Mees wins Springfield Mile II as Indian take another podium sweep
Jared Mees continued his march toward the 2017 AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines crown in an epic Harley-Davidson Springfield Mile II at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on September 3. It was a win that may go down as Mees’ signature victory in a season which has been lined with them.
When the series last visited the venue back in May, Bryan Smith, the reigning champ, was in full control. On that day, the flat track faithful witnessed the “Master of the Mile” work his magic to perfection, upping Smith’s win streak to four with a trademark 0.005 of a second win over Mees.
Mees (No. 9 Indian Motorcycle Rogers Racing Scout FTR750) returned to Springfield motivated to demonstrate just how completely the tables had turned since that defeat. Smith has yet to win since his Springfield Mile I triumph, meanwhile Mees has assembled an imposing championship advantage on the strength of five wins since then.
Mees took the checkered flag 0.021 seconds ahead of Smith, with Baker narrowly edging Halbert to claim third by 0.051 seconds back to secure the Indian Wrecking Crew’s sixth podium sweep of the season.
Sammy Halbert (Yamaha FZ-07) was fourth, with Brandon Robinson the top-placed Harley XG750R rider fifth; Kenny Coolbeth Jr brought his Harley in 16th.
The Springfield victory stands as Mees’ eighth in the season, upping his career mark to 30 to move equal with Bart Markel for 10th on the all-time list. Additionally, Mees now boasts a 46-point championship advantage (317 to Smith’s 271), with three races remaining.
That means Mees could clinch the 2017 title two races early by claiming his ninth victory of the season at the September 9 Harley-Davidson Williams Grove Half Mile presented by Appalachian Harley-Davidson at Mechanicsburg, Pensylvania, followed by Round 17, the Lone Star Half Mile presented by Indian Motorcycle at Fort Worth, Texas, on September 23 before the series finale at Perris, California, on October 7.