AFTS Perris Half Mile Results: Mees Closes The Show

Jared Mees finishes the season where he started it, in first place. Mees won the AFTS season finale Perris Half Mile at Perris Auto Speedway.

Finishing 2017 just as he started, Jared Mees dominated the last race of the American Flat Track Series, the Perris Half Mile at the Perris Auto Speedway in Perris, California, October 7.

Perris Half Mile
Indian factory rider Jared Mees completed the 2017 American Flat Track season with the AFT Twins main event win at the Perris Half Mile. In a dream year, Mees broke the series record for podium finishes and gave the Indian Scout FTR 750 its first AFT Twins title. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Mees aboard the Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing-backed Indian Scout FTR750 capped off his record breaking year with his seventeenth podium finish, breaking a record shared by AMA Pro Grand National Champions Scott Parker and Ricky Graham.

“To get the career most podiums ever, out of all the greatest racers in the world, it’s really cool to be in the same sentences as Ricky Graham and Scotty Parker,” Mees said.

AFT Twins
Having clinched his fifth career AFT Twins Championship two races ago and giving the Indian Scout FTR750 a championship in its debut season, the pressure was off Mees as he easily set fast time in qualifying and won his semi to earn the number one starting position for the 25-lap main event. (with the small turnout of twins riders, there were no heats)

“Once you win the championship, the only thing you want to do is win the races,” Mees said. “We came here and were pretty much fast right out of the gate. Fast qualifier and won our semi. We just got the holeshot and led every lap of the main.”

Perris Half Mile
Mees (9) got the holeshot and quickly pulled away from privateer Indian rider Johnny Lewis, who would slip back to sixth place after making contact with another rider. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

After surviving early pressure from Johnny Lewis (Team Nila/John Wise Indian Scout FTR750) and Sammy Halbert (Estenson Racing/TruLine Yamaha FZ-07), Mees gapped the field, but the bumping and shoving in the trailing pack kept the large crowd entertained. Lima Half Mile winner Briar Bauman was running in third place but was anxious to put his Kawasaki past Lewis on the narrow Perris groove. Bauman took a shot late in the race, but the two made contact and both slid wide, losing several positions. Texas winner Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Ben Evan’s Racing/Carver’s BBQ Harley-Davidson XR750) took advantage of the contact and moved into second place. Carver closed the gap on Mees, but the Harley rider simply ran out of laps to mount a serious challenge. By that time Mees was on cruise control and had backed off his pace considerably.

Carver, once clear in second, did turn the fastest lap of the race, but it was too little, too late.

“I was able to get away from them and put the Fast Lap award in,” Carver said. “That feels amazing too because Jared was checked out. It makes me feel good that we had a chance to take the win home today. Second place is second best. It’s amazing to end the season like this.”

Perris Half Mile
Fort Worth Half Mile winner Jeffrey Carver Jr. cut the fastest lap of the main event en route to a runner-up finish. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Surprisingly the race for third came down to a hardfought battle between road racers. Stevie Bonsey (CR Motorsports/6D Helmets Harley-Davidson XR750) and JD Beach (Team95/G&G Racing Yamaha FZ-07). Both riders were making their first AFT Twins appearance for 2017. Bonsey has been off for over a year and a half because of injuries, and Beach has become a full-time road racer for Yamaha. The battle came down to the last turn of the last lap where Beach was able to come through and land the final spot on the Perris Half Mile podium.

“Going into the last lap, I knew I was sitting in fourth and I had to try something,” Beach said. “Bonsey left the door open just a little bit, so I had to run it up in there. I hit him a little bit, but I outdrove him to the line and got third. It just felt awesome.”

Perris Half Mile
Factory Yamaha road racer JD Beach proved that his flat track skills are still up to par by finishing third in the Perris Half Mile AFT Twins main event. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Sammy Halbert was able to finish fifth over Johnny Lewis with Rob Pearson (Harley-Davidson of Staten Island/CR Motorsports Harley-Davidson XR750) and Davis Fisher (Bob Lanphere Beaverton Motorcycles Kawasaki Ninja 650) right behind him. The 2017 Saddlemen Rookie of the Year, Ryan Wells ( Knievel Museum, Kawasaki Ninja 650) and Bauman (Zanotti Racing/Rod Lake Racing Kawasaki Ninja 650) completed the top 10.

