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Bauman Blazes to Victory at Lima!

| 29 June 2017 4:03 pm

AFT American Flat Track Series
Round 9: The Lima Half Mile, presented by Indian Motorcycle, at the Allen County Fairgrounds

Story and Photos by Kurt Bauer/dirtbauer.com
LIMA, OH, JUNE 24, 2017

The American Flat Track Series rolled into Lima, Ohio, for some Half Mile action after three consecutive Mile events. Maybe this track would be the one to end the streak Indian has going since they introduced the FTR750 Scout to the series, winning the first eight races. Could Yamaha rider Sammy Halbert, who has been running up front with the Indians this year, do the deed? Or would it be one of the many Kawasaki 650s entered? Or would Ducati or possibly Harley-Davidson keep their streak alive of winning at Lima for the last 20 years…?

Briar Bauman (14) in action on the Lima Half Mile pea gravel.

Briar Bauman (14) in action on the Lima Half Mile pea gravel.

The evening kicked off with the George Roeder Memorial Dash For Cash, presented by George Roeder. There was a total purse of $16,200, with the winner getting $9,400 dollars.

The top six qualifiers would be the first to take to the nicely groomed pea-gravel half-mile course. You sure would hate to be the seventh fastest on this night, as this would be a great payday for a four-lap shoot-out!

Brad Baker set the pace in qualifying, with Briar Bauman not far behind and Jeffrey Carver Jr. in third. The Indian-mounted Jared Mees was fourth, followed by Davis Fisher and Chad Cose.

Brad Baker (6) was fastest in qualifying.

Brad Baker (6) was fastest in qualifying.

The start of the Dash saw Mees leading the way, with Cose and Carver in the Indian’s roost. Brad Baker, on the other FTR Indian Scout, moved up to second place. Points leader (and track promoter) Mees took the win, with Bauman in third in the four-lapper.

Jared Mees (9) leads the way in the Dash For Cash en route to a big payday.

Jared Mees (9) leads the way in the Dash For Cash en route to a big payday.

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Next up on the program was George Roeder, taking the 1957 KR out for a hot lap. However, his hot lap was cut short by a wadded-up chain.

George Roeder takes the ’57 Harley on the hot lap that didn’t go as planned, as the chain derailed.

George Roeder takes the ’57 Harley on the hot lap that didn’t go as planned, as the chain derailed.

The Twins took to the track for the first three heat races. Carver put in an impressive ride to take the win in the first heat. Fastest qualifier Brad “The Bullet” Baker won heat two, and Bauman won the third heat race.

The track seemed to be holding up nicely after some heavy rain the night before. After each race, they would quickly drag the track and give it a quick shot of water. This made for a very long program, but it worth the wait, as the racing was exciting for the main events. This track is known for multiple lines and a changing track lap after lap.

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The Singles class consisted of 450cc bikes. Qualifying saw Parker Norris putting in the fastest lap. Second went to Kevin “The Freak of Nature” Stollings. Kyle Johnson was third quickest, and Kolby Carlile posted the fourth-fastest lap. Points leader Shayna Texter qualified seventh.

Heat wins went to Norris, Carlile and Stollings.

Parker Norris (24) leads Jesse Janisch (132) in the first Singles heat race.

Parker Norris (24) leads Jesse Janisch (132) in the first Singles heat race.

As the Singles lined up for their first semi, Stollings’ bike appeared to be possibly overheating, but he was able to start the race, and he was up front, leading the way. However, his engine was smoking more and more each lap, and Norris was staying with him, but he couldn’t get around him, as he was trying his best to avoid the Lima roost – and the smoke from Stollings’ bike. The Freak of Nature had some luck going his way for a change, as he won his semi and was able to repair the valve-cover gasket before the main.

Kevin Stollings (99) leads Parker Norris (24, right) in the first Singles semi, as Stollings’ bike begins to smoke.

Kevin Stollings (99) leads Parker Norris (24, right) in the first Singles semi.

The second semi had Colby Carlile out front early, but his exhaust had come loose and he eventually lost it, costing him a chance at the main; his night was done. Surely Colby was not happy with the new format, as in years past, after doing well in first heat, he would have transferred directly to the main. In this race, Kyle Johnson took the win.

Colby Carlile (36) saw his exhaust let go, costing him a chance at the main event.

Colby Carlile (36) saw his exhaust let go, costing him a chance at the main event.

Steve Morehead retrieves Colby Carlile’s exhaust.

Steve Morehead retrieves Colby Carlile’s exhaust.

When the green light lit for the Singles main, it was Norris with the lead and Stollings a few seconds behind him. Stollings would eventually reel in Norris, and he got real close in turn three on the last lap, but he couldn’t make the pass, and Norris rode flawlessly for his first win of the season. Former GNC2 Champion Kyle Johnson, making a return to racing, finished third. Honda rider John Vanderlaan finished fourth and Kawasaki jockey Brandon Price was fifth. Points leader Shayna Texter finished in sixth place.

Kevin Stollings (99) battles Parker Norris (24) in the Singles main.

Kevin Stollings (99) battles Parker Norris (24) in the Singles main.

