SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Jared Mees left the field in his wake – twice – on Monday to complete the Progressive American Flat Track Labor Day Weekend sweep in a one-sided Memphis Shades Springfield Mile II presented by Law Tigers at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
After being accused of closing down the lines of his rivals during Sunday’s victory, Mees responded by making any such allegations irrelevant on Monday. He immediately shot out into the lead and drove away from a five-rider pack of would-be pursuers, building up an eight-plus-second advantage with just two minutes remaining.
Despite the monster lead, he was forced to prove his Springfield supremacy one more time, when a red flag brought the race to a momentary halt at that point.
While Sammy Halbert managed to slide in front for a few seconds, Mees ultimately reestablished himself out front en route to a 1.134-second margin of victory.
Halbert came home second while Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle championship leader Briar Bauman finished third – albeit not until after surviving a close call with wild card Jeffrey Carver Jr.
Mees’ sixth- and seventh-career Springfield Mile wins worked to tighten up the title fight considerably. Bauman continues to lead, but a once healthy 25-point gap has been reduced to just 12 (254-242) with two more Mees’ friendly Miles directly ahead.
“After the chatter that Briar had up on the podium last night, I just figured today I’d drop the hammer and really put some distance on them to where I could do whatever I wanted out there,” Mees said. “Right before the Main Event, we made a few small changes that ended up being a huge difference. I’ve got the best team out there, and we got the thing hooked up better, running faster, and just smoothed out. It was an incredible weekend for us.”
Third-ranked Brandon Robinson finished fourth with home-track favorite Carver completing the top five.
Davis Fisher – who was the fastest man on track save Mees at one point – finished sixth, followed by Jarod Vanderkooi, Brandon Price, J.D. Beach and Kolby Carlile to round out the top-10.
Dallas Daniels pulled off the nearly unthinkable Springfield double-double with a heart-pounding victory in Monday’s AFT Production Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event.
A hugely entertaining contest saw as many as eight riders still within shot of the victory with two minutes to go. Adding to the entertainment factor was the fact that several different lines were in play, with riders routinely railing corners several riders wide, utilizing extreme low and high lines in search of the fastest way around the high-speed Mile.
The final lap opened with Daniels leading a tight four-rider pack that also included Jesse Janisch, Chad Cose and Cory Texter.
Janisch threw it up the inside of Daniels entering turn three and held the advantage exiting 4 for the final time. Daniels sucked up in the draft and swung alongside just as Cose and Texter fanned out four-wide in the sprint to the checkered flag.
Daniels just nipped ahead of Janisch by .022 seconds, with Cose in third another 0.016 seconds back. Title leader Texter missed the podium in fourth, despite coming up a scant .089 seconds short of the victory.
In addition to sweeping both AFT Singles and both AFT Production Twins races this weekend in Springfield, Daniels now owns three wins and one runner-up in four career AFT Production Twins starts.
“Before the Main Event, the team told me to move around a little bit. I knew it was going to be a close race — the track got slick and it was multiple line racing,” Daniels said.
“It was crazy. I saw Jesse poking a wheel, and I knew exactly what he was going to do. I just sat there and waited. As soon as he came up, I tried to give him a little bit of room and he spun it up. ‘Here it is!’ I just poured that Yamaha stomper power on and blew right by that thing. These Harleys were running awesome. Hats off to Jesse — to come right off the couch and be on the podium at the Springfield Mile is insane.
“It’s awesome to sweep the weekend. It was kind of a rough night at the Short Track and we turned it around. And we kind of turned around the whole season it seems like.”
Morgen Mischler grabbed his fourth top-five of the weekend in fifth, with Dan Bromley bouncing back from his Sunday disappointment in sixth.
Despite threatening to break away at the front at one point in the race, Tanner Dean, ended up coming home in seventh.
Texter now leads Bromley by 67 points (249-182), which puts him in prime position to clinch his second AFT Production Twins title next weekend in Sacramento.