Dunlop is the Official Tire of the American Flat Track series
Flat track racing is enjoying a richly deserved revival. In recent years, the American Flat Track Series raced at Indy during the same weekend as MotoGP, giving the series international exposure. Since then, more manufacturers have joined the battle, and a group of young lions, including numerous female racers, have moved up the ranks eager to make their mark.
For 2017, the re-entry of Indian with a specially built factory racer to challenge Harley-Davidson has spiked interest levels. At the season-opener in Daytona, Jared Mees won aboard one of the new Indians, writing a fairytale new chapter into an American racing heritage that dates back over a century, when dirt and wood tracks flourished from coast to coast.
One Series, Four Kinds of Tracks
The American Flat Track championship consists of four different types of dirt tracks. This year’s schedule includes two Short Track, four Tourist Trophy (TT), eight Half Mile, and six incredible Mile events. In June, the 20-race series hit the halfway point. In the top Pro Twins class, Indian’s Bryan Smith led the standings with 182 points, thanks to an impressive run of four wins and another three podiums. Close behind was teammate Mees, with four wins and four podiums – and a costly DNF. Meanwhile Indian’s Brad Baker held third in the standings with five podium finishes. The title fight looks to be shaping up between Smith and Mees.
In the single-cylinder Pro Singles class, Shayna Texter impressively holds the lead on her Honda with 142 points, three wins and three additional podiums. Even with two DNFs, she remains a big leap ahead of Kawasaki-mounted Brandon Price with one win and four top-five finishes, and Kolby Carlile, with two podiums and four other top-five finishes aboard his Honda.
How Dunlop Took the Lead
Despite the variety of machinery and tracks that make up the American Flat Track Championship, every rider, bike and race featured a common theme of excellence – Dunlop DT3 race tires. Designed and manufactured in Buffalo, New York specifically for the series, these 17-inch asymmetrical dirt-track tires provide the tenacious and predictable grip that racers need when sliding bar-to-bar through turns at over 100 mph. Improvements for 2017 include a choice of two rear tire compounds; a medium compound for TT, short-track and half-mile tracks, and a hard compound for mile tracks.
The new compound choices show how the knowledge earned during Dunlop’s more than 100 years of manufacturing tires contributes to American Flat Track racing today. In turn, lessons learned in this exciting series will feed right back into Dunlop Research & Development eventually helping to improve the production tires available to customers.
The next American Flat Track race is the Rolling Wheels Half Mile in Elbridge, New York on July 8, followed by the Buffalo Chip TT in Sturgis, South Dakota on August 6.