Jared Mees, 18, of Honey Brook, Pa., is the 2004 Ricky Graham Flat Track Rookie of the Year. Mees turned in a solid first full season in the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship ending the season ranked ninth in the final standings.
The Ricky Graham Flat Track Rookie of the Year Award is just the latest in a string of major accomplishments for Mees. In 2001 he won the AMA Horizon Award, signifying Mees as the nation’s leading amateur rider. A year later a 16-year-old Mees won the Harley-Davidson Sportster Performance Series becoming the youngest ever to win that title. Now, at 18, he adds the Rookie of the Year Award to his trophy case.
Mees rode a limited Grand National schedule in 2003, but this season was his first full year in the championship. When he started the 2004 season he was still a senior in high school – he graduated in May. Mees rode bikes backed by primary sponsors Lancaster Harley-Davidson and Saddlemen. He scored two top-five finishes (fourths at the Cow Palace and Farley Speedway) and was the fast qualifier at Sedalia.
“I had some valuable experience by racing in some rounds last year that helped me by knowing what to expect in my first full season in the Grand Nationals,” Mees said. “We had a really good team with Johnny Goad, Lancaster Harley-Davidson and Saddlemen. This year we really stepped it up with some great people to help us out and we really went forward.”
By finishing the season ranked in the top 10 Mees accomplished something fairly rare for a rookie. “A top 10 ranking was our goal and we got ninth so I’m really proud of that,” explained Mees before adding, “I’m even more proud for our team that I won the Rookie of the Year Award.”
Mees follows in the footsteps of other great riders who have won the AMA Flat Track Rookie of the Year honors such as Jay Springsteen, Scott Parker, Bubba Shobert, Doug Chandler, Ben Bostrom and Nicky Hayden just to name a few.
Mees says his ultimate goal is to win the AMA Grand National Championship, but for next year he’s hoping to finish the season ranked in the top five.
The award is given to the rider who has earned the most points in his or her first full year of competition as a Grand National Championship license holder.
Mees will be presented his award at the 30th annual AMA Pro Racing Awards Banquet to be held at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, on Sunday, Nov. 14.