By Meredith Kaplan Burns
Brownsburg, Indiana (June 20, 2011) — Recent high school graduate and rising midget car star Kyle Hamilton, of Danville, Indiana, made his Milwaukee Mile debut count as he came home with a podium finish in 3rd place.
Kyle drove the #9 midget of Nine Racing in Saturday’s USAC Mopar National Midget Pavement Series event on the one-mile paved oval, which was held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series’ return to Milwaukee. Kyle worked closely with Nine Racing’s team manager Glenn Martin and the team’s “paved-mile expert” Dave Steele during the Thursday and Friday practice sessions and methodically worked up to speed.
“This was my very first time on a mile track and I was confident that Glenn and Dave would give me a strong car, so I could just concentrate on carefully building up speed in the two practice sessions,” said Kyle Hamilton.
Kyle quickly adapted to the high-speed, flat Milwaukee Mile and ended up 5th overall in the final timed practice session on Friday. Unfortunately for Kyle, as well as his teammate Levi Roberts, the speed developed in practice did not carry over into the qualifying session on Friday afternoon. Kyle qualified 10th for the feature with a lap time of 29.100 seconds.
The 25-lap USAC Midget feature was scheduled late in the day on Saturday, June 18, as the sun was setting. Twenty-two midgets came down to take the green flag but there were three aborted starts. Finally the green flag waved for good and Kyle immediately started his march to the front. Kyle continued his charge by methodically passing cars. With two laps left in the race, he had worked up to 4th position and then made a strong pass on Bobby Santos to finish the race in 3rd.
“As the race progressed I became more confident,” said Kyle. “The car was perfect from the very beginning. It was fun to race out there and I learned how to use the draft and pass cars.”
As a result of the 8th-place finish at Lucas Oil Raceway Park and the 3rd-place finish at Milwaukee, Kyle is now ranked 8th in the USAC National Midget Pavement Series points standings.
The Nine Racing team next travels to Newton, Iowa, for another USAC National Midget Pavement event that will be held on the fast, banked 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway track on Friday, June 24. Both Kyle Hamilton and teammate Levi Roberts will be entered in the Iowa Speedway Midget event that is again being held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series.
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.
(HamiltonMilwPodium.jpg) Kyle Hamilton made his debut appearance at the famed Milwaukee Mile count as he finished third in the USAC Mopar National Midget Series event on Saturday, June 18. Kyle is seen in this photo on the right.
(HamiltonMilwaukee.jpg) Kyle Hamilton wisely followed the advice from the Nine Racing team as he gained speed during the practice sessions at the Milwaukee Mile for the USAC Mopar National Midget Series event, held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series. Kyle is seen here leading fellow rookie Kyle Larson, with Kyle Hamilton finishing the main event in 3rd place.