My Favorite Professional Racer 2017

Sammy Halbert has been my favorite flat track racer for the 2017 season.  Bryan Smith was my favorite last year.  I've always admired Halbert's universal skills on all the tracks.  He can ring around a short track, sky off a TT jump, ride a cushion half-mile WFO, and pull an unexpected draft pass on a mile at 130+mph.  He's never been factory-sponsored by H-D or Indian.  He's a privateer, and I've watched him changing clutches, chains, tires, front ends . . . and then shoving his dirty hands inside a pair of leather racing gloves, fueling - and push starting his own bike for the semi. (before the Main that same race, I helped him with the same ritual, and he thanked me - I was an immediate member of Team Halbert that day . . . ) 
I like that Sammy's race bikes are always "personalized" and fun, with funky flames, stickers and colors.  He wants to win, and is a hard charger on the track.  They didn't christen him, "Slammin' Sammy 'cause he rides nice and conservative. The tragic loss of his brother(also a pro rider) in-a-way seemed to fill Halbert with an added racing spirit to continue in his honor, he continues to forge on - where many racers may have retired themselves.  Competitors from the northwest(like Halbert) are known for their tenacity and versatile racing abilities.  Joe Kopp a prime example !
I can't count the times I was attending a non-points event, and Halbert showed up to race since he was in the area.  A pro rider, doin' this for a livin' . . but he just wants to ride (and make some gas money).  It's always great for the local kids who can say "I raced with a National Champion once - Sammy Halbert." 
Halbert had a great season this year, finishing inside the top 5 a total of 11 pro races.  The final race of the season is in Perris, California on a loose 1/2 mile.  This type of track favors riders like Mees, Baker . . . and Halbert !  I'd really like to see him pull a win to end the year.  (or maybe Carver)  You can watch the races by logging on to: American Flat Track - and watch it LIVE !  Go Sammy !
Sammy Halbert runs his brother's #69 to continue the legacy.

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