Jared Mees holds on ahead of Briar Bauman. (Photo: American Flat Track)
Jared Mees holds on ahead of Briar Bauman. (Photo: American Flat Track)

Mees Claims Victory In Inaugural I-70 Half-Mile

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Progressive American Flat Track superstar Jared Mees added to his legend in a thrilling inaugural I-70 Half-Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle of Kansas City on Saturday evening in Odessa, Mo.

The Kansas City-area fans who waited 17 years, plus one long day of largely inclement weather, to see the world’s greatest motorcycle dirt track racers do battle, were rewarded for their patience with an instant classic featuring the Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle class’ modern-day titans.

Briar Bauman powered into the lead at the start, followed closely by JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT). Mees didn’t waste any time dispatching Beach to prevent Bauman from getting any thoughts of running away out front, and then used that momentum to rail his way into the lead for good measure.

Bauman seemed happy enough to let Mees lead; he spent the bulk of the race sizing his rival up and trying out some lines in advance of the inevitable late-race confrontation.

And Bauman’s studies nearly paid off with a win. In the race’s final laps, he attempted inside and outside maneuvers, pulling up alongside Mees more than once. However, his final shot was foiled as Mees expertly positioned a lapper between them in the race’s final corner, providing Bauman no realistic path to steal away the victory at the flag.

As a result, I-70 Motorsports Park stands as the 32nd venue conquered by Mees, tying him with the iconic Chris Carr for most in premier-class history.

“What a day,” Mees said. “Mother Nature actually played a good hand for the racetrack for us. Thankfully we got the racing in before the next storm came in. These races that are quick with just one round of qualifying and right into a Main Event are hectic. You’ve got to be on point from word go.

“What a hectic Main Event with Briar. I felt him breathing down my neck the entire time. A track like this makes for a lot of tiny little mistakes, but everybody has their fair share of them, and we stuck it out and got to the checkered flag first.”

Despite enjoying a quick start, Beach was also ultimately overhauled by Brandon Robinson and Dallas Daniels before ending his slide in fifth.

Once through, Robinson teased the potential to turn the race into a three-way affair before finally settling into third to secure his first podium of the ‘22 season.

Daniels came home fourth, which means the heralded rookie stands as the only rider other than two-time champion Bauman to have finished fourth or better in every race this season.

Bronson Bauman finished sixth, followed by Mission Production Twins Challenge entry Jesse Janisch . Together the two ensured that a pair of Harley-Davidson XG750Rs would finish inside the top seven alongside the three Indians and two Yamahas ahead of them.

The talented Davis Fisher, Jarod Vanderkooi, and Brandon Price finished eighth, ninth, and tenth, respectively, underlining the depth of talent in the field this season.

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