SCREAMIN' EAGLE WRECKING CREW RIDERS LOOKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A NEW RACE TRACK AMA Makes First Appearance in Three Years in Eastern Tennessee MILWAUKEE (May 31, 2007) -- Jared Mees and Bryan Smith are two of the most competitive riders at...
SCREAMIN' EAGLE WRECKING CREW RIDERS LOOKING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A NEW RACE TRACK
AMA Makes First Appearance in Three Years in Eastern Tennessee
MILWAUKEE (May 31, 2007) -- Jared Mees and Bryan Smith are two of the most competitive riders at each of the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track GNC Twins events even though they are two of the youngest racers on the circuit.
While they anxiously await each and every event on the schedule, this weekend has the Screamin' Eagle Wrecking Crew riders giddy with anticipation.
The AMA GNC Twins racers will be at Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tenn., for the first time. It's also the first time in three years that the AMA has competed in Eastern Tennessee. Saturday's Twins event is sponsored by the East Tennessee Harley-Davidson Dealers (Smith Brother's Harley-Davidson of Johnson City, Colboch Harley-Davidson of Morristown and Knoxville Harley-Davidson).
Smith, 23, wants to ride his Pat Moroney's Harley-Davidson onto the top of the podium, becoming the first winner of the event.
"We don't know anything about that race track but we still plan on winning," Smith said. "I think I do better at race tracks that are new on the schedule because it's an even playing field for everyone on the circuit. No one has been to Bull's Gap and really the only thing we know is that it's a banked, clay track. That means that (teammate and Screamin' Eagle factory rider) Kenny Coolbeth will be one of the fast guys and likely the one to beat. I'm going to watch what he's doing and try to do a little better."
Mees, 21, grew up racing on banked tracks and is anxious to get his Blue Springs Harley-Davidson on the new track -- especially since no one has an advantage going into the weekend.
"This is going to be new for everyone, not just the younger guys who have only been on the circuit for a couple of years," Mees said. "No one has a notebook full of data for this track and that means it's wide open. Normally we go to a place like the Springfield (Ill.) Mile and compete with guys like Coolbeth, (Chris) Carr and (Wrecking Crew teammate, Joe) Kopp who have years of experience on the same surface. So not only are we battling the surface, but their experience as well.
"This weekend's win is up for grabs and that just makes me more excited about getting there and racing."
Harley-Davidson Racing Manager Anne Paluso said the entire Screamin' Eagle team is anxious to continue the winning ways from the season opener at Springfield last weekend. Coolbeth won the first of 13 scheduled AMA Twins events while Mees, Smith and Kopp finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
"The Wrecking Crew generated some great momentum in Springfield and we're looking forward to building on that at Volunteer Speedway," Paluso said. "We're always excited to go to a new track and show some new flat track fans some of the most competitive motorcycle racing in the country."
Mees, the 2004 AMA Rookie of the Year, said his childhood years should help him more than anything else this weekend. The half-mile Volunteer Speedway is banked at 32 degrees.
"I grew up on banked tracks and I am more confident about what can happen this weekend because my team already has a great setup for banked tracks to begin with," Mees said. "It's always great being able to go to a new track and meet new fans. Hopefully I can be the first winner of this event."
For Mees to win, he's got to be beat his own teammates along with the rest of the field.
"We have a strong Wrecking Crew this season," Smith said. "We have to go out there and fight for the win in a field of superior talent. But some of the toughest competition comes from our Wrecking Crew teammates. We're all even when we pull into Volunteer Speedway on Saturday, so the guy who wins will be the guy who can make the best adjustments, quickly."