Jared Mees Race Report: Knoxville
NEWS September 21, 2011
Photo by Dave Hoenig
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (Sept. 10, 2011) - Last year this race was rained out. This year it seemed we would finally get to race as the weather looked good. This track has a lot of history as the site of the Knoxville National Sprint Car races. I was here last year for a small exhibition race and it was packed, so I was excited to come back. I knew the track would favor my style a bit.
Qualifying went well as I ended up second overall, with Jake Johnson first. I won my heat and everything felt good, with some quick times, so we did not change much on the bike. The track was very hooked up, and as hard as you could charge it in the corner and pick up the gas, the faster you could go. It was like riding Savannah; hard to pass for sure.
For the Dash for Cash I came off the line side by side with Jake and got the lead going into the corner. I knew it wasn’t over as Jake was sitting right on my heels but I was able to hold him off the five laps and win the $1000 bucks and the 5 bonus points. Still, I knew he would be tough in the Main and it would be a close one.
For the main event, we didn't make any changes, just a fresh tire and fuel. I picked third starting spot .. same place I was in the dash, got a decent start and was second behind Jake. I followed him for a few laps and seemed to be faster in a certain spot. I made a move and got by. I took note where I was faster, but he was also breathing down my neck, it was close. Right before the half-way point he came back by me in the same spot. I followed close behind, trying to rebound, but there was a red flag when Jeff Carver went down. It was a staggered re-start, with me in the second spot. Jake got the jump and I was running all over him trying to get up the inside, but could not make it stick.... He was guarding the bottom of the track really well. On the last lap, I was on Jake's butt going into turn one when I picked up the gas and drove to the outside of him. He spun it up and dropped to the bottom of the groove going down the back stretch. I kept it high and drove it around the outside and made it stick. Coming off turn 4, I held on to it at the line for the win. It was an "oh so" close finish! My Harley-Davidson XR750 was flawless, and we were riding them with everything we had to give'em!!
This was one of the best half-mile races I have ever had. It was another highlight to the season. It was great to battle it out with my friend Jake who came in 2nd. We rode against each other hard and aggressive but never once touched.
Thanks to my mechanic, Brent Armbruster, and the whole Rogers Lake Team for all the hard work. Thanks to my sponsors and everyone else who makes this all happen. I now have taken a four point lead in the Championship Series standings. We are going to take this one race at a time, and we are looking forward to a great end to a memorable season.
We have next weekend off. I am going fishing. Hope to see ya at Brainerd, Minn.
Jammin’ Jared Mees # 9
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