Mechanicsburg, Pa., Sept. 8— Saturday evening’s Harley-Davidson Williams Grove Half-Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson was a true family affair, with Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Indian Scout FTR750) and younger brother Bronson Bauman (No. 37 Indian Motorcycle/Howerton Motorsports/Allstate Scout FTR750) scoring a remarkable 1-2 finish in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event.
With the win, Briar became the final rider ranked in the championship’s top six to score a race victory on the 2018 American Flat Track season. While he may have had to wait his turn to stand on top of the box, Briar did so in decidedly spectacular fashion at Williams Grove Speedway. He went elbow-to-elbow with recently crowned 2018 AFT Twins champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) and gave better than he got, repeatedly railing around the outside of the series’ most dominant rider.
While Mees countered with some slick inside maneuvers of his own, Bauman finally made his move stick and looked all set to clear off… until a red flag spoiled his plans.
Predictably, Mees made the most of his second opportunity, snatching back the lead on the restart. Bauman was all too happy to repeat his first-half heroics, however, with several more criss-crossing overtakes to reclaim the point. At that point Bauman again proved capable of eeking out a gap and controlled the race as he powered to his first win of 2018.
“I felt better around the outside, but I had to take the inside a few times with Jared,” said Bauman after the race. “We got racy, and I was nervous some other guys were going to get in the mix, but luckily we were able to get away.
“I’ve had a lot of pressure lately,” Bauman continued. “I’ve been fast in qualifying and doing a lot of cool stuff, but I kept choking. We got the red flag, and I was really eager for this one. I really like this racetrack and I live here in Pennsylvania now. So, during the red I was pretty cool, calm, and collected. Jared gets such good starts, I knew he was going to jump me, and sure enough he did. But we were able to fight back. It was a long 16 laps after the restart.”
Just when Mees began to realize that Briar might be too much for him on this night, he found his hands full with a second Bauman. A motivated Bronson charged up behind Mees and ultimately overhauled him to steal away second. From there Bronson even threatened to make inroads on his big brother before finally taking the checkered flag in second, locking down his first-career premier class podium finish.
“It feels amazing,” Bronson said. “And finishing behind my brother makes it even more special. I’m still in awe about it. It is an unreal feeling.”
Mees carried on to finish third, notching his 14th podium in 16 races this season.
American Flat Track will return to action for the penultimate round of the 2018 season, the Indian Motorcycle Minnesota Mile at Canterbury Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Saturday, September 29. Live coverage can be viewed on FansChoice.tv starting at 2:00 p.m. ET with Opening Ceremonies scheduled to get underway at 6:00 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at http://www.canterburypark.com/events/ama-racing/.