Jared Mees Just Keeps on Winning at X Games Minneapolis
Takes second career gold in Harley-Davidson Flat Track competition; Briar Bauman and Jake Johnson finish 2-3, gain first-ever X Games medals
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (July 22, 2018) – When it rains it pours, they say, and for Jared Mees the wins just keep pouring in. The latest in a now-formidable collection of victories this season – nine of eleven so far in 2018 American Flat Track competition – came today in Harley-Davidson Flat Track Racing at X Games Minneapolis.
Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing SDI Scout FTR750) was nearly perfect on the short track built inside US Bank Stadium, winning his Heat, Semi and Main in dominating fashion. He got good starts, grabbed his leads early and rode fast and mistake-free to secure his second X Games gold medal – his first coming in 2016.
For a while it looked as though Jeffrey Carver Jr. (No. 23 Roof-Systems of Dallas/Harley-Davidson XR750) might steal Mees’ thunder in the Main, which featured just six riders – Mees, Carver Jr., Sammy Halbert (No. 69 Harley-Davidson Factory Flat Track Team XR750), Jake Johnson (No. 5 Estenson Racing/McCandless Truck Center Harley-Davidson XR750), Briar Bauman (No. 14 Zanotti Racing Indian Scout FTR750) and Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (No. 2 Nila Racing, Columbia Avionics Indian Scout FTR750).
Carver took the holeshot at the start and looked to have the speed to stay ahead of Mees on the egg-shaped, eighth-mile indoor track. But Carver ran wide when Mees pressured him up the inside on lap five, and as he looked over his shoulder and tried to regain the line, Mees, Bauman and Halbert passed him – and Carver Jr. found himself fourth, and floundering.
From then on it was another stellar Jared Mees performance – leading the remainder of the 15-lap Main solidly while keeping an eye on Bauman behind him in second place. Bauman, who recovered quickly from a last-place start, put in a mid-race challenge, sticking right on Mees’ rear Dunlop and looking like he might pressure the reigning AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines champion – and close friend – into a mistake. But it wasn’t to be. Mees rode without error and slowly pulled away to a comfortable margin at the end.
“This is such a unique race, and it’s such an honor to be invited back,” Mees said after the win. “The Indian Scout FTR has been running great all year for me; it just feels good… it’s awesome to get a gold medal! This little indoor short track…this is what I grew up on. I mean, this should be my specialty. We were good all day, I was able to bump Jeffrey [Carver Jr.] out of the way clean and get going. It was great. It’s an honor to be here and I’m looking forward to coming back.”
Factory Harley-Davidson pilot Sammy Halbert ran strong behind Bauman on the Vance & Hines XR750, and made a dramatic, last-lap/last-corner attempt to steal the runner-up spot with a typically aggressive ‘Slammin’ Sammy’ move. But Bauman didn’t give Halbert much room, and the Washington native lost the front in the loose dirt and went down, letting Johnson by for third, followed by Carver Jr. and Coolbeth Jr. Halbert came home sixth.
A revitalized and Indian-mounted Bauman finished second, 1.3 seconds behind Mees, and seemed comfortable on both the bike and the slick, tricky circuit.
Indian Motorcycle factory rider Brad Baker was involved in a crash during Sunday’s practice session and was unable to participate in the event.
Next up for the stars of American Flat Track is the Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle on August 5th and Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile presented by Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers on August 7th. Tickets for both events are available at the links below, and if you can’t make the races you can tune in to live, flag to flag coverage of each event on FansChoice.tv starting at 2:00 pm MT (4:00 pm ET) for the Buffalo Chip and at 3:00 pm MT (5:00 pm ET) for Black Hills.
How to Watch:
NBCSN and FansChoice.tv are the official homes for coverage of American Flat Track. For the 2018 season, NBCSN’s coverage of AFT moves to highly-coveted, weekend afternoon programming slots within two weeks of each event. The complete schedule for AFT on NBCSN can be viewed at http://www.americanflattrack.com/events-nbcsn/. FansChoice.tv remains a cornerstone of AFT’s digital strategy, providing live streaming coverage of every event on AFT’s live page while previous events and exclusive features are available on AFT’s VOD page.
About American Flat Track:
American Flat Track is the world’s premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on American Flat Track, please visit http://www.americanflattrack.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, check us out on Instagram, live stream the events at FansChoice.tv and catch all the American Flat Track racing action on NBCSN.
More, from a press release issued by Estenson Racing:
Jake Johnson Takes Bronze At X Games
Estenson Racing’s medal streak stays alive with Johnson’s third-place finish
MINNEAPOLIS (July 22, 2018) – Jake Johnson played his cards right on a tough, slick track to take home a bronze medal at the fourth running of the Harley-Davidson Flat Track race at this year’s X Games Minneapolis.
