DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Just days before the running of American Flat Track’s first Mile race of the year, a new entry to the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class is making waves in the professional flat track community.
Roger Lee Hayden – a former MotoAmerica road racer and brother to fellow pros Nicky and Tommy Hayden – will race the No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT as a substitute for JD Beach during Saturday’s Indian Motorcycle of Lexington Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.
Beach, who is missing this round to race the fourth event of the MotoAmerica series at Road America, will return to AFT for the Lima Half-Mile on June 29.
“I’m so excited to have a rider of Roger Hayden’s caliber race for us this weekend,” said team owner Tim Estenson said. “I got to know Roger and the rest of the Hayden family in Austin during the MotoGP weekend when they retired Nicky’s number, and they are great people. I look forward to seeing him make his return to dirt track racing aboard our MT-07 DT in his home state of Kentucky.”
For Red Mile, Hayden – a fellow Kentucky native and longtime friend of Beach – has opted to come out of retirement and return to his flat track roots in his hometown round of AFT.
With more than 20 years of professional racing experience to his credit, Hayden announced his retirement from racing in early 2018 while competing in the MotoAmerica series aboard the No. 95 Yoshimura Suzuki.
Although entered under the No. 195, AFT officials have permitted the No. 95 number plates to remain on the motorcycle as a symbol of solidarity between the machine’s two pilots.
“I’m really excited because it’s going to be a special weekend for the family,” said Hayden. “My parents are Grand Marshals, and to have Tommy [Hayden] as my team manager is definitely really cool. I feel like it’s going to be a great weekend for the family, getting back to dirt track racing and having a dollar from each ticket sale going to Nicky’s Memorial Foundation. I’ve never raced a national in Kentucky, so it will be awesome to see all the Kentucky fans there – they’ll have a Kentucky boy to root for.”
“AFT is delighted to welcome Roger to compete, particularly on such an auspicious weekend,” added Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “The Red Mile is hosting our first Mile of the season and this news ratchets up the anticipation to the next level.”