Jared Mees (1) races alongside Dallas Daniels at Silver Dollar Speedway. (AFT Photo)

Champions Mees, Kopp Star At Silver Dollar Short Track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Nine-time Grand National Champion Jared Mees reigned supreme in the inaugural Silver Dollar Short Track, Round 6 of the Progressive American Flat Track season, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.

The big crowd that turned out at in Chico, California, to see the world’s elite motorcycle dirt trackers compete at the historic Silver Dollar Speedway were treated to a virtuoso performance on the part of one of the sport’s all-time greats.

Mission AFT SuperTwins king Mees was fastest in both practice sessions and both qualifying sessions, and then proceeded to win his heat, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, and the night’s main event.

If it sounds clear cut, it was anything but.

Mees grabbed the early lead from holeshotter Dallas Daniels but then came under heavy pressure from Sammy Halbert. 


In fact, Halbert actually worked his way into the lead after the two broke free from the pack at the front. They then proceeded to dice it out for several laps, all the while Daniels settled in and upped his pace.

Mees finally broke Halbert’s challenge and set about building up a big lead at the front. Halbert in turn shifted his attention to harrying Daniels over second. But even with that delay, the Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07-mounted ace quickly closed in on Mees’ factory Indian FTR750 after dispatching of Halbert and his venerable Harley-Davidson XR750.

The title rivals would spend the contest’s final three minutes dueling for victory with Mees ultimately holding strong after his young challenger’s last-lap, last-corner bid came up just short.

“It definitely feels good to get that win,” Mees said. “Dallas got the holeshot, but I was able to get by him. And then here comes Sammy on the ole Hog, and he was giving me a run. He actually stretched it out a little bit, but I was able to get back up to him. I felt like I had a good pace and was maybe checking out, but I lost my rhythm in the lappers. I peeked back and there was Dallas. We went back and forth, and I had to get a little aggressive a couple of times. He’s been riding so good. It feels like every week I have to dig deeper and deeper.”

Halbert completed the podium in third, but only after reclaiming the position from Brandon Robinson on the race’s final lap.

Last week’s winner, Briar Bauman, completed the top five. He was followed to the stripe in sixth through tenth by Jarod Vanderkooi, Dan Bromley, Bronson Bauman, Max Whale and Declan Bender.

Despite being bitterly disappointed by Saturday’s result, Daniels continues to lead the points chase with 124 points to Mees’ 118. Robinson is one point further adrift at 117, followed by Bauman’s 99.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Kody Kopp continued his march toward a third Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER championship by scoring his third Short Track victory of the ‘24 season on Saturday night.

While Kopp would eventually take hold of his customary position out front, the opening stages of the contest saw his primary challengers, Tom Drane and Chase Saathoff, wage their own battle over first, trading the lead back and forth with intersecting lines.

Saathoff’s strategy proved superior in that early fight, and he then put his head down to break free at the front. Meanwhile, Kopp closed in on Drane’s rear wheel in second.

A bobble on the Australian’s part gave Kopp the small opening he needed. Once through, he not only shook Drane but instantly reeled back in Saathoff after trailing him by as much as 1.5 seconds a small handful of laps earlier.

In fact, the Rick Ware Racing pilot’s momentum barely stalled upon catching Saathoff; he merely rode around the outside and continued to walk away in the lead.

However, with the top three seemingly settled at that point, a lapped rider went down upon Saathoff’s overtake as the leaders negotiated traffic. Drane became collateral damage in the crash, going down in a two-part incident that summoned the red flag.

Kopp and Saathoff lined back up in first and second, respectively, while Drane was forced to the back of the pack after looking as if he might not be fit enough to continue.

There was little drama at the front once the action resumed. Kopp powered away in the same fashion he had prior to the red flag. Saathoff completed his run to second, while Trent Lowe claimed the final step on the podium.

“We worked hard for that one,” Kopp said. “We were fast all day, but I was one of the only ones shifting out here today. It was fast, but would it have been consistent in this whole Main when we were running up on the top? Probably not. So we made a game-changing call right before the (Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda Challenge), and I had to go out and learn how to ride the bike again because we weren’t shifting all of a sudden. Thanks to my team. This was a big one for us.”

Californians Tarren Santero and James Ott rounded out the top five.

As for Drane, he not only gritted his way to the finish, he actually charged all the way up to sixth to keep his championship hopes very much alive.

Kopp now leads with 133 points, followed by Saathoff at 111 and Drane at 108.