|DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 9, 2018) – It’s often said there’s nuthin’ like a Mile flat track race. And this Saturday at the Law Tigers Arizona Mile presented by Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson at the luxurious Turf Paradise raceway just north of Phoenix, the adage will be proven yet again with what promises to be some of the fastest, wildest and most unpredictable motorcycle racing of the year.
Indian Motorcycle Wrecking Crew member Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Scout FTR750) has garnered a lot of the attention this season in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines division with his three wins – at Daytona, Texas and Calistoga last weekend. But with Mile races being as unpredictable as they often are, with their 130-mph drafting, high-velocity cornering speeds and keen strategy requirements, the end result is far from certain.
A handful of very fast and very hungry racers are definitely looking to take the reigning champ down a notch or two this weekend. They include Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof Systems/Indian of Metro Milwaukee Scout FTR750), who lost to Mees by a half bike-length at the Calistoga Half-Mile last weekend; Henry Wiles (No. 17 Wilco Racing/Willy Built Indian Scout FTR750), currently second in points; Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing/Western Powersports Kawasaki Ninja 650), who scored a runner-up to Mees in Texas; Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle/Allstate Insurance Scout FTR750), who beat Mees here last year with a second to Indian teammate Bryan Smith (out with a broken leg this weekend) and who’s still looking for his first win on the Indian FTR750; and Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Nila Racing/Columbia Avionics Indian Scout FTR750), the ex-champ who ended up winning the Atlanta Short-Track after Mees was disqualified.
There are sure to be surprises in the AFT Singles division, as well, where it’s been anyone’s game so far this year. Four races down, and four different winners: Dan Bromley (No. 62 KTM North America/Bromley Motorsports KTM 450 SX-F) at Daytona, Brandon Price (No. 92 Parkinson Bros. Racing/DPC Racing Honda CRF450R) in Atlanta, Morgen Mischler (No. 69 Cycle Craft Yamaha/Rohde’s Sales & Service Yamaha YZ450F) in Texas, and Ryan Wells (No. 94 Richie Morris Racing/Al Lamb Dallas Honda CRF450R) at Calistoga. Any of these guys could pull out a second win, and of course there’s always reigning champ Kolby ‘The Flying Tomato’ Carlile (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) to contend with.
The common denominator in AFT Singles, however, at least in the last two rounds, has been Shayna Texter (No. 52 Husqvarna Motorcycle/JCS Racing Husqvarna FC 450), who started slowly this season due to limited testing time and familiarity with her new FC 450, but who’s caught fire recently, posting two consecutive runner-up finishes and nearly beating Mischler to the line in Texas. Texter is quite possibly the fastest rider in the class right now, and considering that Mile races are her specialty – and that she won in Arizona last year – she’s definitely one to watch in AFT Singles this weekend.
Of course, there’ll be lots of other fun stuff to do this weekend during the Arizona Mile, including Friday’s vintage motorcycle museum tour at race sponsor Buddy Stubbs’ Harley-Davidson store starting at 3:00 pm PT. Later that day there’ll be an official fan gathering at the Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort beginning at 7:00 pm PT.
On Saturday the fun begins early, with gates opening at 10:50 am MST and practice starting for AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines promptly at 11:00 am. A vintage bike show will open the Throwback Pavilion at the same time, with a Throwback Party happening at 12:00 am – with a live band providing dance motivation.
At 1:00 pm the paddock opens for autographs and racer/team interaction, and at 1:45 pm a ’60s/’70s Costume Party commences, so bring your best Evel Knievel or On Any Sunday t-shirts. Opening ceremonies happen at 2:00 pm, with the first Heat races of the day – AFT Singles – blasting off the line at 2:30 pm.
A celebrity mini-bike race practice is scheduled for the short intermission between Heats and Semis, with the celebrity race itself scheduled just a few minutes before the AFT Singles Main Event at 4:25 pm.
The AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main is scheduled for 5:00 pm, so get there early, grab some refreshments to beat the heat, have some fun and watch the best flat track motorcycle racers in the world battle it out at 130 mph.