DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – One of motorsport’s great Memorial Day traditions will take place this Sunday, May 26, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds when American Flat Track features the crown jewel of its annual schedule, the Springfield Mile I.
Unrivaled in its combination of speed, drama, prestige, history and spectator support, this year’s edition has taken on just a little bit of extra importance, as the weather-related postponement of the Sacramento Mile has made this year’s Springfield Mile the first of the fabled Miles to be contested in 2019.
AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship leader Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) will put his perfect season podium record on the line, while Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) will attempt to solidify his resurgent form by adding to his class-leading two wins in ‘19.
However, considering just how critically important experience and tactics are at the longest-running event on the calendar, reigning double Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and his long-time rival, Bryan Smith (No. 4 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports Kawasaki Ninja 650), could be well poised to step forward this weekend. Mees racked up seven combined Mile victories in ‘17 and ‘18 (including one in Springfield), while Smith is seeking an astonishing 10th-career Springfield Mile triumph.
As successful as they have been at the legendary event over the years, no one could overcome the home-track advantage of Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Indian of Metro Milwaukee FTR750) in last year’s Springfield Mile I. On that day, he reeled in his first-ever AFT Twins Mile victory and established himself as the only rider to beat Mees in a straight fight over the opening 11 rounds of the ‘18 season. Currently ranked seventh in the points, Carver has been solid if a bit quiet this season, but he’ll looking to make plenty of noise this weekend.
Another rider hungry to succeed at this year’s Springfield Mile I is Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X). The Springfield Mile has played host to many of the most memorable moments in Harley-Davidson Flat Track history, and a first-ever win for the XG750R would certainly rank up with the greatest of those.
But before any history can be made at the Springfield Mile, AFT will first spotlight another of its most-acclaimed events — the Springfield TT.
The Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys will take center stage at the TT circuit on Saturday, May 25, to kick off the highly-anticipated Memorial Day race weekend in style.
Dalton Gauthier (No. 122 D&D Cycles/Gobert Smash Husqvarna FC450) holds down the AFT Singles points lead thanks to his all-around excellence, and for that reason, he’s expected to be a threat again this weekend.
However, second-ranked Jesse Janisch (No. 132 Roof Systems Dallas TX/Öhlins Yamaha YZ450F) could again prove difficult to handle, considering he’s streaked to three consecutive TT victories dating back to last year’s Peoria TT.
But the rider to beat may well be defending AFT Singles champion Dan Bromley (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). Bromley is still seeking the first win of the ‘19 title defense, and he’ll no doubt welcome the opportunity to do so in Springfield, where he swept the TT and ST Main Events in 2018.
With the AFT Singles contenders doing battle on Saturday, the AFT Production Twins class will serve as the primary undercard category at the Mile on Sunday.
Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Holeshot Powersports Yamaha MT-07) has proven unbeatable in AFT Production Twins competition thus far this season. His rivals shouldn’t look for him to slow down this weekend; Texter was strong enough to claim a premier-class podium at 2016’s Springfield Mile.
The Springfield Mile will offer plenty of off-track entertainment as well, including a new Kids Zonefeaturing bounce houses and games from 10:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. PT to 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, and the Vintage Iron Riders’ display of vintage bikes at the the south end of the grandstand.
Two-time Springfield Mile winner Kevin Atherton will serve as Grand Marshal. He’ll be honored during Opening Ceremonies and available to sign autographs for fans.
Tickets are on sale now for the Springfield TT and Springfield Mile I at www.springfieldmile.org.