It has been an amazing season of Progressive AFT racing, starting with the opening Volusia Half-Mile II in Daytona in March, which was won by Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew rider Briar Bauman. At the opener, the 2021 season reigning champ and Bauman’s teammate, Jared Mees, took fifth, but as the 2022 season progressed, Mees stepped up his game and repeatedly stepped onto the podium’s top position. Coming full circle and heading into the doubleheader finale in Florida this weekend, Mees is the favorite to reclaim his title, but with just 16 points separating him from second-place contender and Yamaha rider Dallas Daniels (who is just two points ahead of teammate JD Beach), the crown is not yet assured. For more information, read the press release below, which includes updates on the Mission Production Twins and Parts Unlimited AFT Singles race categories.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 11, 2022) — This is it. The historic 2022 Progressive American Flat Track campaign will conclude in high-stakes style with this weekend’s Mission Volusia Half-Mile Finale I & II presented by Daytona Dodge and Zo CBD at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida, on Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 15.
Following a season of twists and turns, there remains much drama yet to play out in the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle title fight. Just 22 points separate the top four contenders with 100 points still in play, providing each of them realistic pathways to this year’s crown.
Reigning champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) enters the showdown with a 16-point advantage, making him the favorite to once again claim the throne. He also comes in with the knowledge that he has just a small margin for error lest he leave himself vulnerable to being usurped by any of the three leading challengers.
First among them is second-ranked Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), who has more than lived up to the hype in his maiden premier class season. An already an all-time great rookie effort could be made all that much greater if it ends with the #1 plate in hand.
Daniels’ plans could be either helped or hindered by the presence of his Estenson Racing Yamaha teammate, JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), who is only two points further back and still very much within striking distance himself. Beach leads the class in race wins with four and two more may very well be required to have any hope of winning it all. Only one rider can claim the championship, but if Daniels and Beach are arguing for position on track in front of Mees, that only increases their respective odds.
While two-time champion Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) saw his title hopes dimmed with his 16th-placed DNF last time out, they remained alight. Should Bauman twice repeat his victorious performance at the ‘22 opener held at this very same venue, he is guaranteed to leap past both Daniels and Beach. More crucially, he would then be poised to steal the title away from Mees should the champ twice repeat his season-opening fifth.
Meanwhile, riders as gifted as Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), and Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) are looking to end their seasons on a high note and could serve to create more opportunity for movement in the standings as a result.
And as if there wasn’t already enough on the line, the Mission Volusia Half-Mile Finale I & II will serve as the final two rounds of the Progressive Triple Crown. Whichever Mission SuperTwins rider collects the most combined points from the Progressive Laconia Short Track and this weekend’s twin Main Events will collect a $25,000 prize, providing quite the additional incentive for the entire field.
Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines
As exciting as the Mission SuperTwins title fight promises to be, the Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship battle should prove equally riveting.
The clutch victory of defending class champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) at the Drag Specialties Cedar Lake Short Track, combined with the third-place finish of Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), allowed Texter move to within nine points of Janisch in the points race.
That margin could prove critical. With 25 points awarded for each win and 20 given for second, Texter has reclaimed control of his own destiny; he’ll ride off into retirement with a third Mission Production Twins title should he score a double win this weekend.
While a less than ideal development for Janisch, it makes things easier in some ways. Rather than counting points, he can keep his focus on winning races and beating Texter, just as he has all season long. Janisch has six wins in the year and outpaced his rival here at the opener, suggesting that Texter will have a big challenge in front of him to reel back the ten points he needs to overcome the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson ace.
It’s not quite as simple as a winner-take-all scenario, however. It’s worth remembering the Volusia opener was in fact won by Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07), who is still motivated to lock down third place in the standings.
There are also fellow ‘22 race winners James Rispoli (No. 43 Wally Brown Racing/Haversack KTM 890 Duke), Mickey Rush (No. 15 Helipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R), and Billy Ross (No. 109 Mission Foods/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) to consider, not to mention Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Corbin Seats/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07), who has finished ahead of Texter and/or Janisch a combined eight times in six attempts this season.
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
While the newly crowned Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) ended the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER title chase by locking the championship up two rounds early, there is still plenty to race for this weekend.
Five riders are still mathematically alive in pursuit of runner-up honors. Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) lead that chase, separated by just a single point (222-221) in second and third, respectively.
Former class champ Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) is just nine points back of Brunner in fourth (213 points), meaning a double win would slingshot him all the way to second regardless of what Brunner or Mischler achieve in response.
Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) (206 points) and, especially, Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R) (189 points) have more difficult paths to second overall, but either would likely be happy enough to end the year atop the podium no matter their final championship placement.
While the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles grid is always loaded with potential spoilers, this weekend may have its ultimate example in Kopp himself. Freed up from any championship concerns, the class conqueror will be able to push as hard as he’d like in hopes of getting back to his winning ways. It’s been nearly three months since Kopp last took the checkered flag first, but he’s in with a shot at equaling Dallas Daniels’ single-season class record of eight wins.
There will be plenty to keep fans entertained off the track as well, including numerous vendors, plenty of food and beverage options, a special Strider Bikes Zone as part of the Kids Zone, and a fireworks display to cap off Saturday evening.
Saturday will also play host to Fan Appreciation Night, which will be highlighted by the Mission Happy Hour. Gates will open an hour early to allow the Mission Happy Hour to run from 2:30 p.m. local time up until on-track action kicks off for the evening at 4:00 p.m. During that time, fans can take in a special rider Q&A with Ralph Sheheen, win prizes, take part in a taco-eating contest, play games, and take advantage of special discounts.
Visit the Progressive AFT ticket webpage to reserve your tickets today. General Admission Grandstand tickets are just $25 (kids 12 and under free with a paid adult ticket), and fans are offered a variety of premium tickets and other options to choose from, including Reserved Grandstand, Premium Grandstand, and Turn 1 Paddock Grandstand, along with a number of Multi-day Camping Pass options.
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.
Gates will open for fans at 3:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) on Friday and 2:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) on Saturday with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) both days. 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 Volusia Half-Mile Finale I will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT), while the Mission Volusia Half-Mile Finale II will air one week later, on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT). Both broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.
For more information on Progressive AFT visit the American Flat Track Website. To score the latest gear for the Progressive American Flat Track fan, visit our official merchandise store.
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.