Jared Mees Race Report: Santa Rosa, Tucson & Pomona
NEWS October 22, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
SANTA ROSA, CA - 30 September
This was a new race track for all of us. The last time a flat track race was held here was 42 years ago. Being a horse track,we did not know what to expect, knowing that it could be bad as they are notoriously tough to prep and maintain. When we arrived, the track was fairly hard as they had added a lot of calcium to the dirt.
My qualifying times were off as I was struggling with the track. In the Heat race I totally missed my setup, was all over the place, and ended 5th. First time all year I had to go to a Semi. We dialed the setup this time and won the Semi. The track was changing so much it was probably a positive note, that I got extra time on it. In the Main Event I knew where I wanted to be and got a great start. For the first part of the race I was battling with Jake Johnson and we started catching people right and left. The bottom of the track was coming in strong and before we knew it, we were catching the leaders. I finally got away from Jake and here was Sam Halbert. Bryan Smith was long gone in front so at the time I thought this was going to be a race for 2nd. All of a sudden I got up to Sam and there was Bryan right in front of us. The top of the track had dried out so much that you had to stay on the bottom. I got by Bryan and was all over Sammy. Then I noticed that I was getting spots of oil on my face shield, and at first thought it was coming from Sammy's bike. As I got closer and closer to him it got worse; I was pulling two tear-offs per straight-away to be able to see. On the white flag I pulled right up to Sammy's rear wheel. On turn Two I pulled off my last tear-off and got oiled down. I used my glove to try to wipe my shield and all I did was smear it and could not see anything at all. I nursed it through the corner and came across the line 2nd, unable to get Sam at the line.
All in all, it was a great day, coming from the 3rd row and ending up 2nd in the race. I lost a ton of points to Sam but kept my lead alive.
TUCSON, AZ - 6 October
We had not been to this track since 2007. I enjoyed it then and was excited to come back to it as it was more my style of track. When we arrived we saw that the track had been way over-watered. It was really rough and not the track I remembered. I qualified 4th and was in the 3rd Heat with Sam and Bryan. I got off the line ok but Bryan ran up underneath me, so now I was in 3rd as Sam had gotten the hole shot. I was able to get by Bryan to finish 2nd.
For the Dash I tried a different setup. However, I got a terrible start and although I was able to pick off a few riders, I only got a 3rd. Since my starting spot for the Dash had not worked out well, for the Main Event I decided to forgo my front row position and start on the 2nd row inside. I got a decent start and worked my way up to 4th and stayed right there. I made up some time on Sammy, and thought I had a shot at him, but could not make the pass stick and faded back. The 4th in the Main kept my points lead, losing only 2 points to Sammy Halbert.
POMONA, CA - 13 October
This was it. The last race of the Season, leading the points by 12 over Sam and 20 over Jake. I knew all day I had to bring it in. Sam and Jake would be tough as always. This track hasn't been the best for me, but neither was Daytona until this year. I started a little behind the eight ball in qualifying--but I never seem to do that well in qualifying. I switched bikes for the third round and was a lot better in that session but the times were slower for everyone because of the condition of the track. I got a 3rd in my Heat and was out of the Dash. Since Sam made it and came in 2nd, he picked up 4 points on me. I knew I had to bring my "A" game in the Main Event.
I got a great start from the second row and sent it up the inside, running 4th off the first corner. I was rolling pretty well, when all of a sudden it felt like somebody hit me with a Mack truck. It was little Sammy Halbert! He bulldozed his way right into my side. Not sure what he was thinking, but I am very lucky not to have gone down. I started to reel him in and catch him. I did not want to try and make a pass on him, as frankly, I felt a bit nervous about what he might try to do. Then his clutch started to go out and I was able to go by him cleanly down the straight. I basically rode my own race knowing that Sam was well behind me. The last four laps I was running 5th but there was a pack of riders behind me who started racing me. I wanted no part of it, taking a chance of going down. Not that any of them were dirty racers--none of them are, but the track bwas rough, and had some bumps... accidents can happen. I brought it home in 8th, and it was good enough to win the GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Man, did it feel great to get it back for the Team.
I cannot say enough for the Team: Craig Rogers, the owner, Brent Armbruster, the mechanic, and all who helped me all year long. They made it so much easier to have a great year in which I won the I.C.E. Championship, the All Star Singles Championship, the All Star Twins Championship, the GNC Singles Championship and the GNC Combined Grand National Championship. Also, as icing on the cake, Nichole said "Yes" to my marriage proposal!
I want to thank my Team, sponsors, supporters, friends, family and all the fans. I cannot wait to run the # 1 plate for you again in 2013.
Jammin' Jared Mees #1
Montgomeryville Cycle Center, National Cycle, Lucas Oil, Rogers Racing, Saddlemen, Rod Lake, Bell Helmets, Speed Strength Leathers, KK M/C Supply, Vizzo, Battley, Kelly's, JE Piston, Cometic , Sunoco,Tsubaki, Motion Pro, TCX Boots, MRT, Troy Lee, K&N, Millennium Technologies, Vortex, Craig Pickett, Works Connection, Rekluse, Gene & Gail Cummings, Eddie Mulder, NGK, Z Gallerie, Dick Winters, Oakley, West Coast Hot Shoes, Jupiter Wheels, EBC, Mikuni, Web Cam, Pro Plates, Kold Kutter, Crank Works, Ezup, Twenty Six Suspension, Digger 57, G2, Penske, Chicken Hawk, Ferrea, Royal Publishing Co, M&Z Anodizing, Universal Coatings, TSS Graphics, Boyesen, Fluidyne, Dyno Jet, CV4, Cycra, DVS Shoes, Techflex, Helix, Gunk, All Balls, Xtremely Fit, Swift Springs,Jim Gilbert, Mototassanari, Astericks, Suspension Direct
Twin Series :
Rogers Racing, Blue Springs H-D, Saddlemen, National Cycle, Montgomeryville CC, Rod Lake, Bell Helmet, Speed Strength Leathers, KK M/C Supply, Vizzo, Battley, Kelly's, JE Piston, Cometic, Sunoco,Tsubaki, Motion Pro,TCX Boots, MRT, Troy Lee, K&N, Millennium Technologies, Vortex, Craig Pickett, Works Connection, Rekluse, Gene & Gail Cummings, Eddie Mulder, NGK, Z Gallerie, Dick Winters, Oakley, West Coast Hot Shoes, Jupiter Wheels, EBC, Mikuni, Web Cam, Pro Plates, Kold Kutter, Crank Works, Ezup, Twenty Six Suspension, Digger 57, G2, Penske, Chicken Hawk, Ferrea, Royal Publishing Co, M&Z Anodizing, Universal Coatings, TSS Graphics, Boyesen, Fluidyne, Dyno Jet, CV4, Cycra, DVS Shoes, Techflex, Helix, Gunk, All Balls, Xtremely Fit. Swift Springs, Jim Gilbert, Mototassanari, Astericks, Suspension Direct