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How to Watch & What to Watch: Memphis Shades DuQuoin Mile

FloRacing is the live streaming home of Progressive American Flat Track. Complete coverage of this Saturday’s Memphis Shades DuQuoin Mile at the DuQuoin Sate  Fairgrounds will kick off with the day’s first practice session at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT). Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action live at 

FOX Sports coverage of the Memphis Shades DuQuoin Mile, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, July 14, at 12:00 p.m. ET (9:00 a.m. PT). 

Speed Not Seen ‘Round Here in Decades

This past weekend’s Lima Half-Mile was always destined to be a pivotal round for Mission AFT SuperTwins championship leader Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT).

While he had amassed a points lead via a perfect season’s podium record, Daniels came to Lima after being beaten in a straight fight at the Bridgeport Half-Mile, the very same venue where he’d earned arguably his most impressive premier-class victory to that point.

The Allen County Fairgrounds set up as a difficult place to settle scores; while he had dreamed of conquering the Lima Half-Mile pretty much his entire life, title rivals Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750), Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke), and Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) had all actually done so, and on more than one occasion.

In need of a momentum swing back in his favor, the performance Daniels ultimately delivered was simply special. That was clear to anyone who watched, whether be it on FloRacing, from the grandstands, or from on track, where his opponents were treated/subjected to only a fleeting glimpse before he moved clear of sight… at least until circling back around to provide more than half the field with a second look as he put them a lap down.

Special, sure, but exactly how special? A thorough study of the annals proves that the eye test did not lie.

In his first flying lap, the Estenson Racing pilot blasted around the pea-gravel Half-Mile in 25.293 seconds, the first of eleven consecutive circulations in the 25-second range. For reference, Mees and Robinson were the only other two Mission AFT SuperTwins riders to break into the 25s all day long.

For even better reference, Daniels’ 25.293 stands, flat-out, as the fastest race lap turned at the Lima Half-Mile in recorded Progressive AFT history.

To find a faster lap, you need to go back to a qualifying session from 17 years ago. In 2007, then-future Grand National Champion and current Progressive AFT Series Director Bryan Smith laid down an epic succession of laps that included times of 24.87525.205, and 25.252 seconds.

In fact, Daniels’ flier was the first time anyone has lapped within a half-second of Smith since he recorded that 24.875, despite an astonishing 406 nationally licensed riders turning 40,898 laps in the interim.

Even after digging further back through the ages, only two other laps that better Daniels’ best were unearthed. In 1984 – at Lima’s inaugural Grand National Championship round – the iconic Scott Parker clocked a 24.994 lap during qualifying. Prior to that, DeWayne Howton recorded a time of 24.987 all the way back in 1978 in the days before the GNC visited the venue.

Of note, Smith, Howton, and Parker were all armed with Harley-Davidson XR750s, while, of course, Daniels turned his lap on a Yamaha MT-07 DT.

Incidentally, the fastest ever lap at Lima for the Indian FTR750 – winner of the last seven Grand National Championships running – belongs to Jeffrey Carver, Jr., who turned a 25.421 in 2018.

Robinson registered a blistering 25.529 this past weekend in his futile attempt to keep Daniels in sight, although he actually went a tick faster here on his Indian back in 2021 (25.475).

Danger Zone

With all due apologies to Robinson – who has performed brilliantly this season and very much remains in title contention – one can make a strong argument that he has only the third best odds to claim the 2024 Grand National Championship despite ranking second in the points.

That’s not meant as a slight, but rather the acknowledgement of the relative strengths of Daniels’ and Mees’ respective candidacies. It’s hard to argue against Daniels, who now boasts a 21-point lead, a perfect podium record, and his continued upward ascension. As for Mees, we’re talking about the reigning series king – winner of the last three titles in succession and nine in all – who is looking ahead to a very favorable second-half slate.

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