American Flat Track

Briar Bauman, Jesse Janisch win American Flat Track Daytona TT

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American Flat Track riders braved the banks of the frontstretch for the first time in the Daytona International Speedway TT and when the checkers waved, Briar Bauman scored the opening victory in Round 1 of the season.

If one looked at only the box score, he appeared to have an easy time of it. Bauman beat Henry Wiles by more than five seconds after his challenger got mired in traffic during the first half of the race. The roadblock came in the form of Briar’s brother, Bronson Bauman.

Wiles was finally able to get into second on Lap 11, but was six seconds behind the leader at the time.

The Daytona TT shaped up as a battle between Bauman and Wiles. Wiles beat Briar Bauman in Heat 1. They both won their semi and were well positioned to challenge in the feature.

Jake Johnson stood on the final step of the podium.

Jarod Vanderkooi advanced to fourth at the checkers after crashing in his semi. Bronson Bauman held on to finish fifth

Jared Mees had his own adventure during the race – crashing twice during his semi. He benefitted from a complete restart to overcome the first accident and later survived a last-lap tangle with Kayl Kollman to advance to the Main. He was off his bike for the third and final time when it lost power midway through the event.

JD Beach had an even worse outing. He threw his semi away on Lap 1 in Turn 1 when he went down with too much brake on the front.

Singles

After winning Heat 2 and his semi-feature, Jesse Janisch grabbed the early lead of the 15-lap feature and never looked back. With the flagman waving the checkers from the bottom of the banking, Janisch had enough of an advantage that he pulled a wheelie down the length of the frontstretch.

Janisch had only one victory in 2018, so he has already matched that performance.

By a margin of 2.577 seconds, he won over Dalton Gauthier, who advance to the feature after winning his semi.

Dan Bromley took the last rung of the podium.

Mikey Rush and Max Whale rounded out the top five.

Oliver Brindley won Heat 1, but while leading his semi, he crashed on Lap 1 and fell to last in the field, which forced him to take a provisional to start the feature. Provisionals can be used only once a year, so Brindley is out of mulligans for the rest of the season.

James Rispoli took a tumble and went head over teakettle on Lap 2 and finished 17th.

The Daytona TT presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys can be seen March 24 on NBCSN at 4 p.m. ET.

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Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.