After having to wait a year, fans will get the opportunity to see if Jared Mees can three-peat at the Johnny K’s Indian Motorcycle Lima Half-Mile that returns Saturday to the Allen County Fairgrounds.
The event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gates open at 1 p.m. for fans followed by practice and qualifying at 1:30 p.m. Heat races begin at 4:45 p.m. and opening ceremonies and the George Roeder dash commence at 6 p.m. An open paddock and meet the riders event will be at 7:40 p.m. followed by the main events at 8:30 p.m.
Mees, who has won the last two and five overall, is excited about returning to the pea gravel surface and 85 foot wide surfaces that test the best of riders. The race has been run since 1984.
“It has been good to me but every year is a different challenge for sure,” Mees said.
After five races, Mees, who has one win this season, stands in third place in the 2021 Progressive American Flat Track Points Standing Mission AFT SuperTwins. Briar Bauman is leading the pack followed by Brandon Robinson in third place.
“There is always tough competitors there,” Mees said. “You can’t count out Briar Bauman, the current champion of the sport and he is also the 2017 former winner of the Lima Half Mile. You’ve also got Brandon Robinson who is also a former winner of the Lima Half Mile in 2016 so it is going to be tough.”
The unique surface has always made this race one of the most exciting stops, and it tests the riders ability to maintain control around the turns.
“We have really dialed in the track prep with our routine and our drag over the last couple of years so I expect a really good track and looking at the weather for that week it really looks like it is not going to be super hot like it has been in the past so that will hold more moisture in the race track which should be better so in the state of Ohio I expect everything to be the same as it was and everybody having fun.”
Mees did a limited series of races last year in certain cities but is happy to be coming back to places like Lima.
“We are just going forward,” Mees said. “Obviously we had a lot of disappointed fans and as the promoter we couldn’t have it and the riders were disappointed but I think 2020 was a huge disappointment for everybody. There was nothing running.
“We are just trying to pick up the pieces and a lot of people moved their tickets to this year and have really supported us so we are very thankful to have them and being part of the program again. We are looking forward to it. Things are looking good and we are excited to bring it back.”
Mees, who promotes with his wife, Nichole, said they did offer refunds for those who requested them. but pointed out that there was a number of people who just wanted their tickets to carry over to this year.
“If you did purchase tickets in 2020 and did not get a refund you need to make sure to call the number (419-991-1491) and Nichole will gladly reissue the 2021 tickets,” Mees said. “if you already bought them you need to get them reissued free of charge and everything has to match.”
Mees added that sales have been strong and the grandstand area is pretty much full. The event traditionally has attracted large crowds. For more on Saturday’s competition go to limahalfmile.com.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.