Johnny Lewis had been in touch with Sideburn about his ride on the Indian at yesterday's Lone Star Half-Mile, asking us to keep it quiet. Johnny sounded quite confident he could do a job on the FTR750, despite the fact he wouldn't ride it until the day of the race.
Incredibly, even though he was up against Mees, Smith, Halbert, Bauman, the struggling Harley factory trio of Coolbeth, Johnson and Robinson, plus all the other AFT regulars, Johnny pulled a last lap move on Indian factory rider, Bryan Smith to come in third.
What does this say about:
A. The FTR750 as a privateer bike?
B. Johnny Lewis as a championship contender?
C. The strength in depth of the AFT field?
But that wasn't the only big story of the night, because Jeffrey Carver won his first twins national. Jeffrey is one of our all-time favourite riders. A true individual and super-talented. Not even Jared Mees could challenge Carver's dominance on a privateer XR750.
We have both Jeffrey Carver and Johnny Lewis writing for Sideburn 30.
What else from Texas?
Sammy Halbert didn't make the most of Brad Baker's absence to make third overall in the title race, being given 15th in the main.
Stand-in rider Larry Pegram got 10th on the FTR750 (see question C above).
Harley's team continued its demoralising run of results with 11th, 12th and 14th. I've run out of ideas on how to improve that machine, but something drastic is going to have to happen for 2018.
There were 29 entries in the twins class with only four manufacturers represented, hardly the resurgence AFT were hoping for. Indian are scaring away every other factory. It won't be a problem if the TV figures and live attendances are good, but not ideal in the long run.
In the singles class there were only 23 entries (for an 18-rider main), with five manufacturers entered (there were sole KTM and Husqvarna riders).
Shayna Texter won the singles main, her fifth win of the year, yet she's second in the standings behind Kolby Carlile, who doesn't have a 2017 win to his name this season. Shayna's inability to pick up points at TTs, and Carlile's consistency, has made the championship difficult for her.
British rider Oliver Brindley came in 7th. He's 10th overall in the standings in his first season of pro racing.
The final round is in Perris, in two weeks, but before then is the big money Willow Springs non-championship race, and Jeffrey Carver has won that for the last two years.
PS Isn't Lone Star Underdogs a great name for a country and western backing band?