Do I have the best job in the world?

I get to hang out with the baddest flat track racers on earth.

The conversations might surprise you.

Humorously, everything but racing.

From dating apps to getting sponsors – it’s all marketing.

Jared Mees in a reflective moment before a race. [Jodi Johnson[
They know I’m a fly on the wall, floating from pit to pit.

More than once I’ve been asked: What’s Mees got?

They’re looking for a simple answer but it’s more complicated than that.

There’s no weak link in Jared’s chain.

Everything is top notch: team, sponsors, and bikes.

It’s not one thing.

Over time Mees built a total package.

His home life is serene,

Jared’s wife Nichole is a retired racer who understands.

His has balanced his life for a minimum of drama.

Not playing Tarzan on Tinder or at the bars.

They’re all just traps.

You can’t take your eyes off the ball at this level.

Keeping the important stuff in perspective. [Jodi Johnson]
Did I mention he’s a terrific racer?

Relentless training and a focused diet have sharpened him.

To some fans, he’s an overdog.

Their voices dismissive

Yeah…Mees won again

But Jared shrugs it off.

Laughing “You’re only as good as your last win.”

He is staggeringly successful for his generation.

Six championships with 48 wins along the way.

Not to mention the Horizon Award and Rookie of the Year.

How did he get there?

Staying out in front, obviously. [Michael Lawless]
His dad started him racing at 5.

Racing was a byproduct of his parent’s divorce,

It was father/son time.

Jared had to wash his bike and do his chores if he wanted track time.

It taught him the work ethic he would later be known for.

And he loved to win.

Racing was fun.

He caught the attention of Moroney’s Harley Davidson.

They offered to pay his entry fees if he wore their sweatshirts.

It was a lightbulb moment – hey, this could save dad some dollars.

Success equals money.

Jared’s life is proof of hard work, as a racer and businessman.

We can’t squeeze his career into a magazine article.

That would need a book.

Jared Mees winning on the regular, with Nicole and their baby. [Michael Lawless]
The COVID downtime has given the Champ time to reflect.

What advice can I give the next generation?

Do the hard work.

Have a plan and stick to it.

He wishes he enjoyed those magic moments a little longer,

let them soak in a bit.

You think it will last forever but it doesn’t.

He’s seen a lot over the years, carrying a target on his back most of the way.

“Most people only see five feet in front of them and one foot back.

Racing is my life, my hobby, and my second love.”

He is grateful for sponsors like Indian Motorcycles, and an army of supporters.

He respects the racers he battles and loves the fans for coming out…especially at Lima.

 “Life could be worse – I could be digging ditches for ten bucks an hour.”

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go. “Beats digging ditches for ten bucks an hour.” [Michael Lawless]
So, would I be right in guessing that The Springfield Mile, Day 2 was your best race of 2019?

You started on the penalty line, row four, battled through the pack to take the lead.

Fought it out with 8 or 9 riders to take an epic win.

“Yeah, it was a good one for sure. The last few laps were sketchy.

Lots of guys up front who weren’t used to being there-just freakin’ chaotic.”

You came from a long way back brother.

“Ah thanks man, yeah, it was good.

If I had to pick one race though, I’d say Lima.

When you win Lima it’s like you’ve conquered the world.

It’s so physically demanding, wrestling that bike through that deep cushion.

Everyone wants to win there too.

I had a real duel with Carver, just slicing and dicing.

We make contact but I was able to get by on the outside for win.

It was super satisfying to win there, in front of all those fans.

I scored my first win there in 2005 on an XR750.

And now I’m the promoter for the event-crazy right?

Yeah, lots of friends and family there.

It was a helluva night.”

Number 1 up front, but a target on his back. [AFTA]
Mees is a man of strong character

and carries himself like a champion.

Sometimes a simple sentence reveals the life inside.

Like ‘flat track is my second love.’

No need to explain his number one.

Nicole is always by his side.

Start ’em early? [Mike Lawless]

 

 

Michael Lawless [@electric_horseman], our ‘Poet of Packed Earth’, is the Flat Track Editor for TheVintagent.com, and has his own blog: Electric Horseman
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