LIMA, Ohio – No one won bigger in Saturday night’s Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile Presented By Johnny K’s Indian powered by Drag Specialties than Jared Mees.
The AFT Twins presented by Vance & Hines Main Event at the Allen County Fairgrounds in Lima, Ohio, was arguably the most thrilling of the American Flat Track season and one with massive championship implications – both factors working decidedly in Mees’ favor.
The opening laps featured an intense head-to-head showdown that pit Mees up against championship leader Briar Bauman. That duel was cut short by a red flag on lap seven, which altered the complexion of the Main dramatically.
Mees got a stellar jump at the restart, while Bauman was sucked into a battle for second with Jeffrey Carver Jr., Henry Wiles and rookie Brandon Price.
Bauman’s luck only got worse from there, as his rear tire came clean off the rim on lap 10. That unusual mishap put an end to his perfect season’s podium streak while instantly eliminating the bulk of his hard-earned championship padding.
Following Bauman’s exit, Carver ate up the gap to Mees, and the two then engaged in their own wild shootout for the lead. Running divergent lines, Mees and Carver proceeded to trade the position back and forth multiple times per corner for several laps in succession. That titanic battle allowed Wiles to close in over the final several laps, setting up a three-way struggle on the final lap.
Carver attempted to square up the final turn but Mees powered neatly around the outside line, beating his opponent to the checkered flag by .199 of a second. Wiles came home third, another .668 of a second in arrears.
Combined with Briar Bauman’s DNF and Brandon Robinson failing to make the main event after cashing in his only provisional start of the season, Mees’ triumph elevated him to second in the standings, 13 points back of Bauman.
“When you’re battling up in the cushion like that, it wears you out twice as fast. You’re wrestling the bike, and the bike’s jumping around,” Mees said. “Hats off to Jeffrey [Carver, Jr.]; I work out so hard, and I didn’t have nothing left — I was done. I just want to give a big shout out to Jeffrey and Henry [Wiles] for a hellacious, awesome race.”
While Price faded late after looking in contention for the podium at mid-distance, he still went on to score what’s easily his best premier-class result to date by finishing fourth.
Laconia ST winner Bronson Bauman put together another solid outing to round out the top five.
For the second consecutive year at the Allen County Fairgrounds, Shayna Texter was simply unstoppable in the Roof Systems AFT Singles presented by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Main Event.
After dominating the program in the lead-up to the Main, Texter found herself shuffled down to fourth as she fishtailed off the line. Undeterred, Texter put on a flat track masterclass as she propelled her way forward.
She dispatched of Dalton Gauthier almost immediately, and then erased the gap separating her from the fight for the lead being waged by Chad Cose and Dan Bromley.
She was barely slowed by their battle, powering around the outside of Bromley on lap five and then diving up the inside of Cose a lap later. She cleared off from there, ultimately winning with 2.570 seconds in hand.
“My Red Bull KTM backed by Roof Systems motorcycle was just working so good,” Texter said. “I couldn’t figure out how I won this race last year. I sat around for 365 days and thought, ‘Man, how did I win Lima?’ So, to win it twice is incredible. It’s a dream come true.”
Defending champion Bromley worked past Cose as well to give the factory Red Bull KTM squad a 1-2 finish.
Chad Cose earned his first-career American Flat Track Production Twins victory following a race-long scrap with runaway AFT Production Twins title leader Cory Texter.
Texter entered Lima with a perfect three-for-three wins record on the season and threatened to make it four-for-four by storming to the holeshot and opening an immediate gap.
However, Cose exploited the high line to perfection for the short time it existed and managed to steal away the lead while the contest was still in its early stages.
Texter reclaimed the advantage for a single straight at mid-distance, but Cose pounced in the very next corner to counter. Texter then hounded his rival to the flag but was never able to find another hole in Cose’s defense.
Cose’s maiden win comes after more than a decade on the scene and after finishing the 2018 season ranked sixth overall in the premier AFT Twins class with a podium to his name.
“I’m so happy for my team,” Cose said. “It feels good for me, and I knew I was capable all along. But it’s tough. Nobody sees the behind-the-scenes stuff and everything like that. I’m so happy for my team – they work so hard for me.”