Flat Track Mania On The Left Coast

In Sacramento, California on May 13th, the Progressive American Flat Track series rolled into the Cal Expo Fairgrounds for the legendary “Sac Mile”. The first Sacramento Mile, held back in 1959, was won by four-time Grand National Champion Carroll Resweber. The AFT season now shifts from Short Tracks and will feature three consecutive Mile tracks. The speeds on a mile oval can be near 140 mph on the straights. Drafting with your teammate is key when qualifying.

AFT Singles riders Kody Kopp #1 and Max Whale #18 teammates for Red Bull KTM, and Chase Saathoff #88 with teammate Trent Lowe #48, drafting during afternoon practice.

Pro and Amateur riders gathered to race at three different venues across three days. Friday, May 12th in Lodi was the first race celebrating this event. The Lodi Motorcycle Club hosted its annual “The Night Before the Mile” race where locals along with pros compete on the quarter mile oval for prize money and bragging rights until the next year. This year’s classes were 85cc, Vintage Open, Open Singles (no experts), Vet (40+), and 450 Open Expert Singles. Twenty-five riders in the 450 Open Expert Singles competed for the first of the weekend’s podiums. Tarren Santero #75 (Honda CRF450R) finished 1st, Justin Jones #91 (KTM 450 SX-F) was second, and Chad Cose #49 (Husqvarna FC450) was third. Nine out of the 25 riders raced the next day in the AFT Singles class.

Parts Unlimited Singles riders Justin Anselmi #26 (Yamaha 450 DTX) & Justin Jones #91 (KTM 450 SX-F). Night Before the Mile 85cc riders Oliver “Flearoy” Cox #73E and “Action” Jackson Brown #22. Chad Cose #49, last year’s Night Before the Mile winner, congratulating Tarren Santero #75 on the podium.

A unique addition to the 2023 Night Before the Mile race on Friday and the Amateur & Vintage Mile race on Sunday, May 14th were two Adaptive Riders, Sherman Lee #7E and Jake McCullough #8E. Jake and Sherman have worked with Mert Lawwill to use his device to modify their bikes for competition.

Adaptive Rider Sherman Lee #7E, Lodi Motorcycle Club.

Saturday, May 13th reunited riders, pit crews, and fans at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. Although it was a late night wrap up in Lodi, ice chests were refilled, sleep wiped from eyes and pits set up to participate for the 58th edition of Mission Foods Sacramento Mile. Steve Delorenzi of SDI Racing in his letter to the fans gave a little history of the event. “Flat Track racing in Sacramento dates back to 1914… The list of Sacramento Mile winners is like the ‘Who’s Who’ of Flat Track Racing: Joe Leonard, Bart Markel, Gary Nixon, Mert Lawwill, Mike Kidd, Gary Scott, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert, Chris Carr, Bryan Smith, and Scott Parker.”

Four-time Sac Mile winner Jared Mees leading the pack during afternoon qualifying. Steve Delorenzi of SDI racing with now five-time Sac Mile winner Jared Mees #1 in Winner’s Circle.

During the time leading up to the main event there was plenty of action during practice and qualifying for the fans to enjoy. Thankfully, everyone was able to stay both fast and safe at the high speeds on the mile.

Olin Kissler #155 on his KTM with an obvious malfunction just ahead of Tyler Raggio #55. Local Northern California riders Blake Ash #140 on his Husqvarna FC450 and Christian Spurgeon #233 on his Honda CRF450R, bringing their “A” game to the Sac Mile.

The Supertwins riders stayed relaxed and ready in the pre-grid area during a delay before the main event. Later, JD Beach #95 on his Estenson Yamaha sped down the back stretch with Kasey Sciscoe #61 on a Harley-Davidson XG750R to the outside and Kolby Carlile #36 on his Yamaha MT-07 in hot pursuit. JD Beach took third place on the podium that evening. One young rider to watch is Singles Estensen Yamaha rider, Tom Drane #59 who finished first at the Sac Mile.

Dallas Daniels #32 waiting patiently to walk to the grid. A very relaxed Kolby Carlile #36 waiting to take the grid for the main. Fan fave JD Beach #95 on the back stretch. Tom Drane #59 from Forbes, Australia is a young rider to watch at the Red Mile in Kentucky and at the DuQuoin Mile in Illinois.

You would think that after two days of hard racing in hot temperatures some riders would be ready to call it a weekend, but that was not the case! On Sunday, May 14th former professional racer Brok McAllister held the Amateur and Vintage Mile at Cal Expo. Back out to the track by 7am, 90 riders paid 165 entrance fees and got down to the business of having some serious fun! Finally, after three days of racing the party had to end. Robert Lawrence “The Flagman” gives every finisher, first or last, the checkered flag and it’s a wrap for 2023.

Barb Nickless
Photos by Geoff Nickless

Mastering “The Tuck” coming up the front straight is Jaymes Arnaiz  #27. Thirteen riders on the grid for the Open Amateur class. Robert Lawrence, “The Flaggman” from Boise, Idaho flagged the main event finishes on Friday, May 12th and Sunday, May 14th. Robert gives all main event finishers his best and is a crowd favorite. He is as enjoyable as “Bouncing Bob Malley” from the 1970’s.


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  1. Daren

    The Nickless crew is awesome! They are down to earth prople with a love of the sport. Look out! They will make you famous!

  2. Ted M Edwards

    Never been to the famous Sacramento Mile, but your photography skills make me feel like I was there. Through your pictures I can almost hear the engines, feel the dirt and smell the race gas. Road Dirt is lucky to have both of you on staff. And the photo of flagman Robert Lawerence is pure gold.

    • Rob Brooks

      The shot of the “Flaggman” just completed the story!

  3. Steve Gregory

    Barb & Geoff are so passionate, it’s a pleasure to enjoy them, their quality photos and well written articles.
    Thank you Team Nickless🏁👌

    • Rob Brooks

      We agree. It’s an honor and pleasure to feature Team Nickless here!


    I have been looking all over for results of the Amateur Mile. Rode it five times before “hanging it up” just before The Plague. Can anyone tell me where I can see the results and the list of riders that rode this event?

    • Rob Brooks

      Good question, Barry. We’ll hit up Geoff and Barb, see if they “know a guy.”


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