Volusia Speedway Park

Rain Cancels Saturday Heat Wave

BARBERVILLE, FL — August 21, 2020 — Racing at Volusia Speedway Park has been halted by persistent rains yet again as track officials have been forced to cancel Saturday’s Heat Wave due to saturated grounds.

Next on the schedule is a Test & Tune on Friday, September 4, followed by the Labor Day Championships  September 5-6, featuring DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 602 Late Models, Street Stocks, and Compact 4s on Saturday, and DIRTcar UMP Modifieds, 602 Late Models, Florida Late Models, 3/4 Modifieds,  and Thunder Stocks on Sunday. Labor Day Monday will move over to the Kart Track with all classes – J.R.1, J.R.2, Lights, Medium, S.-Heavy, Heavy (30 laps).

American Flat Track Kicks Off 2020 at Volusia

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 18, 2020) – Five-time Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) notched up the 50th premier-class victory of his American Flat Track career with a second dominant win at Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park in Saturday’s Volusia Half-Mile II presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

The “50” that may be more relevant to Mees at the moment, however, is the 50 points he logged with his season-opening double victory that launched his 2020 AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines title campaign in perfect form.

Mees actually started from the second row this time around, allowing reigning AFT SuperTwins Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) a chance to make an early escape of his own after Mees’ Friday disappearing act.

However, Mees worked fast, slashing through the field, and ultimately, Bauman less than three minutes into the Main Event. Mees steadily built his advantage up to just over a second as the two encountered lapped traffic and managed that gap to the checkered flag.

“What an amazing night,” Mees said. “We struggled in the Semi; we gambled with the set-up and just went backwards. Kenny Tolbert and Bubba Bentkey worked their magic for the Main and the motorcycle was hooked up so good off the corners thanks to Jimmy Wood with Öhlins Suspension. Those guys got me so hooked for the entire weekend, and I came in so hungry.”

Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR Racing/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) dueled with Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750) for third over the race’s opening half before clearing off to a lonely podium finish. It was a supremely gritty performance on the part of Robinson, who not only managed to finish third following 38 laps in sweltering conditions, but did so just seven weeks after breaking his ankle.

Halbert got swallowed up by a charging Brandon Price (No. 92 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750), but managed to retake fourth as they went back and forth while weaving past slower riders. Price actually found himself dropped back to sixth at the flag, as Davis Fisher (No. 67 BriggsAuto.com Indian FTR750) joined their fight late and stole away fifth position.

AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys

2019 rookie sensation Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) entered the season as many pundits’ hot pick to earn the 2020 AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys crown. Those predictions may have been second guessed by some after Daniels failed to make the Main Event in Friday’s opener. However, Daniels immediately reestablished himself as a serious player in this year’s title fight with an inspired ride to victory on Saturday night.

Even better, the win came following one of the most entertaining and hectic races in AFT Singles history. An eight-rider pack fought for the lead throughout the eight-minute regulation of the Main, with Daniels, Chad Cose (No. 49 Wally Brown Racing/American Suzuki RM-Z450), and Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) all taking turns at the front with countless passes for position just behind.

But just as the timer clicked 0:00 to set up a final two-lap shootout to decide the winner, the red flag flew. As a result, Daniels took point in a staggered restart, lining up just ahead of teammate Rush and Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F).

Once the race resumed, Rush sought a way past teammate Daniels but instead found himself displaced by Texter entering Turn 1 on the final lap. Daniels pumped his fist as he closed on the checkered flag, unaware that Texter had a run on him as well. Despite the near disaster, Daniels held on to the redemptive win by a scant 0.020 seconds at the stripe, even though Texter’s final charge marked the fastest lap of the night between the three competitors.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve won a national, and last night we didn’t even qualify for the Main Event,” Daniels said. “It’s just awesome to have this great team behind me. We’ve got our work cut out for us now, but we’re going to make a fight for this championship — I think we showed that tonight. I’m just pumped.”

Early-race leader Cose finished fourth, followed by Brandon Kitchen (No. 105 Donley Excavating/TCD Suspension KTM 450 SX-F), Cameron Smith (No. 44 Mike Butler Racing/Cornerstone Masonry Group Honda CRF450R), and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Roof Systems DFW/Duffy Fleet Services KTM 450 SX-F).

AFT Production Twins

Reigning AFT Production Twins champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) was far from satisfied after opening his title defense with a ‘mere’ podium finish in Friday evening’s opener. He promptly set things right for himself in Saturday’s rematch, registering a blowout victory to put himself back atop the points order.

