Ken de la Bastide: O'Gara seeking third Niebel Classic title

Apr. 2—Open-wheel action returns to Anderson Speedway this weekend with the kick off of the third 500 Sprint Car Tour season.

The high-powered sprint cars will be in action for the 24th running of the Glen Niebel Classic.

Niebel-owned sprint cars won the Litte 500 a total of six times, and the 100-lap race this weekend will serve as a tune-up for the May classic.

There are 22 sprint car teams entered for the Saturday event which always produces tight racing, and the drivers battle for position on the quarter-mile, high-banked oval.

Kyle O'Gara will be seeking his third consecutive win in the Niebel Classic.

Aaron Pierce, now a car owner, has won the Glen Niebel Classic a total of six times — including three in a row from 2015 through 2017.

Tyler Roahrig and Kody Swanson have two Niebel Classic wins to their credit, with several Little 500 champions claiming one victory.

Both are former champions with the 500 Sprint Car Tour Series.

The racing program includes the opening race for the Kenyon Midget Series with the sixth running of the Dick Jordan Classic.

Dameron Taylor has won the last two Jordan Classics, and other winners include Ayrton Houk, Sam Hinds and Kameron Gladish.

With Taylor an unknown for this weekend, there will probably be a new winner of the Jordan Classic.

A strong field of Kenyon Midgets is expected with drivers competing for rookie of the year and championship honors.

Last year's champion, Kyle Ford, is looking for a sprint car ride, and Taylor, a three-time champion, is not expected to compete all year.

A new champion will be crowned for the series with Kyle Sheard and 2023 rookie of the year Evan Hammond among the drivers expected to contend for the championship.

With many local residents playing host to visitors coming to Madison County for Monday's solar eclipse, the racing will be a good way to spend a Saturday.


Super late model standout driver Bubba Pollard turned in an impressive performance in his first Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Pollard, driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr., was fast in the practice sessions but struggled in qualifying.

He started the race in the 37th spot and finished sixth.

Pollard is eyeing another Xfinity Series start later this year at the Iowa Speedway.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.