Kyle Hamilton Ready To Chase Rumble Repeat

Jacob Seelman Featured, Indoor Racing, Other Midgets 0 Comments

Kyle Hamilton is focused on chasing his second Rumble in Fort Wayne victory this weekend. (Jacob Seelman photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – For defending Rumble in Fort Wayne national midget champion Kyle Hamilton, walking into the Allen County Memorial Expo Center on Thursday afternoon as a winner was a new feeling.

After all, there’s nothing better as a driver than coming back to a place where you’ve tasted success in the past.

And for Hamilton, after leading the final 44 circuits en route to victory a year ago, he came into the pit area soaring on momentum and ready to pounce for a second-straight win.

“It feels a lot better coming in this year as the defending winner,” said Hamilton prior to Thursday’s opening practice session. “I feel a little bit more relaxed, a little bit looser … it’s comforting in a way, knowing that we finally did it. I’d been coming in here for years and just had a lot of bad luck; some of it wasn’t any fault of our own, it was just typical things that happen in indoor racing.”

“To come in here knowing that we got one last year, it’s a little bit of weight off my shoulders but it doesn’t mean I’m not ready to go for two (wins), because I’m ready to go and not satisfied with just one.”

Hamilton will have the exact same bullet he used to crush the competition a year prior in his attempt to do so again — a yellow No. 6 with a potent Yamaha FJ 1200cc motorcycle engine under the front nose.

“Don and Mel (Kenyon) brought the same car back this year that we won with in 2016; and that’s something I haven’t had very often coming into this race,” Hamilton explained. “For a lot of years, I came in here with something different every time … and not only was I getting re-acclimated to racing, I was getting used to a completely new car and new engine combination. This year, to be back with the exact same piece I won with and knowing that we have something to build on now, I’m really excited.”

“Luckily, we have a win to build on as well, so we have a lot of confidence in the car and I have a lot of confidence in myself as well. We have the exact same base setup on it that we won with in 2016, so I don’t think it should take much time at all for this car to be up to speed and in contention.”

Different than in years past will be the fact that Hamilton has a younger teammate to show the ropes to, with Kenyon Midget Series graduate Trey Osborne taking the wheel of the No. 61 entry for 3K Racing.

“I know Trey pretty well; he and I have raced together in the Kenyon Midget Series for a couple of years and he’s really a shoe over there,” Hamilton said of Osborne. “I think, like anyone, it’ll be a learning curve for him being his first time indoors, but from what I’ve seen I think he’ll handle it pretty well.”

“The kid can drive it in as deep as anybody and he’s not afraid of these things at all. I’m having fun working with him already and I’m excited to be able to help share some of the knowledge I have with him; it’s a new aspect for me.”

But for Hamilton himself, his enthusiasm comes back to the history of the Hall of Fame team owners he gets to drive for.

“I’ve known Don and Mel since I first entered the Kenyon Midget Series at 13 years old,” Hamilton said. “They’ve always been kind of like mentors for me … and to be able to come back and race for them again is amazing.”

Race Chaser Online will have live updates of the 20th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne during both race days on Friday and Saturday.


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.

Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s.

The 23-year-old is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

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