Indianapolis 500 Veteran Set For Gambler’s Classic Debut

Jerry Glase

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Davey Hamilton’s journey this season will take him to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

But first, he’ll be making a stop at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., where he will participate in the two-day indoor Three Quarter Midget race car event on January 29-30.

Hamilton, 47, is a nine-time Indianapolis 500 starter, is one of nearly 96 entries for the upcoming event, which culminates with the prestigious Gambler’s Classic TQ-Midget main event on Jan. 30.

This marks Hamilton’s first-ever entry at Boardwalk Hall, and his first-ever race in the state of New Jersey.

In fact, Hamilton never drove a feisty TQ-Midget indoors until he drove a Lou Cicconi Jr.-owned car in December at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.

“At least this time, I feel a bit more confident,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first got in a TQ-Midget.

“I couldn’t believe what it was like out there on the track. Everything happens so fast. You never have a time to relax like you get on a bigger-outdoor track.”

Hamilton has made 50 career Indy Car starts and while never winning a race, he did finish second on three times.

He placed second in the Indy Racing League points in the 1996-1997 season and again in 1998.

Hamilton retired from the cockpit in 2001 after a serious crash at Texas Motor Speedway. After numerous surgeries, he returned to Indy Car racing in 2007 when he drove for Vision Racing.

In nine career starts at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Hamilton’s best finish is a fourth (1998). He has three top-10 finishes.

Hamilton is a late Atlantic City entry because he thought he would be racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, but that plan fell through as the car was not fully built.

Hamilton is literally going from a 3.56-mile road course to a 1/10th-mile indoor track that is constructed on top of a hockey rink.

“At least I am racing and that’s what matters,” Hamilton said. “I really love racing, and it doesn’t matter what it is. Indoor racing a short-track racing mixed you among the fans. I really enjoy being with the race fans.”

The high-powered, TQ-Midget cars will headline the two-day card. Some 100 drivers are expected to contend for the Gambler’s Classic title.

The Slingshot and Champ Kart race cars, which provide just as much entertainment as the TQ Midgets, will be on the card each night as well.

Defending champions are Paul Lotier Jr. of Lebanon, Pa. (Slingshots) and Ryan Kendall of East Greenbush, N.Y. (Champ Karts).

Fans can purchase tickets by calling Ticketmaster at (800)-736-1420 or online at

Tickets will also be on sale at this weekend’s Motorsports 2010.

Information on the event is available at or by calling (609)-888-3618.

Fans can also purchase tickets at the Boardwalk Hall Ticket Office. Tickets will be $2 more at the door on the day of the race.