May 17, 2022
By Joy Burgess
Estenson Racing Yamaha’s Dallas Daniels, who currently races in the American Flat Track (AFT) SuperTwins class, did something no one else has ever done in the history of AMA amateur racing — he won two Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Awards in 2018 in both flat track and roadracing.
After winning those awards, and once he was old enough to participate, Daniels kicked off his pro career with a MotoAmerica Junior Cup victory and debuted in the AFT Singles class partway through the 2019 American Flat Track season. Just five races into his pro flat track career, he raced to an astounding and commanding victory at the legendary Peoria TT, letting everyone know he was one to watch.
He was back to race in the AFT Singles class in 2020 and won more than half the races to win the AFT Singles championship. In 2021 he again made flat track history by becoming the first person to ever claim back-to-back AFT Singles championships.
This year he’s stepped up to the top level of the sport, racing in the SuperTwins class. He’s come a long way from his success at the AMA Flat Track Grand Championship, and we recently caught up with him to ask him a few questions.
American Motorcyclist: How many times did you race the AMA Flat Track Grand Championship before going pro?
Dallas Daniels: Ten years! I raced it every year from 2008 to 2018.
AM: And what was your favorite thing about competing at the FTGC?
DD: As a little kid, it was always a super fun week. I remember going and all my friends would be there. We were having fun and trying to win, and it was almost like a family reunion.
Of course, once it was time to prep to go after the Horizon award, you know they’re looking at your results, but they also look at you as a person and how you’re interacting with family and little kids. They want to see that you’re serious, so I worked on taking everything serious, being respectful and having my best face on. And now I preach that to the kids I help out that go to the Championship.
AM: You won two Horizon awards, one in flat track and one in roadracing, in 2018. How did that make you feel, especially as you moved into your pro career?
DD: It was a big confidence booster. I prepared myself that if I didn’t win it, not to let it get me down too much. I wanted to be a pro racer either way. But it was a big confidence booster and winning definitely helps when teams are looking at you. After winning the Horizons, just a couple months later Estenson Racing contacted me and asked if I wanted to ride for them, and I’ve been with them ever since.
AM: You went on to win back-to-back AFT Singles championships and now you’re riding on a SuperTwins team. What are your goals this year?
DD: Every year, my dad and I set some goals, and we’ve been fortunate to achieve those. If you don’t set goals, you have nothing to go out and work for. For this year I’ve told myself I really want to win a race and be a contender. So far I’m already a contender. I’ve been inside the top five and on the podium, but at the same time I’m a rookie, so I’m not thinking about a championship. I just want to be in the mix and fighting for podiums and wins.
AM: We’ve all seen your success as an amateur and a pro racer. What advice do you have for racers who’ll be competing at the Mission Foods AMA FTGC this year?
DD: Go and give it 100 percent. That’s what I’ve learned. You might not always get the end results you want, but put 100 percent into whatever you’re doing — racing, school, life. Go to the championship being as prepared as you can, give 100 percent on the track, in what you eat, hydration, podium interviews…everything. In the end, that’s the best that you can do!