SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (September 2, 2017) –
The return of American Flat Track to the Springfield ST saw the rapidly evolving AFT Singles title fight take its latest twist following a pivotal night of racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
The battle for the race win and the championship lead played out as separate but equal draws on Saturday night.
Up front, Dan Bromley (No. 62 Big Momma & Daddy Deep Pockets Racing KTM450 SX-F) backed up his reputation as a Short Track ace of the highest order by picking up right where he left off when the series last visited the Springfield ST in 2012.
Bromley got away in third, but quickly executed a bold and precise maneuver to carve up the inside of both second-placed Morgen Mischler (No. 69 Mischler’s HD & BMW Honda CRF450R) and early-leader Steven Sandoval (No. 28 R&R Racing Honda CRF450R).
Mischler immediately followed Bromley past Sandoval and then continued to hound Bromley as the two separated from the pack before a red flag jammed things up again.
Bromley managed to hold strong following the restart and brushed off the continued pressure of Mischler to secure his third career National victory in the support class — all three coming on Short Tracks.
The lanky Bromley has proven to be a serious force since returning to AFT Singles competition after opening the season in the AFT Twins class. He’s now racked up five finishes of sixth or better over the last six races, including a runner-up to go along with tonight’s win.
Bromley said, “It was a good race. I knew if I got a good start, I could be up front. Steven got a great start and Morgen was up there too. I went for it going into (Turn) 1. I tried it in the Heat Race, and it didn’t work, but I went for it again in the Main, and made it work. I can’t thank everybody enough for all they do for me.”
Mischler’s runner-up result was the first podium result of his AFT Singles career. Afterward, he said, “I actually got a decent start — I’m not known for good starts. That was maybe a first. I got behind Sandoval, but Dan made a ballsy move by just committing to the bottom. The race worked out pretty good. It’s my first podium — I can’t complain. It’s pretty cool.”
Kyle Johnson (No. 77 Parkinson Brothers Racing Honda CRF450R) took full advantage of the restart to overhaul Ben Lowe (No. 20 Bruce Lowe Excavating Honda CRF450R) and claim the final spot on the podium.
“It was a ton of fun,” Johnson said. “I haven’t been getting starts all night, and finally in that restart I was able to get a good start. I got up into third and held it to the end.”
While not in contention for the race win, championship contenders Kolby Carlile (No. 36 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Brandon Price (No. 92 Brandon Price Racing backed by Parkinson Brother’s Racing/DPC Racing/Don’s Kawasaki Honda CRF450R) made significant moves in the bigger picture.
Incoming title leader Shayna Texter (No. 52 Richie Morris Racing Honda CRF450R) failed to make the Main Event. With her padding all but eaten up by her recent TT struggles, she was relegated a sitting duck on Saturday. Price and Carlile crossed the stripe in seventh and eighth, respectively, and as a result, Carlile (210 points) now leads the standings with Price (203) right behind in second, and Texter (201) in third.
Catch American Flat Track on NBCSN every Thursday at 10 p.m. ET. The Springfield ST will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 21 with the Springfield Mile II as part of a doubleheader with another classic venue, the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Ill. Catch the Peoria TT at 10:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. PT) with the Springfield Short Track and Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II episode at 11:00 p.m. ET (8:00 p.m. PT).