Jared Mees Race Report, Savannah and Daytona 1 & 2
NEWS March 25, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
(March 24, 2012) - The 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track racing season started, as usual, in Savannah, GA. This is probably the best half-mile on the schedule. We started off with an open practice session the night before just to shake down the bikes and test some stuff. It went well for me and I felt good.
On Friday, race day, we started to get some rain. It rained on and off, and on and off, until there was no choice but to cancel the event until the next day. On Saturday the amateurs were also scheduled to run during the day. Because there were so many of them, our program was pushed back to quite late that evening. We were left with a total of 2.5 hours for Practice/Qualifying, Heats, Semis and Main Events of both the 450 and the 750 classes!
In the 450 Singles I got a 2nd in my Heat, got a good jump in the Main Event, and rode around Robbie Pearson and passed Chase Schonyers pretty quickly. Sammy Halbert came up and passed me, but I was glued to his back wheel, got a good drive, and went back by him. On the last lap he made a dash up the inside but couldn’t make it stick. So I won the 450 Singles Main Event.
In the 750 Twins class, I won the Heat and was sitting on the pole for the Main Event. As they called us up for staging, time was running out due to the 11pm curfew at Oglethorpe Speedway Park. In the meantime there was a big crash in the Pro Singles Main with Cody Johncox going down and breaking his leg. Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery. Because of the delay, making sure the riders were ok, time ran out. The rest of the races were called and we were paid off by Heat results. Since I was on the pole I was credited with the win. From here it was on to Daytona, to kick off the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com.
DAYTONA 1 - 3/15/2012
This has never been my favorite place as I always seem to struggle here. I had a different mind set and was prepared for it this year, with more confidence than ever. I qualified 2nd, very close to Sammy’s fast time. I was in the Second Heat where I got the hole shot and pulled to a comfortable lead, winning it. In the Dash for Cash I got the hole shot again, and was leading, but Sammy made an outside pass on me and got the lead and was able to hold me off. For the Main Event we made some changes. I got a decent jump but got pushed wide and was hung out in the loose stuff. I tried to make some ground but knew right away that we had gone the wrong way with the bike changes we made. In spite of that, I was able to keep it together enough to get a 7th place. I was disappointed with the end result, but knew I would be better prepared for the next day.
DAYTONA 2 – 3/16/2012
On day 2 the track was different for qualifying. It was rougher and harder to get ahold of. I ended up qualifying 8th overall but felt like I could have done better. I was in the Second Heat again. I nailed the start and was able to hold off Kenny Coolbeth who was giving me fits. In the Dash for Cash I banged the hole shot as well, and won it. So far, so good. The bike felt good and I had learned some things the night before so I was ready. I got the hole shot in the Main Event, my CRF450 Honda was feeling awesome, and I had it on cruise control! I led the race for 24-1/ 2 laps when I slipped wide in turns 1 and 2, allowing Johnny Lewis, who had been right behind me all night, to get through. I tried to rebound quickly by going inside of Lewis in turn 3 but we ended up getting together. Lewis went down and I ran wide when I looked back to see if he was ok. I did manage to keep it together to get a 2nd place finish behind Matt Weidman, who had been running 3rd most of the race. I am sorry for what happened with Johnny, but in the end we were both racing for a spot neither wanted to give up. I certainly was not trying to take him out intentionally, and I think he knows that. It was just both of us chargin' hard, going for the win, on the last lap, in the last corner.
It was by far the best Daytona I have ever had. I feel it has been a good start for the year. I am looking forward to the rest of the season. We have a long wait until the next GNC races in Springfield IL on Memorial Day weekend. In the meantime I will be taking part in some other races here and there to stay sharp.
Thank you to all my sponsors, fans and supporters who make all this possible for me.
Until next time,
Jared Mees # 9
2012 Singles Partners:
Lucas Oil, National Cycle, Rogers Lake Racing, Montgomeryville Cycle Center, Twisted Beverage CompanyTM, Saddlemen, Digger 57, M.E.H. Corp, Rod Lake, Goodwin Racing, Rockysonline .com, BELL Sports .com, Speed Strength Leathers, KK Motorcycle Supply, A&A Racing, Steve & Cindy Vizzo, Battley Cycles, MRT Racing, Kelly's, MTA, JE Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, VP Racing Fuels,Tsubaki, Motion Pro, TCX Boots, Troy Lee Designs, K&N Filters, Millennium Technologies, Vortex, Craig Pickett, Goodridge, Works Connection, RekluseClutches, Gene & Gail Cummings, Eddie Mulder, NGK, Z Gallerie, Dick Winters, Oakley, WestCoast Hot Shoes, Jupiter Wheels, Supertrapp, ARC Levers, Moto Tassinari, EBC, Mikuni, Web Cam, Ancra, Cycra Racing, J&M Racing Frames, Pro Plates, Kold Kutter, Turn 1 Distributing. Crank Works Crank Shafts, Ez-up, Suburban H-D, Twenty Six Suspension, Flash, G2, Penske Racing, Chicken Hawk, Ferrea Valves, J2 Motorsports, Royal Publishing Co., Applied Diamond Coatings, M&Z Anodizing, Brent Armbruster, CV4, Bristol Core, Universal Coatings, Hammer Head, Hot Rods, TSS Graphics, Dyno Jet, DVS Shoes, Xtremely Fit.