AMA Pro Racing Press Release (excerpts):
CALISTOGA, Calif. (July 30, 2017) – The three-week summer break between American Flat Track rounds did nothing to cool off the red hot Jared Mees as the 2017 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines title fight picked back up at the Harley-Davidson Calistoga Half-Mile presented by Cycle Gear.
Seemingly out of sorts during qualifying and even into his Heat race, Mees proved to be an unstoppable juggernaut around Calistoga Speedway aboard his No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750 by the time the Main Event arrived.
The title leader was consistently four- to five-tenths superior each lap compared to his nearest pursuer. As a result, he worked up 3.254 seconds worth of padding by lap 9 of a scheduled 25 when the race was temporarily halted due to a red flag.
Rather than be discouraged after seeing that huge lead erased in an instant, Mees simply went back to work. He proceeded to rip open an even larger 3.476-second margin during the first nine laps that followed the restart, and the title leader's drama-free march at the front saw him as much as 4.548 seconds out in front as the race neared its conclusion.
Mees ultimately cruised to a 3.571-second margin of victory, sailing by the checkered flag in a one-handed wheelie.
The three-time Grand National Champion now boasts an 18-point championship advantage and has clearly turned the tide of momentum in his favor with four wins in his last five outings.
After his blowout victory, Mees said, "It was a great night. It was a little hectic in the last qualifier, and in the Heat race I was off the pace. We came back and rethought things. I have such a good team and they work so hard. We gel really well together and when we're down, we have a lot of tools in the toolbox with this Indian Scout FTR750 to make changes."
Second place went to Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Estenson Logistics Yamaha FZ-07) in convincing fashion, coming on the heels of his vastly impressive X Games gold medal performance a couple weeks back.
The most spirited battle in the top 10 was waged by teammates to decide the final spot on the podium. In the end, Brad Baker (No. 6 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) kept Bryan Smith (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by Allstate Scout FTR750) at bay by a meager 0.067 of a second to finish in third.
While Baker was happy enough to edge Smith out and land on the box for the eighth time in 2017, he admitted his frustration at still seeking his first win aboard the potent Scout FTR750.
For Smith, the close fourth was an encouraging uptick in form following consecutive sixth- and seventh-place runs. However, it also marked his third straight finish off the podium and his fifth in a row without a win after powering to four successive victories earlier this season.
Round 11 | Calistoga Half-Mile | Results
1 ... Jared Mees
2 ... Sammy Halbert
3 ... Brad Baker
4 ... Bryan Smith
5 ... Briar Bauman