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Kyle O’Gara Opens 500 Tour Season With a Win … Again

Jack Kessler Photography

For the second consecutive year Kyle O’Gara captured the 500 Tour opener, the 75-lapper Niebel Classic, at Anderson Speedway.

Kody Swanson was the fastest of the 26 non-wing sprint cars with the invert putting O’Gara and Taylor Ferns on the front row. O’Gara, looking for a repeat of his 2022 win in the Niebel Classic, jumped into the lead at the start, chased by Ferns, Billy Wease, Dakoda Armstrong and Swanson.

The top eight cars ran in a tight bunch with the first caution flag waving on lap 27 for a spin by Isaac Chapple. O’Gara was able to maintain the lead over Ferns who was looking for an opportunity to make an inside pass.

The final caution flag waved on lap 37 when Jacob McElfresh made contact with the back straight wall. O’Gara’s car got stronger as the laps continued to tick off with Tyler Roahrig looking for a way to get around Swanson for fifth. At the checkers it was O’Gara winning by 3.6-seconds over Ferns with Armstrong nipping Wease for third.

“We had a really good car tonight,” O’Gara said. “It showed in practice but we didn’t get the qualifying run we wanted. I fell into the invert pretty good. The team worked all winter on this car. We’re here to win.”

O’Gara said he adjusted on the car throughout the race and after lap 50 “we really stepped up” and was able to make the difference.

Ferns said it was a matter of which driver got the advantage at the start.

“We know how Anderson is,” she said. “I knew at the beginning it was going to be who got out front first. He kept making a bunch of mistakes but I wasn’t able to capitalize. Wish we could have won, but to start the season strong.”

Dakota Armstrong said lapped traffic played a part in the outcome of the race.

“We were coming up to lapped traffic, it seemed like every four laps,” he said. “I got a good enough run at the end to catch Billy (Wease) at the line. I think we had a car good enough to compete, but just couldn’t get there.”

Justin Harper took control of the B-Main on the final lap when early leader Jim Sheets spun in turn two.

Little 500 Niebel Classic
Anderson Speedway
April 9 2023

  1. Kyle O’Gara
  2. Taylor Ferns
  3. Dakoda Armstrong
  4. Billy Wease
  5. Kody Swanson
  6. Tyler Roahrig
  7. Bobby Santos III
  8. Caleb Armstrong
  9. Chris Neuenschwander
  10. Jackson Macenko
  11. Saban Bibent
  12. Brian Vaughn
  13. Isaac Chapple
  14. Travis Welpott
  15. Tony Main
  16. Nick Marcott
  17. Doug Fitzwater
  18. Chris Jagger
  19. Tom Paterson
  20. Scott Evans
  21. Jacob McElfresh
  22. Larry Kingseed, Jr.
  23. Justin Harper
  24. Jim Sheets

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