By Catherine OConnor
Rivals on and true teammates off the track, AFT Premier Twins Yamaha riders #32 Dallas Daniels and #95 JD Beach show enormous respect for one another. Heading to Volusia, the last nail-biter contest in the 2022 race series, the Estenson Yamaha Racing Team personifies the concept of ‘watershed moment’.  During his rookie year in the Premier class, 19-year-old Dallas Daniels is only 16 points behind series leader, 7-time champ Jared Mees [see ‘What’s Mees Got?’ here]. The other half of Estenson’s dynamic duo, JD Beach sits in third position by a slim two points, cool and confident, nipping at their heels. It’s been an action-packed series, gripping fans who‘ve watched the Yamaha MT-07’s of Beach and Daniels, taking turns giving Nat’l #Uno Indian factory star Mees, a run for his money, race after race.

Where it all happens: AFT Premier Twins Yamaha riders #32 Dallas Daniels and #95 JD Beach.

I caught up with Daniels and “Jiggy Dog Beach” at American Supercamp in Springfield, Illinois just two weeks before the grand finale in Florida, where the AFT Progressive Supertwins championship will be won or lost. Beach is 31, with decades of expertise on asphalt and dirt, and a veteran student who’s now a coach/mentor.  He’s recruited newcomer Daniels to assist Supercamp founder Danny Walker with classes for up-and-coming, returning and current amateur racers, and street riders alike.

All aboard TTR 125’s, riders as young as 10 to over 50 years old gather at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for back to back Supercamps Sept 29-Oct 2. [Sam Evans]
JD’s strength comes from a sense of brotherhood. From his earliest friendships with the Gillim and Hayden clan, the power of sibling / rivalry has helped Beach grow into a force to be reckoned with. Beach can’t say enough about the positive aspects of working with teammate Daniels. “It’s really made me dig deep to be better and realize the more I can help him, the better it’ll make me.” At their core, Dallas and JD are professionals who know aggressiveness is a strength. “Having him on the team is good for me because we’re constantly pushing each other, and we don’t like to get beat. I guarantee, when it’s me and him out on the track, fans can see we’re not gonna be nice. We can work together but fight too.”

AFT Premier Twins Yamaha riders #32 Dallas Daniels and #95 JD Beach

Beach is a confidence man in the best sense of the word. Overcoming hurdles and rising to the top is what he’s done, taking Tim Estenson’s Yamaha vision to reality. “This is something Tim does because he loves the sport. He’s not selling anything.” Staying grounded in the racing life, his social media Beach Report feeds a panorama of track days, golden retrievers and splashing in the pool holding toddler-nephews, the next generation of the families of Hayden and Frankie Lee Gillim. When asked what it feels like to have the perfect lap or perfect corner, a humble JD tells you, “I don’t know. I’ve never had one. There’s always something I could better.”

Beach and Daniels, featured pros, engage and demonstrate bike handling and agility skills, as Supercamp’s Walker calls the shots. [Sam Evans]
In the same way that JD Beach credits the Earl Hayden legacy, family ties to the expertise of Hart Racing, may help explain Dallas Daniels’ meteoric rise to the top. His father raced with Receil Hart, whose cousin James Hart is now Dallas’ mechanic. “When I was young, I’d come home from school I would just ride, ride, and ride. They’d have to get me to eat dinner. Then I’d kick and moan when I’d have to come in because it was dark outside.” When the elder Daniels started working for Triumph, young Dallas traveled the country over the summer hitting races along the way. “New York, California, Texas, Florida, I raced 30 to 35 races per year, as many Amateur classes as they’d let me in,”

Chores for Daniels and Beach at Supercamp include “care and feeding of the livestock” (refueling Yamaha pit bikes), between classes at the IL State Fairgrounds. [Sam Evans]
To say that Daniels looks up to Beach as a mentor, is an understatement. “Pre-2019 when he was in Superbike, I was doing Junior Cup road races, and he just kind of took me under his wing. JD’s a special character. He won’t brag about himself, so I’ll brag for him. He eats, sleeps and breathes motorcycles, just like me. So, we’re alike. We really get along, because we live for this.” Daniels also offers much credit to his sponsor Tim Estenson, and the years of struggle to develop this Yamaha team. “It’s meant alot to him to win an oval. First one since Kenny Roberts in the 1970’s” Hailing from small city Mattoon, Dallas is poised to carry on the legacy of the Fast Boys from Illinois, in the land of Bill Tuman, the 1953 Springfield Mile winner-take-all National #1. Now as then, this year’s Grand National Championship series victory could come down to one slim race moment, when the competition breaks.

AFT premiere class racers, #95 JD Beach and #32 Dallas Daniels, winning respect behind the line all the way to the podium. [Sammy Sebedra/ Estenson Racing]


Historian and Journalist, Catherine OConnor looks at the past, present and future of motorsports with an eye for the human experience that brings us all closer. She has reported on women in supporting roles, the roots of the Springfield Mile, the DuQuoin Magic Mile, and a story in images of the Hogroast: When Honda Smoked Harley in the 1980’s.


Related Posts

The Vintagent Selects: Ride

Part scavenger, part inventor. Nothing…

What’s Mees Got?

Jared Mees has 6 AMA Flat Track…

2006 All-British Ride

A ride for only British motorcycles in…

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter