DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – American Flat Track will set the field loose on the first Mile of the year with this weekend’s Indian Motorcycle of Lexington Red Mile on June 1 in Lexington, Ky.
The Red Mile has existed primarily as a horse racing facility for its near century-and-a-half existence, but it’s adapted well to the hundred-fold increase in horsepower it has been subjected to since AFT first visited in 2017.
AFT Twins Champion Jared Mees is the only AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines rider to have won a Main Event at the Red Mile. In fact, the first running of the Red Mile in 2017 coincides with Mees’s emergence as one of the strongest Mile competitors in the sport.
Prior to the 2017 stop in Lexington, Mees had a grand total of three Mile victories to his name. He’s won seven of 11 since that first Red Mile triumph, an impressive run that’s launched him inside the top 10 in career AFT Mile wins.
Mees still has a long way to go to catch Bryan Smith, however.
Smith’s 25 Mile victories have him tied for third all-time with the legendary Bubba Shobert. Smith sat out the So-Cal Half-Mile in order to get his bike fully dialed-in ahead of this year’s Miles, and he and his crew have only had more time to prepare following the weather-related postponements of both the Sacramento Mile and Springfield Mile I.
AFT Twins title leader Briar Bauman and the resurgent Sammy Halbert are just two of a deep pack of potential contenders, with both the pace and motivation to prevent this weekend’s Main Event from becoming another in a long list of Mees-Smith Mile showdowns that have featured so prominently in American Flat Track’s modern history.
Meanwhile, Jesse Janisch storms into the Red Mile leading the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys championship fight based largely on the strength of his three early-season TT wins.
Despite his undeniable TT success, it would be incorrect to write Janisch off as just a one-trick pony. He scored a pair of top-five finishes on Miles in 2018, including a fourth-place run at the Red Mile.
There’s also little denying that Shayna Texter stands as a strong favorite entering this weekend. The tactical Texter is at her best when the speed increases to the maximum and the distance separating riders decreases to the minimum, as evidenced by her seven career Mile wins.
Also on the undercard, Cory Texter will put his perfect 2019 AFT Production Twins record on the line as the class resumes for the third of its 11 rounds.