Flat Track Grand National Championship Series - Jared Mees now with #1

2009 Twins Grand National Champion

Jared Mees, one of the most likable guys in the pits will carry the #1 plate this year in the twins class. He won his first twins championship with five podiums, never finishing worse than eight and without winning a race.

After securing his first championship the economy took a hit on his racing program with Harley-Davidson forced to pull their Screaming Eagle support for 2010. Reading this interview its easy to see it will take more than a bad economy to take his spirit away from flat track motorcycle racing. Jared Mees has tasted what it's like to a win a championship and he wants more.

Q. Congratulations on your Twins National Championship. How do you feel going into the 2010 season?

A. Thanks man. I feel great and hungrier than ever. Let's just say I am ready to go racing. I have been training hard with my buddy Craig Pickett.

Q. Consistency was the key to your championship last year. Is consistency the same game plan for 2010?

A. I feel consistency always plays a big role into winning a championship, so yes that is something that we are going to focus on. But this year we are looking for some wins to go along with another championship.

Q. With the title on the line, how did you hold up during the 7 weeks between Springfield and the season finals in Pomona?

A. It was tough. I had to go to the dentist to get a mouth piece from grinding my teeth so much... hahahaha. Although being in the situation once already made me stronger for sure.

Q. Last year you switched to the Rogers Lake team. Are they involved in both your twins and singles program?

A. They are more involved in my twins program, but they do help in my singles program as well. There is no way I could do what I am doing right now without the help of Craig Rogers.

Q. What was the biggest improvement you noticed riding for the Rogers Lake team.

A. Well the bikes show up looking like they are going to a bike show. Thanks to our chief mechanic Brent Armbruster and Craig, the workmanship on the bikes is top notch. That kind of commitment shows the desire to win from the whole team and we also have a lot fun. By no means am I taking anything away from the team I had before.

Q. The current economics took a hit on your racing program going into 2010 with the loss of the Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle program. How will that affect you and your team?

A. Well the bikes, mechanic and team are staying together and Blue Springs Harley-Davidson is still on board. I would have to say regarding performance nothing has changed that much. Since our budget shrank we are just going to have to tighten our belt on our spending. We are still going to have a great season. I want Harley Davidson to know I appreciate everything they have done for my program and flat track. I understand even in tough times Harley-Davidson is still going to do what they can to continue their support for flat track.

Q. What roles do Craig Rogers and Rod Lake have in the racing program?

A. Craig Rogers has been around dirt track for over 20 years. His biggest asset is watching over the entire team. There are times when we may be struggling and he has gone up to Brent Armbruster and Steve Beattie with great ideas that helped turn our program around. And of course let's not forget he is the Boss. Rod Lake has done so much behind the scenes for flat track. For years he has always been there as a supporter for my program and flat track. The man really enjoys flat track!

Q. Both Craig and Rod are avid fans and supporters of flat track. Did they expect a Championship winning season from you?

A. Yes right out of the box winning the championship was our goal. Craig knew he had the experience to put together a winning combination so you could say I was at the right place at the right time. To win this championship was just as great for him as it was for the entire team.

Q. Beginning this year AMA Pro Racing brought back the combined singles and twin's points to determine the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion. What are your thoughts on bringing back the Grand National Champion to carry the #1 plate in both the singles and twins?

A. It really doesn't matter much to me which way they go. I think the overall Championship will be good for our team. I feel very comfortable on all types of race tracks and I know we have what it takes to run up front and win. I do think from a sponsors stand point the split championship is better.

Q. Have you seen your bike with the #1 plate on it?

A. O YEAH BABY.!!!!!!!

Q. You seem to work hard on your sponsorship program. Now that you carry the #1 plate is there anything new for 2010?

A. Nothing as of yet. Due to the economic times I have found it is very, very hard to get sponsors even holding up the number 1 plate. We still have some things we are working on. Thankfully I have a lot of friends and supporters behind me and our team.

Q. What do you see AMA Pro Racing needs to work on to help the teams and riders.

A. TV! In my opinion TV is the key to turning flat track around. One of the biggest questions from sponsors is what type of TV coverage and I also hear from fans wanting to watch flat track on TV.

Q. What are your thoughts on your two Screaming Eagle teammates from last year changing brands with Bryan Smith riding for the Werner Springsteen Kawasaki Team and Joe Kopp may be looking to ride the Ducati for the Lloyd Brothers.

