FLAT TRACK SLAM

Jared Mees races into an ex­clu­sive club

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with his vic­to­ries ear­lier this year at the Day­tona TT and At­lanta Short Track, In­dian’s Jared Mees fi­nally com­pleted the Flat Track Slam (also called “Hit­ting for the Cy­cle”), which rep­re­sents a na­tional vic­tory on a Mile, Half-mile, Short Track, and TT. It was an­other im­pres­sive feat by Mees, adding to his legacy of three AMA Pro Grand Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

Com­pet­i­tive on any track, Mees was once con­sid­ered a Half-mile spe­cial­ist (his first six na­tional wins were all on Half-miles), but then he broke through to win the Spring­field Mile in 2011 and has won a cou­ple more Miles since. But com­ing into 2017, he still needed a vic­tory on both a TT and Short Track to get the Slam, even though he’s been knock­ing on the door of win­ning both for sev­eral years.

To get it done and earn the Flat Track Slam in the span of a week to open up the 2017 sea­son was spe­cial to Mees. “You know, it might be tougher to win on the small tracks than on the big tracks, where it is more about the setup of the bike,” he said. “TTS and Short Tracks are very tech­ni­cal, and you have guys out there, like Henry Wiles, who spe­cial­ize on those, plus there are not many of them on the sched­ule th­ese days. So I was es­pe­cially happy to get the wins at Day­tona and At­lanta.”

Mees joins Jake John­son and Sammy Hal­bert as the only other ac­tive rid­ers to Hit for the Cy­cle. A to­tal of 17 rid­ers have now at­tained the Flat Track Slam in the 64-year his­tory of the se­ries.

Of course, the Flat Track Slam should not be con­fused with the much rarer Grand Slam, which re­quires the ad­di­tion of a road­race na­tional win (to­day Mo­toamer­ica Su­per­bike) added to vic­to­ries in all four dis­ci­plines of flat-track. Only four rid­ers ever have ac­com­plished that feat: Dick Mann, Kenny Roberts, Bubba Shobert, and Doug Chan­dler.

—Larry Lawrence

Jared Mees be­gan the 18-race 2017 Amer­i­can Flat Track ti­tle chase in fine style, win­ning the sea­son-open­ing Day­tona TT and At­lanta Short Track. De­fend­ing se­ries champ (and In­dian team­mate) Bryan Smith snapped up the next four events, a Half-mile and...

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