ALL STAR SERIES – PEORIA IL – SHORT TRACK: 15 June; TT: 17 June
Last year was the first time we went back to the Peoria Speedway. Steve Nace is now running it twice a year, once prior to the All Star Peoria TT and once as warm up to the GNC Peoria TT race in August. It is an exciting, much fun track with a lot of different lines. The track this year was dryer than I have ever seen it, due to the extremely dry conditions in the Central and Eastern part of the country. It was very slippery at the bottom and I got a 2nd in my Heat race to Brandon Robinson. In the Main I got a decent jump and was able to make a few passes but was stuck behind Robinson again until I managed to finally make a pass stick and got a 2nd behind Jeffrey Carver who had checked out–there was no catching him!
On Sunday was the Peoria TT. A lot of rain came down the night before. It was much needed but the question was–was it too much, too fast? The start was delayed as they had to scrape some of the top layer off, leaving us with a great track, one of the smoothest I have seen in a while, very dry. I won my Heat and was sitting on the pole for the Main Event. I got a decent jump, made a pass for the lead and set sail, winning the race by a good margin. It felt good to finally beat some of the guys who have done so well there in the past. I just hope we can do it again at the GNC National.
GNC NATIONAL – LIMA OH – 30 June
Earlier in my career I had a lot of success at this track but seem to struggle at it now. I am not certain why but perhaps it is that we race only one or two a year of this type track, and it seems to take me a while to get going on them. In the first qualifying I felt good, but not in the second after having made some changes. So we changed back. In the Heat I was pushed real wide and got hung up on someone’s pipe and almost went down. I managed to make some passes and got into 4th but could not gain any more ground. For the first time this year I did not make the Dash. We made a lot of changes to the setup for the Main Event. Starting from the second row I got a good jump, charging towards the front, catching up with the leaders. I got close to them and then Sammy Halbert went to the top of the track and passed me and two others ahead of me. I got by Johnny Lewis and then Henry Wiles came up. Then Robinson went down and a red flag came out, with the resulting staggered re-start. I got next to Jake Johnson who was running 3rd, but I could not make a pass stick so I ended up 4th. Not bad considering, but wished I had been at least in the Dash.
ALL STAR SERIES – FREDERICK MD – 4 July
I have been running the Barbara Fritchie Classic now since 2003. This was its 90th straight running race, I believe the oldest event still going for dirt track. I won both of my Heats [Singles and Twins] and had a heck of a battle in the Dash with Sammy Halbert. It was mainly a winner take all so I went for it, and won with some crazy racing between us. In the 450 class Main I made a huge mistake right off the bat and Sammy checked out. In the Twins Main I got the hole shot and was leading when Sammy went down, bringing out the red flag. It bunched us all back up because the track at Frederick is so narrow and tight that 75% of the race depends on the start. We lined up again and I got the jump but Brad Baker got underneath me going into turn 1 after the first lap, pushing me real high. Luke Gough got underneath me also. I was able to run Gough back down and got closer to Baker but with time running out, Baker won and I was 2nd.
ALL STAR SERIES – WINCHESTER VA – 6 July
Last year this race was on the schedule but was rained out. I have never raced here before and found it to be a nice track and facility. Again, it was brutally hot as was Frederick. And the bad news was that it would be hotter still the next day at the National in Hagerstown. This was again both a Singles and Twins event. I won my 450 Heat and felt great. After making a small adjustment, I was dialed. In the 750 I had a tough Heat with both Sammy Halbert and Brad Baker. We had a great race going but Sammy got me at the line by a half a wheel. In the 450 Main Event I got the hole shot and managed to pull out to a great lead and win it. In the 750 Main Event I got a decent jump and had a heck of a race going with four others, ending up in 2nd place after a great race.
GNC – HAGERSTOWN MD – 7 July
This is the one I have been trying to win for years. Since I was a little boy, growing up in Pennsylvania, I have dreamed of Hagerstown. Coming up a little short the last couple of years has been hard. Kenny Coolbeth has been “the man” at Hagerstown. Unfortunately, this year he sat out Hagerstown with a broken leg from the Lima race. As fast qualifier I was sitting on the pole for Heat One. The heat was oppressive—105 degrees, with the heat index at 109 with high humidity. After the sun went down it cooled off a little bit.
In the Heat I got the hole shot, winning the fastest Heat race to sit on the pole for the Main Event.
Next was the Dash. I got off the line second to Jake Johnson and was all over his back, not being able to make a move to get past. I knew our set up was good for the Main Event, I just needed a decent start and to stay cool. I got off the line again second to Jake and on the second lap made my move and went by. I put in some hard, smooth laps and did not look back until I crossed the line with the checkered flag, with my dream win of Hagerstown. It felt great and the bike was awesome. It was a perfect day, did not touch the bike at all except for gas and tire warmer. I can’t thank my “Craig Rogers” owned team enough, especially tuner Brent Ambruster who always has said that Hagerstown was his favorite track. And thank you also to all the supporters, friends and family who came out and who make all this happen.
We have a couple of weeks off, then to Sacramento CA for the next GNC round in Sacramento Ca….. right now I have a 15 point lead in the 2012 AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com Series. I’m hoping to extend that points lead when we get out west!!!
Again, Thank You All!!!! Jared Mees # 9
Singles Series Partners:
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 Partners:
Rogers Racing, Blue Springs H-D, Saddlemen, National Cycle, Montgomeryville Cycle Center, 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