Estenson Racing’s Jake Johnson finished inside the top 10, with JD Beach crossing the line 13th in an abbreviated AFT Twins Main Event at the American Flat Track season finale on the Meadowlands Mile. Unfortunately for their AFT Twins Production teammate Kolby Carlile, the night ended in heartbreak with a technical issue while he was in the lead and making his run for the title.
It was a difficult day for everyone, with limited track time and an abbreviated schedule while the track crew was hard at work to improve conditions on the pea-gravel track. Due to the conditions, it was agreed to forego the AFT Twins Semi and grid the abbreviated eight-lap Main Event based on the qualifying session earlier in the day. Starting 12th in the lineup, Johnson got off to a decent start in ninth and crossed the line eighth to score his best result on a Mile this season. Beach was a little further back, qualifying 14th, but he improved to finish 13th.
Track time was also brief for the Production Twins class, with qualifying deciding the Main Event lineup, as well. Carlile showed speed from the start and was able to qualify second for the Main Event in spite of the limited track time. With the title still not out of reach, and mathematically trailing by 15 points, the 2017 AFT Singles Champion did what he had to do and quickly got into the lead. He started to build a comfortable gap on the competition. Unfortunately, a technical issue ended his race early on lap three.
Kolby Carlile – AFT Production Twins #136:
“There’s not much to say, really. I’m pretty disappointed, but I’m proud of the way I rode my rookie season in the Twins class. We had some bad luck but never quit fighting. Even with my knee injury earlier this season and missing a race, I was able to come back and close the points gap towards the end of the season and get a couple of wins. Wish it could’ve been one more.”
Jake Johnson – AFT Twins #5:
“I was kind of coming in here hoping for something good, but the track was not ideal. It’s just the way it all panned out. I felt okay today in the first practice and then had some issues with the bike in the qualifier and only got a lap. It was a tough day as a whole with the track conditions and the schedule changing. They ended up shortening the race to eight laps and we didn’t really know what was going to happen, starting the race. It was just kind of one of those deals. The track was pretty bad. Everybody was just kind of surviving, really. I went out and rode my pace and finished eighth. It was our best Mile finish of the year, though, and while I’m kind of ready for the season to be over, in the same sense, I didn’t quench the thirst this year. At the Buffalo Chip we were so close, but it was just a rough year. We’re going to regroup and hopefully better things for me next year.”
JD Beach – AFT Twins #95:
“Today was a difficult day. Everyone did the best they could with what we were given. It really sucks to end the season like this. Everyone works too hard for the year to end on a low note.”