PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREA WILSON
ELMA, WA, JULY 19 – The weather in Washington made dirt track fans wait a day, but it was worth the wait to watch Jared Mees put his Rogers Racing Harley-Davidson on top of the box in what was a barnburner of a race at Grays Harbor Raceway. Joining Mees on the podium were the two men chasing him in the point standings – Bryan Smith and Jake Johnson, the pair finishing second and third, respectively.
And Mees’ win at Grays Harbor – his second of the season – added a bit more cushion to that points lead with Mees now leading Smith by five points and Johnson by six.
Falling short of the podium was Sammy Halbert, who was looking to have a perfect day in front of the home crowd. Halbert was the fastest qualifier, won the Dash for Cash and after jumping to the lead straight away looked to be the man to beat. But nothing was a sure bet at Grays Harbor and Halbert fell victim to the shuffling of the deck and had to fight his way back to an eventual fourth-place finish.
Kenny Coolbeth finished fifth, a result that dropped him to fourth in the standings. Coolbeth is now 13 points behind Mees.
Reigning AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker finished a disappointing sixth at home. Baker grabbed the holeshot, but got edged out by Halbert. With one lap to go, the two Washingtonians were battling for position and it was either the wall or sixth for Baker. And sixth it was – a spot behind Halbert.
Stevie Bonsey ended up seventh followed by a pair of Kawasakis – ridden by Robert Pearson and Jake Shoemaker. Doug Lawrence rounded out the top 10.
In the Pro Singles class, Jarod Vanderkooi scored his first win on the 450 with his other victory this year coming at Springfield in the Pro Twins class.
2014 AMA Grand National Championship
Grays Harbor Half-Mile Results
1. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
2. Bryan Smith (Kawasaki)
3. Jake Johnson (Harley-Davidson)
4. Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson)
5. Kenny Coolbeth (Harley-Davidson)
6. Brad Baker (Harley-Davidson)
7. Stevie Bonsey (Harley-Davidson)
8. Robert Pearson (Kawasaki)
9. Jake Shoemaker (Kawaski)
10. Doug Lawrence (Harley-Davidson)