Happy Trails Racing to Field British Champion Gary Birtwistle at DAYTONA Short Track

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 6, 2023) - Jeffrey Carver’s Happy Trails Racing is thrilled to announce it will field reigning British National Champion Gary Birtwistle at the DAYTONA Short Track doubleheader, which kicks off the 2023 Progressive American Flat Track season this Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10. 

Birtwistle with compete in the Parts Unlimited AFT Singles presented by KICKER class aboard the #111 Happy Trails Racing/Jeffrey Carver Husqvarna FC450. 

Birtwistle is one of the most accomplished flat track riders currently racing outside of the United States. He’s set to make his Progressive AFT debut fresh off claiming both the Singles and Twins DTRA national championships in 2022. Previously, he earned multiple Hooligan titles, including the UK and European championships. 

Carver elected to support Birtwistle after first being impressed by the British rider’s skill and later suffering an injury that derailed “the Wizard’s” own plans to return to the Progressive AFT scene full-time in 2023. 

“Going into 2023, my goal was to race the full Progressive AFT circuit again,” Carver said. “Unfortunately, events happen, and I suffered a severe injury in December. Acknowledging my position in life, I have decided to step back from racing Progressive AFT for 2023 to heal my body properly. In the process of this new shift, Gary reached out looking for support to come race the first two rounds. For me, it has been a dream to support riders from other countries to come race in America after my flat track school “Happy Trails Racing” has taken me around the world sharing my gifts. I won’t be on the bike this time, but I will be casting my spells to give Gary the best opportunity to live out his dreams.” 

“When Jeffrey came over to ride the last round of our championship, I had no idea how fast I was going to be compared with a top U.S. pro – I was pretty scared to be honest,” Birtwistle admitted. “But we ran pretty similar lap times and went back and forth a bunch of times in our semi. That ride gave me the confidence to want to enter a Progressive AFT round. I’m super excited to be taking on this challenge with the help of Jeffrey – it’s a huge bucket list tick for me. I don’t expect to set the world alight, I just want to take in the experience and enjoy myself.” 

Carver will serve as Crew Chief with Jason Watkins onboard as Mechanic.  

Carver and Happy Trails Racing would also like to thank their sponsors REZRO, Bell Helmets, Carvers BBQ, Dirt Craft, Pro Plates, Kullyco, Oakley, MyPITBOARD, and Woody Kyle Racing. 

For more information and ways to support, please visit https://www.sideburnmagazine.com/post/birtwistle-to-do-daytona.