Tim Estenson: High on AFT SuperTwins for 2020
Tim Estenson, the driving force behind the impressive Estenson Racing team in the American Flat Track series, is clearly a man on a mission.
From humble beginnings competing out of a small van with a single rider in 2016, Estenson – who built, ran and later sold his successful trucking firm – has methodically built a race team that in both design and deed has forged itself into a major player in the AFT ranks. It’s also one that in 2019 could’ve easily been – with its massive tents, trailer and brilliant blue-and-white livery – mistaken for a factory Yamaha AMA or World Superbike spread from the glory days of the ’90s or early 2000s.
Step one in Tim Estenson’s flat track trek was an impressive AFT Singles championship in 2017 with Kolby Carlile. Step two was the team’s four victories in 2018, one with Jake Johnson in AFT Twins and three with Carlile in AFT Singles. It got better in 2019 with the milestone victories in the AFT Twins division with roadracer/dirtracker JD Beach winning the inaugural Arizona Super TT and the Buffalo Chip TT (the first twins wins for Yamaha in nearly 40 years); in the AFT Singles division with rookie sensation Dallas Daniels winning the legendary Peoria TT and Ryan Wells winning at Perris, CA; and in Production Twins with Carlile winning at Springfield and in Minnesota, finishing a close third in the championship and having a shot at the title in the season finale.
The next step in Estenson’s impressive journey is the team’s new-for-2020 AFT SuperTwins effort, headlined by the recently announced duo of veteran Beach and up-and-coming twins pilot Carlile on the team’s expertly-tuned for 2020 MT-07 DT race bikes.
As a successful businessman, Estenson’s take on the subject of SuperTwins is, as you’d expect, highly business-oriented.
“I’m not exactly sure everyone out there is getting the whole SuperTwins thing,” says Estenson, “and there’s some partial and misinformation out there among teams and fans. But I believe an exclusive, top-tier class and everything that comes with it is what the sport needs at this point in the game, and I’m behind it 100% for that reason.
JD Beach, one of the most talented racers on earth, will ride twin-cylinder Yamahas for Estenson Racing again in 2020. He’ll team with Kolby Carlile in AFT’s new SuperTwins division. Scott Hunter.
“Look, motorcycle dirt track racing, even at the professional level, has traditionally been, for lack of a better term, a bit of a ‘good ol’ boy’ sport. It has a family and community vibe, with folks helping one another, mostly small and local sponsors, and of course great racing and lots of fun. I grew up in the sport in the 1970s and experienced a lot of this firsthand. We need to maintain a lot of that flavor; it’s one of the things that makes dirt track racing so special.
“But some things need to change if the sport is to grow and become financially viable, for riders and teams, for sponsors and for the series itself. And I believe that, due to the changes AFT has made over the last few years, the competitive racing environment in general, the partnership with NBCSN and the excitement that’s been generated in our sport in recent years, that the time is now. It’s all quite exciting. You’ve got considerably more OEMs interested, the audience is growing, sponsors are starting to realize the exposure potential, our riders are becoming more well-known nationally and internationally, there’s a lot of R&D going on behind the scenes, etc. It all feels like it’s time to break out, time to shine, and time to create sustainable revenue for all involved. I believe in this, and I think we’re ready for it.