Meredith Kaplan Burns
Laguna Beach, California (May 31, 2011) — Kyle Hamilton’s Memorial Day weekend was filled with major milestones as he graduated from Danville Community High School on Friday, May 27, then ran in his first Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget Series race on Saturday, May 28. But Kyle was serious and focused about the next chapter in his life as he scored a respectable eighth-place finish for Nine Racing at Saturday’s 66th Night Before the 500 event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Kyle made a strong qualifying effort as he laid down a blistering lap time of 20.883 that placed him second in the qualifying order. Kyle has now qualified second for two consecutive USAC National Midget Pavement events while driving the #9 for Nine Racing, the previous race being the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, in November 2010, where Kyle started on the front row and finished in fourth.
While Kyle wasn’t able to transfer to the 50-lap main even through his heat race, he had to earn his feature starting spot in the semi-feature. He finished the semi-feature with a strong third place, which transferred him to the main event where he started the race in ninth position.
“Our team was prepared for this important race and we had a very productive test session a week before the race,” said Kyle Hamilton. “I knew then that I could put down a good lap for qualifications, which I was able to do on race day. Glenn Martin and Dave Steele gave me a car that was perfect so all I had to do was hit my marks and do my job.”
The 50-lap main event was delayed for two hours because of a strong rain shower moving through the area, so it was late in the evening when the green flag finally waved for the 23 midgets starting the race. Although Kyle had a strong qualifying effort, his car developed a push condition and after working up to sixth position, he finished the race in eighth.
“I was very pleased with our Nine Racing effort at the annual Night Before 500 Midget Race,” said Steve Lewis, Nine Racing team owner. “While Kyle worked hard and had excellent results in qualifying, unfortunately he did not earn a transfer position in the heat race, which required him to start farther back in the feature than originally expected. Kyle was still able to earn a top-eight finish during the race, and we are looking forward to a strong run at the Milwaukee Mile.”
As a result of Kyle’s eighth-place finish at the Night Before The 500 race, he now stands in eighth place in the USAC National Midget Pavement Series. Kyle’s next scheduled race for Nine Racing will be at the Milwaukee Mile on June 17 and 18.
Nine Racing’s 2011 sponsor lineup includes K&N Engineering, Eibach Springs, Weld Racing, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Friction Brakes, ASE, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, SSi Decals, PJ1, and Hoosier Racing Tire.
(HamiltonCar.jpg) Kyle Hamilton celebrated his recent high school graduation by driving the famed #9 midget of Nine Racing in the 66th Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget Series race on Saturday, May 28, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
(HamiltonQualifying.jpg) Kyle Hamilton set a blistering qualifying time of 20.883, just narrowly missing setting the fast time for the 66th Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget Series event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend. Kyle finished the main event in eighth place.