LIMA — The last Saturday in June means the familiar roar of motorcycle engines will descend on the Allen County Fairgrounds for the annual Indian Motorcycle Lima Half Mile presented by Johnny K’s Indian.
“We are going on 32 or 33 years coming to Lima and it is always awesome,” said rider and promoter Jared Mees, who along with his wife, Nichole, help organize and promote the event. “It is a unique surface, and it is always an exciting race.”
The Allen County Fairgrounds’ .46-mile dirt oval course is the only track on the AMA Pro Flat Track series that features a “deep cushion” surface, which is a mixture of dirt and pea gravel.
Mees said the surface adds to the excitement of the race due to its unpredictability.
“There are a lot of line changes and you can going fast throughout the night and end up fourth or fifth,” Mees said. “It is a demanding race.”
Mees added that the riders either love it or hate it.
“Some of the racers would rather just drive right through and not do Lima but the majority love it because it is a unique run and a different type of racing than what we see during the season.”
The event always seems to attract a large and enthusiastic crowd, and Mees said ticket sales remain strong, and he expects to see a bump this week as individuals gear up for the event.
“It is definitely a lot of work and a lot of fun,” Mees said. “My wife deserves all the credit. She is extremely great at promoting it.”
Nichole Mees will spend 40 hours a week on ticket sales and promotions alone.
“This is the busiest week for us,” Jared Mees said. “We have a lot of last minute people who either wait until the race is closer to get their tickets.”
Opening ceremonies get things rolling at 6 p.m. followed by the ATF Production Twins Main Event at 7:10 followed by the AFT Singles Main Event at 8:40 p.m. and concluding with the AFT Twins Main Event at 9:30 p.m. Go to tinyurl.com/LimaAMAraces for ticket information.
Mees, the defending six-time AFT Twins champion, said there will be a lot of tough competition as the circuit makes its ninth stop in Lima. Briar Bauman, from Salinas, California, is the points leader with Brandon Robinson out of Oxford, Pennsylania, second and Mees in third place. Brair Bauman’s brother Bronson, is fourth in the points standings and is coming off a first place finish at Laconia Short track, finishing in front of his brother. Crowd favorite Henry Wiles out of Winn, Michigan, will also be competing.
Mees won the Lima Twins event last year.
In the AFT singles division, Mikey Rush out of San Jose, California, is the points leader followed by Dalton Gauthier out of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, and Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, product Jesse Janisch round out the top three. Crowd favorite Shayne Texter, who won the AFT singles division at Lima last season, is fifth in the overall standings.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.