PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Davey Hamilton Jr. bested a stout field in exciting fashion to capture his first Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series victory Saturday at 4-17 Southern Speedway.
Hamilton propelled the Kirk Morgan-owned Hurricane Chassis to the 40-lap feature victory.
Hamilton, who started ninth, used patience to methodically work his way to the front of the field and put himself in position to challenge for the lead with less than 15 laps remaining.
Hamilton had caught race leader Tommy Nichols and second-place Scott Adema who were in a heated battle for the lead. With eleven laps remaining, Hamilton moved to the outside of Adema entering turn one to take second position then instantaneously dove low and get under Nichols, who had led from the outset, and pulled away from the duo with less than 10 laps remaining.
Hamilton won by 5.107 seconds over Nichols.
“I honestly thought I‘d get a top five realistically,” explained Hamilton. “I had no idea we‘d get up front. I didn‘t expect that or plan that.
“Slowly but surely, I made my way up through the field. There was one restart where I was outside second row. I knew that was my opportunity to do something. I had the opportunity to get outside of second place and also dive bomb it for first place on the same lap. Once I got into clean air, I was good. That was the best the car ran all day.”
Following Hamilton were Nichols, Adema, Sport Allen and L.J. Grimm.
Allen was also crowned the Southern Sprint Car Shootout Series champion. The highly competitive series has saw its fifth different series champion in its six years of existence.
Davey Hamilton Jr., Tommy Nichols, Scott Adema, Sport Allen, L.J. Grimm, Troy DeCaire, Aaron Pierce, Colton Bettis, Bruce Brantley, Steve Darvalics, Steven Hollinger, Shaea Hambling, Chaz Hambling, Ryan Adema, Sonny Hartley, Johnny Gilbertson.