Daytona Beach, Fla., March 5—Indian Motorcycle’s return to major competition following a 65-year hiatus last season proved not only a successful endeavor, but one of historic domination. For 2018, the Minnesota-based marque is planning another strong commitment to American Flat Track.
Indian Motorcycle will serve as the event entitlement sponsor for four AFT events on the 2018 slate. Featured prominently on this year’s American Flat Track calendar are the Indian Motorcycle Red Mile in Lexington, Ky., on June 2; the Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile in Lima, Ohio on June 30; the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle in Sturgis, S.D., on August 5; and the inaugural Indian Motorcycle Minnesota Mile, which will take place right in the manufacturer’s backyard in Minneapolis, Minn., on September 29.
As the presenting sponsor of several races last year, Indian Motorcycle hosted dedicated fan areas for bike owners and enthusiasts, offered dealer rides, and gave fans a chance to win a brand-new Indian Scout. This season’s overall involvement and dealership participation will be further enhanced as Indian Motorcycle steps up to full event title sponsorship of multiple races.
Additionally, Indian Motorcycle will again be an integral partner of the NBCSN television and FansChoice.tv broadcasts for the entirety of the new season. In that capacity, fans can expect to learn more about the bevy of talent both on and behind the brand’s race bikes.
“The reemergence of Indian Motorcycle as a force in American Flat Track gave our fans a season to remember in 2017,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “We are delighted that Indian is approaching 2018 with the same desire, and everything points to another thrilling season for America’s original extreme sport.”
The Indian Wrecking Crew fully lived up to its moniker in 2017, led by reigning Grand National Champion Jared Mees. Mees established a new single-season podium record last season aboard his Scout FTR750 with 17 top-three finishes in 18 attempts. Remarkably, 10 of those 17 were tallied as victories, a further six as runner-ups, and just one a third-place finish.
Mees’ astonishing title campaign was backed up by the respective efforts of his fellow Crewman, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker. The trio locked down first through third in the final championship order while combining to win 14 races, scooping up 37 of an available 54 podiums, and sweeping the podium on six separate occasions.
2018 could witness an even more impressive performance on the part of a rapidly expanding Indian Motorcycle-mounted contingent. In addition to the factory outfit, several leading privateers will be campaigning FTR750s this season, including the likes of former Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth and the fifth-ranked rider of 2017, Jeffrey Carver, Jr. Others campaigning for Indian Motorcycle include Chad Cose, Jay Maloney, Robby Pearson, Johnny Lewis, Henry Wiles, and Jake Johnson.
While last year’s results may have alone been enough to convince many front-running riders to make the switch, that decision was made all the easier by a generous $350,000 contingency plan on the part of Indian Motorcycle, which includes a $25,000 bounty for the title, plus $5,000 for each race win, $4000 for runner-ups, $3000 for third-place finishes, and additional payouts to the remainder of the top ten.
“We are excited to continue our support for American Flat Track and cannot thank the fans enough for their support throughout last year’s Championship season,” said Gary Gray, Vice President—Racing, Service & Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “No doubt last season marked a historic return for us, but with the start of the season right around the corner, we’re looking forward to our Wrecking Crew and the privateers running the Scout FTR750 competing at a high level in 2018.”
American Flat Track will kick off its highly-anticipated 2018 season with the Bigger, Better, and Faster Harley-Davidson TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys at DAYTONA under the lights inside the fabled trioval at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, March 15, 2018. Tickets start at just $30 and are available for purchase now at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.