(News Release from Jared Mees)
Here we were back at Springfield. It seemed like just the other day we were just leaving in May. It’s a good thing we race at Springfield twice a year. The weekend started off with the Short Track. Last year things went well there for me with a 3rd place. This year I qualified worse than I felt, with a 2nd in one session but only a 9th overall time. I went out for my Heat race and finished 4th, which got me on the second row in the Main Event. I needed top two for the Dash for Cash but that did not go as planned. So we made a few adjustments to the bike for the Main Event. Turned out the Main Event was pretty crazy. There were guys stalling and falling and getting shoved around left and right. I ended up 9th which was disappointing, but that is how it works sometimes.
The following day was the Mile. I was pretty excited about the mile for some reason this year. I was thinking the bike was running really well and I was ready. I qualified 11th which on the Mile qualifying is quite different as a lot of riders will get the perfect draft for one lap and record a really good lap. So I wasn’t really worried about it. I was putting in consistent laps in practice and ended up in the 2nd Heat race with Chris Carr. I knew he was going to be the toughest guy in it. We came off the line and I got around Jethro Halbert and Carr and went at it. On the last lap down the back straight away Carr drafted by me and went through turns 3 and 4 hard. I was able to tow off of him and draft him at the line for the Heat race win. This meant that Carr and I would be in the Dash. We did not change a thing except to put gas in the bike—it was working great. I got a good jump and once again Carr and I were mixing it up with Jake Johnson . On the last lap I went into turn 3 right on Carr’s back tire. Jake rode around the outside of me and was trying to get a tow of Carr as well. Jake and I came together going for the same spot and unfortunately he went down. I wasn’t able to complete the draft at the line on Carr so I got 2nd.
For the Main Event I was on the pole. I got another good jump but got passed early. It took a few laps for my tire to come in as I was running around 4th or 5th in the beginning. When I felt my tire come in I went straight to 2nd and was running all over the back of Bryan Smith who was mounted on a Kawasaki Ninja. It was really impossible to draft unless you forced yourself underneath him I towed behind him for several laps, poking underneath him a couple of times, but he would just blow right back by. On the last lap going down the back stretch I stayed glued to his back tire and Carr got the double draft off of Smith and me and stuck it around the outside, pushing his way right in behind Smith. Clean Chris Carr-style move, no big deal. The Kawi then towed him to the finish and I ended up 3rd. Overall, a pretty good race. I felt like I could have had 2nd if things had felt a little differently, but that is how it went.
Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN
Next we had another mile at a new [for me] horse race track. This track was on the circuit a few years back in the late 90s. I had heard horror stories about this place, but Steve Morehead went there to meet with the owner and promoter to explain how we needed the track to be prepped for us. When we arrived, it looked a lot different that we had expected—they did listen to Steve. It was a hard base, kinda like a red limestone. The top surface of what they scraped off was pure sand. If we race on pure sand it becomes a whole jumping contest and we should just put some right hand corners in it and go motorcross racing!! When we got on it we found that it was a little narrow entering the corners. I would say this is probably one of the best sand mile horse tracks I have been to. I thought that Prescott AZ earlier in the year was the best but the hard surface was good. I just would have liked a little more room entering the corners. Perhaps that will happen for next year.
Anyway, I was 3rd after round one, 2nd after round two and 5th after round three which gave me an overall qualifying position of 4th. I was in the 3rd Heat race with Joe Kopp and Jake Johnson. So here we are, the top three in combined points in the same Heat and only two of us can make it to the Dash for Cash to get some extra points. I got off the line well but got stuck and Joe and Jake took off. I got by Joe and started to run on Jake. He got out really quick and I wasn’t able to run him down. I did get a 2nd in the Heat, making it to the Dash. We tried something different and went the wrong way. I ended up 4th, just missing out on 3rd at the line.
For the Main Event we went with what we had in the Heat race. I got a decent jump and was running 2nd with Jake leading. Here comes wide open Matt Weidman going for it. He ran down Jake and man, that motorcycle was taking Matt for a ride! When he pinned the gas and where the motorcycle was going, there was no stopping it. Then here came Kenny Coolbeth. I put up a small battle with Kenny for a couple of laps and he was getting through the corners pretty well, going on to pass Weidman and take the lead. After a couple of laps Weidman either was tired or his line wore out because right away I was on his back tire. A couple of laps later I was by and pulling away. The rest of the time I tried hard to catch Jake, felt like a couple of laps I pulled on to him and a couple of laps we stayed the same. When the 5-laps-to-go board came out it was pretty much a long-shot trying to catch him unless he really messed up or broke. I settled for 3rd and was pretty happy with that.
Joe Kopp broke down, shaking up the points big time. We were 24 points down going in and now we are 19 down from Jake who is now the leader. With two races remaining anything can happen. It was my first time racing in Minnesota and I hope to be back –all in all it was a good race track for the most part with a lot of fans.
Thank you to all the fans and my sponsors, Jammin’ Jared Mees
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