One week after giving Indian Motorcycle its historic first victory in American Flat Track competition at Daytona International Speedway, Jared Mees made it two in a row Saturday evening with his win at the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle. The three-time Grand National Champion was part of a podium sweep for the Indian “Wrecking Crew” in front of a near-capacity crowd at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga.
It was another fierce battle for top honors in the AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines class, with Mees on the No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750 locked in a back-and-forth battle with Sammy Halbert on the No. 69 Estenson Racing Harley-Davidson XR750. The pair made contact, resulting in Halbert ending up in the dirt on the front straight and bringing out a late-race red flag. When the race restarted, Mees pulled away in the ensuing five-lap shootout to win by 1.185 seconds over Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate teammates Brad Baker on the No. 6 Indian Scout FTR750 and Bryan Smith on the No.1 Indian Scout FTR750.
“Sammy led pretty much all the race before I started to come into play towards the end,” said Mees, who scored his 18th career victory. “We just started slide-jobbing each other. He’d get underneath me, then I’d get back underneath him. He was trying to protect the lead coming down, and I was coming up where the start/finish line has an arc. We just got together and he ended up with the crappy end of the stick. That’s racing when you’re going with five laps remaining for a Grand National Championship win. It’s hard.”
Mees also recorded a personal milestone, scoring his first AFT Short Track victory to complete the elusive dirt track Grand Slam. Opening the year by winning the Harley-Davidson DAYTONA TT presented by Polaitis & Matovina – his first TT triumph – Mees is now halfway to earning a dirt track Grand Slam in consecutive races, something which has never been done in the 64-year history of the sport. The next events on the AFT schedule are the Harley-Davidson Charlotte Half-Mile on Saturday, April 1, followed by the Law Tigers Arizona Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle in Phoenix on May 13.