Pomona Race Secures Championship For Saddlemen-Sponsored Racer
Jared Mees, receiving his new “#1″ plate on the podium in Pomona (left) , and congratulated by Saddlemen (and Saddlemen Racing) president Tom Seymour(right).
Jared, #21, at the pole position, readies for the season’s final race.
Jared Mees secured his first AMA Grand National Twins championship by placing fifth in the final race of the season on the 5/8-mile dirt oval at the Pomona Fairplex.
The Pomona track, Saturday afternoon, shortly before the start of the evening’s races.
Henry Wiles won the race on a Harley-Davidson XR-750.
Jared had to transfer from a semi-final heat after he placed fifth in the third heat race. But once in the main, he only needed to place eighth or better to hold his points lead over the two other racers still in strong contention for the championship, Bryan Smith and three-time defending champion, Saddlemen-sponsored Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle factory rider Kenny Coolbeth.
Smith led early in the race but dropped out on lap 10 with a mechanical failure. Coolbeth finished second, 2.9 seconds behind Wiles. The win was the first for Wiles as a Grand National Twins rider. Saddlemen-sponsored Sammy Halbert finished third on a Harley-Davidson XR-750.
“I just couldn’t get the motorcycle working right in the first heat,” said Mees. “We adjusted the suspension and then I felt great in the semi. I think if we were starting on the first row for the main I had a chance to run up front, but once I saw Smith drop out I knew I didn’t have to kill myself, just bring it home for the championship.”
Jared Mees becomes the first champion in the long history of the Grand National series to claim the title without winning a race during the season. Mees finished second three times and was third twice, and never finished worse than eighth place in nine Twins events. Mees has won six Grand National Twins races since he was named the Ricky Graham Rookie of the Year following the 2004 season. Mees finished second in the Grand National Twins championship standings to Coolbeth in 2006 and 2007.
Mees wrapped up the 2009 AMA Grand National Twins season with 142 points and a nine-point lead over Coolbeth, who earned 133 points. Halbert finished third with 125 points. Smith was fourth with 119 points, followed by Kopp with 117 points.
Jared signing posters and photos, and at right, Mees fans celebrating his championship.
Jared, surrounded by sponsors, officials and team members, with his newly-earned #1 plate, and getting a “thumbs up” from Saddlemen’s Annie Seymour.
Our thanks to Jennifer Gruber from Harley-Davidson for an excellent, informative press release that helped in creating this posting.