JD Beach, Jake Johnson and Kolby Carlile look to tackle the Daytona TT tomorrow night, Thursday, March 14, at the highly anticipated American Flat Track season opener.
The first race of the season always presents a lot of unknowns, but this year’s Daytona TT has kicked it up a notch with a brand-new TT layout incorporating the legendary banked front straight of Daytona International Speedway. But Beach, Johnson and Carlile are looking forward to the challenge, especially after all of the hard work that they and the entire Estenson Racing team put into preparing for the season aboard their all-new Yamaha MT-07 DT machines.
Last year, Beach took home second at the Daytona TT and hopes to move up to the top step this year to earn his first career Grand National win as well as make history with Yamaha’s first Twins win since Scott Pearson at the Peoria TT in 1981. The new track layout could also play in the road-racer-with-dirt-track-roots’ favor with a bit of asphalt thrown in the mix.
Returning for a second year, his teammate Johnson is also looking to kick off the season with a top result. Last season he took the win at the Buffalo Chip TT, giving the Estenson Racing team its first win in the class.
As for Carlile, he’s been looking forward to his move up to the premier class and tomorrow night is the start of a new chapter in his career. He’s happy to make that step up with Estenson Racing, with whom he won his 2017 AFT Singles title and spent a lot of time in the off-season focused on preparing for this debut. The rookie heads into the season opener confident that he and his crew did their homework and are ready to do battle.
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“I’m looking forward to another season with Estenson Racing. There are a lot of new things happening for us this season – new bikes, new crew, new teammates, and new sponsors. Everything has been gelling pretty well so far, but we are definitely going to have our work cut out for us. AFT is also throwing a big curveball at us with the new Daytona TT layout. We’re going to have to be on our toes and adapt quickly, but I’m ready for the challenge and looking to start the season off strong.”
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“I’m really excited to be going into the 2019 season and racing at Daytona. It’s going to be the first time with the new Estenson Racing MT-07 DT. I’m really looking forward to it, especially with the new track that we’re going to have. It’s going to be a blast. It seems like this winter has flown by, but I’m definitely ready to go racing.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Twins #136:
“2019 is a huge step for me moving up from the Singles to the Twins class. The bikes are almost double the horsepower on a custom-built chassis, which brings a whole new learning curve for me, but I am feeling very comfortable on my Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT. That bike is really amazing.
“I have had a really good off-season putting in the work in the gym with some of my teammates, so I know my fitness is good. I also have a new crew chief that I am gelling with well and we are always able to find a setup I can go fast with. You never know what to expect going into Daytona after the off-season and anything can really happen there, but I feel we are prepared for it. All the testing we have done so far is really good, and I cannot wait to show it off this Thursday night.”
The Daytona TT is streamed live, Thursday, March 13, on FansChoice.TV starting with practice at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Heat races at 5:00 p.m. ET. Opening Ceremonies kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET, with Semis at 8:10 p.m. ET and the Main Events at 8:50 p.m. ET. Catch the race on NBCSN March 24 at 4:00 p.m. ET. For tickets and additional information about the event: http://www.americanflattrack.com/events h