2 Races & 2 Wins: Jared Mees Wins AFT Atlanta Short Track

The Indian Podium Crew

The Indian Podium Crew

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta – Indian makes it a podium sweep at the 2017 AFT American Flat Track Atlanta Short Track

Indian Takes 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Jared Mees made it two in a row Saturday evening with his win at the Atlanta Short Track presented by Indian Motorcycle. And when the checked flag dropped it was Indian on the podium followed by Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta – 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.

Halbert started at the back of the 18-rider field for the restart before shooting through the pack to finish an eventual sixth. He trailed fourth-place Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Harley-Davidson XR750) and fifth-place Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Richie Morris Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650).

One week after giving Indian Motorcycle its historic first victory in American Flat Track competition at Daytona International Speedway, 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.

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta

“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.”

For Baker, it was sweet redemption to take the number two spot on the podium after a pounding he took at the Daytona Speedway.

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta

Brad Baker takes 2nd

“It was a great night. Definitely a lot of gratitude and a good feeling to come back from what happened to me last weekend,” Baker said. “So it feels good, and it’s a part of history too what we did tonight – a three-way Indian Motorcycle podium. So hats off to Jared (Mees) and Bryan (Smith) for riding really well, especially Jared. He finished his grand slam this weekend, so that was pretty cool for him.”

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta & recorded a personal milestone – After scoring his first AFT Short Track victory, Mees completed 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.

Smith went into Atlanta hoping for a win, but in the end the defending champ was happy to leave the first two rounds second in the points as the series heads to longer circuits.

“I wanted to go the other way on the podium and get a win, but to be right there in the points is good,” Smith said. “The ovals are getting bigger and I like the bigger ovals.”

The thunder of AMA Pro Flat Track series heads to Charlotte next week as racers compete in the close-quarter battles known as dirt track racing.

The All-New FTR750

The new Indian® Scout® FTR750 is powered by an all-new, race-only 750cc V-Twin that the brand’s drivetrain engineering team developed for professional flat track competition. The Indian Motorcycle design and engineering teams developed the bike’s chassis, which is lightweight yet strong and durable so it can withstand the rigors of flat track racing.

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta

Jared Mees Wins Atlanta

A New ‘Wrecking Crew’

Three Grand National Championship winners will comprise the new, 2017 edition of the Indian Motorcycle “Wrecking Crew”:

  • “Flyin’” Bryan Smith, age 33, won the 2016 GNC1 title, the 2015 X Games flat track gold medal, and he has 29 career Grand National (GN) wins.
  • Brad “The Bullet” Baker, 23, won the 2009 AMA Pro Singles National Championship, and was GNC Rookie of the Year in 2011. In 2013, he won the GNC title and the Superprestigio Dirt Track event in Spain.
  • Jared “Jammer” Mees, 30, was AMA Rookie of the Year in 2004 and is a four-time GNC champion (2009 [Twins], 2012, 2014, and 2015). He won the 2016 X Games flat track gold medal and finished second in GNC1 points this year. He has won 24 GN races.

This powerful trio will campaign the new Indian Scout FTR750 in the AMA AFT series starting in 2017. The team’s name pays tribute to the original Wrecking Crew – Ernie Beckman, Bill Tuman, and Bobby Hill – who wrote several winning chapters of Indian Motorcycle racing history in the ‘40s and ‘50s.

The 2017 Harley Davidson flat track team will consist of veteran riders Kenny Coolbeth Jr and Jake Johnson, as well as the emerging talent Brandon Robinson.

Harley Davidson Vice President and Managing Director for the US, Mike Kennedy, said: “There is extraordinary energy building behind the new American Flat Track series, and after decades of XR750 dominance, it’s time to bring a new level of performance and technology to the track with the Harley-Davidson XG750R.

Harley and Indian Wars: 2017 Daytona AFT


How to Watch

NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track events. All 18 rounds, from the season-opening DAYTONA TT to the American Flat Track Finals in Southern California, will air in one-hour, tape-delayed telecasts on Thursday nights throughout the summer and fall on NBCSN, while FansChoice.tv provides live streaming coverage of American Flat Track events. FansChoice.tv also provides coverage of IMSA’s development and single-make series, and NASCAR’s touring and weekly series. Catch all the action at http://www.nbcsports.com/ and http://www.FansChoice.tv.

About American Flat Track

American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, live stream the events at FansChoice.tv and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.

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