Sammy said all the right things when he was on the Vance & Hines Harley XG750R, and put it on the podium, and also came within a whisker of winning at it, but for a red flag when he was out front, but the statistics tell a different story.
Sammy was Rookie of the Year in 2006 and the de facto GNC champ in 2009, if you, like we do, add the points for the singles and twins class (like it always used to be), Sammy had the most points. Instead, he's credited as Singles Champ and Mees as Twins champ, factually correct, but an anomaly from our point of view). Barring 2013 and '14, he has been in the top five of the season ending standings every year since 2009, except the two years he spent on the liquid-cooled Harley, where he finished 10th both years. As AFT's own site puts it, 'his championship results have dipped in recent years as a result of fighting against Indian’s dominant machinery rather than being armed with it.'
Although Sammy is one of those small number of riders to do the dirt track Grand Slam, he scored his first national win since 2016 at last weekend's Springfield Mile. For 2020 Sammy is riding for the Coolbeth-Nila team, with former multi-GNC champ Coolbeth as team owner.
Meanwhile, the Harley team continues to struggle to bring the fight to the Indian in SuperTwins, with glimmers of hope, like Bryan Smith's 3rd at Indy. The best the team could manage at Springfield was Smith's 6th. They are doing well in Production Twins, James Rispoli leading the title race with two wins from six races.
And did you spot our logo on the backdrop of the podium with some of the biggest names in the motorcycle world? Who have thought that, when we first featured Sammy back in Sideburn 5, in 2010?