Lodi – 29 Jul 2011
The last time I raced this double-header weekend was in 2003. The only thing different is that then it was a Formula USA race and for the mile we rode 450s, not the Harleys.
On the night before the Lodi race, the Lodi Motorcycle Club puts together a nice purse for their Short Track event. Growing up I had heard a lot of things about this track. So this year I decided to bring out my old Rotax. I have owned this bike since I was 12 years old, changing only its front end. Any chance I can run this bike I love doing it as it brings back many good, old memories.
At Lodi’s first practice on the Rotax I was lost. I changed a lot of things. It still had the original suspension, so I needed to stiffen the whole bike. When I went out for qualifying it felt 100 times better. They did old-school time trials and I fast-qualified it. The way it was being run, was that you had to win your Heat in order to get in the Main, everyone else had to go to a Semi. I was in the 1st Heat and won it. In the Dash for Cash I did not get a great start and ended up 3rd.
In the Main Event I got off 2nd but got by Jethro Halbert quickly. I then ran some hard laps but heard someone behind me. It was Mikey Martin. From about half-way to the checkered, he was breathing down my neck. I held him off until the end and won it. It felt so good to win on the Ole Rotax again!
Sacramento – 30 July 2011
I did not remember this race track well. All I remembered was what everyone kept saying—“it will get a groove around the bottom and you will have to follow the groove.” Practice was kind of “wide open skitter around the bottom.” I qualified 3rd overall and was in the 3rd Heat with Jake Johnson, Chris Carr, Kenny Coolbeth, Willie McCoy, Matt Weidman, Shawn Baer, JR Schnabel, Raun Wood and Doug Lawrence. Talk about a loaded Heat!! I got a good jump and was dicing it up with Carr and Coolbeth. Then Johnson came up and took the lead. I was running 3rd and almost got past Carr in the last lap but it was too late. Carr’s bike was running strong.
For the Main Event we made a couple of changes. I got off to a decent start but was stuck behind Luke Gough for a few laps. It was tough to pass him. I finally got by Luke and started to work on Sammy Halbert and Coolbeth. I got by Coolbeth and then got by Halbert but he came back by. I finally got by him once and for all and started after the three leaders: Jake Johnson, Bryan Smith, and Carr. I was running a very lonely 4th most of the race, maybe gaining a little each lap, but made some small mistakes from pushing so hard, keeping me from reeling them in fast enough. I had started from the 2nd row and had needed a good jump to make something happen.
So I ended up in 4th place. It was one of those not so great nights. At least I ended up losing only 1 point in the Championship chase, but Jake made up some ground so he and I are now tied for 2nd. However, we still have a lot of racing left in the season and, as we well know, anything can happen.
This week I am hanging out in San Jose CA at the home of my team owner, Craig Rogers. We leave at the end of the week for Castle Rock WA. I Look forward to seeing you all there. With a big “thank you” to all my supporters, Jammin’
Jared Mees # 9
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