AMA Flat Track Podium Streak at Chicago Half-Mile

Estenson Racing’s Mikey Rush is now the only rider in the paddock with an unblemished podium record this season, finishing third in the Progressive American Flat Track AFT Singles Main Event last night at the Chicago Half-Mile. He now trails teammate and defending class champion Dallas Daniels by just a single point for the championship lead after the Illinois rider finished fourth at the Dirt Oval at Route 66 Speedway. Their efforts were then backed up by a pair of top-10s from JD Beach and Kolby Carlile, who finished the Mission SuperTwins Main Event in eighth and 10th, respectively.

Rush got the holeshot in the AFT Singles Main, slotting his Yamaha YZ450F into the lead off the line. The race transformed into an intense three-rider scrap for the win. After running out front for the opening minutes, Rush was displaced to third as the clock ticked down but remained a constant presence in the battle for victory. The Californian upped the pressure over the race’s final two laps, closing dramatically on the rear wheels of his opponents, finishing less than eight tenths off the win and less than two tenths back of second.

Daniels had the pace but not the path to emerge as the fourth rider in victory contention at his first home round of the season. The Illinois native was forced to start from the third row after struggling in his Semi. He did what he could to get away from the start in seventh, but by the time he made his way up into fourth, there wasn’t enough time to close the gap to the three riders in front of him. Despite that, Daniels collected his fifth finish of fourth or better in as many tries in 2021 – including his sensational two-class double win in Atlanta – to retain the early AFT Singles points lead.

Beach kept himself firmly in the Mission SuperTwins championship mix as well, with another solid finish on Saturday. After searching for an ideal set-up all day on an evolving track, Beach fought his way forward in the Main following the race’s restart. At that point, he pushed as high up the order as sixth before ultimately finishing in eighth. Carlile faced similar issues with the changing surface but still managed to finished tenth aboard the second Yamaha MT-07 DT to keep the team’s perfect streak of top 10s alive. As a result, Beach currently ranks second and Carlile eighth in the season-long fight for the Grand National Championship.

Estenson Racing will open their Yamahas up and do battle at high speed when the season resumes at Remington Park for the OKC Mile doubleheader in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on June 18-19.

Tommy Hayden

Estenson Racing Team Manager

“We’re really excited to be back racing here in Joliet today. Unfortunately, it just seemed like from the beginning of the day, all of our guys were just a little bit off and struggling. We made improvements throughout the day, and we were getting a little closer as the day went on. In the Main Event, I think all of our guys were the most competitive they had been all day. Although we didn’t quite end up with the results that we had hoped for, we learned a lot, and we’re definitely looking forward to getting on a Mile track in Oklahoma in a few weeks.”

Mikey Rush

Estenson Racing AFT Singles

“I’m stoked to get another podium this weekend in Chicago. From where we started the day off in qualifying and struggling a bit, it was a big weight off my shoulders to get on the box again. At the same time, I just really want to get that race win for the team. The team worked their tails off, making changes all day long, and everything was awesome for the main. I’m looking forward to Oklahoma. We’re going to keep chipping away to try and get a race win. We’re sitting good in the points, just a point off of Dallas in first. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing during the week and show up ready to go.”

Dallas Daniels

Estenson Racing AFT Singles

“In practice, the track turned into a one-line groove, and you couldn’t really move around. They ended up doing some track prep, and for the Semi, the track was completely different. You could ride above the groove, and it was way faster, but we went the wrong direction in setup and ended up fifth in the Semi, which was not good at all. We had a third-row start for the Main Event, and that hurt us a lot. The team did a tremendous job, it was a scramble to get ready, but we were able to get an okay start from the third row and started picking guys off. I made my way to fourth and was running about the same lap times as the guys in front, but I just couldn’t make any ground up. If a bad day is fourth, I’ll take it. Again, I want to say a big thanks to the team; they really worked their tails off.”

JD Beach

Estenson Racing Mission SuperTwins

“The day started out a little rough for us, and we got caught off guard with track prep a little bit. The track started off dry, but then AFT got some water into it, and it started coming around. In the Semi, it was a bit dry again, and I struggled while trying to adapt to it. We had a good direction to go for in the Main and made some forward progress there, but we were still struggling. I wasn’t riding well enough through the turns and had to change my riding style some to suit the track and the bike setup. We didn’t do as well as we hoped, but we learned a lot and are looking forward to the next one.”

Kolby Carlile

Estenson Racing Mission SuperTwins

“It was really tough from the get-go. The track was really dry and dusty the first couple of sessions, and then through the Semi, it was a little notch groove around the bottom. My bike worked decent for that, but it took me a while to get it going. We made some drastic changes before the Main Event, and it seemed to be a little bit better, but it was slippery for everyone. I started so far in the back it was hard for me to make up any time. I put in a good 10 minutes, and I’m happy with how I rode. We tried our best, and we’ll put our heads together and try again in three weeks. I’m looking forward to the Oklahoma Mile. Those big cushion Miles are kind of my forte, and I’m glad to have a fast Yamaha 750 under me and just let her dig.”

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