The wait was finally over. The American Flat Track season began at the Volusia Speedway Park titled “The World’s Fastest Half Mile” in Barberville, Florida roughly 20 minutes outside of Daytona Speedway. This was the second year in a row that we started with a bang out there and it lived up to its reputation.
Thursday was a test and tune day at the track that gave us the opportunity to shake down our bikes and get a base for the weekend of racing. I felt good Thursday by the end of the night. It seemed a little bit like starting over on Friday, though. I am not sure what changed over night, but we seemed off at the start of the day.
We grabbed a 2nd in the Semi-Final which set me up for the front row on the main event and put me in the new Mission Dash for Cash. The new Mission #2Fast2Tasty Dash for Cash will be set up at every event this year and pay $5000 to the winner.
Brandon Robinson annihilated me in the Semis and the Dash for Cash showing that he was favored to win. In the main event I had a decent start and basically held my own until I made a mistake allowing Sammy Halbert to pass me by. I spent a few laps behind him thinking that because he went by me, he was faster than me and that we could make our way to the leaders. It seemed that the leaders were getting away from us and I made a move to retake the 3rd place position. The bike and everything seemed to all the sudden work better and we started to run down the two front runners Brandon Robinson and JD Beach.
We got close but the race was over when we got into striking distance. It wasn’t a bad day to open the season with a 3rd place, but when you have a bike working and it felt that good I knew we left some on the table.
The next day we started off better and we won our Semi-Final. Briar was all over the back of me and if he would have passed me, I do not think I could have passed him back. We made a couple of changes before the Dash for Cash and the bike was crispy. We won the Dash for Cash and it was the best I felt the last two days there. I knew going into the Main event that we had a great shot of winning it.
I started on the pole and picked the outside of the front row. I did not nail the start, but I came off 2nd and was chasing Briar right away. I tried some different lines to make a pass and finally I got the door to crack open and I was there. I put down some fast laps right away and pulled a nice gap over him. We got the win and were able to walk out with the points lead as well. It was not a bad way to start the season.
We now have a seven-week break before the first ever Atlanta Speedway TT. We are going to utilize a multi-surface track with pavement and the dirt sections a lot like the setup in Daytona in 2019. I am looking forward to a minute break and then to get back after it.