Estenson Racing’s Kolby Carlile once again proved perfect for the second year running at the Minnesota Mile. The 2017 AFT Singles Champion topped the timesheets and won his Semi en route to scoring his second win during his debut season in American Flat Track’s AFT Production Twins Championship.
Carlile feels quite at home on the Mile tracks, especially at Canterbury Park. Last year he had a perfect night in the AFT Singles class, scoring his third win that season and fourth of his career. This year, it took him a session to dial in his machine, but from there on out it was all Carlile. He was the fastest qualifier and dominated his Semi, crossing the line four seconds ahead of his title rival. In the Main Event, he didn’t get the start he was looking for and the race leader was able to build a gap. Undeterred, the “Flying Tomato” put his head down and was able to take the lead around the halfway mark and build a gap of his own to stay undefeated at the Minnesota Mile. The win also helped close the points deficit in the title chase. Carlile heads into the season finale at the Meadowlands Mile just 15 points behind the leader.
His AFT Twins teammate Jake Johnson continued to work on developing the team’s all-new flat track racer, but unfortunately slick track conditions continued to be a challenge. The two-time Grand National Champion was able to take the final spot in his Semi to qualify for the Main Event. As it came time for the final race of the evening, track conditions deteriorated. Looking at the long-term goals, the veteran retired after the race was red-flagged after a multi-rider crash on the first lap.
The Estenson Racing team now heads to New Jersey for the American Flat Track season finale at the Meadowlands Mile on September 28.
Kolby Carlile – AFT Production Twins #136:
“Another perfect day. It feels really good. It’s always really cool when you can put those together. I think I’ve done a few now in my career. I just felt good all day. First practice we were a little off on the bike setup, but we quickly figured that out. The rest of the day we were fastest and felt confident. We won the Semi with a straightaway lead or something like that. In the Main event, Chad (Cose) got a good jump on me. I just started putting down the laps and caught up to him, passed him and dropped him by three seconds and won the thing. The bike was working awesome. I really can’t thank my crew enough. We’re 15 points down from the championship going into the last round. It stinks that I missed a whole race because of my knee injury, but to be able to close the gap to 15 points is cool. I’m going to try and do everything I can to win next weekend. With a little luck on my side, we could still win it. I got nothing to lose so I’m not going to crack under the pressure.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“It was a little bit of everything. The track was tough, obviously. We just struggled all day, with grip more than anything. I kind of thought coming into this race, the way the weather was and what we heard about track prep, that it was going have a little bit deeper cushion and maybe have some more grip, something to get ahold of. But it was the complete opposite. It was kind of like riding on wet concrete with sand on it, really. I was just trying not to spin 360’s. We kind of hoped for better and had some options coming in, but maybe made the wrong decision by guessing what the track was going to be like. We have some things to try for next week. Something a little different. We’re going to come back fighting and try to close out the season with a good finish.”
Catch the race on NBCSN, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.