Following a dominant 2018 season, where the Indian FTR750 won 17 of the 18 American Flat Track (AFT) races, Indian Motorcycle Racing today announced its 2019 AFT factory race team. Along with the return of reigning Champion Jared Mees, Indian Motorcycle Racing welcomes Briar Bauman and Bronson Bauman to its 2019 Wrecking Crew. Additionally, former Wrecking Crew rider Brad “The Bullet” Baker returns to the team as technical advisor and rider coach.
After back-to-back AFT championships in 2017 and 2018, Mees returns to the 2019 Indian Wrecking Crew with Crew Chief Kenny Tolbert, Mechanic Bubba Bently and Jimmy Wood on suspension. Dick Tibbits also returns and will aid all three Wrecking Crew riders with nutrition, fitness, and mental preparation. Team operations for Briar and Bronson will be conducted by Paul Langley and S&S, while Dave Zanotti will serve as crew chief. Michelle DiSalvo has signed on as Briar’s mechanic, while Bronson’s mechanic will be named at a later date. Indian Motorcycle Racing also welcomes the return of Dean Young as Wrecking Crew team manager.
“We’re excited to bring back Jared, and his championship pedigree, as we embark on the next chapter for Indian Motorcycle Racing. We welcome Briar and Bronson and are proud to have them represent our brand on and off the track,” said Gary Gray, Vice President – Racing, Technology & Service for Indian Motorcycle. “When it comes to racing, we’ve assembled some of the most talented professionals in the sport, and we’re looking forward to the upcoming season.”
One of the key team members who will assume a leading role as a technical advisor and rider coach is Brad “The Bullet” Baker. Indian Motorcycle Racing is extremely proud to continue its relationship with the former AFT Champion and Wrecking Crew rider. Baker will closely support and mentor Briar and Bronson throughout the 2019 season by analyzing their on-track performance, help with race-day strategy and bike setup. Baker brings a championship-winning perspective and a wealth of knowledge and experience on the FTR750.
The 2019 AFT season will be challenging for the Indian Wrecking Crew due to a new rule designed to increase competition. This new rule will allow competitors using ‘production bikes’ to run 40mm throttle bodies while all FTR750 riders will be restricted to 38mm throttle bodies.
Over the last two seasons aboard the Indian FTR750, Mees has recorded back-to-back AFT championships and has tallied 20 total wins. Through nine races aboard the FTR750 as a privateer, Briar secured six top-five finishes, including a second-place finish at the Peoria TT and a win at the Williams Grove Half-Mile. Following Baker’s injury at X Games, Bronson filled in and ran his factory FTR750 in the final seven races. During that time, Bronson garnered his first top-five finish of the season and his first career Twins podium with a second-place finish at the Williams Grove Half-Mile.
The 2017 Wrecking Crew swept the season standings, finishing first, second and third. The team earned Indian Motorcycle Racing’s first Manufacturer’s Championship. In 2018, Wrecking Crew riders and FTR750 privateers swept the top nine positions in the final standings, securing another Manufacturer’s Championship for Indian Motorcycle Racing.