O’Gara Wins Dave Steele World Non Wing Sprint Car Championship

Second place Davey Hamilton Jr, winner Kyle O'Gara, and third place L.J. Grimm. (David Sink photo)

From David Sink

PINELLAS PARK, FL (February 26, 2022) — Kyle O’Gara took the lead on lap 64 and never looked back as he captured the 3rd annual Dave Steele World Non Wing Sprint Car Championship 125 Saturday night at Showtime Speedway. The race did not disappoint and featured drama, hard racing, and hurt feelings.

O’Gara, who started outside of the second row, took the lead at the start of the race when the front row cars of Davey Hamilton Jr. and Kody Swanson drifted high. O’Gara shot to the bottom of the track and assumed the lead. He would hold the top spot until Hamilton wrestled the lead back on lap 4.

Hamilton then set the pace as the race leader with O’Gara closely trailing. Swanson was battling Santos for third position and sparks would soon fly.

On lap 59 Swanson made contact with the left rear tire of Santos exciting turn two. The contact turned Santos completely around, but he was able to gather the car without bringing the caution out. At that point Santos had slipped to fourth. Going into turn three, Santos ploughed into the rear of Swanson in an act that appeared to be retaliatory. The two made contact again when Santos turned into Swanson. The contact sent Santos into the wall. The night appeared to be over for Santos.

O’Gara would assume the lead on a restart for the second and final time on lap 64. Swanson’s night would officially come to an end on lap 72 when he lost his left rear tire when a wheel nut came off. O’Gara would build a 5.345 second difference over Hamilton at the checkered. Following Hamilton was LJ Grimm, 12-year-old Colton Bettis, and Shane Butler rounding out the top five.

In addition to the first-place prize money, O’Gara was able to pocket lap monies including $660 for leading lap 66, $188 for leading lap 88, and $500 for leading lap 91 among others.

“It was a really crazy start. We rolled of the grid third and Davey washed up into Kody” explained O’Gara. ”We just got a good bite in the middle grove and just turned down. It wasn’t our plan at all. We were gonna ride around until about lap 75 and come to life from there. I got the lead by lap 1. I was trying not to push too hard and relinquished it back to them.

“I really thought the 14 was burning his stuff off early. We’ve been that car the past couple of years. We went into this year’s race with a totally different game plan. I thought the 14 was gonna do it as well. We took advantage of a restart. We crossed him over there. We were pretty comfortable there. I was hoping we was gonna fade, which he did. We did really good tonight. This is the biggest win for our team here tonight” concluded O’Gara.

Dave Steele World Non Wing Sprint Car Championship 125
Showtime Speedway
Pinellas Park, Florida
Saturday, February 26, 2022

Feature (125 Laps):
1. 67-Kyle O’Gara, 125
2. 14-Davey Hamilton Jr, 125
3. 88-LJ Grimm, 125
4. 61-Colton Bettis, 125
5. 18-Shane Butler, 123
6. 44w-Garry Wiggins, 120
7. 17r-Kyle Robbins, 79
8. 44-Kody Swanson, 71
9. 33-Joe Liguori, 66
10. 22a-Bobby Santos III, 59
11. 22-Johnny Gilbertson, 48
12. 99x-Tyler Porter, 12
13. 32-Kody Carl, 1
14. 15-Troy Thompson