Unbreakable Daniels Wins Sacramento Mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 20, 2022) – Rising Progressive American Flat Track star Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) passed the ultimate test of nerves and skill to win the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle Main Event in Saturday night’s Mission Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers  at Cal Expo in Sacramento, California.

Daniels grabbed the holeshot from pole, putting him directly in the sights of defending Mission SuperTwins king Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) with two-time champ Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) right in tow.

The Sacramento Mile has long favored experience over youth, and Mees called on every bit of the experience he’d gained in winning the last four Sacramento Miles to challenge Daniels. The factory Indian ace applied heavy pressure throughout, showed his front wheel on a handful of occasions, and then rehearsed a finish-line strike as the clock ticked down. But none of it was enough to force the unflappable rookie into a costly error on circuit where such a mistake could have come all too easily.

All the while, Bauman remained in their draft, never quite close enough to attempt a move, but close enough to take advantage should either Daniels or Mees bobble. The eventual third-place finish was Bauman’s fifth consecutive podium finish, although Mees’ runner-up allowed him to stretch his advantage out to nine points over Bauman (229-220). Daniels, meanwhile, drew nearer with his triumph, now just 16 points back at 213.

Daniels said, “It was definitely tough. These guys are so good. The talent in this class is insane. Leading that whole race was stressful. I was riding super tight and struggling really bad in Turns 3 and 4. I knew those guys were right on me.

“Me and the boss – (Tommy) Hayden – went over a little strategy to use at the end that I think played well. I don’t have a lot of experience out here, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can. This is great for me – learning how to lead a whole Mile race. At the Red Mile, I was able to follow Jared and see what he was doing. But I had to set the pace tonight, and it was tough – really tough. It wasn’t easy by any means. Sacramento is such a legendary track – I’m so pumped to win here.”

Any hopes for a four-rider clash for victory were extinguished from the start; JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) just didn’t have the pace to battle with his title rivals on this night, instead falling into a scrap with Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) for fourth.

Beach eventually shook free of the Mission Roof Systems runner to come home clear in the position and up his championship tally to an even 200.

Behind Robinson, sixth-place went to a lonely Davis Fisher (No. 67 Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) while Ben Lowe (No. 25 Rackley Racing/Mission Foods Indian FTR750), Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R), Cameron Smith (No. 34 Thee Cathy Gray/Al Barker Yamaha MT-07), and Andrew Luker (No. 11 Rackley Racing/Keeran Racing Indian FTR750) rounded out the top ten.

Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines

Jesse Janisch (No. 33 Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson XG750R) took another huge step in his march toward the ‘22 Mission Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines throne.

The Wisconsin native had been all but unstoppable over the past five races, a trend that’s carried over from Half-Mile to TT to Mile alike. And again, it was the now familiar story on Saturday night, as the Vance & Hines ace topped practice, both qualifying sessions, and his Semi – and typically by significant margins – ahead of the Main Event.

Once there, however, Janisch found himself pushed to the limit by a hugely motivated Mikey Rush (No. 15 Helipower Racing/Las Vegas Harley-Davidson XG750R), who was desperate to win in front of his home-state fans.

The two powered away off the start and soon became embroiled in a tense all-XG750R struggle for the victory. Both riders took their turn at the front before Janisch finally eked out a bit of breathing space just as he opened the final two laps.

He was then forced to navigate one final potential pitfall, encountering a pair of lappers as he tiptoed around Turns 3 and 4 for the final time. With that out of the way, Janisch put his head down to reel in his sixth win of the season.

“I was just trying to be smooth,” Janisch said. “The track was getting brutal out there. It was super technical, and Mikey was showing me some lines out there. I tried to latch on to him and follow him and learn where I could be a little bit better. I’ll be honest – I thought he was going to be there at the end, so I tried to get ahead of him and slow him down a little bit.

“The Vance & Hines guys brought me one heck of a horse today. It was awesome and gives me some good confidence going into two Miles at Springfield.”

Cameron Smith (No. 34 Thee Cathy Gray/Al Barker Yamaha MT-07) made Janisch’s night that much better. Smith won out in a three-rider melee for the final spot on the podium, edging defending class champion Cory Texter (No. 1 G&G Racing/Yamaha Racing Yamaha MT-07) for the position with Nick Armstrong (No. 60 Competitive Racing Frames/Lessley Brothers Yamaha MT-07) just behind in fifth.

As a result, Janisch boosted his title advantage to 24 points (264-240. With just four races to go, that strips Texter of control over his own destiny as four runner-ups would now be enough to seal the championship for Janisch even if Texter managed to win out from here.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

The streaking Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F) made it three straight Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER wins in Sacramento, picking right back up where he left off at Cal Expo a season ago, despite swapping his Turner Racing Honda for an Estenson Racing Yamaha in the meantime.

Brunner married his Sacramento Mile success with his spectacular ‘22 midseason form and proved more than a match for the rest of the field. He sent a bold overtaking maneuver around the outside of early leader Kody Kopp (No. 12 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE) and went on to register a commanding victory

Despite getting his campaign off to something of a rocky beginning, Brunner has now logged two wins, a second, and a third in his last four outings.

After chalking up a 2.138-second margin of victory, he said, “This team is amazing to ride for. We were way back in qualifying, and they tweaked it, and it made a world of a difference for the Semi. They tweaked it a little more, and it got a little better for the (Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda) Challenge. They tweaked it a little more, and it was just phenomenal in the Main Event. It really is a pleasure to ride for Estenson Racing Monster Energy Yamaha. These guys work their tails off for me, and I can’t thank them enough.”

By contrast, second-place was heated affair, featuring Kopp and Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) early and then Max Whale (No. 18 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 SX-FFE), Brandon Kitchen (No. 80 Vance & Hines/Husqvarna Motorcycles FC450), and Trent Lowe (No. 48 Mission Foods/Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda CRF450R) late.

Kitchen, who looked to be Brunner’s biggest threat coming out of the Semis, fought his way back from a poor start to finally blast into second. But his charge then reversed, with Whale countering to take back the runner-up spot and hold it over Kitchen by a scant 0.003 seconds at the stripe.

Lowe finished another 0.108 second back in fourth with Kopp rounding out the top five.

Second-ranked Morgen Mischler (No. 13 American Honda/Progressive Insurance CRF450R) finished one position behind teammate Gauthier in seventh, but it could have been much worse. Mischler was forced to use his provisional start after a rear brake issue spoiled his Semi. He then snaked his way up to seventh from the fifth row in an admirable effort to minimize the damage done to his championship position.

Kopp remains well clear in front, now 48 points up on Mischler (257-209). However, the race for second is officially on, with Brunner (204), Gauthier (198), and Whale (193) all firmly in the hunt.

The Mission Legendary Sacramento Mile powered by Law Tigers will premiere on FS1 on Saturday, August 27, at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT, including exclusive features, cutting-edge aerial drone and onboard footage, and expert commentary.

Next Up:

Progressive AFT continues its late-season run of fabled Miles with a Labor Day Weekend doubleheader. The Mission Springfield Mile I & II will take place on September 3-4 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. Visit https://store.americanflattrack.com/ebooking/ticket/view/id/3668 to reserve your tickets today.

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