DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 15, 2022) – Jared Mees (No. 1 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) put the finishing touches on his successful title defense as a thrilling 2022 Progressive American Flat Track season came to its conclusion with this evening’s Mission Volusia Half-Mile Finale II presented by Daytona Dodge and Zo CBD at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Florida.
The defending Mission SuperTwins presented by S&S Cycle king was well positioned to retain the #1 plate after outdueling his title rivals on Friday. As a result, he only needed to avoid catastrophe in order to add yet another premier-class crown to his already incredible résumé.
That near catastrophe came in the Semi when Mees made the save of the season – perhaps the save of his career – after hitting a bump and going airborne and sideways with his front wheel loft high in the air. Somehow he not only stayed up on two wheels but made a pass to take the checkered flag first.
With that drama out of the way, Mees basically just had to show up for the Main to win the title. Instead, he chose to fight, executing passes on the likes of Friday winner Jarod Vanderkooi (No. 20 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750) and rookie hero Dallas Daniels (No. 32 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) to finish on the podium in third.
Already firmly established as one of the greatest riders in the history of the sport, Mees now boasts a remarkable assortment of accomplishments, including the ’12, ‘14, ‘15, ’17, ’18, ‘21, and ‘22 Grand National Championships, the 2009 and 2011 GNC1 Twins Championships, and the 2012 GNC1 Singles Championship.
“They are all sweet, they are all awesome, and they are all a lot of hard work,” Mees said. “This one is a little different because of what we were up against at the beginning of the year. The Indian Motorcycle backed by Progressive was strong all year long. My team did a phenomenal job. We had no mechanical failures all year, and we were able to come into this last race with a nice cushion. I was able to go out there and race hard. I’ll be honest, I really wanted to cap off the year with a win.”
That win instead went to Brandon Robinson (No. 44 Mission Roof Systems Indian FTR750), who inherited the lead from JD Beach (No. 95 Estenson Racing Yamaha MT-07 DT) after Beach’s machine expired just prior to mid-distance with a potential Progressive Triple Crown victory within his reach.
Beach’s misfortune brought out the red flag, after which Robinson had to fight off Briar Bauman (No. 3 Indian Motorcycle/Progressive Insurance FTR750) to claim his third win of ‘22.
Robinson said, “This is the perfect way to end the season, just knowing you are the baddest man in the last race of the year. And you get to sit on that all offseason. That’s a great feeling.”
Daniels finished close behind Mees in fourth, while fifth went to Vanderkooi. That was good enough for the VDK to add the $25,000 prize awarded for the Progressive Triple Crown to what was already destined to be an unforgettable weekend for the Ohioan.
Vanderkooi said, “I was nervous as can be – way more nervous than yesterday. This is just awesome.”
Read the rest at: AmericanFlatTrack.com