This just in - Jared Mees is getting married. Without question Mees clinched one of the most coveted titles in motorcycle racing, the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship, plus he earned the Lucas Oil No. 1 plate. However, let’s not bury the actual story lead. Sure there’s pressure going shoulder-to-shoulder at speeds of up to 130 mph at Southern California’s historic Pomona Half-Mile, but you don’t truly appreciate thorny times until you have a wedding and a new home looming over your itinerary.
2012 was a career defining season for Jared Mees and the Rogers Racing/Blue Springs Harley Davidson team
“Well, actually I have had more stress on me after the season,” confirmed Mees. “Because I bought a house in June and have been trying to fix it up and move in before the holidays and the weather turns to ice cold conditions. So I really wish I could go back to Pomona and do it all over again,” he laughs. “But it honestly has sunk in and feels really good, I just wish I could have enjoyed it a little more during the off season. Heck, when I get done with this house I’ll be getting busy with Daytona.”
Going into Pomona, Mees had already locked up the GNC Expert Singles title after Round 12 in Illinois. He was holding a 12 point lead over Sammy Halbert, and 20 points over the defending Grand National Champion Jake Johnson. All he needed to do was finish strong and bring it in ahead of Halbert to insure the title. Mees got a great start in the Main Event, coming out of the first corner in 4th. “I was rolling pretty well, when all of a sudden it felt like somebody hit me with a Mack truck. It was little Sammy Halbert!” said Mees. “He bulldozed his way right into my side. Not sure what he was thinking, but I am very lucky not to have gone down.”
The hard knock clearly got Mees’ attention “I did not want to try and make a pass on him, as frankly, I felt a bit nervous about what he might try to do,” remarked Mees at the time. The concern was short lived though as Halbert’s clutch started to go on the fritz. Once the K&N sponsored rider got around Halbert he settled into riding his own race.
“The last four laps I was running 5th but there was a pack of riders behind me who started racing me. I wanted no part of it. Not that any of them were dirty racers, but the track was rough, and had some bumps, and accidents can happen. I brought it home in 8th, and it was good enough to win the Grand National Championship. Man, did it feel great to get it back for the Team.”
This season the K&N backed racer won five championships plus fiancée Nichole Cheza’s heart
Are there any moments during the season that stand out, or in hindsight now appear pivotal?
“Yeah, winning Hagerstown (AMA 31st Annual Hub City Classic). That has been a place that is very special to me as my family and friends come to support me. To win there in the fashion we did was just indescribable. I would also say the race at Santa Rosa, California was important, as we struggled all day and almost won it at the end coming off the third row was awesome. One other thing that sticks out is proposing to my girlfriend, Nichole Cheza (who also races) during opening ceremonies at the Springfield Mile in front of the crowd.”
Are there any changes or anything new in store for next season?
“Yes, we hired Kenny Tolbert who is Chris Carrs’ long time mechanic for next season, and I am very excited to start working with Kenny and just starting fresh with a new guy. Craig Rogers and I are going to remain together and we hope to keep this number 1 plate.”
“I cannot say enough about my team, Craig Rogers, the owner, Brent Armbruster, the mechanic, and all who helped me all year long. They made it so much easier to have a great year in which I won the I.C.E. Championship, the All Star Singles Championship, the All Star Twins Championship, the GNC Singles Championship and the GNC Combined Grand National Championship. Also, as icing on the cake, Nichole said yes to my marriage proposal!”
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