Estenson Racing’s Dallas Daniels moved closer to sealing the deal on his first Progressive American Flat Track AFT Singles Championship with a down-to-the-wire victory in Saturday night’s Atlanta Short Track II. Unfortunately for the rest of the team, it was a tough night on the slick clay track in Woodstock, Georgia. After a crash in his Semi, Mikey Rush had to use his provisional to transfer to the AFT Singles Main Event and ended the day 16th. AFT SuperTwins riders JD Beach and Kolby Carlile finished 15th and 16th, respectively.
The young Daniels continues to impress with another stellar performance. Although he struggled a little bit earlier in the day qualifying fifth, he bounced back to once again win his Semi. In the Main Event, it looked to be a repeat of the day before. This time though, his competitor was able to make good use of the high line to maintain his lead. Daniels kept pushing in second, going high to low into Turn 1 and patiently waited to make his move. On the final lap, he made the pass in Turn 3 and scored his fifth-straight win, seventh of the season, to bring him within five points of clinching the championship next weekend.
On the other side of the coin, his teammate Rush had a really tough day. The veteran was struggling to find his comfort zone in the challenging conditions and qualified 12th. He did what he could to make gains in his Semi, but on the final lap, he went down into Turn 3 and was unable to finish the race. Rush took his provisional to make the Main Event and advanced to 15th from the final grid spot but ultimately finished 16th.
The continued challenge of the slick track conditions once again proved to deliver a tough weekend for both AFT SuperTwins riders. Beach got another great start in the Main Event, coming from the fourth row to 10th. He was in the mix and did what he could to maintain the position but ultimately dropped back to 15th. Carlile was 15th at the start from the back row, but like his teammate, lost position in the challenging conditions and ended the day 16th.
Next weekend, the Estenson Racing team heads to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the penultimate round of the Progressive American Flat Track Championship on October 9-10 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Tommy Hayden – Estenson Racing Team Manager
“It was another excellent night for Dallas in the AFT Singles class with a win in a great last-lap battle. He is really on fire right now. Things did not go as well for Mikey as we were struggling to get him comfortable on this track. He ended up going down pretty hard in the Semi which made for a long Main Event starting in the back and a little beat up. We will get him back on track next weekend so he can finish the season strong.
For the Twins guys, we were trying some things tonight that were a little more outside the box than normal for us to just trying to learn some stuff for the future. I feel like it did give us some good information to try to make some steps forward in these last two race weekends coming up.”
Dallas Daniels – Estenson Racing AFT Singles
“For whatever reason, we struggled in qualifying. I knew once it came race time that the cream would rise to the top and the guys that had the speed would be up front. I was able to get a good start. I was behind Morgen (Mischler) and watching like last night, but I wasn’t able to capitalize on that. I had a good line going into one. I was able to go in high and come off low and hit a little bit of moisture. He was running the high line and I couldn’t run it like he was. Towards the end of the race, his high line started going away. I was able to get into three and off of four well and win again. It was another double for the weekend and in Atlanta, Yamaha’s backyard, which was really cool. The championship is really close now and within our grasp. We have just got to play it smart and not change what we’re doing. Obviously what we’re doing is working. We’re going to Charlotte with a full head of steam to try to come out of there with the championship.”
Mikey Rush – Estenson Racing AFT Singles
“It was a tough day—a tough couple of days. I was just struggling. We were chasing setup all day. I think it was half me, though. I just had too much rolling around in my head Unfortunately, I went down in the Semi and had to use my provisional. That made for a very long Main. I’m just going to put this weekend behind me and come back fresh for Charlotte.”
JD Beach – Estenson Racing AFT SuperTwins
“Yesterday was just another really tough race for us. We knew we were going to struggle in Atlanta. That track is very slick and hard-packed. The surface doesn’t really have much for the tire to bite into. The team has been working hard to find a solution for these tracks, but we are just missing something. We will keep working.”
Kolby Carlile – Estenson Racing AFT SuperTwins
“Not much to say, really. It was another tough day on a slick track. I got a good start and was in the mix, but as usual after four laps dropped back. We tried some new things that will hopefully help in the future.”