Progressive American Flat Track, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, continues its run of three consecutive awe-inspiring Miles with the Red Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle of Lexington at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky, this Saturday, May 27.
The Miles hold a special place in Championship lore, featuring a unique blend of shifting strategies, triple-digit speed, and inch-close racing that makes for one of the most spectacular forms of racing to be found anywhere in motorsport. And since first joining the Progressive AFT tour in 2017, the Red Mile has earned its place amongst the legendary Miles that have helped define the sport for decades.
Despite being a relatively recent addition to Progressive American Flat Track, the Red Mile boasts its own storied history, serving as a famed horse racing facility for nearly a century-and-a-half. It’s since proven to be just as adept at hosting mounts with a hundredfold the initially envisioned horsepower, delivering fantastic competition along with lush accommodations and ideal sightlines.
The Red Mile’s more recent history is tied directly to the development of reigning Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing/SDI Racing FTR750) as one of the sport’s great Milers.
When he took the first Red Mile victory in 2017, Mees had just three prior Mile wins to his name. He comes into this year’s event in Lexington with 24 – including wins at the Red Mile in 2018, 2019, and 2022 – and in need of just one more to equal Bubba Shobert and Bryan Smith for third all time.
However, Mees’ perfect record at the venue was blemished a year ago when he was beaten by Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT). Mees did get a measure of revenge the next day, however, only after Daniels lost power while leading on the final lap.
Daniels has since emerged as Mees’ primary title rival in 2023, currently boasting a 20-point championship advantage. Their rematch – both in Lexington and in the wake of Mees’ recent win over Daniels at the Sacramento Mile – is obviously the weekend’s lead story, but there is a plethora of riders who could factor for the win.
In fact, it was JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) who looked like the odds-on favorite to reign supreme at the Red Mile a year ago before mechanical issues spoiled his chances.
Briar Bauman (No. 3 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 790 Duke) showcased front-running speed in Sacramento despite suffering from some teething issues that negatively impacted his ultimate results. He’ll have a shot at redemption at a track where the KTM Duke sent shockwaves through the paddock when James Rispoli guided a Mission Production Twins-spec Wally Brown Racing-built KTM to the podium, finishing just fractions of a second short of taking the win himself.
Speaking of, Wally Brown Racing will be back in action this weekend with reigning Production Twins champ Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Wally Brown Racing/Haversack KTM 790 Duke) now at the controls of the developing machine after winning a support class race in Lexington in ‘22.
And then there’s Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750), who came up just 0.126 seconds short of stealing the win from Mees last year after Daniels faded from contention.
The list goes on, including a stacked field of independent riders with the potential to battle up front, including Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Indian FTR750), Kolby Carlile (No. 36 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07), Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Fastrack Racing/2 Wheelz KTM 790 Duke), and Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750).
Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER
As unpredictable as the premier class promises to be, it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite for the Red Mile Main Event in the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER Main Event class. That’s no hyperbole considering the season has already seen five different riders representing four teams and three makes stand atop the podium.
The discussion always begins with defending champion and points leader Kody Kopp (No. 1 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F). That said, Kopp is still seeking a career-first Mile win, although he did come within 0.053 and 0.111 seconds of snagging one here a year ago.
Instead, the two wins went to Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F), adding to American Honda’s remarkable record of Miles success in recent years.
Mischler will be joined in the effort to continue that streak by rolling teammates Chase Saathoff (No. 88 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R) and Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), the pair combining to score a win, three seconds, and a third in the season’s last three Main Events.
Gauthier has since switched allegiances, forming an all-new KTM satellite outfit. He should be considered a favorite nonetheless, as should Kopp’s teammate, Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-F), who was less than two tenths away from a pair of Red Mile wins himself last season.
Estenson Racing Yamaha boasts its own Mile aces in Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) and Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), the latter fresh from his maiden victory at the Sacramento Mile.
Chad Cose (No. 49 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) and James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team/Husqvarna Racing FC450) have each come close to making it four different makes of winners in 2023, and Cose, in particular, was right there in the hunt at Sacramento.
And finally, there’s Shayna Texter-Bauman (No. 52 Parts Plus/Jacob Companies KTM 450 SX-F), the class’ greatest-ever Miler, who teased that form last time out despite doing so without her dedicated Mile motor.
And since it’s Parts Unlimited AFT Singles, there’s always a chance for an emerging rider to step forward and battle it out with the established powers the way Travis Petton IV (No. 82 ECG Racing/3 Bros KTM 450 SX-F) did at Sacramento.
There will be plenty to keep fans entertained at the track on Saturday as well, including the Kid Zone featuring two bounce houses, numerous vendors, expansive food and beverage options, live music, extensive motorcycle parking, and a fireworks display following the Mission SuperTwins Main Event.
Fans are also invited to attend the Indian Motorcycle of Lexington Red Mile AFT Celebration Open House on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27, from 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. The Open House will include the Royal Enfield Demo Truck which be on site and offering demo rides both days. Additionally, a rider meet-and-greet will take place at the dealership on Friday from 4:00pm to 5:00 p.m ET. Afterwards, fans can head over to The Break Room in the Lexington Distillery District for a pre-party that will go until midnight.
General Admission - Standing Room Only tickets are just $30 (kids 12 and under free with a paid adult) while Reserved Grandstand tickets located along the front straight are $55. Additionally, a limited number of tickets for the Mid-Level Box Seats and Turn 1 Hospitality Suite - VIP Experience - Wait List are still available so act fast.
Pit Pass Upgrades are also available for purchase, which provide all-day access to the pits where fans can scope out the world’s fastest dirt track motorcycles and get up close and personal with the stars of the sport.
Visit https://www.tixr.com/groups/americanflattrack/events/red-mile-59131 to purchase your tickets today!
Gates will open for fans at 3:00 p.m. ET (12:00 p.m. PT) with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. PT).
For those that can’t catch the live action from the circuit, FansChoice.tv is the live streaming home of Progressive AFT. Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action starting with Practice & Qualifying and ending with the Victory Podium at the end of the night at https://www.fanschoice.tv.
FOX Sports coverage of the Red Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle of Lexington, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, June 11, at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 a.m. PT).
For more information on Progressive AFT visit https://www.americanflattrack.com.