Writer's Ramblings

Dirt Tracking with Jammin' Jared Mees

Written by  July 31, 2007

Wins do not come easy in AMA flat track racing. To have any chance of carrying the checkered flag around the track in the traditional victory lap following the feature race, a rider must do well in qualifying races to secure a good position on the starting grid. The motorcycle must be set up perfectly for track conditions. The rider must be physically and mentally prepared to take on the toughest of competition. A feature race win is a major accomplishment. That’s what makes 21-year-old Jared Mees’ third consecutive victory, accomplished on July 7 at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, an almost unbelievable feat! Jared, rider of the Blue Springs Harley-Davidson /Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson, could hardly believe that he won three straight. Mees said,'I feel like I've bumped my head or something because never in a million years would I have thought it would be possible for anyone to win three consecutive races. The competition is so fierce between guys like Kenny (Coolbeth, defending AMA champion), Chris Carr (multi-AMA champion) and Bryan (Smith, Wrecking Crew teammate) that I would never have imagined this happening.'

Jared, a resident of Clio, Michigan, had finished well in his heat races and was very pleased with the racing surface. However, he got off to a bad start in the final race and had to ride hard to gain the lead and hold off Smith and Coolbeth for the win. Mees had taken over the lead in the AMA Twins point standings for the first time in his career with his first win of the season on June 7 at Bulls Gap, Tennessee. His victory at Joliet, the sixth of his career, extended Mees’ lead to 13 points over Coolbeth.

Quick to share the credit with his team, Jared said, “If someone would have said I would earn three straight podiums, fine. I would have agreed with them that that was possible,' Mees said. 'But not three wins. Not in this group of riders. I can't even take half of the credit for the wins. I have the best support group possible and it's the entire package that is making the victories possible. (Mechanic) Johnny Goad is going through the bike with a fine-toothed comb and he has given me a great bike to ride. Blue Springs Harley-Davidson is giving us fresh parts and making sure we're ready for every race. Craig Pickett is in his 50s and he is in better shape than most people half his age and he's been helping me train. We ride bicycles, go motocrossing and I can hang with him, but he pushes me real hard. I have a trainer at the gym and all of that together is creating this amazing team that's capable of winning.'

Mees was especially pleased to have performed well with his sponsor present at the race. 'What made the Joliet win even better was the people in the stands supporting us,' Mees said. 'We had some very special people with us this weekend and while they can read about how we've been doing, it's much better to see it in person. David Worth and Tim Martin from Blue Springs came to the race and David was able to do the victory lap with me, and I think he was smiling more than I was. It was a great event.'

At the time this article is being written, Ken Coolbeth has trimmed Jared’s lead to a mere five points with wins on July 14 at Virginia Motor Speedway at Saluda, Virginia and July 22 at the third annual Annie Oakley Shootout on the Darke County Fairground’s half mile in Greenville, Ohio. In both cases, Mees checked in with second place finishes. At this point, it’s a two-rider points race with third place racer Jake Johnson trailing Mees by a wide 31 point margin. To learn more about Jared and follow his chase for the points championship, check out his website .

Story by Stripe
Photos provided by Blue Springs Harley-Davidson
Photographer: Dave Hoenig