Nathan Byrd takes on triple duty at the inaugural Riskon360! Open Wheel Showdown
23-year-old Nathan Byrd of Litchfield Park, Ariz. will take on the inaugural Riskon360! Open Wheel Showdown with a triple-duty campaign, racing in the $50,000-to-win Winged Sprint Car, $10,000-to-win Midget, and $5,000-to-win Super Modified divisions at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Byrd will be making his Winged Sprint Car and Super Modified debuts during the event that runs from November 30 through December 2.
Byrd is a fourth-generation racer but the first in his family to pursue a professional driving career. His great grandmother started the Byrd Racing tradition of owning, preparing, and sponsoring race cars. Byrd Racing is most well-known for its exploits at the Indianapolis 500 and Nathan Byrd joins Davey Hamilton, Jr. and Sr. along with Arie Luyendyk, Jr. among entrants with ties to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. The strong entry list and record-breaking purse have the Open Wheel Showdown set to be one of the biggest events in pavement open wheel racing in many years.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of a racing family and brand that has its roots in Indy,” Byrd said. “It’s cool because I’m technically the first Byrd racer that’s raced at a professional level.”
“It’s really awesome that (Davey Hamilton, Jr.) has been able to make this happen. It’s going to be the biggest Winged Sprint Car show ever and a really special event. I’m grateful to be a part of it,” Byrd said.
Byrd has had one of the most varied racing careers in North America over the last two or three years, racing road courses and short tracks in both open wheel and closed wheel machines. At the Open Wheel Showdown, he will test his adaptability in a Sprint Car fielded by Jimmy Waters, a Super Modified owned by Jim Birges, and a pavement Midget for the juggernaut Bertrand Motorsports.
“That’s been my whole training method, jumping back and forth with different cars,” Byrd said. “Working up the limits in a safe and proper manner. It usually takes me a few laps to adjust to the next car. (At the Open Wheel Showdown) there’s not going to be that much time to do that. I’m going to have to be on it really hard from the get-go.”
The young racer has set realistic expectations for himself, knowing the quality of equipment he will have underneath him against over 100 of the top Open Wheel drivers in the world.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how I stack up among the Sprints and Super Modified since I’m going in as a newbie and relying on my adaptability,” Byrd said. “I think all the cars I’m driving are going to be very competitive and as long as I do my work as a driver, I definitely hope to be in the conversation and show I deserve to be there.”
Pit pass sales and assigned hauler parking opens on Wednesday before on-track activity begins on Thursday with Winged Sprint Car practice. Practice begins at 2pm and runs until 8pm. On Friday, pit gates open at 9am with grandstands opening at 12:30pm. Time trials for the Winged Sprint Cars are set for 2:45pm. Opening Ceremonies are at 5:00pm with the 12-lap Winged Sprint Car heat races to follow.
Saturday’s championship night includes qualifying for the Midgets and Super Modifieds and all features. Open Ceremonies are at 4:30pm followed by the Winged Sprint Car Dash, C- and B-Mains, and the 100-lap feature. It will also include the 50-lap Midget and 40-lap Super Modified features. Grandstands open at 12:30pm
General Admission Tickets are on sale though the Las Vegas Motor Speedway ticket office and online. Details can be found at both www.LVMS.com and the Open Wheel Showdown website. Adult tickets are $25 and kids 12 and under are free! More information is available at www.OpenWheelShowdown.com
Pit Pass sales will be available at the gates on race weekend and include access to the grandstands. Pit passes are $150 for a three-day pass or $105 for a two-day pass.
The event will be telecast through Speed Sport with a $24.99 access pass available to view both nights of the excitement live! For more info, visit www.SpeedSport.Live