Less than a month after rain cut short the Progressive AFT event in Rapid City, South Dakota, on the first weekend of the Sturgis Rally, Mother Nature once again interrupted the fun on Day 1 of the Springfield Mile Doubleheader over Labor Day Weekend after just one Main Event: the Production Twins class, which was won by James Rispoli.
The rain stuck around and led to the cancellation of the entirety of Day 2. By rule, every rider was awarded one point, so in the SuperTwins battle, it’s still Jared Mees in the lead with 230 points, followed by Briar Bauman with 221 points and Dallas Daniels with 214. Read more in the press release below.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 3, 2022) – The Progressive American Flat Track undercard stars took center stage during the Mission Springfield Mile I presented by Drag Specialties at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.
Shortly after the completion of the first of three scheduled Main Events, a late afternoon rain shower brought Saturday’s activities to an early conclusion as the day’s Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle and Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER were delayed until Sunday afternoon. While these events were intended to be part of a condensed program on Sunday, the rain led to the cancellation of the entirety of the Mission Springfield Mile II.
Fortunately, the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines class brought the drama Saturday in its thrilling and significant Main Event. The constantly evolving title fight delivered its latest twist when championship leader Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) suffered a mechanical DNF while fighting for the lead early in Saturday’s Main Event.
While that would normally open the door for defending champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) to blast through, Texter had his own problems on the day, uncharacteristically searching for pace after only narrowly advancing to the Main through his Semi.
Instead, Saturday’s spotlight initially shone down on ‘22 part-timers Michael Rush (No. 15 Helipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) and James Rispoli (No. 43 Wally Brown Racing/Haversack KTM 890 Duke). In fact, Janisch later admitted he was merely attempting to slow the two down before breaking and bringing out the red flag.
After dominating their respective Semis, Rush and Rispoli went bar-to-bar when racing resumed. After breaking the draft to sever the tenuous tie connecting them to a big ten-rider pack in pursuit, they went about trading first and second back and forth repeatedly.
Ultimately, Rispoli stretched out a small advantage while Rush fell back into the clutches of teammates Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin Seats/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) and Cole Zabala (No. 51 Memphis Shades/Corbin Seats/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), who smartly worked together to slingshot back into contention.
With less than a minute remaining on the clock – and moments after Bromley and Zabala powered by on either side of Rush to move into second and third, respectively – a second red flag was shown following a Michael Hill (No. 47 Pacific Auto Trim/Jim Speer Yamaha MT-07) crash, reshuffling the deck one last time.
Rush’s bike then overheated during the stoppage and was therefore forced to line up at the back of the pack (along with Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650), who also did repair work during the break).
Rispoli took the holeshot but was unable to shake the field this time around, even losing the lead to Zabala momentarily as they opened the final lap. He quickly countered, however, and proceeded to narrowly hold on for the win, edging Bromley and Zabala at the line by 0.096 and 0.145 seconds.
After earning his second win of a limited season, Rispoli said, “When the red flag came out, I knew it would put these guys back in the game, and I was like, ‘Man, we’ll be off the podium if we do this wrong.’ So I tried to put my head down.
“Wally Brown Racing has made so many updates to the motorcycle and we’re continuing to get better and better.”
Rush was impressive in climbing all the way back up to fourth despite the limited time he had to pull off the charge. He was followed by Cody Johncox (No. 96 Sunnyside Cycle/Hyperdog Yamaha MT-07), Cameron Smith (No. 34 Thee Cathy Gray/Al Barker Yamaha MT-07), and Kolby Carlile (No. 36 KC36 Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R) with the top seven riders covered by just 0.450 seconds at the flag.
Texter, meanwhile, finished ninth. As Janisch was credited with 16th, Texter managed to reduce the gap marginally, closing from 24 to 17 points (267-250) ahead of tomorrow’s rematch.
The Mission Springfield Mile I will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, September 11, at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT. The Mission Springfield Mile II will air one week later, on Sunday, September 18, at 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. Both broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
Next Up for Progressive AFT
Progressive AFT will continue its season with the Drag Specialties Cedar Lake Short Track in new Richmond, Wisconsin, on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Cedar Lake Speedway. Tickets are available online.
You can catch the livestream of all the Springfield Mile 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.
How to Watch Progressive AFT
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 here. FansChoice.tv provides livestreaming coverage of every Progressive AFT round.