‘Racing league has come a long way’ | NevadaAppeal.com
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‘Racing league has come a long way’

Rhonda Costa-Landers, Appeal Staff Writer

Since Davey Hamilton took over the Supermodified Racing League four years ago, car counts at feature races are higher, morale of crew and drivers is higher, and race fans are happier seeing them in familiar venues.

“As far as the competition level, it’s the best it has been for literally years,” Hamilton said. “We have a new director of competition and it’s working out fantastic. The series is getting bigger and better for sure.”

Bigger and better is right. Twice recently, current NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart raced with the SRL at two venues. He provides good competition, but Hamilton enjoys the excitement and extra attention it brings to the SRL.

“And it’s always great when our local guys beat a NASCAR champ.”

The top-3 points leaders coming into today’s race are: Lonnie Adamson (509); Bob Bigioni (430), and Jim Tartaglia (404). Bigioni and Adamson are past winners at Champion Motor Speedway, as is Troy Ragier, who will be driving the No. 98 S&S Motorsports car out of Carson City.

Hamilton said other racing series pay attention to who the SRL has racing.

“They know who Lonnie Adamson is,” Hamilton said. “Lonnie is our current points leader. All I can hope for Lonnie is, I lose him. As much as I’d like to keep him in my series forever. He’s a great kid and everybody likes him, and he has the talent to go to Indy car or NASCAR.

“Hopefully someone with money will help him get to the next level.”

Hamilton also likes to keep his business relationships in good form.

“I won’t ask a track for something unless I can give them something in return,” Hamilton said.

“Carson City is a track that’s supported us from the get-go. There’s loyalty to the tracks who’ve supported me. I’m excited to be back.”

Hamilton recently returned to Las Vegas. He broke both lower legs and received multiple fractures and soft tissue damage to both feet. He underwent reconstructive surgery and two years of physical therapy. Hamilton still holds fast qualifying time at Champion Motor Speedway in the supermodified series with a 10.91, which he set in 1991.

“My feet are great,” Hamilton said. “I’m 100 percent of what I’m going to be and about 90 percent of what I was. There are things I can’t do, I can’t run. But everyday life, I’m great. I feel like I’m not handicapped in the least.”

Hamilton would like to get back in the seat of an Indy race car. “I’m ready to get back. I’m more hungry now than ever to get back and win races. I won’t quit trying.

“I have some unfinished business in Indy. I want to reach my goal of 100 main event finishes — I’m two short. I’m 40 and my dad is 61, and he’s still winning races. I’m not done by any means.”

Hamilton said the competition level is strong in the SRL and there are 12 guys who could win tonight’s race at Champion.

“We’ve had five or six different winners already this year and there are a couple of rookies who are really awesome just ready to break in. It’s too hard to predict (who will win). They’re just that good.”

Hamilton has been busy with the Great American Motorcycle Experience Weekend scheduled for Sept. 17-21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. An event similar to motorcycle week in Daytona.

“This has been taking most all of my time,” Hamilton said. “Other than that, I have been testing, driving and running cars — but I’m not in competition yet.”

IF YOU GO

What: Supermodifed Racing League

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Champion Motor Speedway, 1210 Race Track Road

Info: 267-0505