Sammy Halbert Wins the Blazing Hot 2012 Santa Rosa Mile Grand National Championship

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Halbert was all smiles after his come from behind Santa Rosa victory
Halbert was all smiles after his come from behind Santa Rosa victory
There are a couple of key facts you should know about Graham, Washington's Sammy Halbert right up front if you entertain any notion of competing against him. He's smart about how he fuels his body. "I generally eat healthy," he says. Egg whites are one of his go-to sources of protein. Yet more significantly, and this is important, Halbert is without question one of the gnarliest, most tenacious, never say-it's-over-till-it's-over, competitors you'll ever come up against.

After a 42 year absence, the thunder of big-bore, AMA Pro Flat Track racing returned to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds for Round 14 of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship. With only five laps remaining in the 25-lap event, contested on the one mile oval deep in California's wine country, Bryan Smith had a five-second lead. But the sweltering California sun and blazing competitive pressure was beginning to take its toll. Conceivably, he may not have had his egg whites that morning. So when Halbert got scent that Smith was wilting ever so slighting, he hammered the throttle and flat-out stole the lead, inking his fourth win of his 2012 season. The near capacity crowd of 12,000 screaming fans were on their feet for the final laps, enjoying every thrill-packed second of dueling between some of the best flat track talent on the planet.

"In the beginning, I was playing cat and mouse with Bryan (Smith)," said Halbert after the race. "Once I passed him, I just kept looking back and saw the guys catching me but I adapted and overcame it. It was a great win. I loved coming out here to Santa Rosa and really want to thank all the great fans. I also want to thank my mom, dad, girlfriend and all of my sponsors."
The Indy Mile was the Halbert's first mile win of the year
The Indy Mile was the Halbert's first mile win of the year

For the 2009 Overall Grand National Champion, the first win of 2012 came in Round 5, in front of another huge crowd in attendance for the AMA Pro Flat Track Lima Half-Mile National. When the checkered flag fell on the 25-lap national it was Halbert that greeted it first aboard his South East Harley-Davidson.

"I didn't get a very good start and I was running about fifth or sixth, and I wasn't gaining anything," Halbert said. "Then Jared (Mees) went around me on the outside and I thought 'Well, I guess I better try that.' I just went higher and higher until I found my line."

In 2011 Halbert was also able to find the right line, marking the Lima Half-Mile National as his third win at that point of last year. So what is it about the typically hot Lima, Ohio track that brings out the K&N sponsored riders best racing?

"You can always count on Lima to provide great racing because the loose pea gravel, cushion surface as we call it, creates multiple lines and lots of passing. It is my favorite track because I am able to ride hard and get a good workout," declared Halbert. "Lima was my first win of the season, since then I have also won the Castle Rock, Washington TT, and then I got my first mile win at the Indy Mile."

Halbert had 12,000 fans on their feet for his win at the Santa Rosa Mile Grand National Championship
Halbert had 12,000 fans on their feet for his win at the Santa Rosa Mile Grand National Championship
Last weekend, Saturday October 6th, Halbert finished third in the Tucson Half-Mile in Arizona. Heading into the season finale' next Saturday October 13th in Pomona, California, Halbert now holds the number two spot for the overall points tally, only three points behind the leader, Jake Johnson.

"I have been thinking about next season a little and making a list of things I need to do to get prepared for it," added Halbert. "As soon as our last race is over we will turn our attention towards that. I hope to bring in some additional sponsors and make some improvements to my equipment."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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