Mees: Elkins, W.V. and Hagerstown Report
NEWS August 3, 2009
West Virginia - Hot Shoe
Next up on our way to Hagerstown MD, was Elkins WV. There has never been a motorcycle race here at Elkins. The track looked a little small for 750s but no smaller than Bulls Gap TN, a month ago. The track was getting a lot of rain. It would rain for 20 minutes, then the sun would come out, then rain again...this pattern happened three times and finally we got off to practice and the track was sweet. It was probably the best track we had all year...you could run top to bottom in both corners.
I decided to ride my '09 Honda 450. I won my scratch heat on the 450 as well as the 750 scratch heat, getting fastest heat on the 450 and 2nd fastest on the 750. Having won both Heat races, I sat on pole for both Main Events. I got off the line about 4th, made a pass on John Raun Wood and Cory Texter right away and a lap later my Honda went blazing by Matt Weidman down the back stretch to take off to a straight away lead, taking the checkered. I really felt awesome on my '09 CRf 450 Honda. Steve Beattie has the suspension figured out on these bikes.
Next up was the 750 class. I grabbed a decent start but Shaun Russell got the hole shot. The race was red flagged but on the restart I got off the line well and led it off of turn 2, got a pretty decent lead to take home my first Hot Shoe win of the year on the 750. The bike felt very strong and my mechanic, Brent Armbruster, had this thing working great from start to finish.
We were out in the middle of nowhere, my cell phone didn't even get service. We had a 4 hour drive to Hagerstown and got into the room about 4 am.
Hagerstown Grand National., Maryland
We got up and over to Bob Evans around noon. Before we headed to the track we thought it would be a good idea to top off the truck with fuel so we didn't have to do it at midnight after the race. We pulled into the gas station and pulled too far forward so we started the truck back up and backed up a little bit and turned it off. Filled up the truck and went to turn the key and the truck would not start. We tried a set of jumper cables, plugging a bunch of spare batteries up...but no luck. So we had to call roadside service to come and put a new battery in the truck. They came, took out the old battery, put in a brand new one, and still it wouldn't turn over. At this point in time Tech was open and practice was starting in a couple of hours. So we had to have the truck towed into the pit area and it dropped us off in the back row of the pits. We were off to a stressful day!
At the track a friend of the Scherbs came over and said he was a diesel mechanic and grabbed a pair of pliers and jumped it over another part of the truck...and it fired right up!! It was a $10.58 part that kept us hanging.
So then it started to rain and it came down heavy, making the track super wet. The AMA worked the track hard to finally get us out for practice at around 9:30 pm...three and a half hours late. The track was super tacky and wet, really rough in turns 3 and 4. I felt pretty good but not ultra fast, a little sketchy. I qualified 6th overall, putting me in the first Heat race with Sammy Halbert, who was the fast qualifier, Bryan Smith, Joe Kopp, Shaun Russell, Don Taylor, who's been right up there lately, and others. I got a decent start and was running 2nd, made one pass on Sammy on the bottom and he passed me back and dropped down low to take my line and show me he was faster than me, using my line as he pulled out to straight away lead. As I came in I noticed I couldn't even push the bike as the brakes were locking up. We fixed that and went out for the Dash.
We did a warm up lap prior to the Dash and as we were coming around the corner there was Sammy lying on the ground with a bent up bike, unable to make the Dash for Cash. I got a good jump at the start, and Jake Johnson got me in the first turn. I battled with Kenny Coolbeth for the whole race, coming in 3rd. Nobody had anything for Jake in this 5 lap race!
For the Main Event we didn't have time to change much on the bike, but we did make a couple of small ones. I got the hole shot and was leading coming around turn 1. Jake went by as well as Sammy and a couple of laps later, Coolbeth went by. I tried to hang onto Kenny but he was faster than me. I just tried to put in fast, smooth laps as the track was giving me fits. I noticed ahead that Sammy was fading back and that he was speedway racing his bike into the corners, so I knew he had lost his brakes. I felt like I could have reeled him in and then, in turns 1 and 2 I hit a patch of oil from Brandon Robinson's bike and just about flipped off the high side. Matt Weidman passed me as we came out of turn 4, but the flagger was throwing the Checkered flag and the RED flag, together, both stopping and calling the race.
Since the RED flag was out...the most powerful flag out of all the racing flag... the Rule
Book states that you go back to the last completed lap. I was 4th on that completed lap and therefore I ended up getting 4th. Worked out for me.
So as we sit right now, I have a 7 point lead in the Twins class and am now leading the Overall points for both classes combined...although only by one point.
We are off to Sturgis and Rapid City, South Dakota, were there will be a Hot Shoe Short Track and a GNC Half Mile, respectively. I am looking forward to these races and I hope to see a lot of you fans out there.
Thank you all. Jammin' Jared Mees - National # 21