American Flat Track Set For Inaugural Laconia Round

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American Flat Track will make its debut at The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Saturday. (AFT/Scott Hunter Photo)
American Flat Track will make its debut at The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Saturday. (AFT/Scott Hunter Photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Already established as a featured attraction during both Daytona Bike Week and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, American Flat Track is preparing to become a part of another of the largest, most historic two-wheeled events to its calendar.

The inaugural running of the Laconia Short Track presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys takes place this weekend during Laconia Motorcycle Week on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Currently celebrating its 96th anniversary, Laconia Bike Week is the world’s oldest motorcycle rally and draws an attendance of more than a quarter of a million people annually. The Laconia Short Track is an exciting addition to an already jam-packed week, featuring an all-new .25-mile circuit known simply as The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The pressure-cooker confines of Short Track racing should only crank up the tension as defending AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion Jared Mees targets the points advantage of current leader Briar Bauman.

The Indian Wrecking Crew teammates appear destined for a season-long struggle for supremacy with Bauman now six for six in podium appearances this year and Mees tapping back into the dominant form that saw him collect 20 victories and two championships over the previous two seasons.

Just behind those two are an impressive number of premier-class superstars boasting the requisite talent and speed to prevent this season from transforming into a two-rider race, however.

Third-ranked Brandon Robinson has already scooped a pair of wins in 2019, including the season’s first stop at a Short Track in Atlanta.

Henry Wiles, meanwhile, can claim sole possession of American Flat Track’s career ST wins record with a victory in Saturday’s main event. He currently sits tied atop the all-time leaderboard alongside the legendary Chris Carr with nine wins apiece.

While the recent success of rivals Jesse Janisch and Mikey Rush may have relegated Dalton Gauthier to third in the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys championship order, the Pennsylvania native could be primed to strike back this weekend.

Gauthier is a threat to win anywhere the Roof Systems AFT Singles class lines up, but he’s a particularly effective Short Track ace. Gautier boasts Short Track wins in three different seasons (Daytona I, 2016, Atlanta ST 2017 and 2019), and could potentially reclaim the title lead with a similarly strong outing this weekend.