Jared Mees - Springfield Report
NEWS June 4, 2009
It was nice to finally get back racing again. From here on out it will be full bore racing every weekend for me. Maybe not Nationals every weekend, but something for sure.
We started off Memorial Day weekend with the TT. During the practice test day I felt really good. With the TT every year the IMDA throws us a curve ball because the track is different every time as far as the lay out. But it seems that every year that we have a test there I feel great, then come race day I can't get around the place. Well, I sort of had a little of the same problem, but finally got it figured out later in the night. I qualified 6th overall which I was happy about since the track changes so much from one session to the next. It is tough to know really where you stand.
Hank Wiles was really the only one flying during qualifying, and I was in the 1st Heat with Wiles. I came off the line well and was leading it over the jump and through the right-hander, as I made the transistion left, I upset the motorcycle and John Lewis got underneath me and then a red flag came out. We had a complete restart and Wiles got the jump and I followed in behind him. I could not run his pace at all, and I had Joe Kopp breathing down my neck. With two laps to go Kopp got by me and I ended up 3rd. It's a big difference this year from 2nd to 3rd in a heat race because the top two go to the Dash for Cash, and also are in the front row for the Main event.
I made the Main event and was pole on the 2nd row, which isn't all that bad. I picked the inside back row and off the start I came up over the jump in 4th place so it was a good pick. I was following Jake Johnson around and having a pretty good pace going. Then there was a red flag. It was not a complete restart but a staggered restart. I was in the 4th spot, got a great jump and was 3rd going into turn one but 6th coming out of turn 2. I had made a big bobble. I ran some guys down and picked off two of them, one being Chris Carr. Then Chris started matching my pace if not a little faster because I heard him back there the whole time. He ended up getting around me when the track got very slick and you had to finesse the motorcycle around there. I had started to struggle with it and ended up crossing the line in 6th place. However, with JR Schnabel getting disqualified due to a frame modification, it moved me up to 5th place. It wasn't a bad night but one of these days I am going to get on the box there.
Springfield Mile - Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Mile. I have been waiting for this for a while. I had some new bikes, with a new team and it was the start of a new season. I couldn't wait. Practice went well, qualifying 11th, which on a mile it doesn't really matter where you are. In my Heat race I lost the lead pack and Larry Pegram came up to get me at the end for the last spot to qualify out of the Heat race. I was stuck having to run a Semi. After the Heat race Steve Beattie and my mechanic, Brent Armbruster, turned my bike around for the better, changing a few things to make it handle better in the corners and to give me a little snap off the corner. I went out for the Semi and from the first lap it felt as if it were a new motorcycle underneath me. I led the race pretty much the whole time with Shaun Russell coming up there a little bit. It was awesome. Before the Main event all we did was switch the tires around and fill it up with gas.
In the Grand National Main eventI had to come from the 3rd row. This race has been won before from the 4th row, so it can be done. I got a awesome jump from my 3rd row start and was in a great position. I started picking guys off left and right and before I knew it, I was in the lead draft running about 6th. The race was red-flagged because it started to drizzle We hung out in the hot box for a while, waiting for it to stop. When we went racing again, I jumped out of the 6th spot right to 3rd place and was ready to go. I was running with Bryan Smith and Carr the whole time, maybe, you can say, getting a lesson, ha ha. I was right there the whole time, then Pegram got off and brought out a red flag. Five laps to go and we were set. Off the line I stayed right in 3rd place and came into turn three and JR Schnabel hooked onto my outside handle bar and fell down, bringing still another red flag out.
We lined up again for the last time, and got off clean. I was running behind both Carr and Smith again, then all of a sudden Kenny Coolbeth comes out of nowhere... I hadn't seen him up front at all, and it just changed the momentum of the race. We had two laps to go, and I didn't know where I wanted to be just yet when the white flag came out. We went down the back straight all the way to the inside of the groove. I came off turn four in 4th place and stayed there to the finish. If you see the picture of the finish at the checkered flag, you will see that six of us ... Smith, Coolbeth, Carr, myself, Nick Cummings and Kopp -- were all bunched together. As they say, you could have thrown a blanket over us. I was a little bummed out because I felt I had a podium bike for sure and if the cards had fallen in my favor, even a win.
After the race was over there was some more buzz about Bryan Smith's fuel not passing tech testing and there could be a chance of his being disqualified from winning the race. The fuel is being sent to a lab to get further testing. I feel badly for my buddy to have ridden like he did and then this happens to him.
So, that was the first round of the Twins, and I am sitting pretty good for points. The next points round for the GNC Twins isn't until Bulls Gap TN, on the 20th of June. I will see you there for sure. This coming weekend I will be racing The AMA Hotshoe National in Quincy IL.
Thanks to everyone. Jammin' Jared Mees # 21.