Estenson Racing heads to Sturgis, South Dakota, with a bolstered Twins team for double the American Flat Track action during the 79th Annual Sturgis Rally. Roger Hayden joins team regulars Jake Johnson, JD Beach and Kolby Carlile at the Buffalo Chip TT, Sunday, August 4, and the Black Hills Half-Mile, Tuesday, August 6.
The Buffalo Chip TT is a favorite for fans and riders alike, but perhaps no one is looking forward to the second running of the event more than Johnson. The two-time Grand National Champion has never finished off the Buffalo Chip podium, including last year’s spectacular win, an important victory personally, as well as for the team. Johnson would love nothing more than to keep his winning streak alive at “the Chip” and score another first, a “W” aboard the all-new Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT.
Although neither Beach nor Hayden has raced at the purpose-built TT track inside the legendary Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, the road racers with dirt track roots have watched the race from afar these past two seasons and hope that their road racing background will give them an edge. Beach has already shown his TT prowess with a podium result at the Daytona TT last season, and a historic win earlier this season at the team’s home race in Chandler, Arizona, the Super TT. As for Hayden, he is eager to get his first crack at a TT on a Twin. The Owensboro, Kentucky, native feels quite at home on TT tracks and is looking to get a top result in just his fourth race with the team.
After a two-week break, Carlile is ready to get back to racing. He also likes the TT tracks and, although some bad luck has prevented him from finishing the Main Event – a technical issue at the Daytona TT and a first-turn crash at the Super TT, the rookie has put forth some good showings in the Semis.
The team will then shift gears to the fast-clay Half-Mile track at Black Hills Speedway. It is a bit of an unknown for the newly developed Twin, but the four are looking forward to the second race of the week, especially Carlile. While Johnson, Beach and Hayden will be spearheading the team’s AFT Twins effort, the New Yorker will get back to his campaign in the AFT Twins Production class. In spite of missing some rounds to mend his knee after the Super TT crash, Carlile already has a pair of podiums to his credit this season and is looking to get to the top step in the new championship.
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“I’ve been looking forward to the Buffalo Chip TT all season. I’ve had a pretty good record there the past two seasons with a third place in 2017 and a win in 2018. The TT’s have been our biggest strength this season, so I’m hoping to have another good finish there after having a rough go the past two rounds.
“Black Hills is going to be tough. Unlike the TT’s, the clay Half-Miles have been pretty tough on us this year. It should be a good test to see if we made any progress over the break.”
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“I’m really looking forward to going to Sturgis this week to race the Buffalo Chip TT and the Black Hills Half-Mile during Rally Week. This is actually my first trip to Sturgis. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to experience. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. We feel pretty good on the TTs, so I think that the Buffalo Chip track is going to be good for me. It’s a race that I’ve watched over the past few years since they’ve started it and it looks like a blast; really unique, too. I’m really looking forward to that one.
“As far Black Hills goes, it’s another Half Mile. It’s a track that I think looks like a lot of fun, and it looks fast… we’ll see how it goes there.”
Roger Hayden – AFT Twins #195:
“I’m really excited for the Buffalo Chip TT. Ever since I watched the first race there I’ve wanted to ride that track because it looks so fun. I know it has been a lot of extra work for everyone to get the extra bike ready for me, so big thanks to Tim [Estenson], Tommy [Hayden] and all the guys at the shop for making it happen for me.
“I’m also looking forward to the Half-Mile and to continue to get some seat time on the bike so that I can get better.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Twins #136:
“It’s going to be a super busy week with three Nationals in a six-day period [Buffalo Chip TT, Black Hills Half-Mile and the Sacramento Mile], but I am excited to get into it. I feel like I have barely raced this year with getting hurt and the schedule being spread out when I wasn’t hurt. I have been putting in a lot of extra work to get my body and my knee as ready as they can be for the rest of the year. It is time to start winning some Production Twins races and attempt to close the points gap. I am also looking for a good showing at the Buffalo Chip TT. I feel I have been strong in the premier class on TT’s all year, even though bad luck has prevented me from finishing one. I know my crew will have the motorcycle the best it can be for these rounds, and I have been working super-hard, so we’ll see what that adds up to.”
The Buffalo Chip TT is streamed live, Sunday, August 4, on FansChoice.TV (https://www.fanschoice.tv/) starting with practice at 4:00 p.m. ET, followed by the first round of Heats at 7:20 p.m. ET. Opening Ceremonies start at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the Main Events at 10:05 p.m. ET. American Flat Track action at the Black Hills Half-Mile, Tuesday, August 6, kicks off with practice at 2:20 p.m. ET. Heat races begin at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by Opening Ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. ET, and the Main Events at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Catch the Buffalo Chip TT on NBCSN (http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn), August 10, at 1:00 p.m. ET followed by the Black Hills Half-Mile at 2:00 p.m. ET.
For tickets and additional information about both events: http://www.americanflattrack.com/events