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Cycle News Staff | May 14, 2017 Photo courtesy American Flat Track/Mitch Friedman
PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 13, 2017) – The Indian Wrecking Crew once again lived up to its moniker in the fourth round of the 2017 American Flat Track championship. The trio of factory riders secured a dominant sweep of the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines podium at the Law Tigers Arizona Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle.
Leading the charge around Turf Paradise was reigning Grand National Champion Bryan Smith. Smith drew upon every last ounce of his trademark Mile magic to position his No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750 ahead of the identical No. 6 Indian Scout FTR750 of Brad Baker at the checkered flag by a scant 0.057 seconds.
Following two red flags and with the sun quickly headed to the horizon, the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event was reconfigured into a dramatic five-lap shootout. At the second and final restart, Baker again resumed his place at the front of the field and appeared well on his way to grabbing his first victory of 2017. However, Smith had other ideas, ducking down the inside at the opening of the penultimate lap and held strong from there.
“It was a little bit of strategy,” Smith said. “I just sat on Brad’s rear tire, and luckily it worked out where I got by him with two to go. I went on by him and had just enough where I was a little bit better, mostly off of (Turn) 2.”
2017 AFT Charlotte Half Mile Results –Defending American Flat Track Grand National Champion Bryan Smith scored his first victory of the season in the AFT Twins class presented by Vance & Hines on Saturday evening, April 1, at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was a dominant win for Smith (Indian Motorcycle backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) beating fellow Indian Motorcycle rider Jared Mees (Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Indian Scout FTR750) by 3.769 seconds to put an end to his rival’s win streak going into the break.
2017 AFT Charlotte Half Mile Results Bryan Smith (1) leads the way at the Charlotte Half Mile. Photography by Dave Hoenig.
“We didn’t qualify fastest, but once we got racing, I felt comfortable,” said Smith. “I feel like in any race if I can beat Jared (Mees), I can win the race, and if I beat him, I can win the championship. I’ve got to get back to doing it more often. I especially wanted to win today, because we’ve got some bragging rights going into the mini off-season before we get to the miles. Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off last year in the miles—winning.”
2017 Atlanta Short Track Results Jared Mees won the Atlanta Short Track, a career first for the Indian team rider. Photography by Dave Hoenig
It was another fierce battle for top honors in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class, with Mees on the No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750 locked in a back-and-forth battle with Sammy Halbert on the No. 69 Estenson Racing Harley-Davidson XR750. The pair made contact, resulting in Halbert ending up in the dirt on the front straight and bringing out a late-race red flag. When the race restarted, Mees pulled away in the ensuing five-lap shootout to win by 1.185 seconds over Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate teammates Brad Baker on the No. 6 Indian Scout FTR750 and Bryan Smith on the No.1 Indian Scout FTR750.
Some of you may remember the first Indian sponsored Veteran's Charity Ride from last year. Well this year is going to be bigger and better! We're talking more veterans this year, riding together on the beautiful back roads of America on Indian Motorcycles, in Champion sidecars and on specially modified Indian Trikes. Vets will share their experiences of serving in the military with one another, creating a bond, veteran to veteran, to help each other heal from the trauma and experiences of war.
This unique life changing program takes hand selected wounded and amputee veterans on a nine day Motorcycle Therapy adventure from Los Angeles to the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota in order to help the healing process that is needed after serving in combat. Motorcycle Therapy is getting our veterans outdoors, riding the open road with the wind in their face, getting much needed space that clears their head, and talking about their experiences while serving in the military so they can experience life and living again.
Where folks can meet up with the ride, everyone is welcome:
July 30th, Los Angeles
July 30th, Las Vegas and Jean NV, escorted ride into Las Vegas
Aug 4th, Craig CO
Aug 5th, Denver CO
Aug 6th, Hot Springs SD
Aug 7th, Sturgis SD, Grand Entrance