AFT American Flat Track Series
Round 1: Daytona TT at Daytona International Speedway
Story and Photos courtesy of John Light/Evans Coolant
DAYTONA BEACH, FL, MAR. 16, 2017
The Daytona TT race started the new American Flat Track Series off by taking risks; the result was a great success for the series, the fans, and Evans Coolant!
The TT course had a jump and a right-hand turn in a series that is dominated by oval tracks. Another change this year is that twin-cylinder bikes will race at all the events on the schedule. Previously, they only ran single-cylinder bikes at the short-track events, which really handicapped the fan turnout at locations such as Daytona; the vast majority of people in town ride Harleys and other twin-cylinder cruisers. With twins racing in Daytona, the fans turned up this year!
The biggest story of the race, however, was the entry of Indian Motorcycles in the series. The Harley-vs.-Indian battles before Indian quit in 1952 were epic and fed racing enthusiasm and cycle sales; you were a fan of one brand or the other, not both. Indian is back, and in a big way! With three factory riders from each American brand this year joining efforts from Kawasaki, Triumph, Yamaha, KTM and others, the flat-track field is set for incredible battles. We can’t disclose all the team bikes in which Evans’ coolant is utilized, but let’s just say that if a brand is liquid-cooled, there’s Evans Coolant inside at least one of them!
Evans-sponsored Jared Mees put his Factory Indian out front all night and was there on the only lap that counts – the last one! The Harleys and Kawasakis were competitive (and we wanted to see that, too), but the combination of spot-on tuning by the legendary Kenny Tolbert and the solid talent of Jared Mees proved to be an unstoppable equation.
The single-cylinder class saw some incredible racing by Evans-sponsored Dalton Gauthier, who battled all night to grab the win right at the end, with some really impressive riding!
Dalton showed up in a stunning yellow-and-black color scheme on his leathers and a Yamaha motorcycle that stood out well for the fans as they watched him work his way through the pack toward the front.
Second place went to Evans-sponsored Wyatt Anderson, on the Waters Autobody KTM.
Some might suggest that waterless coolant isn’t necessary in a race like last night’s, because there’s no mud to clog the radiator air flow and the high speeds and cool air (in the 50s here in Florida!) make overheating unlikely, but I would note one of the bikes that made it to the podium. You could follow the trail of shame which led to a blue puddle under the machine. As soon as the motor was shut off and the antifreeze stopped circulating, the fluid inside the engine boiled to vapor, pushing the contents out. Compare this to the Loretta Lynn Motocross race last year, where this writer popped the radiator cap off the winning bike on the podium with no explosion or coolant loss.
You can watch the racing live and archived on FansChoicetv.com or catch it later this summer when NBC Sports will broadcast the whole series in one-hour shows leading up to the season finale.
[For more from this event, please see “Mees Wins Daytona TT in AFT Opener” and also stay tuned for more from this event to be posted soon on Today’s Cycle Coverage… Editor]