Editor’s Note: With Sturgis being such a wild and expansive event, it is impossible to cover it in one coherent story. So, Thunder Press approached the rally by interviewing numerous individuals to get their stories. Look for a series of vignettes published online throughout September!
You’re always bound to see some surprising stuff at the Buffalo Chip, but at the TT races on the night of August 4th things were extra shocking. Last year’s winner Jake Johnson led 99.9% of this year’s race on his Estenson Racing Yamaha as he led Jared Mees’ Indian, JD Beach’s Yamaha and Jarod Vanderkooi’s Harley-Davidson around the amphitheater course. But a mechanical just 20 feet from the finish on the last lap gave Beach – who’d passed Mees for second earlier – the win. “I’m heartbroken for Jake,” Beach said afterward. “He rode an amazing race. I was trying to find a way by him but there just wasn’t any room. Coming out of the last turn I heard his bike blubber. It’s awesome to win, but to get a win like that? It feels good but it doesn’t.”