Winner Parker Norris (center) was flanked on the Singles podium by runner-up Kevin Stollings (right) and third-place finisher Kyle Johnson (left).

Winner Parker Norris (center) was flanked on the Singles podium by runner-up Kevin Stollings (right) and third-place finisher Kyle Johnson (left).

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Jared Mees (9) and Bryan Smith (1) battle for the lead in Twins heat-race action.

Jared Mees (9) and Bryan Smith (1) battle for the lead in Twins heat-race action.

Briar Bauman (14) and Brad Baker (6) skirmish in a Twins semi.

Briar Bauman (14) and Brad Baker (6) skirmish in a Twins semi.

In the second semi for the Twins, Jared Mees jumped the start, and he would have to start from the back. He did, but he worked his way up to what appeared to be a fourth-place finish. Carver looked very fast and smooth en route to taking the win, ahead of Fisher.

Bryan Smith (1), running the inside line in turn four.

Bryan Smith (1), running the inside line in turn four.

Prior to the Singles race, they announced that there would be a big change to the Twins line-up for the main. After reviewing the start of the second Twins semi, AFT officials determined that Jared Mees had left the starting line early and would be assessed a 10-second penalty, which dropped him from fourth to 11th place – which meant that he would not make it to the main event. So the points leader and promoter of this evening’s race would be watching from the sidelines, in street clothes. He handled this setback like a champion and said the AFT had made the right call.

So, without Mees on the grid, that meant one less Indian… Maybe the streak would be broken on the half-mile cushion…? As they lined up for the main event, there were five Kawasaki 650s in the top 10, along with two Harleys, two Indians and a Ducati.

Sammy Halbert (69) proved the Yamaha could run up front with the Indians, but he has some tough luck this year. His bad luck continued at this event, as he retired with a mechanical issue after 11 laps in the main event after running as high as fourth.

Sammy Halbert (69) proved the Yamaha could run up front with the Indians, but he has some tough luck this year. His bad luck continued at this event, as he retired with a mechanical issue after 11 laps in the main event after running as high as fourth.

Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Wiles got the holeshot and the early lead, but it didn’t take long before Briar Bauman, who’d won both his heat and his semi, went to the front. Brad Baker, on the Indian, stayed right with the Kawasaki.

Briar Bauman (14) and Brad Baker (6) almost hit while dueling for the lead in the Twins main.

Briar Bauman (14) and Brad Baker (6) almost hit while dueling for the lead in the Twins main.

The red flag came out on the 14th lap. Sammy Halbert would not make the restart due to a mechanical issue.

Jeffrey Carver Jr. finished third in the main after taking a lot of roost all night. This racer had to have run out of tear-offs by the end of the evening.

Jeffrey Carver Jr. finished third in the main after taking a lot of roost all night. This racer had to have run out of tear-offs by the end of the evening.

Briar Bauman takes a victory lap after winning the Twins main event.

Briar Bauman takes a victory lap after winning the Twins main event.

On the restart, Baker and Bauman battled for the lead, but Bauman was able to hold off the Indian, putting the Kawasaki on the top of the box!

If you like flat-track racing, this is the track to go to; being a half-mile venue, you can see most of the track, and it usually has multiple lines to run that makes for exciting racing. Also, there are lots of hotels close by, so make your reservations for next year’s race!

The Lima Half Mile
at the Allen County Fairgrounds
Lima, Ohio
Results: June 24, 2017 (Round 9)

SINGLES: 1. Parker Norris (Hon); 2. Kevin Stollings (Hon); 3. Kyle Johnson (Hon); 4. John Vanderlaan (Hon); 5. Brandon Price (Kaw); 6. Shayna Texter (Hon); 7. Ben Lowe (Hon); 8. Wyatt Anderson (KTM); 9. Morgen Mischler (Hon); 10. Cameron Smith (Hon); 11. Oliver Brindley (Kaw); 12. Tristan Avery (Hon); 13. Shane O’Banion (Hon); 14. Jeremiah Duffy (Hon); 15. Dave Pouliot (Kaw); 16. Nicholas Myers (Hon); 17. Jesse Janisch (Yam); 18. William Kent (KTM).

TWINS: 1. Briar Bauman (Kaw); 2. Brad Baker (Ind); 3. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Kaw); 4. Davis Fisher (Kaw); 5. Henry Wiles (Kaw); 6. Bryan Smith (Ind); 7. Ryan Wells (H-D); 8. Brandon Robinson (H-D); 9. Johnny Lewis (Duc); 10. Bronson Bauman (Kaw); 11. Chad Cose (Kaw); 12. Justin Jones (Kaw); 13. Mikey Rush (Yam); 14. Nick Armstrong (Yam); 15. Jeffery Lowery (Kaw); 16. Shawn Baer (KTM); 17. Dustin Crow (H-D); 18. Sammy Halbert (Yam).
Race Time: 11 minutes, 54.111 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.793 seconds
Best Race Lap: Brad Baker (26.757 seconds)

[For more from this event, please see “Briar Bauman Gets His First Twin Win, Busts Indian Streak”… Editor]

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