AMA Pro Racing Press Release (excerpts):
ELBRIDGE, N.Y. (July 8, 2017) – American Flat Track was back in action following a two-week layoff for the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile presented by Old Carriage House Apartments, and it was a long two weeks indeed for Jared Mees.
Last time out at the Lime Half-Mile, Mees failed to make the Main Event; a race he promoted himself. Adding insult to injury, he lost his AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines championship lead in the process to rival Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750).
On Saturday night, in front of another packed house at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, Mees took out all of those pent-up frustrations on the field. He obliterated all challengers aboard his No. 9 Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing Scout FTR750 en route to claiming his fifth checkered flag of the 2017 campaign with a near five-second margin of victory.
Mees was forced to deal with rival Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Estenson Logistics Harley-Davidson XR750) on the race's opening lap. The two banged bars as they jostled for the inside with Halbert diving into the lead heading into Turn 3. Mees squared up the turn, and slotted back underneath to reacquire the position by the time they had completed the lap, and that was pretty much the end of the story for the battle for the lead.
Mees continually worked up his advantage from there, steadily stretching it out before finally taking the win with 4.918 seconds in hand.
The victory marks the 25th of Mees' career. It also saw him complete an in-season Grand Slam with triumphs across all four disciplines (TT, Short Track, Mile, and Half-Mile) in 2017, with eight races still remaining on the calendar.
Now back in control of the title fight, Mees said, "(Lima's) behind us. That was my mistake, my fault, and I needed to come back and do exactly this. I had two long weeks to think about my mistake.
"My team means the world to me. They never stop – just like me. We work extremely hard… you've definitely got to put in the hard work. We were good out of the box. From the first lap in practice to the last lap in the Main Event, I feel like we were the dominant guy and it showed."
Halbert wheeled the Estenson Logistics squad's XR750 out for the first time in seven races and promptly scored the best result for any Harley-Davidson all season long with his runner-up finish.
Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) picked up his seventh podium result of the year but had to work for it in the end. A seemingly lonely third was made considerably less when Baker was joined on his rear wheel by Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Carver’s BBQ Kawasaki Ninja 650) late in the contest.
Carver had been forced to slice his way up from outside the top five, dispatching a number of the sport's big names as he climbed the order. However, despite managing to close the distance on Baker, finding a way past proved too tall an order to accomplish before they took the checkered flag.
Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XG750R) made it two Harleys inside the top five, edging Lima winner Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) by 0.119 of a second for fifth.
Smith endured his worst finish of the season in seventh. He relinquished the points lead to Mees as a result, and now trails his rivals by eight points (202-194). After opening the year red hot with four wins, a second, and a third in the season's first six races, Smith finds himself in something of a cold streak – at least by his lofty standards. In his last four outings, he's tallied up results of fourth, third, sixth, and seventh.
Round 10 | Rolling Wheels Half-Mile | Results
1 ... Jared Mees
2 ... Sammy Halbert
3 ... Brad Baker
4 ... Jeffrey Carver Jr.
5 ... Brandon Robinson