Progressive AFT travels to Cedar Lake. (AFT Photo)

Cedar Lake Destined To Have AFT Title Implications

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Progressive American Flat Track returns to Wisconsin for the first time in nearly two decades for the inaugural Drag Specialties Cedar Lake Short Track at Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., on Saturday, September 24.

The round is guaranteed to have massive title implications, particularly in the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle category where 50 of the season’s final 100 points will be up for grabs in a single evening featuring two premier-class Main Events.

Despite being a new venue for the tour, Cedar Lake Speedway is well suited for its temporary status as the center of the two-wheeled dirt track world. The state-of-the art, three-eighths-mile high-banked clay oval traces its history back nearly seven decades and is both situated only an hour away from Indian Motorcycle’s Minnesota-based headquarters and set in the home state of Harley-Davidson and Royal Enfield North America.

Reigning Mission SuperTwins champion Jared Mees comes in with the points advantage, thanks to a trio of early-season wins and a steady second half in which he’s landed on the podium in five of the last six races.

That said, with chief rival Briar Bauman on form and only nine points out of first, and Estenson Racing teammates Dallas Daniels and J.D. Beach still well within striking distance as well, the championship outlook could undergo a significant makeover by the conclusion of Saturday’s twin Main Events.

With no prior track history to lean on for insight, the potential for spoilers who could further impact the title fight seems especially rife. Brandon Robinson is currently ranked fifth in the points and boasts a Main Event win this season. Meanwhile, Jarod Vanderkooi, who is still seeking a maiden Mission SuperTwins win, earned podium finishes at each of the season’s two previous Short Tracks, while Bronson Bauman claimed his first win at the Laconia Short Track back in 2019.

Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

With the recent addition of a second day of racing at the Mission Volusia Half-Mile Finale, Jesse Janisch lost the chance to clinch Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship in his home state.

Nevertheless, he can still take major strides toward his first-career Progressive AFT championship with a strong showing as the home favorite.

Realistically, only a pair of mechanical issues this season have prevented Janisch from being in position to wrap things up early. Outside of those two aberrant outings, Janisch and his XG750R have been consistently at or near the front at Miles, Half-Miles, TTs, and Short Tracks alike, racking up six wins among eleven podiums this season. There’s little reason to expect things to be any different at Cedar Lake Speedway.

However, defending class champion Cory Texter made up some ground last time out, narrowing the deficit to 17 points with three races remaining. While he no longer controls his own destiny, Texter wouldn’t need much outside help if he were able to do his part.

Should Texter win the season’s final three races, Janisch would need to finish as runner-up in all three to avoid being overtaken in the points standings. It’s a tall order to ask Texter to apply the pressure on Janisch in such a sweeping manner, but it’s certainly not out of the question either.

Texter will most likely look to the likes of Dan Bromley, Michael Rush, Cameron Smith, Billy Ross, Nick Armstrong, and Johnny Lewis for help, each one of whom has demonstrated the capacity to finish first or second at one point or another this season.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

If any rider is going to leave Wisconsin with a shiny new #1 plate, it’s most likely going to be Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER star Kody Kopp.

In order to seal the championship two rounds early, Kopp only needs to add two points to his lead over Morgen Mischler, while avoid surrendering more than three points to Trevor Brunner, nine to Dalton Gauthier, and 14 to Max Whale.

It sounds easy enough, but considering the aforementioned company, Kopp may need to win, or at least podium, to pull it off. The KTM ace does boast six wins and eight podiums on the year, but he’s finished off the box in four races running.

While no other rider has a mathematical shot at the crown, there’s still plenty of motivation further down the order. For example, Trent Lowe and Chase Saathoff are each seeking a career-first Progressive AFT win, and both have flashed the potential to score elusive triumphs on more than one occasion in 2022. There are previous few opportunities left to stand atop the box this season, further ratcheting up the pressure with the season’s end in sight.

If two Mission SuperTwins Mains on top of your regularly scheduled Mission Production Twins and Parts Unlimited Singles Main Events weren’t enough race action, the Cedar Lake Short Track will also feature the penultimate round of Royal Enfield’s hugely popular BUILD. TRAIN. RACE. program and mark the Progressive AFT debut of the Flat Out Friday Hooligans.

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