AFTS Springfield Mile 2 Results: Mees Again

Jared Mees lands the Springfield Mile win on Labor Day Weekend while Dan Bromley switches to the Singles class and wins the Springfield Short Track.

The Springfield Mile, at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, is pretty much the flat track motorcycle race by which all others are judged, and the 2017 Labor Day weekend race rewarded the packed grandstand with another heart-stopping finish.

Jared Mees (9) led an all-Indian sweep of the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds over Labor Day Weekend. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

The results sheet for race number 15 on the American Flat Track schedule looks like most of the other 14 rounds, but that shouldn’t detract from how those results came about at Springfield.

AFT Twins
Jared Mees (Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing) has dominated the racing all year, and at Springfield he once again topped the 18-rider, 25-lap AFT Twins National. Mees was able to charge from third at the white flag to pass both of his Indian teammates, Bryan Smith and Brad Baker (Indian Motorcycle/Allstate Insurance), and cross the line first at the checkered flag.

“It was good to beat Smith,” Mees said. “He’s beat me so much here for the last four or five years. He nipped me at the line, so many times. It just felt good to get it done. I finally planned everything perfect and right.”

Mees was able to take the lead in turns one and two, then lead all the way to the end. Smith was second, just 21 thousandths of a second behind Mees.

Mees (9) battles with Sammy Halbert (69). Halbert’s Yamaha ran with the Indians on the mile, but Halbert missed the podium, finishing fourth. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

“Jared [Mees] was leading it and dove to the bottom so I didn’t get as good of a draft,” Smith said. “It definitely helped him, when he ran down low, because I was kind of hung out and not in the draft for a minute. Obviously now I would rather go back and draft Jared into turn three and lead it off of turn four. You don’t know until it happens.”

Baker came along five hundredths of a second later in third.

The race had to be red flagged on lap seventeen when Kenny Coolbeth (Harley-Davidson Motor Company/Vance & Hines), who had been running as high as seventh place, had his XG750R Harley-Davidson fail him going into turn one, putting him on the ground.

The restart saw the leaders pick up where they left off, with Sammy Halbert (Estenson Racing / TruLine, Yamaha), Jeffrey Carver (Evans Racing / Carver’s BBQ, Kawasaki), Briar Bauman (Zanotti Racing / Rod Lake Racing, Kawasaki) and Brandon Robinson (Harley-Davidson Motor Company / Vance & Hines, Harley-Davidson XG750R) all mixing it up in the lead draft, along with the Indians.

Mees (9) took the lead in turns one and two on the last lap and held it all the way back to the checkered flag. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

By the time the five laps to go sign was displayed, the top four riders had opened a small gap and the race would be settled by them. As has happened so many times this year, the Indians swept the podium, with Halbert just behind him. Robinson brought the factory Harley-Davidson home fifth over Bauman and Carver. That group had been caught by Davis Fisher (Bob Lanphere Beaverton Motorcycles Kawasaki) and Jake Shoemaker (Roy Built/Greg A. Vietsi Kawasaki). Peoria TT winner Henry Wiles (Willy Built/Mad Dog Racing Kawsaki) filled out the top 10.

Mees’ race win brings him one step closer to his fourth Grand National Championship. Mees now hold a 46-point lead over Smith with just three races remaining on the American Flat Track schedule. Smith is the only rider with any chance, as slim as it is, of catching Mees.

The race was the high water mark for AFT Twins entries, with 50 riders signed up, more than filling the 48-rider program.

Mees (9) held off reigning AFT Twins Champion Bryan Smith (1) by 21 thousandths of a second at the finish Brad Baker (6) finished third. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

AFT Singles
Because the AFT Singles class does not run on the Springfield Mile, a short track race was held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Arena on Saturday night.

A month or so ago, Dan Bromley opted to leave the AFT Twins class and move back to the AFT Singles class, and his results are starting to pick up. Bromley (Big Momma & Daddy Deep Pockets Racing/Bromley Motorsports KTM) took the lead early in the 15-lap main, overcame a restart and came away with his first AFT Singles win of the year.

Morgen Mischler (Mischler’s Harley-Davidson & BMW/Steelhorse Law Honda) kept the pressure on Bromley but had to settle for second. It was Mischler’s first career podium finish. Kyle Johnson (Parkinson Brothers Racing/Holeshot Harley-Davidson Honda) worked his way up to a third-place finish. Ben Lowe (Bruce Lowe Excavating/Lowe-Life Performance Honda) and Kevin Stollings (Roof Systems/Ben Evans Racing/Dave’s Cycle Honda) filled out the top five.

Dan Bromley (left) dropped down to the AFT Singles class for the Springfield Short Track and scored his first win of the season. Morgen Mischler (right) finished second. PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Shayna Texter (Richie Morris Racing/McElroy Packagin, Honda) had been the AFT Singles points leader coming into the race, but she failed to get out of the semi and was relegated to the sidelines. Texter’s main competition, Brandon Price (Parkinson Brothers Racing/DPC Racing Honda) and Kolby Carlile (Estenson Racing/Autolite, Yamaha) finished seventh and eighth behind England’s Oliver Brindley (Kawasaki UK/Haith Group Kawasaki).

When the points were tallied it showed Carlile in front of Price by seven points. Texter is just another two back in third place.

2017 American Flat Track Series
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Springfield, Illinois
Results: September 2-3, 2017 (Round 15 of 18)

Another all-Indian Wrecking Crew podium at Springfield, with winner Mees (center), runner-up Smith (right) and third-place finisher Baker (left). PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Springfield Mile AFT Twins Main (September 3)
1. Jared Mees-Ind
2. Bryan Smith-Ind
3. Brad Baker-Ind
4. Sammy Halbert-Yam
5. Brandon Robinson-HD
6. Briar Bauman-Kaw
7. Jeffrey Carver Jr.-Kaw
8. Davis Fisher-Kaw
9. Jake Shoemaker-Kaw
10. Henry Wiles-Kaw
11. Johnny Lewis-Duc
12. Bronson Bauman-Kaw
13. Jarod Vanderkooi-Kaw
14. Shayna Texter-Kaw
15. Stephen Vanderkur-Kaw
16. Kenny Coolbeth Jr.-HD
17. Mikey Rush-Yam
18. Michael LaBelle-Kaw

Springfield Short Track winner Bromley (center) takes to the podium with runner-up Mogen Mischler (right) and third-place finisher Kyle Johnson (left). PHOTO BY DAVE HOENIG/FLAT TRAK FOTOS.

Springfield Short Track AFT Singles Main (September 2)

1. Dan Bromley-KTM
2. Morgen Mischler-Hon
3. Kyle Johnson-Hon
4. Ben Lowe-Hon
5. Kevin Stollings-Hon
6. Oliver Brindley-Kaw
7. Brandon Price-Hon
8. Kolby Carlile-Yam
9. Cole Zabala-Kaw
10. Tanner Dean-Hon
11. Steven Sandoval-Hon
12. Chad Kenyon-Hon
13. Cameron Smith-Hon
14. Mikeal Strable-Hon
15. Nicholas Mataya-Hon
16. Matthew Beland-Hon
17. Shane Narbonne-Hon
18. Cole Fealy-Hon