Storylines Collide as Progressive AFT Invades Castle Rock
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 9, 2023) – A year ago, Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its long-awaited return to Castle Rock Race Park in glorious, sell-out fashion. This weekend, the series will only build on that success by bringing twin A1 stories to the 29th CertainTeed Castle Rock TT presented by Law Tigers in Castle Rock, Washington, on Saturday, August 12.
The headliners are obvious. Last year’s winner and Washington native, JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), arrives at the venue where he grew up racing with designs on winning a ninth TT in his most recent ten attempts.
Meanwhile, reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle king Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750) comes to Castle Rock holding a mere five-point advantage over up-and-coming challenger Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) in their season-long struggle for the 2023 Grand National Championship.
Those two storylines are intertwined as Beach’s TT excellence potentially positions him as a points buffer should either Mees or Daniels manage to get in front of him to slot between themself and their title rival. Such an outcome could prove the difference this season, particularly for Daniels who is desperate to make up the deficit ahead of September’s Springfield doubleheader finale.
Daniels showed the outright pace to seriously challenge Beach at Castle Rock a year ago, only to have his chances end when his bike stalled off the start. Despite being forced to line up on the back row for the restart, the ascendant ace somehow slashed his way up to fourth on a track that proved extremely difficult to overtake on.
Mees, meanwhile, used that fact to his advantage, holding another TT extraordinaire, Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 790 Duke), at bay to finish as the ‘22 race runner-up.
Bauman, meanwhile, leads an impressive line-up of potential spoilers who could yet play a pivotal role in the championship battle. Others who have demonstrated the chops to run up front this weekend include another Washingtonian, three-time Castle Rock TT winner Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Martin Trucking/Castrol Yamaha MT-07), and Henry Wiles (No. 17 BriggsAuto.com/Martin Trucking Indian FTR750), the series’ all-time winningest TT rider.
Meanwhile, Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Indian FTR750), Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing/2 Wheelz KTM 790 Duke) and Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750) all registered top-ten results here a year ago and will no doubt look to push their way even further up the order in the ‘23 rematch.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
This weekend, Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F) will be presented with the rare opportunity to earn his first-career TT victory, tie Dallas Daniels’ record for most wins in a single Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER, and sew up his second-consecutive championship, all in front of his home crowd.
All he has to do now is go out and win. If he does, all of the above are guaranteed to happen. Easier said than done, however. Kopp showcased the speed and style to stand atop the box here a year ago, but poor starts and a costly crash prevented it from transpiring. Now he returns motivated, confident, and boasting a 49-point advantage to work with.
Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) took the victory and will be a favorite to fight up front again this time around. So too will Estenson Racing teammates, Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), who currently rank 2-3 in the points, respectively, after finishing 1-2 in the opposite order a couple weeks back at the Peoria TT.
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), Chad Cose (No. 49 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450), Aiden RoosEvans (No. 26 A1R Racing/FRA Trust Honda CRF450R), and James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) all enjoyed strong outings at Castle Rock a year ago and there’s no reason to think they won’t be factors again this time around.
Another rider to keep tabs on is the ultra-versatile Ryan Sipes (No. 264 Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GASGAS MC 450F), who makes his Progressive AFT return following a near-two-year absence. The multi-discipline hero already boasts two prior TT wins on his Hall of Fame worthy résumé and would only add to his legend by securing a third this weekend.
There will be plenty to keep fans entertained at the track on Saturday as well, including numerous vendors and free motorcycle parking.
General Admission Grandstand tickets are just $40 (kids 12 and under $5), and there are a variety of General Admission Parking and Multi-Day Camping Passes options to select from.
Pit Pass 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.
Visit https://www.tixr.com/groups/sdiracing/events/castle-rock-tt-59623 to reserve your seats today.
Gates will open for fans at 3:00 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. PT) with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT).
For those that can’t catch the live action from the circuit, FansChoice.tv is the live streaming home of Progressive AFT. Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action starting with Practice & Qualifying and ending with the Victory Podium at the end of the night at https://www.fanschoice.tv.
FOX Sports coverage of CertainTeed Castle Rock TT presented by Law Tigers, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, August 20, at 11:00 a.m. ET (8:00 a.m. PT).
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.