Dallas Daniels continues to distance himself from the competition as the season hits the final stretch. The Estenson Racing rider scored his fourth-consecutive win Friday night at the Atlanta Short Track I to extend his points lead in the Progressive American Flat Track AFT Singles Championship. His teammate Mikey Rush salvaged some points in a tough Main Event, crossing the line 12th. AFT SuperTwins riders JD Beach and Kolby Carlile worked to find grip in the slick conditions, but ultimately ended the day 14th and 15th, respectively, in the slick, challenging conditions.
On the heels of a stellar weekend at the Dallas Half-Mile doubleheader, Daniels had a perfect day at Dixie Speedway. The 17-year-old was the fastest qualifier and won his Semi en route to his Main Event win. He got a good start from the front row in second and was trying some different lines on the banked clay track. He and the leader battled for a few laps. On lap four, Daniels made the pass for the lead stick and went unchallenged for the rest of the race. His sixth victory of the season stretched his lead in the championship to 45 points with five rounds remaining.
Rush had a solid start to the day, qualifying sixth and finishing second in his Semi. He got a good launch behind his teammate on the front row of the grid, but started to lose some ground. The veteran tried multiple lines but was unable to find his groove in the six-minute-plus-two-lap race and crossed the line in 12th.
Slick clay tracks have been the Achilles’ heel for the AFT SuperTwins squad. Nonetheless, both Beach and Carlile continued to work with the team to find the magic setup. In the Main Event, Beach was 14th at the start but lost a position on the next lap. His young teammate Carlile worked his way forward from 17th to slot in behind Beach in 16th, where the pair would ultimately finish. Although not the results they were hoping for, both riders were able to improve their times and look to build on it with a better start to the day at Saturday’s Atlanta Short Track II.
The Estenson Racing team looks forward to more racing today at Dixie Speedway, nearby Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA’s home base in Atlanta.
Tommy Hayden – Estenson Racing Team Manager
“It was another mixed day for our team. Definitely, the positive side was the 450 team and Dallas winning again and stretching the point lead as we’re coming down to the end of the season. Mikey was pretty quick all day and looked good in the Semi. We expected his race to go a little bit better. We’ll look at that a little bit more tonight and try to figure out what we can do for tomorrow. We’re coming down to the end of the season, so we need to get him up towards the front as well. I’m confident we can make some changes and do that tomorrow.
“On the Twins side, we struggled all day. We made a few changes for the Main, and it seemed to help. It took a little bit for the guys to get going, but once they did, their lap times were really similar to about fifth place. So even though it was a tough day, there were some positives to take away from the race. We’re going to look at that a bit closer and see what we can do there to make some improvements for tomorrow.”
Dallas Daniels – Estenson Racing AFT Singles
“It was a good day. My YZ450F was working awesome. It was a new track for me, so it was kind of hard to figure out the track conditions. They were changing during the day, and in the evening, it cooled off quite a bit, so the track kind of got slimy and the lines changed. I got off to a decent start in Main behind (Morgen) Mischler. It was good to run second so I could kind of watch what he was doing and try to do something different. I was able to search around the racetrack. I was able to find a little moisture down at the bottom and eventually make the pass stick.
“It was awesome to win at Yamaha’s home race in Atlanta. It’s a race that I wanted to win since I saw it on the schedule. With how the season started, it’s crazy now that I’m saying it’s pretty much a dream season. Four in a row, six on the year so far. The championship is in reach now I think and we’re going to push for it!”
Mikey Rush – Estenson Racing AFT Singles
“It was a tough day overall for sure, chasing the setup all day. I figured out something in the last qualifying session and we were making good progress in the Semi. I ended up getting second and had a front-row start in third for the Main Event. I was trying everywhere on the track, high, low, in the middle, but I couldn’t get the thing to hook up. So it was just a frustrating Main Event to start third and go back to 12th. I’m more frustrated with myself, but tomorrow is another day. We’ll try to regroup tonight and the guys will come up with something for the bike, and we’ll go from there.”
JD Beach – Estenson Racing AFT SuperTwins
“It was a really tough day at Atlanta. We went into this weekend knowing that it would be tough, just because we’ve really struggled here in the past. We’ve been working so hard, so it’s very frustrating. I’m going to put today behind me and hopefully can come out tomorrow and do better.”
Kolby Carlile – Estenson Racing AFT SuperTwins
“Every time we went on the track today, it seemed like we were throwing Hail Mary’s at it. Nothing was really working. For the Main Event, I just told the guys, ‘do whatever you want.’ They all put their heads together, and we came up with some good ideas. We definitely made a step forward. Our lap times were almost eight-tenths faster. Some of our lap times were comparable with some of the other guys in the class. I have just got to do a better job earlier in the day in qualifying and the Semi to get myself on the second or third row for the Main Event. Now that we have a good setup from today, we have got a good base for tomorrow, and hopefully, we can make that happen.”