The next stop on the Progressive AFT series schedule is the short track at Weedsport Speedway in New York. (AFT photo)

Progressive AFT Destined For Independence Day Showdown

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Progressive American Flat is destined to deliver fireworks at the Mission New York Short Track as the series arrives at Weedsport Speedway for an Independence Day weekend showdown on July 2.

It’s been an explosive season in the Mission SuperTwins class with renewed parity and unpredictability.

Still less than halfway through the campaign, the premier class has already witnessed five different winners across two manufacturers and three teams, while nine different riders have been represented on the podium.

As much as some things may have changed, reigning champion Jared Mees remains atop the pecking order, holding both the points lead and bragging rights as the only rider to score more than one win this season.

Mees enters the New York Short Track with two prior wins at the three-eighths-mile circuit, including a critical victory that helped kickstart his late-season flurry to take back the crown a year ago.

That said, he’s been under intense pressure on multiple fronts, including from the Estenson Racing Yamaha duo of Dallas Daniels and JD Beach. The teammates went 1-2 the last time the series visited a short track.

Daniels is beginning to look more and more like a genuine title threat each successive week, while Beach isn’t far behind.

Two-time class champion Briar Bauman is still very much in the mix as well. Currently ranked third in the points, Bauman is in something of a wins drought by his standards, going winless since the season opener.

Having been a past winner at Weedsport, Bauman is determined to be a top contender this weekend.

There’s also last weekend’s winner Brandon Robinson to consider.

Robinson appears to be finding his footing at just the right time. He leads a group of podium finishers that includes Bronson Bauman, Jarod Vanderkooi and Davis Fisher.

Sammy Halbert will be making one of his select appearances this season at Weedsport. Halbert showed plenty of pace at Laconia and split the wins with Mees here a year ago, proving that he should not be underestimated.

Mission Production Twins

The Mission Production Twins championship is taking shape quickly as a two-man race featuring points leader Jesse Janisch and defending champ Cory Texter.

They’ve been almost perfectly matched with both owning a pair of wins, while Janisch holds a slight podium advantage to go along with his one-point title lead. Janisch has been on an incredible roll, racking up five consecutive finishes of first or second, while Texter finally unleashed his most convincing effort of the season last weekend at Lima.

Janisch was out of the series completely before getting an opportunity to ride as a sub late last year, while Texter is in the midst of his farewell season. Either rider would make a most deserving and compelling champion.

A wild card will be thrown into the mix this weekend as the 2020 class champ James Rispoli joins the action. The WBR KTM 890 Duke proved itself a race winner straight out of the gate at the Red Mile. 

Several other riders could have their say as well, including Billy Ross, Cameron Smith, Ben Lowe and Johnny Lewis.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles

Kody Kopp has been nearly unstoppable in the two most recent Parts Unlimited AFT Singles races, barely providing his rivals a turn in the spotlight as he’s conquered practices, qualifying sessions, semis and main events.

Kopp now owns over half of the season’s race wins and is threatening to build up an unassailable points gap if his challengers don’t find a way to counter him. 

Morgen Mischler stands as the only rider within even a two-race margin of Kopp. The Honda ace is due for a bounce-back effort after logging an eighth and seventh during Kopp’s last two dominant outings.

Fortunately for Mischler, he won in New York a year ago. He’s eagerly looking for a repeat performance to begin chipping away at Kopp’s points lead. 

Mischler’s teammate, Dalton Gauthier, is ranked third and also stands as a former winner of the New York Short Track.

While Kopp, Mischler and Gauthier are the only winners in the field thus far this season, a number of others have what it takes to join those ranks, including Trent Lowe, Max Whale, Trevor Brunner and Chase Saathoff.

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