Rolling Wheels Half-Mile
The see-saw battle between American Flat Track’s Grand National Champion heavyweights Jared Mees and Bryan Smith continued Saturday night at the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile.Andrea Wilson

As the 2017 American Flat Track season moved past the halfway mark, title rivals Jared Mees and Bryan Smith remain locked in an intense battle for the Grand National Championship. Neither rider can shake the other. As soon as it appears that one will start to build momentum and gain an advantage the pendulum swings. And swing it did at the Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Eldbrige, New York.

Going into the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile, Indian Motorcycle Racing backed by All State's Smith carried the upper hand after Mees jumped the start in his semi at the previous round in Lima, Ohio. It was a error that not only cost the Indian Motorcycle/Rogers Racing rider his points lead but the momentum he was hoping to carry going into a string of Half-Miles.

Jared Mees
After a costly mistake at the previous round in Lima, Ohio, Jared Mees found some redemption in Elbridge, New York with a dominant win at the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile.Andrea Wilson
Briar Bauman
Briar Bauman’s big win over the dominant Indian Wrecking Crew at Lima was still the talk of the paddock.Andrea Wilson

Rather than hanging his head, Mees went to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park determined to take the win and get rid of the bitter taste that the Lima Half-Mile (a race he promoted himself) left in his mouth. It was mission accomplished Saturday night as Mees not only took the win but crushed the competition in the process.

"That’s behind us,” Mees said about Lima. “That was my mistake, my fault, and I needed to come back and do exactly this. I had two long weeks to think about my mistake.

"My team means the world to me. They never stop – just like me. We work extremely hard… you've definitely got to put in the hard work. We were good out of the box. From the first lap in practice to the last lap in the Main Event, I feel like we were the dominant guy and it showed."

Sammy Halbert
Sammy Halbert was the only one to challenge Mees, but in the end Halbert had to settle for second.Andrea Wilson
Jared Mees podium
Mees (right) shares the top step of the podium with daughter Hayden and fellow Indian Wrecking Crew member Brad Baker (left).Andrea Wilson

While Smith has not received a blow as crushing as Lima, the defending champ has had a bit of a rough patch lately. And that patch got rougher in New York with a mechanical in the Heat race, that had him on his back foot the rest of the night having to go through the LCQ. It made for a rough attempt in the Main and Smith left Rolling Wheels with his worst result – a seventh place finish. Smith’s misfortune combined with Mees’ stellar performance saw Smith’s points five-point advantage turned into an eight-point deficit.

Joining Mees on the podium was Entenson Racing’s Sammy Halbert and Smith’s teammate Brad Baker.

Bryan Smith
Mees’ rival Bryan Smith (1) had a rough day with a costly mechanical in the Heat that had him working his way into the Main through the LCQ.Andrea Wilson
Shayna Texter
Shayna Texter schooled the competition to take her fourth win of the season.Andrea Wilson

Earlier that night, AFT Singles Championship leader Shayna Texter had a stellar performance of her own. The Richie Morris Racing rider dominated the competition to take home her fourth win of the season. The win not only meant a lot to Texter’s title chase, but also to her personally as her family was there.

"It was incredible," Texter said. "I just tried to go out there and run as hard as I could for 15 laps and not look back. This is my fourth win of the year, but this one is super special because it's the first time my mom and my step-dad were able to make it out to a race in some time. It's incredible to get a win in front of them."

Making his first return to the podium since the season opener in Daytona, Waters Autobody Racing’s Wyatt Anderson finished second ahead of Kolby Carlile on a privateer Honda. Carlile was happy to return to the podium as well, especially in front of the home crowd after his bad luck at Lima.

Harley flat track team
The Harley-Davidson Factory squad ready for battle.Andrea Wilson
Johnny Lewis AFT
Johnny Lewis raced Kyle McGrane’s twin at the Rolling Wheels Half-Mile in memory of his fallen friend.Andrea Wilson
Chad Cose and Jarrod Vanderkoii
Flat track standoff? Chad Cose (left) and Jarrod Vanderkoii (right) get ready to head out on track.Andrea Wilson
Kolby Carlile and Kevin Stollings, Jr.
Kolby Carlile (36) and Kevin Stollings, Jr. (99) battle for position in the AFT Singles Heat.Andrea Wilson
Bryan Smith autographs
Fans lined up for autographs with the champ, Smith.Andrea Wilson
Mees checkers
Mees reaches for the checkers after scoring his second straight win at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.Andrea Wilson