DAYTONA BEACH, FLA., Mar. 23—Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Kennedy Racing/Armbruster Racing Indian FTR750) accomplished what few riders have in recent American Flat Track history in Saturday night’s thrilling Yamaha Atlanta Short Track presented by Cycle Gear.
Robinson successfully tracked down, and ultimately dispatched, dominant double defending Grand National Champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) to win the 25-lap AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event at at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Georgia.
Prior to Robinson’s heroics, Mees appeared set to issue a stark reminder of that dominance when he broke free early and worked up a gap to separate him from the remainder of the field. However, Robinson slowly reeled Mees in throughout the Main, finally arriving on the champ’s rear wheel with just over five laps remaining.
On lap 22 of 25, Robinson made the race’s decisive maneuver, pulling off a skillful outside overtake to steal away the position. Mees had no response, as Robinson immediately dropped him en route to a 0.621-second margin of victory.
The victory marks Robinson’s first AFT Twins triumph since he won the Lima Half Mile midway through the 2016 season. He said, “Timing was everything. Jared is one of the smartest, toughest competitors on the circuit. I knew if I showed my cards too early, he could make a countermove and try to get me back. I just waited. He had a little mishap, and I was able to roll around the outside of him. I just put my head down and set sail those last couple laps and tried to be as smooth as possible and everything just played out perfectly. I’m stoked right now — this is awesome!”
Heading into the Main Event, DAYTONA TT winner Briar Bauman (No. 14 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) appeared capable of carrying that season-opening momentum like a freight train. He ranked near the top of the charts all day and won his semi with relative ease. However, a difficult start in the Main threw him into a frenetic fight for position.
At the end of the evening, he emerged on the podium with a hard-earned third after running as low as eighth early in the race. However, Bauman was never in contention for the win and finished nearly three seconds back of Robinson.
Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R Rev X) pulled off a second consecutive charge up through the field to finish fourth, while ST master Henry Wiles (No. 17 Bandit Industries/DPC Racing/Wilco Racing Indian FTR750) completed the top five.
The Yamaha Atlanta Short Track presented by Cycle Gear will debut on NBCSN Sunday, March 31, at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT and will re-air on Wednesday, April 3, at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.
Be sure to tune into the feature telecast of the DAYTONA TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT on NBCSN.
American Flat Track will take a few weeks off before returning to action for the Texas Half-Mile presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, April 20. As always, live coverage will be available at FansChoice.tv. Tickets for the Texas Half-Mile are on sale now and can be purchased at www.americanflattrack.com.