It is official. Race season is back in action. We made our way down to Barberville, Florida this past weekend for the kick-off of the American Flat Track season. I arrived as hungry as ever at the Volusia Speedway, dubbed as one of the fastest half mile dirt tracks out there.
Photo Credits : American Flat Track
The formatting of the race had changed due to the safety regulations around the Corona virus. On Thursday, the night before the race, we had five rounds of practice and two qualifiers. This was the first time I had ever qualified for a race the night prior. I felt at ease with my setup and its reaction to the track early on. Having fast qualified, my time of 20.295 stuck throughout the last qualifying session on Friday.
Come semi-finals, I found that I had my work cut out for me. Brandon Robinson proved to be a hard-charger. The team and I regrouped and made some pretty big changes and hoped for the best for the main event.
Things got a little hairy out on the track during the main event. As we shot out of the start, we could feel the dirt slipping. Carver and I touched after only a couple of laps and he went down, causing a re-start. We lined back up and I ended up leading that round from start to finish. To win the first race of the season was a major accomplishment for the team and I, but we knew we had to keep the momentum going for the next day.
Doubleheaders take a lot of work, mentally and physically and I was putting my off-season training to the test out there. As we made our rounds of qualifying session’s I ended up third in fast times, behind Brandon Robinson and Briar Bauman. After a tough semi-final chasing down Robinson and Sammy Halbert, we made the call to go back to the winning set-up from the night before.
I started the second main event from the second row and knew I had to give this race all that I had left in the tank. I picked off Sammy Halbert, Brandon Robinson, Briar Bauman and steadily marched to the front. Man, that win felt far more satisfying – proving that we had a lot more speed by passing the good guys in the lead and then continuing to put some distance on them.
It turns out that this weekend amounted to 50 total career wins, along with 50 total points for this season’s standing. From what it looks like right now, I have got another month to relish in this feeling before bringing it back to life again for the next race… wherever that may be.