Estenson Racing’s Ryan Wells finished the American Flat Track AFT Singles season strong with a second-place finish at the Meadowlands Mile on Saturday, September 28. His teammate Dallas Daniels made a spectacular come-from-behind charge from the back row to finish fourth.
Wells is a big fan of cushion tracks, felt comfortable from the start, and was able to qualify second in spite of the shortened schedule with limited track time. The New Yorker kept his forward momentum rolling with a win in his Semi and started the Main Event on pole. He didn’t get the start he was hoping for and was shuffled back to fourth, but the 2016 AFT Singles Champion put his head down to chase down the leaders. Finding the high line, he closed the gap and battled for the win, coming just short by .115 of a second. After a rough patch in the middle of the season, Wells was happy to end the year with back-to-back second-place finishes on the Mile tracks and looks to carry that into 2020. He ended the season fourth in the standings with a win at the So-Cal Half-Mile and four podiums.
As for Daniels, it was a roller coaster ride of a day for the young rookie. He crashed in his Semi, but was unhurt and able to rejoin the race. The 16-year-old worked his way forward from last place to take the final transfer spot into the Main Event. Having to start from the back row, the fast boy from Illinois got a great start and found himself inside the top 10. He kept working and was able to make his way to fourth before the halfway mark. Daniels ended the season just outside of the top 10 in the standings, an impressive finish for the dirt track/road racer who turned pro in June. He will be awarded Rookie of the Year in the AFT Singles Championship at tonight’s award ceremony, scoring a win at his home race – the Peoria TT – and three podiums.Ryan Wells – AFT Singles #94:
“Heck of a way to finish the year. We started off fast. It was just one of those days that we’ve kind of been needing. We got second at the last race too, but just had a fun day all day. We didn’t change anything all day long on the bike and just had a blast out there. I got a good win in the Semi and almost got the holeshot in the Main Event but just got pinched off and it shuffled me back a little bit. That definitely cost me. It took me a while to get into second. I just started going for it on the high line and it was really working, but it was hard. It either worked really well, or I lost a little bit of ground. For two or three laps it worked really good, but I lost a little bit in one lap. So I just came up a little short of the win, but I’ll take a solid second to end the year, for sure. I’m super glad that the team made the progress that we made. We had a rough middle of the year, but good teams bounce back and we did. So, I’m super excited.”Dallas Daniels – AFT Singles #163:
“The last race of the year… We really ended it off with a bang. Not really necessarily in results, but fought our way back to a good result. In the Semi race we qualified on the front row and we were running third. About the third or fourth lap in, I spun around and got run over by Shayna Texter and Oliver Brindley. Sorry to them, I didn’t mean for anyone else to go down.
“So that kind of set me back. I was able to claw my way back up from last to eighth and make the Main Event, which was really good for me on its own because I was pretty sore. We started the Main with pretty much last pick on the third row and we were able to fight our way up to fourth which was probably my best personal ride of the season, besides Peoria. It’s kind of a bummer also even though it’s such a good ride because I think if we would have been smart at the beginning of the day and not had our crash, then we probably could have won the Main Event. But I guess that’s how it goes. You live and you learn. I’m ready to start getting ready for Daytona next year.”