Bauman Takes Control Of AFT Championship Chase

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Bauman Takes Control
Briar Bauman in victory lane at Devil's Bowl Speedway. (AFT photo)

MESQUITE, Texas – Progressive American Flat Track superstar Briar Bauman delivered another devastating performance to up his run of dominance to four in Saturday evening’s Roof Systems Dallas Half-Mile II presented by Law Tigers at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.

Bauman was again untouchable, streaking out to the lead when the lights went green for the AFT SuperTwins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event and piling it on from there.

Friday’s runner-up, Sammy Halbert, got caught up behind Jeffrey Carver Jr. while Bauman escaped at the front during the race’s opening stages.

Halbert managed to slip into second with just over nine minutes remaining, providing him plenty of time to track down the leader if he had the pace to do so.

And while Halbert did immediately open up some space behind him once through, Bauman in turn just kept running away from him en route to an eventual 4.393-second victory.

Bauman’s monster weekend has the potential to be a turning point in this year’s Grand National Championship fight. Prior to the Dallas doubleheader, Bauman and rival Jared Mees had traded the title lead back and forth at each successive event.

Bauman brought that trend to an end in a major way in Texas, turning what was a narrow five-point advantage into a protective 25-point lead.

Bauman explained how he managed to look so smooth when everyone else was flailing about.

“My guys had my bike handling so good tonight. It was flawless and I just tried to be smooth. I tried to not hit those holes and avoid the stuff that was going to slow me down,” said Bauman.

Mees, meanwhile, got away in fifth and started looking for a way past Friday podium man Robert Pearson in earnest with seven and a half minutes remaining.

Mees attempted to go low and then high – and then low and high again – but the most he could ever do was pull alongside the scrappy Pearson.

Their battle caught and overhauled Carver, the two storming through into third and fourth, respectively, in one fell swoop with four minutes to go.

Mees threw in several more attempts at the podium but was unable to make a move stick; for the second night in a row, Pearson beat him to the line for third, this time by .257 seconds.

Carver held on to round out the top five.

Ten races into the 2020 AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys season, five riders have one win, and one rider has five wins.

The five-win rider, Dallas Daniels, doubled up at his namesake event on Saturday night with a Dallas HM performance that accurately represented the superiority he’s demonstrated as of late.

Despite claiming the first pick on the front row, Daniels slipped off the line, allowing Henry Wiles, Mikey Rush, and Morgen Mischler through at the start.

In response, Daniels went to work. He dropped Mischler within a lap. Not long after, Daniels ducked under Rush to move into second, nearly acing Wiles in the same maneuver.

Less than a minute later, Daniels drove up alongside Wiles mid-corner and then powered by him on exit in the exact same manner.

With clear air in front of him, Daniels opened up several bike lengths in just a half lap and ultimately sprinted away to a five-plus second margin of victory.

After the race, 17-year-old Daniels said, “It’s definitely not easy, especially when you get a terrible start like I did. Me and my crew chief were talking about getting a good start, and I guess I wanted to do the exact opposite. I had a move going out of Turn 2; there was a little bit of a rut those guys were hitting and going wide, and I was able to go underneath them. I was able to do it to Mikey and then Henry too.

“To be honest, I didn’t know what was going on behind me. I just charged, charged, charged. When I looked back after the checkers, I had a really big gap.”

While Daniels erased all drama in the fight for victory, there was plenty of action behind. Rush and Wiles went at it for second for the majority of the race.

However, second-ranked Wiles lost the groove as the clock hit 0:00, and over the race’s final two laps, he’d drop from a potential runner-up to an eventual sixth.

With Wiles out of contention, Rush gave Estenson Racing the one-two. Less than a half-second back, Tanner Dean just beat Michael Inderbitzin to the line to finish third.

Mischler finished a further 1.3 seconds back to complete the top five.

Even after missing the Main in the season opener, Daniels now boasts more than a full race’s advantage in the standings, leading Wiles by 34 points. Rush is in third, 42 back.

James Rispoli continued his march toward the 2020 AFT Production Twins title, locking down his sixth win in the season’s last seven races.

This victory was not as easily earned as it sounds, however.

Cory Texter rode like a reigning class champ and executed a perfect launch from the inside starting position, successfully translating the holeshot into an extended run at the front.

Texter continually fended off a stalking Rispoli, who repeatedly looked for a way up the inside of his rival as the two ripped away from the rest of the pack.

Texter managed to keep the fleet Rispoli corralled behind him until just after the half distance flags flew. At that point, the champ ran slightly wide and that was all the invitation the current title leader required.

Rispoli put his XG750R into first and immediately went into super cruise mode, blasting away at the front.