FLAT TRACK SLAM
Jared Mees races into an exclusive club
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.
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...