AFT Singles
It was going to take a miracle for Shanya Texter (Richie Morris Racing/McElroy Packaging Honda) to win the AFT Singles points race, but she was the only one left with a mathematical chance of catching Kolby Carlile (Estenson Racing/Autolite Yamaha). The two broke to the front of the Perris Half Mile AFT Singles main event, only to have Ben Lowe (Bruce Lowe Excavating/Lowe-Life Performance Honda) steal their thunder and the lead down the back straight. Texter’s title hopes dimmed considerably when she tried to pass Carlile but failed and slipped back into the pack.

Brandon Price (Parkinson Brother’s Racing/DPC Racing, Honda) then worked his way into second and stalked Lowe until the twelfth lap of the 15-lap race, when he charged to the front and pulled away.

Perris Half Mile
Kolby Carlile (36) got the jump on the Perris Half Mile AFT Singles field and went on to finish third in the main event, clinching the series title. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Lowe held on to second and Carlile clinched his 2017 AFTS Singles Championship title with a solid third-place finish. Cameron Smith (Carroll Motor Fuels/Basciani Mushroom Farms Honda) worked his way into fourth just ahead of Texter. England’s Oliver Brindley (Kawasaki UK/Haith Group, Kawasaki) Jay Newton (Monkey Pump/Hydraulics of Texas, Yamaha), Dawson Schieffe (Terry Rymer/Black Hills Harley-Davidson Yamaha), Hayden Gillim (Cycle World/Yoshimura Suzuki) and Tanner Dean (Walrath Racing/Hovey Racing Honda) filled out the top 10. Price’s win propelled him into second place in the points by four over Texter.

Perris Half Mile
Brandon Price won the Perris Half Mile AFT Singles main event, moving to second place in the series final points standings as well. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Like Beach, Gillim and Toni Elias traded their knee pucks for steel shoes for the Perris Half Mile, with Gillim getting up off the ground after a multi rider crash halted the first start of the main to move from the back row to a ninth place finish. Recently crowned MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Elias finish 12th in his first attempt at AFT Singles competition.

2017 American Flat Track Series
Perris Half Mile
Perris Auto Speedway
Results: October 7, 2017 (Round 18 of 18)

Perris Half Mile
brate atop the Perris Half Mile podium. (Left to right) Beach, Mees and Carver Jr. celePHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

AFT Twins Main Event
1. Jared Mees-Ind
2. Jeffrey Carver JR.-HD
3. JD Beach-Yam
4. Stevie Bonsey-HD
5. Sammy Halber-Yam
6. Johnny Lewis-Ind
7. Rob Pearson-HD
8. Davis Fisher-Kaw
9. Ryan Wells-Kaw
10. Briar Bauman-Kaw
11. Bryan Smith-Ind
12. Jake Johnson-HD
13. Henry WIles-Kaw
14. Mikey Rusn-Yam
15. Nick Armstrong-Yam
16. Kayl Kolkman-Yam
17. Kenny Coolbeth JR.-HD
18. Brandon Robinson-HD

Perris Half Mile
Kolby Carlile and crew celebrate Carlile’s AFT Singles title. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

AFT Singles Main
1. Brandon Price-Hon
2. Ben Lowe-Hon
3. Kolby Carlile-Yam
4. Cameron Smith-Hon
5. Shayna Texter-Hon
6. Oliver Brindley-Kaw
7. Jay Newton-Yam
8. Dawson Schieffer-Yam
9. Hayden Gillim-Suz
10. Tanner Dean-Hon
11. Beau Thompson-Hon
12. Toni Elias-Suz
13. Matthew Guenther-Yam
14. Chris McDougal-Hon
15. Michael Hill-Hon
16. Maikel Dijkstra-Kaw
17. Aidan Brown-Hon
18. Dan Lowther-Hon