After the checkered flag waved in Prescott, Arizona, for the 2010 AMA Pro Grand National Championship finale, I was standing on the third step of the podium with a smile on my face and fourth place in the overall AMA Pro K&N Grand National Championship. It was a fun ride, I had some good races, some bad, I made some mistakes and luck wasn’t always on my side, but I learned a lot and plan to come back more prepared for next season.
Since then the “off-season” has been anything but dull and boring. The very next weekend we raced the Stockton Mile and the Lodi MC Club put up a handsome purse and I, once again, walked away victorious. We spent the following week at A&A Racing working on bikes and preparing for the final two rounds of Eddie Mulder’s WCVDTS at Willow Springs. I had quite a few of my bikes on the track over the weekend as my little brother Andy stepped up to join Jethro and me on the track. I really enjoy racing at Willow and I put in a dominating ride on Saturday so I was riding a five-race win streak going into Sunday’s finale – but unfortunately my Harley XR 750 started to make a bad noise. Since that was my last running Harley, I had to ride my J&M-framed Honda 450; I kept it close, but finished second behind Jared Mees on his Harley. Having three Halbert brothers in Sunday’s Pro main event was the highlight of the weekend – for me at least.
The next few weeks were spent getting settled at home in Washington. I was able to attend two local indoor short track races and I won one and crashed out of the other. After that I flew out and raced the Hawkins family YZ450 at the Nebraska State Indoor Championship – winning all four pro main events.
Next on my agenda was a two-week stay in the Pensacola, Florida, area with Rob Mclendon of D&D Cycles. He put me on some really good bikes and I was able to win the Florida Supermoto race in Tallahassee after some good battles with Dillon Van Way. The very next day we went to the Jennings GP course where I got to do my second-ever road race track day. I was having a lot of fun while learning a ton and by the end of the day my face hurt from smiling so much. To make my weekend even better I got to ride motocross the next two days.
The final weekend of November was the opening round of Rob’s Outdoor Winter Series at the Oak Grove Motorsports Park. It was really cool to still be racing outdoors on an awesome red-clay, banked quarter mile; I won the Pro class and got lots of riding time in on the motocross and flat track. The next day we headed to Jennings for another track day on Monday. It was a huge success as I didn’t wreck anybody’s bikes. I had a blast riding Rob’s Triumph 675 and now I feel a lot more comfortable going that fast.
I am hoping to be able to do some more track days and a few WERA events in 2011. Of course my main focus next season is going to be trying to win the overall AMA Grand National Championship.
Since arriving back in Seattle on the first of December, I have been busy trying to put together all my sponsorship deals for Halbert Bros. Racing. The team will largely remain the same for 2011 with my older brother Jethro riding the #69 machines alongside myself at all the Nationals. Our main support on the Singles program will once again be coming from the legendary Woody Kyle and Fredericktown Yamaha with additional parts and tech support from Yamaha. Our Twins program has been very solid for me, but I didn’t have enough fast Harleys to last both Jethro and me for the season. I am still looking for funding and Harley parts support to get my four Harleys in tip-top shape again. The real story, however, is the non-Harley twin that we are building to hopefully give that fast Kawasaki a run for their money on the legendary Springfield and Indy Miles.
I have the motor and a flat track frame for it – now it’s just time to put it all together and make a winning package out of it. I want it to be a surprise when I unload it so I’m not going to say which brand it is – just that I am working towards having the best bike for every race track we compete on under the current rules structure.