A. Bryan and I are really good friends. I want both Bryan and Joe to do well. In Bryan's case you have one of the best riders on the circuit, plus a three time Grand National Champion and one of the best mechanics in the business all on the same team. We know that Kawasaki has the horse power, so I think there is some pressure on someone's shoulders. Once again I hope they do well, it will help the sport. The Lloyd brothers and Joe Kopp should also work out pretty good. Of all the non-XR Harley's I think the Ducati has the most potential. These guys will make this year interesting.

Q. Have you talked with Bryan or Joe about their 2010 plans?

A. Yes. Once again Bryan and I are good friends. We get together to ride the ice so I was well aware of what was going on. This is a great opportunity for Bryan. Not just for him self but also for flat track. Joe I have not talked, but I hope to god he doesn't pull out that weighted wheel again with that Ducati. LOOK OUT!!!!!!! LOL HAHA

Q. Who do you feel is your most competition on singles?

A. Henry Wiles for sure. There is no one right now in my eyes that has it dialed as much as he does on a single. There are some new tracks on the schedule that may take a little away from his style. He adapts pretty quick, so we will have to wait and see.

Q. Who on the twins?

A. Coolbeth all day long, the guy is tough. Man I have to throw in Jake Johnson, Sammy Halbert and Wiles. For sure I cannot throw out Smith or Kopp on their new rides.. Ok, let's just say all eighteen riders in the main. I'm getting excited just talking about it.

Q. With eight single and thirteen twin races on the schedule, who do you feel is your most competition for the Grand National Championship title?

A. Same as above. It doesn't matter if they are on a single or twin, they are all great motorcycle riders who always work their way to the front. JR Schnabel could be a big threat as well.

Q. What motivates you the most?

A. As long as I am having fun I am motivated. I also really enjoy the fans, the thrill of winning championships and getting on the podium.

Q. What are your activities outside of racing?

A. Ice racing in the winter, fishing and working on my race bikes. I actually just went on a cruise for the first time with my girlfriend and we had a blast. Everyone should do that once in a life time.

Q. Was that one of the perks for being a national champion?

A. Not really. To be honest that is one of the perks for getting ready. With 21 races, this is going to be a long and tough season. It's probably best to play a little now so I can race hard all year. It was way cool and I want to thank Eddie Mulder, Digger Helm, Tom Seymour and Jim Ellenburg for helping me out with my first ever cruise. For being the Grand National Champion they decided to all chip in and send us on a cruise. Man I had fun, so look out I want to go on another cruise. HAHA Q. How much racing do you do during the off season?

A. Man it's been almost every weekend since Pomona. I enjoy racing so I have been doing this indoor ice racing series that travels the country. There have been times when I have raced twice in one weekend. Q. Are you a facebook or twitter guy?

A. What's twitter? Facebook every once in a while, but I got to tell you facebook can suck up some time. Q. Thank you for your time and good luck this year.

A. Thanks I can't wait.

About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines.

Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at: AMA Pro Racing

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Short Track Nationals New Daytona Flat Track
March 3-4
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2010 GNC Schedule

March 3
DAYTONA(r) Flat Track
(Daytona Beach, Florida) ST

March 4
DAYTONA(r) Flat Track
(Daytona Beach, Florida) ST

May 1
Yavapai Downs
(Prescott Valley, Arizona) M

May 29
Illinois State Fairgrounds
(Springfield, Illinois) TT

May 30
Illinois State Fairgrounds
(Springfield, Illinois) M

June 5
Gas City I-69 Speedway
(Gas City, Indiana) ST

June 19
The Red Mile
(Lexington, Kentucky) M

June 26
Allen County Fairgrounds
(Lima, Ohio) HM

July 10
I-96 Speedway
(Lake Odessa, Michigan) HM

July 17
Castle Rock Fairgrounds
(Castle Rock, WA) TT

July 31
Calistoga Fairgrounds
(Calistoga, California) HM

August 7
Hagerstown Speedway
(Hagerstown, Maryland) HM

August 14
Beulah Park
(Grove City, Ohio) M

August 22
Peoria Race Park
(Peoria, Illinois) TT

August 28
Indiana State Fairgrounds
(Indianapolis, Indiana) M

September 4
Illinois State Fairgrounds
(Springfield, Illinois) ST

September 5
Illinois State Fairgrounds
(Springfield, Illinois) M

September 11
Canterbury Park
(Minneapolis, Minnesota) M

September 18
Knoxville Raceway
(Knoxville, IA) HM

October 9
Yavapai Downs
(Prescott Valley, Arizona) ST

October 10
Yavapai Downs
(Prescott Valley, Arizona) M

ST - SHORT TRACK
TT- TT
HM - HALF MILE
M - MILE

Flat Track Grand National Championship Series - Jared Mees now with #1