Jared Mees rebounded from lackluster results at the season-opening round in Daytona with a convincing win last weekend at the Yamaha AFT Senoia Short Track in Georgia.

The nine-time champ had to overcome adversity with an unfavorable grid placement at the start of the Main race, as well as a rain delay that forced the race to be held on Sunday rather than Saturday, but the Indian FTR750 pilot outraced Dallas Daniels in the first few laps and gradually pulled away for the victory.

Related: Progressive AFT Season-Opening Daytona Short Track Results

Daniels secured the runner-up position, followed by Brandon Robinson (Indian), Briar Bauman (KTM), and a good showing from Johnny Lewis on his Royal Enfield. More information in the press release below.

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Reigning Mission SuperTwins champion Jared Mees (No. 1 Rogers Racing/SDI Racing/Indian Motorcycle FTR750) turned to his successful ‘23 script, once again rebounding from a quiet season opener with a statement performance in the Yamaha Senoia Short Track at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, Georgia, Round 3 of the 2024 Progressive American Flat Track season, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.

AFT Senoia Short Track Jared Mees

That said, Sunday’s ride didn’t exactly get underway as he’d originally envisioned. The factory Indian star was involved in a minor pre-race dispute and was forced to line up on the far outside of Row 1 after believing he could select the slot at the bottom. Even if it went against his wishes, the swap either gifted him the ideal position or the motivation required to make it work, as Mees promptly blasted into the lead once the race got underway.

Even with the benefit of that prime launch, Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) was quickly looking for a way by and slid underneath to steal away first less than a minute into the Main Event. But Mees had an answer, reclaiming the position a short two laps later and then went about steadily working his way to what proved to be a 1.591-second margin of victory.

Afterward Mees said, “I fast qualified earlier in the day, but I didn’t really feel good. I was making some decent laps but also making a lot of mistakes. In the (Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge), Dallas ate my lunch – I was really worried about him; he and his team were rolling really good. He was really consistent and could get the bike turned, and that’s where I was struggling all day. We made some changes and went a direction we’ve never gone before with some things. And the motorcycle was phenomenal. It turned great and rolled good. Everything I needed it to do all day, it finally came to me.”

The fight for third was a hard-fought three-way affair for much of the race, led for a long spell by Johnny Lewis (No. 10 Moto Anatomy X Powered by Royal Enfield 650) with Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and Briar Bauman (No. 3 Rick Ware Racing/KTM/Parts Plus KTM 790 Duke) jammed up close behind.

Lewis did well to keep Robinson and Bauman corralled behind him for the majority of the contest, but their superior pace ultimately won out – at least once Bauman showed they could tap into the high line to find a path through.

Free of the Royal Enfield runner, Robinson then managed to keep two-time champion Bauman at bay by just over a tenth-of-a-second at the flag. Lewis, meanwhile, found himself also overtaken by a charging Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 JMC Motorsports/Fairway Ford Ohio Indian FTR750), who secured the final spot in the top five after circulating as low as ninth in the early going.

The remainder of the top ten consisted of a pair of premier-class veterans – Brandon Price (No. 92 Memphis Shades/Corbin/OTBR Yamaha MT-07) and Davis Fisher (No. 67 Rackley Racing/Bob Lanphere’s BMC Racing Indian FTR750) – and class rookies – Trevor Brunner (No. 21 Mission Foods/Zanotti Racing KTM 790 Duke) and Max Whale (No. 18 Latus Motors Racing/Liqui Moly Harley-Davidson XG750R).

Mees’ triumph elevated him from sixth to third in the points (54), but he continues to trail Daniels (64) and Robinson (61), the duo having upped their respective ‘24 podium streaks to a perfect three for three.

Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER

Reigning two-time Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER king Kody Kopp (No. 1 Rick Ware Racing/Parts Plus KTM 450 SX-F) continued to build his case as the most accomplished rider in class history, earning a record-tying sixth career Short Track win on Sunday afternoon.

While in the end, the victory proved a lonely one, that order first had to be forged in chaos.

Former class champion Dalton Gauthier (No. 79 D&D Racing/Certified KTM 450 SX-F) grabbed the holeshot with title fighters Tom Drane (No. 59 Estenson Racing Yamaha YZ450F), Chase Saathoff (No. 88 JPG Motorsports Honda CRF450R), and Kopp running alongside while sorting out second in shadow.

In one fell swoop, that fight for second became one for the lead as Drane and Saathoff both went under Gauthier at the same moment Kopp ringed around the outside, all despite no obvious mistake on Gauthier’s part.

Kopp continued to work the high line, using it to both overhaul Drane and make his escape in relatively short order.

At that point, the top three broke apart, while Gauthier lost one final position to Aiden RoosEvans (No. 26 FRA Trust/ATV’s and More Yamaha YZ450F), who ran just removed from the lead pack for the entirety of the race.

“I’m happy to be up here and be able to spin laps like that,” Kopp said. “Hats off to Tom, Chase, and Dalton – those first few laps were chaos. I got a terrible start and tried to roll ‘em around the outside. Huge shout out to my Rick Ware Racing team and everybody that’s behind me. We’re ready to get on a roll now.”

2023 Senoia Short Track podium finisher James Ott (No. 19 1st Impressions Race Team Husqvarna FC450) took sixth, followed by Hunter Bauer (No. 24 Vinson Construction/American Harley-Davidson, Yamaha YZ450F), Trent Lowe (No. 48 American Honda/Mission Foods CRF450R), and Travis Petton IV (No. 82 ECG Racing/A.M Ortega KTM 450 SX-F).

The final spot in the top ten was earned by Bradon Pfanders (No. 288 Pfanders Racing/Scott Powersports KTM 450 SX-F), who made an extremely impressive Progressive AFT debut immediately after becoming eligible by turning 16.

Kopp already boasts an early 17-point advantage over Gauthier (71-54) with Drane (51) and Saathoff (50) placed third and fourth and desperate to prevent the double defending champ from executing another championship runaway.

Progressive AFT Next Up

The Progressive American Flat Track tour will compete on a Half-Mile for the first time this season with the Mission Texas Half-Mile presented by Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda and Roof Systems of Dallas at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday, April 27. Click here to secure your tickets today.

For those who can’t catch the action from the circuit, FloRacing is the live streaming home of Progressive AFT. Sign up now and catch every second of on-track action starting with Practice & Qualifying and ending with the Victory Podium at the end of the night.

FOX Sports coverage of the Yamaha Senoia Short Track, featuring in-depth features and thrilling onboard cameras, will premiere on FS1 on Sunday, March 31, at 12:30 p.m. ET (9:30 a.m. PT).

For more information, visit the Progressive AFT website.


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