The Second Annual CB Fabricating Gene Nolen Classic presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts is set for its July 8th date at Anderson Speedway. The event will be the fourth points earning race on the 2023 schedule for the Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Parts 500 Sprint Car Tour. With three different winners having won the first three events, the start of the 2023 season has looked eerily similar to that of 2022 when the first four races were won by different drivers.
In 2022, for the Inaugural Gene Nolen Classic, Kody Swanson went to victory lane in what would be a very emotional scene. After Nolen’s unexpected passing in 2020, Anderson Speedway honored him and his family by creating the Gene Nolen Classic. Having driven for Nolen Racing for a number of years, winning two of his three Little 500’s, and delivering Nolen Racing their first Little 500 victory, a win by Swanson in the inaugural event was the perfect storybook ending. Swanson will be a favorite heading into the July 8th event having won the most recent race at Toledo Speedway in dominating fashion.
The most recent visit to Anderson’s quarter mile oval, excluding the non-points earling Lucas Oil Little 500, came in early April for the 23rd Annual Glen Niebel Classic. The 75-lap feature was won by Kyle O’Gara, defending his Glen Niebel victory from July of 2022. Having taken advantage of a good qualifying draw, O’Gara piloted his #67 machine to a decisive victory, leading all 75 laps. O’Gara will be a favorite to make it two wins in a row at Anderson as he looks to rebound from an engine issue that forced him to retire early from the Father’s Day Classic at Toledo Speedway.
Tyler Roahrig, Dakoda Armstrong, and Bobby Santos III are all potential favorites heading into the event, rounding out the top five in points along with Swanson and O’Gara. Roahrig and Santos are both Anderson Speedway victors having a combined three Little 500 victories and a total of seven Anderson Speedway victories since the start of the 2020 season. Armstrong is in search of his first 500 Sprint Car Tour victory, but his ability to consistently run in the top five race after race has made him a perennial favorite to compete for race wins.
Nolen Racing, founded by Gene Nolen himself, will be fielding a car with the series for the first time this season (outside of the Little 500) with Nick Hamilton behind the wheel. Hamilton, who will be making his 500 Sprint Car Tour debut, is the brother of Little 500 Champion Kyle Hamilton. He will also be competing in the famed #4 Nolen Racing machine that Kody Swanson won two of his three Little 500’s in. This will be Hamilton’s first race with Nolen Racing and his first time at Anderson in a non-wing sprint car since 2021.
Other notable entries include Caleb Armstrong (New Castle, IN), Travis Welpott (Pendleton, IN), Jackson Macenko (Cincinnati, OH), Nick Marcott (Wayland, MI), Jeff Bloom (Bangor, MI), Justin Harper (Denver, IN), Taylor Ferns (Shelby Township, MI), Jake McElfresh (Elwood, IN), Tony Main (Farmland, IN), Billy Wease (Fishers, IN), and Saban Bibent (Cincinnati, OH).
The 500 Sprint Car Tour will be joined at Anderson Speedway by the USSA Kenyon Midget Series, Thunder Roadsters, and Midwest Champ Karts. General Admission gates open at 3:30pm and rotating practice subsequently begins at 3:30pm. Qualifications are set to begin at 5:45pm with a green flag start time of 7:30pm. Tickets for the event are $16 for adults, $5 kids aged 6-12, and free for all kids aged 5 and under. The 2nd Annual CB Fabricating Gene Nolen Classic presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts will be the final feature of the night and will be a 100-lap race. The entire night of racing will be streamed live on MAVTV on FloRacing.
Watch live on FloRacing by clicking HERE.
-500 Sprint Car Tour Release
-Photo credit: Jack Kessler