Jared Mees extended his lead in the series with his fifth win of the season at the Brainerd Half Mile.
Rogers Lake Racing / Blue Springs Harley-Davidson’s Jared Mees recorded his fifth win of the 2011 AMA Pro Flat Track Championship at the Brainerd Half Mile on Saturday night. Taking place for the first time at the North Central Speedway in Minnesota, Mees led a wire-to-wire victory around Brainerd’s D-shaped oval ahead of Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s Kenny Coolbeth.
At the start Mees had the holeshot into the first corner ahead of Zanotti Racing / Schaeffer’s Harley-Davidson’s Jake Johnson. In Turn 2 Johnson and White’s Harley-Davidson / SNIP’s Matt Weidman made contact fighting for the runner-up spot, while Coolbeth advanced from sixth up to fourth. Meanwhile AMA/Classic Harley-Davidson’s Chris Carr was right behind Coolbeth trying to draft him, and shortly after Coolbeth slipped past Weidman to take over third place. Up front it was Mees, Johnson, Coolbeth, Weidman and Carr all bunched together.
During the first half of the match it appeared Mees and Johnson were going to have a repeat of their Knoxville battle, but on Lap 14 Coolbeth introduced his front wheel to the mix.
“I knew I wasn’t the fastest rider out there tonight, I think Kenny [Coolbeth] was, but I just got a great start and kept hitting my marks,” Mees said. “I could hear someone behind me the whole way, but we made small changes all day long and I think the track just came to me in the end.”
Next a battle ensued between Johnson and Coolbeth as the two swapped positions for second. Coolbeth was able to pass Johnson for second, but shortly after Johnson regrouped and reclaimed the spot as Mees remained in the lead. Refusing to call it quits, Coolbeth once again put the moves on Johnson and made his pass stick. Afterward Coolbeth managed to close the gap on Mees by less than half a second. Over the next few laps, however, Coolbeth’s pace began to slow.
“I think I was faster than Jared [Mees],” Coolbeth said. “I moved up from a bad start and was making passes pretty easy, but it took me too long to get by Jake [Johnson], then I just seemed to lose my drive and couldn’t catch Jared.”
After being passed by Coolbeth, Johnson remained third as Carr advanced from seventh up to fourth. Soon after the checkers came out, giving Mees the win just 0.468 seconds ahead of Coolbeth. Johnson, Carr and Fasthog.com / American Harley-Davidson’s Bryan Smith rounded out the top-five finishers, with A&J Racing / Southland Racing’s Jimmy Wood returning since breaking his hand at Peoria to finish seventh. Meanwhile Kings Kustoms / White’s Harley-Davidson’s Sammy Halbert had a poor finish in eighth. Halbert suffered a crash during his heat race that forced him to use his back-up bike, and after finishing out of the transfer spots Halbert had to start the main from the third row. As a result he has slipped to third in the standings a full 20 points behind Mees, while Johnson moved into second 18 points behind the leader.
2011 AMA Pro Flat Track GNC Twins Brainerd Results:
1. Jared Mees (Harley-Davidson)
Jake Johnson gave a strong performance to finish on the podium and move up to second in the championship.
2. Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. (Harley-Davidson)
3. Jake Johnson (Harley-Davidson)
4. Chris Carr (Harley-Davidson)
5. Bryan Smith (Harley-Davidson)
6. Matt Weidman (Harley-Davidson)
7. Jimmy Wood (Kawasaki)
8. Sammy Halbert (Harley-Davidson)
9. Robert Pearson (Harley-Davidson)
10. Johnny Lewis (Kawasaki)
11. Doug Lawrence (Harley-Davidson)
12. JD Beach (Kawasaki)
13. Henry Wiles (Harley-Davidson)
14. Michael Kirkness (Harley-Davidson)
15. Shawn Baer (Kawasaki)
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Singles Brainerd Results 2011
The Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles class had another clash on Saturday night with Michael Avila taking another win on his Joe Bisha tuned SDI Insulation / MEH CorpMichael supported Honda. The current point leader, Weirbach Racing’s Michael Martin, recorded fourth place after dueling with ANT Racing / Star School’s James Rispoli.
Avila had the jump on the field during the start ahead of Martin and Rispoli. Despite coming under pressure from Jason Isennock during the early part of the race, Rispoli advanced into second on Lap 6. The 2011 AMA SuperSport champ spent the remaining 10 laps trying to catch-up with the leader, but Avila proved too quick. Twenty Six Suspension’s
Michael Avila (#33E) had a good start and went on to win the Motorcycle-Superstore.com main on Saturday night.
Gerit Callies finished third more than a second behind Rispoli, with Martin and Isennock rounding out the top-five.
2011 AMA Pro Singles Brainerd Results:
1. Michael Avila (Honda)
2. James Rispoli (Honda)
3. Gerit Callies (Honda)
4. Michael Martin (Honda)
5. Jason Isennock (Honda)
6. Jake Cunningham (Honda)
7. Adam Bushman (Honda)
8. William Cato (Honda)
9. Jason Shoemaker (Suzuki)
10. Hayden Gillim (Kawasaki)