The Lima Half-Mile is arguably one of the toughest events on the AFT schedule, with its pea-gravel surface providing a nice cushion for the riders but also presenting a challenge from the copious roost that each competitor leaves in their wake. Despite the tough conditions, Estenson Racing’s trio of AFT Twins racers acquitted themselves well.
Jake Johnson and his AFT Twins teammate JD Beach both qualified for the Main Event, with Johnson finishing second in Semi 1 and Beach taking the checkers sixth, also in Semi 1. In the Main Event, which was red-flagged and had to be restarted, Johnson appeared to be headed for a podium result until a technical issue shuffled him back to 14th at the finish line. Meanwhile, Beach rode a solid race from start-to-finish and brought his Yamaha MT-07 DT home with a top-10 result.
In Production Twins, Kolby Carlile made a successful return to racing after recovering from a knee injury, and though he was hoping for a win, the New Yorker took his sixth-place Semi 1 result into the Main Event where he improved by one spot to record a top-five result on the night.
After a one-week hiatus, the Estenson Racing team will travel to Central New York State where they’ll compete in the New York Short Track event, which will take place on Saturday, July 13, at Weedsport Speedway.
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“It ended disappointing. Like I said before, Lima has never been my favorite place. I’ve always kind of struggled here. I’ve had some okay results in the past, but it’s always been one of those races I almost dread coming to, just because I could never figure it out.
“I felt really good today. I was kind of there in the hunt. I ended up second in my Semi, which was pretty good and got the front row for the main event. I can’t remember the last time I started on the front row here, so that was huge. I’m like, okay, I got a chance of somewhat staying clean in this deal. I got off the start and I kind of surprised myself. The first few laps I was running right with the leaders, running third. The track kind of started getting chopped up a little bit and I was searching trying to find a line. After the restart, the bike just didn’t feel right. I went a few more laps and just had some electrical issue. I felt we had a really good chance at getting at least a top five tonight. This is one of those places that’s really tough for me and this is the best I’ve felt here in a long time. So that’s a bummer, but just got to keep charging and take these next couple weeks, regroup, and head on to New York.”
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“The day started out well. The track was smooth, it was fun. I felt like the bike was working well, but then throughout the day when it started getting rough, we were struggling with it a bit. For the Main, we made some big changes, I think we made some progress with the bike. Although we didn’t do as well as we hoped, I’m glad we made some changes that made the bike better. We’ll take that and go to the next race.”
Kolby Carlile – AFT Twins #136:
“I felt really good coming into the weekend, and then we had some personal family issues hit and my dad wasn’t able to make it here this weekend. He’s sick back home in the hospital. So there’s definitely a lot of emotions today not having my dad here in my corner, but we started off strong in qualifying and practice. I thought we had a really good bike under us. I didn’t have a very good start in the Semi which pushed me back. That put me on the second row for the Main Event. I just put my head down. I knew what I had to do. I was able to get a good start like I needed. Then slowly started scooting my way towards the front. It was just one of those deals. Different track this year compared to last year. It was pretty dry/slick, so by the time I got up to where I wanted, I was kind of just going the same speed as third and fourth. That’s all we had today, a top five, but from where we started the day, I’m happy with it. We’ll improve for Rapid City, the next production twins race.”