The 2020 American Flat Track season has officially begun! Round 1 and 2 are in the books and we leave Volusia with smiles on our face and an extra appreciation for all of the work that took place by the American Flat Track series to keep us safe and to get us back on track.
There was a protocol put in place by AFT for the Volusia Speedway Park events that included COVID-19 testing of all competitors and team personnel when you arrived and masks were mandated at all times in the paddock. (within the team area it was permissible to work without the mask in place briefly but never outside of the team area) The teams did a great job following the guidelines and sent a nice message to the community that motorcycle racers can be responsible citizens when they have to be! : )
Shayna serves on the advisory board to American Flat Track and is the representative for the AFT Singles class. During track walk the riders had the opportunity to evaluate the surface and to make suggestions from the safety aspect before any bikes were allowed on track.
Shayna finished 9th on Friday night. The ninth place finish didn’t represent the amount off work that has taken place during the off season by Shayna or the team and served as a reminder that you have to be ready to go fast from the first practice session until the main event. Shayna didn’t qualify well on Friday and started the main event on the third row.
At the end of the evening the most difficult part for the rider and team is the debrief meeting before anyone leaves the facility…especially when the race didn’t go as planned. Shayna and her team manager discussed everything that happened during the day, every adjustment that was made on the bike and what the outcome of that adjustment was….the team depends upon Shayna’s feedback to help her set the bike up for the ever changing conditions. Shayna is a very experienced racer and offers good feedback…her team manager is also a professional motorcycle racer so they speak the same language.
Shayna was absolutely amazing in the main event! Before the race we talked about her opportunity to tell a great story by coming through the pack….she put on a show that fans will talk about for a long time (I cant wait for the NBC broadcast) and worked her way past riders that are championship contenders…with 2 laps to got the Red flag came out due to a downed rider….this meant another start (single file) but it also meant one last chance to try to do what most thought impossible! Shayna made another pass and came within a second of winning! (notice the leader didn’t realize how fast she was coming as he started his celebration a little too early by removing his hand from the bars just before the finish line).
Shayna finished 2nd last night but I can promise that she had everyone on their feet….in a week or two nobody will remember who won but they will never forget the effort that Shayna put in to come from the 3rd row to the second step on the podium!