Nathan Byrd (11) races against teammate Davey Hamilton Jr. at Toledo Speedway.
SPEEDWAY, Ind. -Nathan Byrd and Davey Hamilton Jr. will be driving a few cars under Davey Hamilton Racing this season at the seven USAC Silver Crown Series sidewalk races.
Byrd’s ride will take place in conjunction with Byrd Racing. Hamilton will sit in the seat of the DHR/Classic Corvettes machine along with teammate Lenny Puglio.
Byrd will enter the season with Davey Hamilton Racing after competing as a Silver Crown rookie last year, starting four series.
“Compared to the speed of a dwarf, Silver Crown racing has a different kind of finesse where you have to do things slowly but very precisely,” explains Byrd. “You have to learn not to come loose halfway through the corner when you accelerate again and to be really smooth going into the corner so that you can carry as much speed as possible through the corner. Those parts were definitely learning curves for me.”
Byrd saw many experiences, including an abrasive, upside-down sliding crash early in the May race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, then suffered a fuel leak at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in July, followed by entangled getting into an incident when a car spun in front of him on IRP in August, a simple case of just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
By following the strategy he learned from watching frontrunners like Kody Swanson and Bobby Santos all year round, Byrd learned how to take in the pace of a 100-lap Silver Crown race, which helped him achieve the best sixth place in his career in the October season finale. at the Toledo Speedway in Ohio.
Byrd’s effort was aided by the addition of Hamilton as his teammate for the Toledo event. Hamilton made his first series start in four years and stormed from his 14th starting spot to fifth, instilling confidence for more of the same in the new year.
In a last-minute deal with a last-minute collection of crew members, the team quickly bonded with each other and with an Eagle chassis that Hamilton estimates is 15 years old. Everything went smoothly for Hamilton. He even escaped an early racing accident in which he made direct contact with the rear bumper of a spinning Kyle Robbins at the front that ripped the steering wheel from his hands.
“I’ve always loved the Silver Crown series,” said Hamilton. “After four years of not being in a car, I certainly surprised myself and surprised some people with the fact that we finished in the top five.”
With a schedule that also includes 28 sprint races and a full lineup of Stadium Super Truck events, Hamilton looks forward to progressing in the Silver Crown series, with visions of his first top three result and an eye on even more.
“To come out with a top-five and get competitive lap times, I think we’ll be in a good place next season with a little seat time,” said Hamilton. “Our goal is to win. I know how hard it is to run with Swanson, Santos and those guys, but I think with more seat time and how that car handled, and how well the crew and I worked together, I think it’s possible. ”
Like Byrd, Hamilton is looking forward to having a teammate to work with, to give and receive feedback, which will increase their chances of solid results throughout the year.
“Nathan was mostly alone last year,” Hamilton explained. “Having someone to run with in Toledo made him feel better. He had something to work with and someone to learn from. I’m excited to be working with Nathan again this year where we can learn and grow together and see how things turn out at the end of the year.”
Byrd agrees, especially now that he has a year of experience under his belt.
“I think we’ve got a really good baseline to work out from, and from there it’s just going to be minor adjustments,” Byrd said. “I don’t think there will be anything drastically different. A lot comes down to the racecraft – the way I approach the race and how I manage my tires. ”