GREENVILLE – More than 200 riders took to the Darke County Fairgrounds half mile track Friday night with the top names in the country taking to the dirt track.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than Jerrod (Mees),” said Pensacola, Florida’s Robert D. McLendon and race promoter. ”He’s the Grand National Champion four times now, so it’s a win-win night.”
“The second place ranked rider Dalton Gautheir (Pine Grove, PA) is also here,” continued McLendon. “Other big names, Brandon Price (White Hall, MD), Justin Jones (Holley, NY), Tanner Dean (Tocoma, WA) and Cameron Smith (Coatesville, PA). There are a good 10-15 riders here that could win a National any given time plus some of the country’s fastest amateurs come out for this race, so it’s not just me that loves Greenville, riders in general really love Greenville.”
The nation’s current leader and fastest rider riding the No. 1 bike, Jared “Jammer” Mees (Sebastion, FL) was in town with his Indian Team motorcycle crew. The Multi-time Grand National Champion has an impressive Flat Track resume including a Gold Medalist in the 2016 X Games and currently stands as the No. 1 racer in the Nation.
“I’ve had some good results here,” noted Mees. “I raced a Grand National here back in the day, so it’s been good. “I’ve been coming here for a lot of years on and off and I am very familiar with it and always enjoy it.”
One of the most colorful personalities in racing, David Aldana was back in Greenville racing the No. 13 with the American Historical Racing Association (AHRA).
“Lately now that I’ve almost turned 70 years old, I’ve been involved with American Historical Racing Association which is an organization for old guys and old bikes,” said Aldana. “The Greenville, Ohio race is one of the better races that we go to throughout the United States and I am always looking forward to coming to Greenville.”
Aldana was a top AMA Grand National Series competitor during the 1970’s, winning four AMA nationals during his career while competing in nearly every form of motorcycle racing, including motocross and speedway racing.
“I have always found the racetracks in Ohio, even back in the 1970’s when I was racing professionally to be a lot of fun racetracks because of the uniqueness of the track surface compared to racetracks like in Georgia which is red clay, hard clay and it’s in California – so I’m like a bad penny, I just keep coming back.”
Born in Santa Ana, California and now residing in Georgia, Aldana was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame and will turn 70 this November.
“All those things come with age,” Aldana said of aches and pains at his age, “but I am very fortunate. I try to stay active. I go to the gym and I ride whenever I can but I think that is one thing all of us who are senior citizens or elder statesmen are dealing with the aches and pains of getting old, but you know what, these young kids will one day find out for themselves what it’s like.”
O’Fallon, Illinois’ Aidan Roosevans, one of the top pro-am riders was in town showing why he is one of the Nation’s best at his trade qualifying as one of the thee fastest racers on the Greenville half mile along with Dalton Gauthier and Hared Mees.
“We came out to be the fastest one out of everyone at the track and I’m real grateful for that,” said Roosevans. “It’s a great opportunity to race here at this track. We did a really good lap time in our qualifier and we definitely got our horses under our belt.”
The Darke County Fairgrounds is magnificent,” added Roosevans. “Everything is like old fashioned to me. It’s like when I used to do Du Quoin and Springfield. It’s set up like this – it’s just like home.”