CLERMONT, Ind. – Kyle Hamilton, the 2017 Little 500 winner, turned in a dominant performance to win the season opening race for the Auto Value Super Sprint Car Series Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Hamilton took the lead from Aaron Pierce on the third lap with an inside pass in turn one.
Pierce started on the pole position thanks to the invert of the top nine qualifiers and took the early lead.
The race was slowed on the second lap when the car of Bobby Santos III, who qualified third, broke a front right suspension part.
On the restart Hamilton made the pass and pulled away from the pack until the second caution flag waved.
Hamilton again pulled away from the field with Pierce losing two spots to Caleb Armstrong and Nick Hamilton.
Kody Swanson, who set fast time in qualifying, never had the right handle on the race car and retired on lap 18.
Kyle O’Gara was the driver on the move during the final 10 laps, moving around Nick Hamilton and Armstrong to finish second.
“This is the first time we’ve had the car out since Anderson (Speedway),” Hamilton said in the winner’s circle at Lucas Oil Speedway. “Bob (East) made some changes and it made the car more consistent.”
O’Gara said the team still has some work to do after finishing second.
“We just keep trying to make the car better,” he said.
Hamilton finished third in the Must See Racing event at LOR last month behind Swanson and Santos.
Armstrong said he struggled with the handling of the car coming off the corners.
“We’ll just keep working on it and try to make it better for the next race,” he said.
The second Auto Value Super Sprint Series race will be next Saturday at Anderson Speedway in conjunction with the speedway’s sprint car program for the 125-lap Glen Niebel Classic.
Kyle Hamilton, Kyle O’Gara, Caleb Armstrong, Aaron Pierce, Nick Hamilton, Billy Wease, Joe Liquori, Tony Main, Derek Bishak, Chris Jagger, Rob Keesling, Kody Swanson, Brian Vaughan, Luke Harbison, Dakota Armstrong, Tom Geren, Gary Dunck.