Jared Mees Wins Historic 9th American Flat Track Grand National Title, Ties Scottie Parker’s Record
Flat track racing has a long and storied history here in the U.S. of A. One of the oldest forms of motorcycle racing, flat track racing, also known as dirt track, dates back to the early 1900’s. In the more than a century since, the sport has seen many greats ink their names in the annals of flat track history, such as Bobby Hill, Dick Mann, Bart Markel, Gary Nixon, Mert Lawwill, Jay Springsteen, Bubba Shobert, and Scottie Parker, among so many others. Parker, in fact, held the distinction of clinching the most national championships with nine titles before retiring, mostly dominating the sport from 1989 to 1998 astride a Harley Davidson XR750.
Now Jared Mees is chasing history, tying Parker’s record with his performance recently at the Springfield Mile, taking a win and a 2nd in the weekend’s double header.
Mees leading the pack at the Springfield Mile. Photo by Tim Lester.
Before the 2023 Progressive American Flat Track season began, the prospect of tying Scottie Parker’s all-time career championship record loomed large. Despite fierce competition against the ultra-consistent young talent of Dallas Daniels and the aggressive experience of J.D. Beach, Mees reminded everyone that he’s still at the top of his game. With each checkered flag, Mees and his Indian FTR750 inched closer and closer to his career goal of tying Parker’s historic all-time championship record. At Springfield, Jared grabbed that goal.
Mees at speed down the front straight at the Springfield Mile. Photo by Steve Groth.
Through more than three-quarters of the season Mees trailed Daniels, as back-to-back wins to start the season and a podium streak of 13 races kept Daniels at the top of the leaderboard. Mees made a strong run for himself, winning six of eight races between the Senoia Short Track and the Orange County Half-Mile and securing a 14-race podium streak starting at the Dallas Half-Mile until the season’s finale at the Springfield Mile II. Mees finished the season with nine wins and enough accrued points to claim the title. In addition to 2023 marking Mees’ ninth-career championship, it also was a historic seven-consecutive AFT SuperTwins championship for the renewed “Wrecking Crew” of Indian Motorcycle Racing and their class-dominating FTR750.
The competition was fierce at Springfield. Photos by Steve Groth.
“It’s what you wake up for every day. It’s what you train for,” reflected Mees. “Hats off to Scottie Parker- that’s the guy that keeps me going. He kept me going year after year, race after race. He’s still the best in my book, and it’s an honor to match something that he did.”
This year’s championship marked Mees’ fifth aboard the Indian FTR750, winning titles in 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Briar Bauman owns the FTR750’s other titles, winning in 2019 and 2020 as a member of the once again acclaimed “Indian Wrecking Crew”.
Mees triumphant. Photo by Tim Lester.
“Since our return to professional flat track racing in 2017, there has been no greater pairing in the sport than Jared Mees and the Indian FTR750,” said Gary Gray, Vice President of Racing, Service and Technology for Indian Motorcycle. “There’s no questioning Jared’s drive and dedication as he’s truly one of the hardest working athletes in the paddock, but jumping on an FTR750 proved to be a major unlock in his career, as he’s captured five of his nine career titles aboard that bike.”
Jared Mees with his family and crew atop the podium. Photo by Indian Motorcycle Racing.
Hats off and a huge KUDOS to Jared, the Wrecking Crew, and Indian Motorcycle for another Grand National title under their belt. They are chasing and rewriting history.
Road Dirt Crew
*Photos by Tim Lester Images, Steve Groth and Indian Motorcycle