A massive crowd in New York witnessed reigning AFT Twins Jared Mees (Indian Scout FTR750) not only complete the flat track Grand Slam – winning a Mile, Half-Mile, Short Track and TT in the same season – but tied the legendary Ricky Graham with his 39th win of his career – an amazing achievement.
The win is Mees’ 9th out of 11 races this season, and places him 4th all time, just behind Jay Springsteen, Chris Carr and Scott Parker.
Mees’ Indian Wrecking Crew teammate Brad Baker (Indian Scout FTR750) bolted to an early lead and threatened to escape to his long-awaited maiden Indian-mounted victory, but Mees responded to a poor start and came to life, threading the needle and working his way into contention.
By lap seven it was a two-man race at the front, and on lap 11 Mees slipped past his teammate. Baker refused to give in easily, and their crisscrossing lines saw them trade the lead back and forth a handful of times before Mees clearly established himself at the front. Once he did, Mees poured it on to escape to yet another lopsided triumph.
“We struggled a little [in] qualifying, and we struggled huge in the heat race,” Mees said. “We made some adjustments and did them because we had nothing to lose. We went the right direction – changed shocks with Jimmy Wood and did some engine management stuff with Kenny Tolbert and S&S Cycle. It was just a phenomenal group effort tonight. I wish I could say I deserve all the credit, but the team really pulled me through on this one.”
Baker was ultimately overhauled by yet another legend of the sport before the race was complete. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Indian Scout FTR750) aced him on the race’s final lap to steal away the runner-up position by a scant 0.057 seconds. The second-place finish marks the fifth podium of the retiring Coolbeth’s stirring swansong season.
Fourth place was also decided on the race’s last circulation as Davis Fisher (Indian Scout FTR750) edged TT all-star and ultra-consistent Henry Wiles (Indian Scout FTR750) by a similarly tight 0.077-second margin.
Still, as consistently strong as Wiles has been this season, it’s going to take an awful lot for him (or anyone else) to mount any kind of challenge to Mees, who now boasts a commanding 78-point lead over points runner-up Wiles with seven rounds remaining.
New York Short Track 2018 – Twins
Jared Mees – Indian
Kenny Coolbeth Jr. – Indian +4.344
Brad Baker – Indian +4.402
Davis Fisher – Indian +8.765
Henry Wiles – Indian +8.843
Briar Bauman – Indian +9.295
Sammy Halbert – Harley +9.603
Robert Pearson – Indian +10.643
Chad Cose – Indian +12.702
Jeffrey Carver Jr. – Indian +13.217
Jake Johnson – Indian +13.375
Bronson Bauman – Kawasaki +13.498
Jake Shoemaker – Indian +14.725
Larry Pegram – Harley +14.994
Jarod Vanderkooi – Harley +15.390
Given the insane competitiveness of the AFT Singles division this season (eight different winners in 11 races), you wouldn’t be blamed too badly for being surprised about Tanner Dean’s (KTM 450 SX-F) wire-to-wire win at Weedsport. Still, with only a pair of top-10 finishes in the last two seasons, Dean’s win was a bit of a surprise – and certainly a happy one for him, his family, fans and sponsors.
Jesse Janisch (Yamaha YZ450F) was first away from the line, but Dean swooped underneath coming out of Turn 2 and held strong at the front for the remainder of the 15-lap contest, which saw plenty of wild action behind the leader.
During the melee, AFT Singles title leader Dan Bromley (KTM 450 SX-F) was putting in serious work. After dropping as low as seventh early, the lanky Bromley picked off one rider after the next to eventually emerge from the pack in second. At that point he fixed Dean in his sights and completely gobbled up the gap to the lead with five laps remaining. But despite repeatedly showing Dean a wheel on the inside line, Bromley could never make a pass stick.
Dean’s second career victory proved especially popular with his primary sponsor, Waters Autobody, based just a couple hours down the road.
“I just minimized risk by staying focused, keeping my head down, and marking my lines. I saw Dan running underneath me a couple times and rubbing up against me a little bit, but I just stayed focused, ran in his way a little bit, and came away with the win.”
While he came up just short of victory, Bromley’s ride was still an extremely productive one. He extended his already considerable title advantage to 49 points on the strength of nine podiums in 11 rounds after earlier fearing he might have to miss the Main Event due to a dislocated knee.
Morgen Mischler (Yamaha YZ450F) edged hometown hero Kolby Carlile (Yamaha YZ450F), from nearby Canandaigua, for the final spot on the box on the race’s last lap.
2016 class champ Ryan Wells (Honda CRF450) rounded out the top five.
New York Short Track 2018 – Singles
Tanner Dean – KTM
Dan Bromley – KTM +0.823
Morgen Mischler – Yamaha +0.955
Kolby Carlile – Yamaha +1.029
Ryan Wells – Honda +2.538
Cameron Smith – Honda +3.714
Tristan Avery – Honda +4.372
Jayson Bloss – Kawasaki +5.359
Brodie Buchan – Honda +5.617
Jeremiah Duffy – Honda +6.909
American Flat Track will take nearly a month off before storming back into action in early August with two events in the span of three days.
The Buffalo Chip TT presented by Indian Motorcycle will take place in Sturgis, S.D., on August 5, followed up closely by the Harley-Davidson Black Hills Half-Mile presented by Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City.
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