Johnson looked like his former self on the ol’ XR750 as he duked it out on the short track to advance to the Main event with a pair of third-place finishes in his Heat and Semi. In the Main, Johnson got a good jump on the start but being on the outside had him falling back into last place. The veteran didn’t get rattled though. Johnson worked his way up to fourth and could all but taste that medal as the final laps approached. He stayed patient though, and that patience paid off when last year’s winner – Sammy Halbert – came together with Briar Bauman in their fight for second, allowing Johnson to slip through and take that final podium spot.
Although Johnson’s teammate Kolby Carlile did not advance to the Main event, the 2017 AFT Singles champ enjoyed his first X Games experience. With limited time on the XR750 before the event, Carlile finally got adjusted to the XR about halfway through his Heat. Unfortunately, that was too little too late, but for Carlile it was more valuable experience on a Twin.
Jake Johnson – #5:
“Got a little bit of a gift there, but I’ll take it. That’s the way the track was. It was really easy to get too excited and make big mistakes like that. I think if I would have got the holeshot it probably would have been worse for me. I probably would have been all nerved up and making a ton of mistakes. But coming from last and just at that point I had nothing to lose. I was just doing my thing. Just had a good pace going and was just letting everybody else make the mistakes.
“I’ve gotten fourth here before and it sucks. You don’t leave with anything. So it feels good; good to be back on an XR. That was fun. The results this year haven’t been that great. This [track] isn’t typical to what we do, but you look at the guys in that Main event and they’re all the best riders this year. That was a good confidence boost there. It just shows I need to get more comfortable on the other bikes.”
Kolby Carlile – #36:
“It was a good learning experience for me. The XR was good once I got the hang of it. That really wasn’t until about past halfway through my Heat race. I wish I could have got some more time on it before the race, but everything came together last minute. I really enjoyed it, though.
“There was so much luck involved with moving on [into the Main] or not. There were some great riders today that didn’t even make it to the Semi. I know what I can work on for next year on the Twin. I’m happy with how I rode. It was awesome racing in that big of a stadium and in front of a big crowd.”
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More, from a press release issued by Harley-Davidson:
HOOLIGAN DANNY MISCHLER IS 2018 X GAMES MINNEAPOLIS CHAMPION
Jake Johnson Takes Bronze in Harley-Davidson Flat Track Race
MINNEAPOLIS (July 22, 2018) – Danny Mischler topped an all-Harley-Davidson podium in the Harley Hooligans final at X Games Minneapolis. Mischler, riding a modified Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle backed by Mischler Harley-Davidson of Beaver Dam, Wis., passed for the lead in a tough battle on a tight-and-rough 1/8-mile dirt track laid out on the floor of US Bank Stadium.
“Flat track racing is the original American action sport, and Hooligan racing gets down to the sport’s grass roots,” said Harley-Davidson Marketing Lead Eric Jensen. “The Hooligans put on a great show for both the fans here in the stands and the millions of viewers watching around the world. Our partnership with ESPN allows us to showcase this sport as part of X Games Minneapolis.”
Mischler, whose grandfather William Mischler opened a Harley dealership in Beaver Dam in 1958, grew up racing on local flat tracks in the state. The 34-year-old racer has become a top competitor on the Hooligan scene, building and tuning his own bikes.
Harley Hooligan racing is a grass-roots series for amateur riders aboard “run what you brung” home-built motorcycles. Hooligan racing has minimal rules and usually takes place on short oval courses on a dirt or hard surface.
A series of heat races paired 48 Harley Hooligan qualifiers down to six racers for the 20-lap final, broadcast globally both via ESPN and Facebook Live during the X Games coverage on Sunday. In the final, Benny Carlson took the lead on a modified Harley-Davidson Sportster but let Mischler by on lap six. Mischler stretched his lead to 1.6 seconds at the finish. Jimmy Hill was second on a modified Harley-Davidson Street 750 motorcycle. Carlson finished third.
Veteran flat track star Jake Johnson, racing a Harley-Davidson XR750 motorcycle, won the bronze medal in the Harley-Davidson Pro Flat Track race on Sunday. Johnson was one of 24 top pro flat track racers invited to compete in the ESPN X Games event. The field also included Harley-Davidson® Factory Flat Track Racing Team riders Sammy Halbert, Jared Vanderkooi and Ferran Cardus, and Harley-mounted racers Cory Texter, Johnny Lewis, Robert Pearson, Jake Shoemaker, Larry Pegram, and Kolby Carlile.
About Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Since 1903, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has fulfilled dreams of personal freedom with cruiser, touring and custom motorcycles, riding experiences and events, and a complete line of Harley-Davidson motorcycle parts, accessories, general merchandise, riding gear and apparel. For more information, visit www.h-d.com.