For the second year in-a-row, Indianapolis' own Mid-America Speedway hosted their premier event for the season, the 'Night Before the Indy Mile' on Friday, August 17, 2012. Although last year's event was also dubbed as such after the Indy Mile had been canceled due to the tragedies involved with the stage rigging collapse during the Sugarland concert a few weeks prior, this year's event was in all likelihood it's inuagaral event with a host of top Pro-level riders on-hand to take part in the money-paying 450 Pro Main event.
One of those riders making his return to Mid-America, located on Indy's southeast side at the Marion County Fairgrounds, was Jammin' Jared Mees, the current overall points leader in the 2012 AMA Pro Flat Track Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship presented by Motorcycle-Superstore.com season. In the night presented by Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Indiana, Mees and his Brent Armbruster-prepared Honda 450 framer took control right from the drop of the first green flag in his first heat race, and never looked back the rest of the evening as his Montgomeryville Cycle Center-sponsored mount never missed a lick, taking home the biggest share of the purse for the evening.
Rob Pearson #27, Henry Wiles #17, Ben Knight #85P and former 7-Time AMA Grand National Champion Chris Carr #4 all work to get into turn one first during one of the heat races for the Pro 450 class. With 47 riders on-hand for the big night in the Pro 450 class, a great finish meant top-2 or win in order to make the cut for the main.
Carr was on-hand to test tires for the European-based Golden Tyre, of which he has been testing for the last several months. The Prince of Peoria had just returned from running the Kansas fair races and had reportedly put on a super show along with former Grand National Championship competitor and current suspension guru, Davey Durelle at the Stockton event.
But things were rough going for Carr as he failed to make the main of the 450 Pro event, giving the paying crowd and packed racing house on hand a very good idea of how tough things were to make it into the main at Mid-America's running of the 'Night Before the Indy Mile' this year.
JD Beach #95, Jared Mees #9 and Henry Wiles #17 celebrate on the podium at the Mid-America Speedway on Friday, August 17 after going 3-2-1 in the 450 Pro main event.
An immaculate fleet of Mike O'Neil-prepared 1049 Indian Arrow 250 machines await the seven riders who came to town to race at Mid-America Speeday for the 2nd Annual Indian Arrow Challenge event, run as one of the support events on August 17. Identically prepared, the machines are a work of art and almost seem out of place on a race track and seem more suited for a display in a vintage museum. But the racing was stellar for these great little bikes!
Andy McRoberts #3, Jason Griffin #7, Wild Will Kelley #6 and Kevin Snyder #1 battle during one of the heat races to determine the starting grid for the Indian Arrow Challenge main event at Mid-America Speedway on August 17, 2012.
Wild Will Kelley #6 and Jason Griffin #7 battle during one of the heat races for the 1949 Indian Arrow Challenge at Mid-America Speedway on Friday, August 17, 2012 as part of the track's hosting of the 'Night Before the Indy Mile' event at the Marion County Fairgrounds on Indianapolis' southeast side of town.
Wild Will, a former multi-time Number 1 plate holder in VDTRA made the trip from Texas to contest the event after racing earlier in the week at the Kansas fair races. He finished in the 4th-place spot after battling machine issues throughout the evening.
AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles Series competitor was in town to contest the Pro Singles Series event the next evening at the Lucas Oil Indy Mile. Griffin made the trip from his home in South Carolina and had the house on it's feet with his race to 2nd-place in the Indian Arrow main event. For a man with only one arm, he gives up NOTHING on the track and is a great competitor and a super guy!
Jason Griffin, Kevin Snyder and Andy McRoberts celebrate their 2-1-3 finishes at Mid-America Speedway in the Indian Arrow Challenge main event held on August 17, 2012. Snyder, a former AMA Grand National Championship competitor and current member of the 'blue crew' of officials with AMA Pro Flat Track and Steve Nace Racing's promotions, showed he hasn't missed much being away from the track to run down and dominate the evening on the 250cc-based machines.
There were smiles all around after this great event and Mid-America Speedway did a great job of hosting the entire evening and getting the program ran in a timely manner after having battled the dry drought conditions the entire summer and then getting almost 1.5 inches of rain less then 24 hours before racing activities kicked-off on Friday afternoon.
Jim Terchila and his hard-working crew had it in aces in getting the track prepped and ready for the evening and stayed on top of it all night. Great job guys!
Check out the full press release below (with full results available in imbedded link) from Mid-America Speedway's running of the 'Night Before the Indy Mile' on August 17, 2012.
And you can check out more from Mid-America Speedway here via their official site: