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Idle Talk: Jared "Jammer" Mees

Mar 13 2019

Flat track racing is back! The 2019 American Flat Track (AFT) season kicks off this week with arguably the most high-profile race at unquestionably the most iconic venue—the hallowed grounds of Daytona International Speedway.

Flat track racing has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity during the current decade, doing its part to help energize a struggling industry while capturing millions of new fans (and potential future riders!) through network TV deals and live streaming on social media. To pull all of that off and set new benchmarks, you need a good product. Ensuring that box is checked is a talent-rich field of riders led by reigning Grand National Champion, Jared “Jammer” Mees.

If you haven’t been following AFT, you’re missing out on witnessing greatness. Mees is the most dominant flat track racing athlete of this generation. Period. The Indian factory rider had already carved out a dynasty for his team before earning his sixth career Grand National Championship following a dominant 2018 AFT title campaign. So how do you improve on 10 first-place finishes (out of 15 events) and winning a second consecutive AFT championship aboard the Indian FTR750? Go all in on a third.

For this edition of Idle Talk we sat down with Mees on the eve of the Daytona TT to learn more about the reigning AFT Champ.

KURY: Every race is important but does kicking off the season with a win at Daytona mean a little more?
MEES: For me it’s just another race; I look forward more to getting past Daytona, but absolutely. Winning Daytona is a great way to start the season. Winning the inaugural Daytona TT in 2017 was probably one of my favorite wins. It was a first for me being inside the speedway. It was the first Twins TT race in decades and I was the first win for the new Indian Factory Race Team.

KURY: Have you had time to reflect on the 2018 season, and are there any different plans to attack 2019?
MEES: Yes, of course, we enjoyed a lot of success last year, but its now time to think about 2019. There are no different plans; our goal is to win a third straight championship, and if we do, it will be a job well done.

KURY: What are your thoughts on the 2019 AFT rules changes, which many believe single out Indian riders?
MEES: The rules are what they are, and of course, it doesn’t surprise me. We’re going to do the best we can to prepare for the season to make sure we’re ready and make sure the Indian FTR750 is dialed in.

KURY: The Indian Wrecking Crew has a couple of new faces this year. What do the Bauman brothers bring to the table that will help ensure the Wrecking Crew remains the team to beat in 2019?
MEES: Briar had a great end of the season this year and showed a lot of speed throughout his career. Bronson is still young and also showed signs that he is wanting it bad by working hard on his physical fitness. We have a lot to look forward to as a team this year.

KURY: You recently moved from Michigan to Florida, how has that helped with off-season training?
MEES: The weather was for sure a big deal. The season ends in October and I don’t start training until January. Until then, grab me a slice of pizza! Not having to deal with winter allows me to get plenty of training and track time in. It’s also nice to relax and enjoy the downtime in warmer weather.

KURY: Who is most responsible for getting you into racing, and who are some athletes who inspire you?
MEES: My father got me into racing; he was a huge help to me in my early days. I always looked up to Will Davis as a young boy. I also always paid attention to Nicky Hayden. He was a guy who had a dream and worked hard to reach it. He carried himself in a way that was very modest, but still very cool. I loved the energy he had after he won races and how pumped he was after winning, whether it be a Moto GP or dirt track.

KURY: What does it mean to you personally to see flat track’s rising popularity and play a key role in it?
MEES: I’m extremely grateful to be in the position I’m in and follow in the tracks of flat track legends. It’s definitely a good time to be a flat track racer.

KURY: What’s on your race day playlist to help get you amped up and focused?
MEES: Eminem, Tom Petty, Goo Goo Dolls, Candlebox. Yeah, I know… what a mix. Overall I tend to do the same routine every race. I don’t change it up and I even eat very similarly as well.

KURY: What’s your favorite motorcycle movie?
MEES: I’d have to go with The Dirt Bike Kid or On Any Sunday.

KURY: What’s your favorite hobby off the track?
MEES: I wish I had more time, but fishing is awesome. And of course training.

KURY: What’s your most embarrassing moment on a motorcycle?
MEES: I guess when I jumped the start twice at Lima in 2017. I wasn’t necessarily embarrassed; it just sucked.

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