The 2024 Progressive AFT season kicked off with a double-header round in Daytona Beach, Florida, March 7-8.

On the first night of Mission SuperTwins action, Harley-Davidson’s legendary XR750 nearly scored another historic victory in the hands of Sammy Halbert, who was the fastest qualifier and won the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge race. But after leading the early laps in the Main Event, an oil leak caused him to lose speed and drop back to 5th. The victory instead went to Dallas Daniels on the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT.

When the checkers flew, Daniels finished nearly 4 seconds over the pack behind, including Yamaha-mounted Brandon Price, Brandon Robinson on an Indian FTR750, and Davis Fisher on another Indian. Nine-time Grand National champ Jared Mees once again struggled at the Daytona short-track, finishing behind Halbert in 6th.

“This track was so technical,” said Daniels after the race. “We kind of struggled all day, and I was just chipping away. I started catching up to Sammy, and he started to blow up, and coolant was getting in my face.”

Ironically, the air-cooled XR750 doesn’t use any coolant!  

Race 2 was another chance for Halbert to score a win on the XR750, which would amount to 503 wins for the iconic racebike over its five-decade lifespan. “Slammin’ Sammy” again led the first half of the race, but he was overtaken by Robinson’s Indian and had to settle for a runner-up finish. A hard-fought battle for third place between Daniels and Briar Bauman entertained fans, with Daniels claiming the final spot on the podium ahead of Bauman and Mees.

For more on the story, read the press release below.

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Progressive AFT Daytona Short Track I and II

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 8, 2024) – Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) successfully defended his adopted home turf to reign in Friday’s Mission SuperTwins Main Event to conclude a hugely entertaining Royal Enfield Short Track at DAYTONA II at the Daytona International Speedway Short Track.

Robinson had to overcome potential Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, history in order to do so, forced to chase down an in-form Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Dodge Bros. Racing/Castrol Harley-Davidson XR750) to get the win. Halbert actually led the opening six-and-a-half minutes of the Main Event after earlier winning his heat race and the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge a full 53 years, 10 months, and five days after Mert Lawwill took the iconic Harley-Davidson XR750 to its maiden win at the Cumberland Half-Mile.

Following an extended pursuit, the Mission Roof Systems pilot finally dove up the inside of Dodge Bros.-backed Halbert, who then was thrown out of his saddle after encountering a bump while off his usual line. Undeterred, Halbert nearly clawed his way back within striking distance before at last conceding the race to Robinson in its final minute.

The victory was the fourth of Robinson’s career at the DAYTONA Short Track, moving him equal with Friday adversary Halbert for most all-time at the event. Afterward, Robinson, who originally hails from Pennsylvania but now resides just fifteen minutes from the World Center of Racing, unsurprisingly professed his affection for the track.

He said, “This feels amazing. It feels like forever since I’ve won a race. Going winless last year really (made me angry) to be honest. I came to the Main with a chip on my shoulder. I love this place. I love Daytona. Something about this dirt – it’s the greatest dirt in the world as far as I’m concerned… This is a dream ending to the week.”

Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT), himself the winner of the three prior premier-class showdowns at the venue, battled with Robinson and hunted Halbert over the Main’s opening half before falling into the clutches of the resurgent Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke).

The two then traded third multiple times – a melee complete with crisscrossing lines and squared-up counters – before Daniels laid claim on the spot for good. He finished a little more than a second ahead of Bauman with reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750) not far behind in fifth.

Sixth went to Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) a short distance ahead of Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750) in seventh.

Premier-class rookies Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Mission Foods/Zanotti Racing KTM 790 Duke) and Max Whale (No. 18 Latus Motors Racing/Liqui Moly Harley-Davidson XG750R) finished eighth and tenth, respectively, with Thursday runner-up Brandon Price (No. 92 Memphis Shades/Corbin/OTBR Yamaha MT-07) sandwiched in between.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Progressive AFT Daytona Short Track I and II Parts Unlimited presented by Kicker

Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) rebounded from his Thursday disappointment to claim a dominating win in Friday’s Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER rematch.

The young Australian ripped out to the holeshot in the restart that followed an early red flag and immediately stretched out a second-plus advantage at the front. Meanwhile, triple Daytona ST winner and double defending class champion Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F) moved up from third into second after working past impressive sophomore Logan Eisenhard (No. 66 Hannum’s Harley-Davidson KTM 450 SX-F) with five of the race’s scheduled six minutes still on the clock.

With clear air in front of him and plenty of time to work with, Kopp’s attempts to close the gap saw him make minor inroads on Drane’s advantage for a spell. But despite the determined effort, the Yamaha ace’s speed and consistency ultimately won out to the tune of a 1.951-second margin of victory at the checkered flag.

The victory was Drane’s first in the Short Track discipline, after previously winning three Miles and a Half-Mile. He said, “This means so much to finally get a Short Track win. I’d struggled a lot with these, but I just kept working and chipping away. I put all that effort in to try to become good (at them) so I can fight for the title this year.”

Eisenhard kept his head down in search of a maiden Progressive AFT podium and very nearly pulled it off. However, he was swallowed up and then pushed aside in rapid succession by a pair of the category’s established stars, Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) and Chase Saathoff (No. 88 JPG Motorsports Honda CRF450R) with just 30 seconds still on the clock.

Gauthier then fended off Saathoff to secure his second podium of the young ’24 season. Despite losing out on his podium bid, Eisenhard did hold on to finish inside the top five even with Justin Jones (No. 91 J&H Racing Husqvarna FC 450), Aiden RoosEvans (No. 26 FRA Trust/ATV’s and More Yamaha YZ450F), and James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450) running just behind in close formation.

Heralded rookie Evan Renshaw (No. 265 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) finished ninth, one spot in front of his charging Turner Honda teammate, Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), whose early-race crash prompted the aforementioned red flag.

In the Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race Main, Kenzie Luker (No. 17 Royal Enfield/Parts Unlimited) edged Thursday winner Taia Little (No. 11 Royal Enfield/Parts Unlimited) by 0.275 seconds for the Friday victory.

Next Up for Progressive AFT

The 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season will resume on Saturday, March 23, with the Yamaha Senoia Short Track at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia. To secure your tickets today, click here.

For those that can’t catch the live action from the circuit, FloRacing 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.

FOX Sports coverage of the Royal Enfield Short Track at DAYTONA I will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, March 16, at 9:30 a.m. ET (6:30 a.m. PT), while the Royal Enfield Short Track at DAYTONA II will air the following day, Sunday, March 17, at 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT).

For more information, visit the Progressive AFT website.


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