Aaron Pierce (left) alongside Kaylee Bryson. (Sam Pierce Racing Photo)

Pierce Returning To The Driver’s Seat At Open Wheel Showdown

INDIANAPOLIS — Sam Pierce Racing will bring their formidable pavement winged sprint car program to the Bullring at Las Vegas for Davey Hamilton Jr.’s Open Wheel Showdown Dec. 1-2 with veteran sprint car champion and team principal Aaron Pierce.  

Team SPR will be fielding its unique “laydown car” designed specifically for winged sprint car competition.

The car carried “AP” to two Auto Value Super Sprint championships, over 30 feature wins and track records at Angola (Ind.), Kalamazoo (Mich.), Sandusky (Ohio), South Bend (Ind.) and Toledo (Ohio) Speedways over the years — many of which still stand today. 

Pierce last raced the car in June of 2015 at Kalamazoo Speedway finishing second in the feature event after setting quick time in qualifying.

Sam Pierce Racing's No. 26 pavement winged sprint car.
Sam Pierce Racing’s No. 26 pavement winged sprint car. (SPR photo)

“We changed our focus after that race to concentrate on making our conventional car a convertible piece,” Pierce said.

Team SPR went on to win eight winged events and multiple top-10 finishes in non-wing trim including a win in the prestigious “Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming” event at Lucas Oil IRP in 2022 with the conventional car. 

“This race is a big deal and I felt that we needed to bring the best winged car that we have to race with the best winged cars that they have,” Pierce said.

The purpose-built No. 26 machine was cleared for competition by Open Wheel Showdown technical staff last week at the team’s Daleville, Ind., race shop. The effort to capture the biggest prize in pavement sprint car racing history — $50,000 — will be backed by Team SPR partners AP Driver Development, Logical Systems LLC and SamPierceChevy.com. 

Pierce was sidelined from the cockpit during the 2022 Lucas Oil Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway with a minor medical issue and was cleared to race in June 2022, but instead chose to focus on driver development with Kaylee Bryson.

Bryson went on to capture fifth place in 2023 USAC Silver Crown Series national driver points and Rookie of the Year honors with Team SPR — both historic firsts for a woman in USAC competition. 

Kaylee will be announcing her 2024 season schedules with Team SPR, including plans for the 2024 Chili Bowl in early December in conjunction with the upcoming PRI Show in Indianapolis.