|DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2017) – American Flat Track concludes its season-opening southeast swing this weekend with the Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile on Saturday, April 1, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Undefeatead so far in 2017, Jared Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) heads to Charlotte with the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines points lead. Mees opened the year in style by winning the Harley-Davidson DAYTONA TT presented by Politis & Matovina and backed it up with a victory at the Atlanta Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle, giving him his first dirt track Grand Slam.
“Charlotte has always been a great race track and what a nice facility,” said Mees, the defending winner of the Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile. “After having two great amazing weekends, of course the goal is to keep the streak alive.”
Mees currently sits in a stalemate with rival Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750), as the pair each have a win at the Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile. Although Mees is more of a Half-Mile specialist – scoring 17 of his 22 career victories on Half-Mile circuits – Smith exorcised his demons on Clay short tracks with his win there in 2015, but suffered some bad luck last year when his steel shoe came loose in the Main. The defending champ is looking for some redemption and is also chomping at the bit to get his first win in 2017.
“I want to win it again! Period,” Smith said simply.
Completing the three-man Indian “Wrecking Crew” is Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750).
The Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team is also hungry for a win. Jake Johnson (No. 5 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) leads the way, sitting fourth in the standings and the Pennsylvanian looks to get Harley-Davidson their first win on the XG750R this weekend. Teammate Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) has had success in Charlotte, posting a runner-up result at the venue last year. Completing the Harley-Davidson’s triple threat is three-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (No. 2 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R).
Sitting third in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines point standings and looking for redemption after last weekend’s clash with Mees in the Atlanta Short Track Main is Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Estenson Racing Yamaha FZ-07). Completing the top five in points is Henry Wiles (No. 17 DPC Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650).
Like Mees, Dalton Gauthier (No. 22 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) is riding a streak of back-to-back victories in the AFT Singles class. After winning a close one at Daytona with a last-lap pass, Gauthier showed up in Atlanta and put on an absolute dominant performance to assert his position in the championship.
Wyatt Anderson (No. 120 Waters Autobody Racing KTM 450 SX-F) sits second in the points with Kolby Carlile (No. 36 K.C. Cycle Honda CRF450R) one point back in third.
Event Entertainment provided by AFT Events
In addition to the action on the racetrack, there are a host of off-track festivities for fans of all ages to enjoy. On race day, starting at 2 p.m. ET, fun for all ages will begin at the Strider Adventure Zone. There will be an antique bike display from American Classic Motorcycle Museum of Ashboro, N.C., and Cabarrus Brewery, located only five miles south of Charlotte Motor Speedway, will offer its products at a craft beer garden, located in a tent behind the main grandstand. The Logie Meachum Trio Blues Band will perform live in the vendor area from 2-6 p.m., while live musical entertainment by Ray Martin of Shame for Sydney will be provided during the intermissions. As a show of support for America’s heroes, 20 new U.S. Army recruits will be sworn in during the event. NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan will be the Grand Marshal, while Vada Harbison will perform the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Saturday’s on-track action begins with the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines and AFT Singles practice at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT). Opening Ceremonies will commence the evening’s racing activities at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT).
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at https://www.showclix.com/event/charlotte-half-mile. High-definition, live streaming coverage of every minute of the action from the Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile can be viewed on www.FansChoice.tv.
Fans can also keep up-to-date with race day action by following American Flat Track on Facebook (American Flat Track), Twitter (@AmericanFlatTrk) and Instagram (@AmericanFlatTrack).