Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650). The Royal Enfield appears to be more potent than ever but misfortune has prevented Lewis from finishing on the podium yet this season. A return to Lima could be exactly what’s needed to get the program back on track.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) was in commanding form at the Laconia Short Track, building up his Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER title lead with a thoroughly dominating performance to claim his third win of the young season.
Second-ranked Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) and third-ranked Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) – who aims to return to action post-surgery in Lima – will need to strike back in a significant way and soon in order to keep Kopp in their sights. Fortunately for them, both riders were podium performers at Lima a year ago.
2019 Parts Unlimited AFT Singles champion Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) is just a further two points adrift of Whale and has both the time and talent required to claw his way back into the championship chase.
While the usual suspects lock down their positions at the top of the order, any number of riders have threatened to break through with a win of their own in ‘22, including the likes of Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R), Chase Saathoff (No. 106 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R), and Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F).
And don’t count out Chad Cose (No. 49 1st Impressions Race Team/Voodoo Ranger Honda CRF450R), who won the Mission Production Twins Main and podiumed in Parts Unlimited AFT Singles on a single evening at Lima in 2019.
There will be plenty to keep fans entertained off the track as well, including the Mission Booth, Drag Specialties display, and numerous other vendors, a variety of food and beverage options, the Kids Zone, and a vintage bike show located behind the main grandstand.
Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3765 to reserve your tickets today. General Admission tickets are available for just $30 with kids 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Reserved Grandstand and Premium Reserved Grandstand tickets are available for just $5 and $10 more, respectively.
Paddock Access Upgrades are also available for purchase, which provide all-day access to the pits where fans can scope out the world’s fastest dirt track motorcycles and get up close and personal with the stars of the sport.
Fans who want an all-inclusive night of spectating can purchase the VIP Experience, which includes a Premium Reserved Grandstand ticket, Paddock Access Upgrade, food and beverage, and access to the VIP line for shirts and programs for $125.
Gates will open for fans at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m. ET/3:10 p.m. PT ahead of the day’s Main Event program. You can catch the livestream of all the weekend’s racing activities on FansChoice.tv. FansChoice.tv provides free-to-view livestreaming of Practice and Qualifying. FansChoice.tv subscribers will then be able to watch the drama unfold from Opening Ceremonies through the Semis, Main Events, and podium celebrations. FansChoice.tv offers two subscription options, granting unlimited access to premium AFT content. Monthly subscriptions start at just $7.99, while a six-month subscription is available for $44.99.
The Mission Lima Half-Mile will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, July 3, at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m, PT, including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store at https://store.americanflattrack.com.
How to Watch:
FOX Sports and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of Progressive American Flat Track. For the 2022 season, all races will premiere in one-hour telecasts on FS1 during highly desirable weekend time slots. The complete schedule can be viewed at https://www.americanflattrack.com/events-foxsports. FansChoice.tv provides livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round at http://www.FansChoice.tv.