DAYTONA BEACH, FL., MARCH 11 - From the time a wheel was turned in anger at the Daytona Short Track this year, if your name wasn't Sammy Halbert then you were racing for second place. If that wasn't a certainty after last night's victory, it most definitely was tonight as Halbert made it look easy in completely dominating qualifying, his heat race, the Dash For Cash and the National. And when the 25 laps were in the books, Halbert had half a lap lead on second place and he did it without breaking a sweat.
"This is what we expected," Halbert said. "We had so much speed at this track last year. I know how to set up my bike and I know how to ride this track."
Halbert and his Woody Kyle Racing/Fredericktown Yamaha crossed the finish line some five seconds ahead of Johnny Lewis, the former Supermoto racer having the best flat track weekend of his young career with the second place tonight bettering his third from last night.
But even that was nothing compared to the weekend that Halbert had: Two heat race wins, two Dash For Cash wins and two National wins. It all adds up to a 16-point lead in the championship after two races. Not a bad weekend if your name is Halbert.
Third place tonight went to Brad Baker, the rookie earning the first Expert podium of his career in just his second race as an Expert. Baker finished fourth last night.
Fourth tonight was Jake Johnson, the defending AMA Grand National Champion almost seven seconds behind Halbert and barely ahead of former Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth Jr.
Matt Weidman was sixth with Jared Mees seventh. Chad Cose had his best Expert-class finish in eighth and Henry Wiles and rookie Jeffrey Carver Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Short Track Final
1. Sammy Halbert (Yamaha)
2. Johnny Lewis (Honda)
3. Brad Baker (Honda)
4. Jake Johnson (Honda)
5. Kenny Coolbeth Jr. (Kawasaki)
6. Matt Weidman (Honda)
7. Jared Mees (Honda)
8. Chad Cose (Honda)
9. Henry Wiles (Kawasaki)
10. Jeffrey Carver Jr. (Yamaha)