Jared Mees finished second in the American Flat Track (AFT) Mission SuperTwins season finale on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway and secured his sixth championship in dramatic fashion. Mees has now been victorious at the top level in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and now 2021, but he needed to hold off a determined charge by the two-time defending champ (2019, 2020) Briar Bauman in the final race.
At the start of the race, Bauman was doing his part to make the race a dramatic finale that fell his way.
Bauman emerged from a fierce battle with Mees in the opening laps, but after setting the race’s fastest lap, he hit a wet patch halfway through the 10-minute plus two lap event. That caused his bike to stand up. He managed to keep from high-siding initially, but the maneuver took him wide into a hay bale, where he was pitched over the handlebars.
A stunned Bauman walked away from the crash, but his title hopes were over.
Seemingly on his way to a podium finish, Sammy Halbert ran over the bike and was launched into the air. Halbert was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
With Mees in the lead and guaranteed to finish ahead of Bauman, the title was decided, but there was still a race to finish.
JD Beach hounded Mees, but their battle allowed Davis Fisher and Jarod Vanderkooi to join the fray and turn it into a four-rider scrum.
In the final turn of the season, Fisher slipped under the leaders and beat Mees to the checkers by 0.114 seconds to claim his first win in the class.
“Oh man, it was a fight,” Fisher said in a release. “All season long was a grind, just to stay fit and keep working on the bikes all week long. It feels so good. I even had thoughts to not even come to Charlotte this year. We loaded up the van and left the trailer at home and made the trip. This morning my sponsor said he was glad we came and asked me if I was glad too. I said, ‘I don’t know – I’ll tell you tonight!’ It feels so good. I’ve got 41 hours to think about it on the way home.”
Mees’ second-place finish was more than enough to secure the championship, while Beach rounded out the podium.
“I hand it to Briar,” Mees said afterward. “He’s definitely one of the toughest competitors – if not the toughest competitor – I’ve ever dealt with.
“The famous saying is ‘you win ‘em any way you can’. I don’t know, the hype isn’t there at this very second, but to win these things you have to cross the finish line. Man, he made me step up my game these past few years. There’s no doubt about that. He’s one tough competitor.
“We had a little ‘bro-out’ moment (after the race), and I told him, ‘Hey, you’re gonna heal up and the battle will resume next year.’ ”