Photography By: Andrea Wilson
Sammy Halbert – the man who pretty much calls Daytona his own – won’t be in Florida when the AMA Grand National Championship gets started in the middle of March.
Halbert, the all-time winningest rider at the Daytona International Speedway Short Track, tore his left ACL on Saturday at an indoor short track near his home in Graham, Washington. He will undergo surgery next week to repair the ACL, forcing him to miss the opening two races of the 2013 AMA Grand National Championship – a race he has won three times in six attempts.
“Usually injuries are from crashes, but not this one,” Halbert said. “In the dash-for-cash, I caught my foot on the dirt berm that marks the inside of the track and twisted my knee. I won the race, but the damage was done. I spent most of the off-season recovering from shoulder surgery. For this to happen now, a month before the season opener, is such a bummer. I was hoping to start the year with a couple wins at Daytona, not sitting on the couch.”
This is the second time that Halbert, who finished second in the 2012 AMA Grand National Championship, has suffered a knee injury – but it will mark the first time in his 25-year racing career that he’s missed a race. Halbert joined the series full time in 2006 at the age of 18.
The surgery will be performed by Dr. Maury Harwood at the National Ambulatory Surgery Center in Los Gatos, California. Harwood repaired Halbert’s torn labrum, the result of a crash at the Springfield Mile Memorial Day weekend, in October.
Fortunately for Halbert, the series takes a month and a half break after Daytona before restarting in Stockton, California on May 4.