Saddlemen/Lancaster Harley-Davidson/Dodge Brothers’ Jared Mees survived restarts and a late-race charge by a fellow young gun to earn his second career AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship victory on the clay half mile at State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, Missouri, tonight.
Mees took the lead right from the start of the 25-lap race, and he held it through each of the restarts. With just a few laps to go, Moroney’s Harley-Davidson & Honda’s Bryan Smith ran down Mees. Smith then passed Mees on lap 24 in an effort to claim what would have been Smith’s own first career series win, but Mees got back around Smith and held him off in the wild dash to the checkered flag. Smith was second, while Memphis Shades/Parts Unlimited’s JR Schnabel came through from seventh place and took advantage of attrition to finish third.
The race had to be restarted three times. The first red flag came on lap eight and was for Shawn Clark, who crashed in turn three. The second came on lap 10, and was for Joe Kopp and Henry Wiles. Kopp slid out and collected Wiles. The third was for series points leader Chris Carr, who crashed on lap 17 while running second and pursuing Mees. Carr took Jess Roeder and Bryan Bigelow down with him. Carr was unable to make the restart, spoiling his chance to seriously widen his series points lead over rival Kenny Coolbeth, who dropped out with mechanical issues before the race was 10 laps old.
Carr now leads Coolbeth in the series standings, 192-177, while Mees has moved into third place, with 162. Kopp is fourth, with 157, while Smith and Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson’s Rich King are tied for fifth, with 119 each.
Team Suzuki Flat Track/Parts Unlimited’s Jake Johnson crashed during the scratch qualifying heats held earlier in the day. Johnson suffered a compound fracture to his arm and may be out for the rest of the series.
State Fair Speedway
Results: August 27, 2005 (Round 12 of 15)
GRAND NATIONAL (25 laps; 18 riders): 1. Jared Mees (H-D); 2. Bryan Smith (H-D); 3. JR Schnabel (H-D); 4. Johnny Murphree (H-D); 5. Shaun Russell (H-D); 6. Kevin Varnes (Suz); 7. Henry Wiles (H-D); 8. Willie McCoy (H-D); 9. Geo Roeder II (H-D); 10. Charlie Italia (H-D); 11. Rich King (H-D); 12. Bryan Bigelow (H-D); 13. Chris Carr (H-D); 14. Jess Roeder (H-D); 15. Joe Kopp (H-D); 16. Kenny Coolbeth (H-D); 17. Shawn Clark (H-D); 18. Paul Lynch (H-D).
Time: No time due to red flag.