Aft Charlotte
Brian Bauman leads Jared Mees (9) by two points entering the American Flat Track finale Friday at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. (AFT photo)

It’s Down To Bauman & Mees Heading To Charlotte

CONCORD, N.C. — Following 15 fiercely fought Progressive American Flat Track rounds, the season-ending Honda Charlotte Half-Mile will determine the Grand National Championship under the lights Friday (Oct. 8) at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.

Entering the event, reigning two-time Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle champion Briar Bauman (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) and living legend Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) are separated by four points. That means both factory Indian stars are in position to secure the crown with a victory.

It gets a bit more complicated should another rider play the spoiler and steal away the victory. Should that happen, Mees’ slight lead earned on the strength of an active four-race win streak provides him an advantage in that he could still take the title by finishing close behind Bauman on track.

Considering their combined ability, winning percentage and motivation, it may seem unlikely that another rider is able to elbow ahead with so much on the line, but Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) managed to do just that (twice) in last year’s similarly tight Daytona finale.

The scenario of a title-shifting upset just became that much more realistic with the news that Jeffrey Carver, Jr. (No. 23 Happy Trails Racing/DPC/KullyCo/Bigelow Indian FTR750) has been added to the entry list. As a reminder, in last year’s late-season battle in Charlotte, Bauman and Mees traded the lead back and forth until privateer Carver shot past them both en route to a huge victory.

The field is stocked with potential spoilers, including Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Coolbeth-Nila Racing Indian FTR750), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), Brandon Price (No. 92 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and JD Beach(No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT).

The AFT Singles championship will be determined in Charlotte as well. While there doesn’t appear to be much room for drama as in the premier class, if second-ranked Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) manages to dethrone defending class champ Dallas Daniels (No. 1 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), you can bet some serious drama went down.

With 20 points and the tiebreaker working in his favor, Daniels merely needs to finish 13th or better, even if Australian Whale wins. And if Whale doesn’t win, Daniels doesn’t need to do anything but collect his trophy.

Morgen Mischler (No. 13 Mission Roof Systems KTM 450 SX-F) is nearly as safe in third with Daniels’ teammate, Mikey Rush (No. 15 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), 18 points back in fourth.

Last year’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was a classic, with Daniels clinching the title thanks to a last-lap pass for victory over Mischler. 

Last season, Cory Texter (No. 65 G&G Racing/Roof Systems Yamaha MT-07) scored a holeshot-to-checkered flag win in Charlotte. The situation was considerably different, as Texter was desperate just to keep his slim 2020 AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines title hopes alive at the time.

Now he comes into the finale having already locked down a second-career AFT Production Twins championship. That said, Texter is a racer’s racer and one making up for lost time spent as a long-time journeyman pilot. 

AFT Production Twins championship runner-up honors are still up for grabs with Chad Cose (No. 49 Voodoo Ranger/Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) nine points up on Dan Bromley (No. 62 Memphis Shades/Vinson Construction Yamaha MT-07) with one race to go.

The evening also presents one final chance for the likes of Ben Lowe (No. 25 Mission Roof Systems Harley-Davidson XG750R) and Jesse Janisch (No. 96 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) to get a win before the year is out.

The Honda Charlotte HM will also feature all the pomp and circumstance befitting a season finale off the track as well. NASCAR superstar Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will serve as the evening’s grand marshal. 

Tickets are available for purchase from https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3325/#selectTickets.

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