Texter grabbed the holeshot and never looked back. James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Ryan Varnes (No. 68 RVR/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) raced in close formation behind the leader over the contest’s opening half, but Texter slowly broke their challenge and powered to 3.244-second margin of victory.

Texter’s lopsided win was reminiscent of the three consecutive victories he logged to kick off his triumphant ‘19 campaign. It also provided strong evidence that he’s rediscovered the mojo he spent much of the latter half of last year looking to reclaim.

An emotional Texter dedicated the race to his best friend and title-winning mechanic, Jon Reid, who passed away last November, and another good friend in Jess Garcia, who died this past Wednesday.

“Last night felt a bonus to me because I knew how badly we were struggling,” Texter said. “And the first couple of sessions out today, we were really struggling again. But I have to say, I just have a lot of confidence in my team and in myself. And with all the hard work we put in, I’m just going to battle all year long. There’s no quit.”

Varnes appeared primed to overtake Rispoli late in the race as he did on Friday night. That is, right up until the moment he suffered a mechanical issue that erased his podium hopes with just over a minute remaining on the scoreboard.

As a result, the final spot on the box behind Rispoli went to another national championship-winning roadracer returned to dirt track in the ever-popular Danny Eslick (No. 64 Scott Powersports/R&D Machine Kawasaki Ninja 650).

Prior to Varnes’ misfortune, Eslick was also the beneficiary of a mechanical problem on the part of Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Lessley Brothers Racing, Competitive SheetMetal Yamaha MT-07), who slowed while battling Eslick for fourth with less than three minutes on the clock.

The final two positions in the top five fell to Ben Lowe (No. 25 Roof Systems of Dallas/Bruce Lowe Excavating Yamaha MT-07) and Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Weirbach Racing, Kawasaki USA Ninja 650).

AFT Returns to Racing with Inaugural Volusia Speedway Park Doubleheader

Volusia Half-Mile presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys to run Friday, July 17 & Saturday, July 18

Following almost ten months of anticipation, preparation, lockdown, and limbo, the 2020 American Flat Track season is at last set to commence. The long-awaited opener will kick off the resurrected campaign in spectacular fashion with the first of a season of doubleheader events, the Volusia Half-Mile I & Volusia Half-Mile II presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys on Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18, at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL.

The global pandemic that pushed back the season by four months has changed the world in any number of ways, including a heightened awareness of the safety precautions needed for spectators and participants alike. As a result, tickets will be available in limited numbers, there will be a pre-entry health screening to ensure fan safety, and enhanced sanitation and cleaning protocols will be followed.

While the practice of social distancing is highly encouraged outside the air fences, the action on track promises to be as close and intense as ever.

The dawn of the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines era comes alongside a reconfigured schedule that features a heavy dosage of Half-Miles, starting AFT’s first-ever visit to Volusia Speedway Park for Rounds 1 & 2. That altered reality will force new Grand National Champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) to defend his #1 plate against a field stacked with heavy hitters who sense this season may be the best chance of their careers to earn the coveted title themselves.

It’ll be vitally important for Bauman to get out the gates quickly to reestablish himself as the rider to beat, especially considering the past three GNCs went to the winner of the season opener.

Bauman’s stiffest challenge will likely once again come from his fellow Indian Wrecking Crewmen. Future Hall of Famer Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) is angling to return to his commanding ways, while Briar’s younger brother, Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750), seems primed to take the next step and emerge a genuine championship threat.

While the factory Indian Motorcycle squad has proven to be a series juggernaut in recent seasons, the series’ historic dominator enters the 2020 fight rebuilt, refocused, and more powerful than its been in years. Now overseen by title-winning crew chief Ricky Howerton, the Harley Factory Flat Track Team is loaded with talent. Former Grand National Champion Bryan Smith (No. 4 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) spearheads the effort, flanked by the up-and-coming Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X) and supremely gifted rookie Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 Harley-Davidson/Vance & Hines XG750R Rev X).

Yamaha has a pair of aces of its own in 2019 two-race winner JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) and ‘17 AFT Singles champ Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT).

In addition to the Wrecking Crew, Indian Motorcycle will again be represented by a deep bench of potential race winners on private FTR750s, including the likes of Brandon Robinson (No. 44 HCRR/Ben Evans Racing Indian FTR750) and Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing/Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750).

Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys 

The 2020 Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys class is once again a wide-open affair with reigning champion Gaultier, ‘18 champ Dan Bromley (No. 62 Roof Systems of Dallas, Texas Indian FTR750), and ‘17 champ Carlile all graduating to the AFT SuperTwins class for 2020.

The aforementioned schedule reshuffle should seriously elevate the title chances of the category’s all-time winningest rider, Shayna Texter (No. 52 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). But even without a bevy of TTs to bring her back to the pack, Texter figures to be pushed to the brink by a pair of former premier class standouts in Mikey Rush (No. 14 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Henry Wiles (No. 17 RMR Honda/Honda Talon CRF450R).

Rush made his transition to AFT Singles competition a year ago with the RMR squad and came through in a huge way, scoring four wins and finishing as the championship runner-up, just six points removed from the title.

With Rush moving over to the Estenson Racing outfit for ‘20, his slot at RMR has been filled by Wiles. That’s a momenuntal development for the class’ balance of power, as Wiles — who boasts the 2009 and 2010 GNC1 Singles crowns and 26 career premier-class victories aboard four-stroke singles — is arguably the greatest single-cylinder racer in American Flat Track history.

While Texter, Rush, and Wiles have been doing the business at the sharp end for years, the class has historically been a venue for young riders to showcase their abilities at the professional level. And it will remain so in 2020 if 17-year-old prodigy Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) has anything to say about it. In just a half-season of competition, Daniels lit the class up in year ago, exploding onto the scene with a win, three podiums, and five top fives in the final seven races of ‘19.

AFT Production Twins

Reigning AFT Production Twins king Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) is back to defend his title. Texter opened his ‘19 campaign in scintillating form, tearing off three straight wins to start the year and then rode the wave of fast start to the throne.

He was pushed down the stretch by four challengers who each won two races apiece. While two of them, Gauthier and Carlile, have since moved on to the premier class, 2019 runner-up Ryan Varnes (No. 68 Varnes Racing/RoyBuilt Don’s Kawasaki Ninja 650) and fifth-ranked Chad Cose (No. Wally Brown Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) are back for another shot at the title.

The versatile James Rispoli (No. 43 Latus Motors Racing Harley-Davidson XG750R) promises to be a factor as well. After successfully transitioning back to dirt track racing following a decade focused on pavement, Rispoli should only be that much stronger in 2020 with 2000 GNC Joe Kopp serving as his crew chief.

Safety has been placed at a premium and, toward those ends, AFT has worked closely with Volusia County health and government officials. For more on the specific precautions being taken at Rounds I & II, please view the event FAQ sheet.

While ticket sales are being limited to promote a safe atmosphere and allow for proper social distancing, fans looking to attend the highly anticipated 2020 American Flat Track doubleheader opener can purchase tickets for the Volusia Half-Mile I at store.americanflattrack.com and the Volusia Half-Mile II at store.americanflattrack.com.

General Admission tickets start at just $25, and, as always, kids 12 and under are admitted for free in the General Admission area with the purchase of an adult GA ticket. Additionally, fans who purchase both days in advance will be offered a multi-day discount, which takes $10 off each pair of Friday/Saturday General Admission tickets. Multiple upgraded ticket options are also available to choose from.

While the Premium and Reserved Hook-Up camping spaces have sold out, a limited number of General Admission weekend camping passes remain. Fans are encouraged to reserve their spots now at store.americanflattrack.com.

Gates will open for fans at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT on Friday and 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT on Saturday with the Main Event programs slated to begin shortly after 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT both nights. Live coverage of the entire weekend’s racing activities will be available on any device for less than $1 per event via TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. Live streaming for Friday, July 17 will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) and Saturday, July 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT).

The Volusia Half-Mile I & Volusia Half-Mile II presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys will air back-to-back on NBCSN on Thursday, July 23, starting at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. The feature broadcasts will include exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and the expert commentary of AFT legend Chris Carr.

Saturated Grounds from Weeklong Rain Halts Volusia Speedway Park Action

BARBERVILLE, FL — Rain throughout the week has saturated the grounds at Volusia Speedway Park, forcing track officials to cancel Saturday night’s scheduled season opener.

The opener will now be on Saturday, July 11, with 602 Late Models, Thunder Stocks, Florida Late Models and Compact 4s. Tickets are only $10 and kids 12-and-under are FREE.

The next event at Volusia’s Kart Track will be Sunday, July 5.

For the latest news, follow @volusiaspeedway on social media channels.