First-ever win for Harley-Davidson’s XG750R, and first Production Twins win for Gauthier and Black Hills H-D
Words by Mitch Boehm
Photos by Scott Hunter/AFT
When Black Hills H-D head honcho Terry Rymer signed current AFT Singles points leader Dalton Gauthier to ride one of his team’s two factory-supported Harley-Davidson XG750R race bikes in America Flat Track’s new Production Twins class three weeks ago, he may not have expected Gauthier to gain the top step of the podium in only Gauthier’s second event.
But that’s exactly what happened last night during the Production Twins Main Event at the famed Sacramento Mile at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. After qualifying second to J. R. Addison and finishing second to current Production Twins points leader Cory Texter in his Semi, Gauthier stormed past early Main Event leader Texter and never looked back, winning by a two-second margin and never being challenged.
The victory wasn’t just Gauthier’s first in AFT competition on a twin; it was the first-ever win for Harley-Davidson’s still-improving XG750R, and the Black Hills H-D squad’s first Production Twins win, as well.
“They whole Vance & Hines crew, everybody at Harley and Black Hills Harley-Davidson put me on this awesome motorcycle,” said Gauthier on the rostrum.
“This bike was working so good tonight. I couldn’t believe it. Right from the first lap in the Main I knew it was going to be a good one. I got off to a good start, just like I wanted. I passed Cory [Texter] around the outside of Turn three and just set sail. I just did consistent laps and tried to do my own race. I looked back halfway through the race and nobody was there, so I was like, ‘Sweet!’
Gauthier’s Black Hills H-D teammate James Rispoli tangled with Texter throughout the race, eventually finishing fifth to Texter’s fourth-place result. Addison ended up second, with Estenson Racing’s Kolby Carlile third.
After six of 11 events in the Production Twins championship, Gauthier – who’s only ridden four of those events – currently sits fifth in points, although he’s within 11 points of third and only 27 points from second-ranked Ryan Varnes. Texter leads with 123 points, 53 points ahead of Gauthier, but with five events remaining Gauthier certainly has a shot at the title if he can continue winning.
“Our team is pretty amped up about Dalton’s win,” said Black Hills Harley-Davidson GM and co-owner Terry Rymer, “but I’m really happy for Vance & Hines and Harley-Davidson. They put a lot of time and energy into this and gave us a lot of support. We had a pretty good idea that adding Dalton to our already strong Production Twins team of James Rispoli could help move us farther along, and it happened really quickly. Those two guys are fearsome competitors and are both super talented, and we are excited as hell about our chances during the remainder of the season.”
The next round of Production Twins racing happens at the Springfield Mile double-header on August 31 and September 1 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, IL. Gauthier and Rispoli are bound to figure in those results, so either get there and watch it happen live or catch the livestream broadcast with Scottie Deubler and Brad ‘The Bullet’ Baker on FansChoice.tv starting on the morning of August 31. With AFT Twins, AFT Singles and Production Twins racing on the Springfield docket, it’s sure to be a barn-burner of a weekend.