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2014/8/4 10:00



SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA (August 4, 2015) – A Missouri racer with a knack for upsetting the norm has taken the Classic American Muscle autocross world by storm, with the help of Ron Sutton Race Technology. 

Lance Hamilton in a sharp burgundy 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo - street legal - competes across the Midwest in his 3500 pound machine with his eye on this year's SCCA Solo Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska.  

Hamilton's day jobs include 27 years in wholesale contact lenses and owning a local pack and ship store.  Both industries are dominated by power players and large companies, like the big time competition Hamilton faces at the track.

LanceHamiltonlg1.jpg"It's kinda like my Monte Carlo," Hamilton said.  "I like to do what they say can't be done.  When I first started and people saw my car, they said 'What are you doing out here with a car like that?'  Now, they are asking me how I do it!"

Hamilton tried his hand at golf and wakeboarding before seeing Autocross at the 2010 Goodguys show in Scottsdale.  He was immediately hooked and found he had a knack for it.

Hamilton was one of the first customers for Ron Sutton Race Technology (RSRT) when Sutton entered into the Pro Touring and Autocross arena.  Sutton was a racer, designer, builder & crew cheif himself for many years before starting a driver development program in 2005.  Sutton took a break from the fast paced oval track world and returned to racing after a thread started by Hamilton.  What began with the simple topic "Need a little help figuring something out" has turned into a two year process of Hamilton and Sutton documenting their progress on an originally stock Monte Carlo.

"I had an SS that I had done a factory restoration on," Hamilton said.  "We were running with 180 horsepower and an automatic, but we swapped that out for a 383 carbureted truck motor.  This is a street legal car with full interior and even cup holders, that you could build for $22,000."

At the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge in Bowling Green, Kentucky in June, Hamilton was nipping at the heels of $100,000 cars.  It took a combination of sweat equity combined with Sutton's advice to get up to speed so quickly.

"I can call him on a Sunday night and he talks me off the edge," Hamilton said.  "He is a great teacher.  One of the first things he had me do is run an event with zip ties on the shock shaft to see how it was traveling.  With that, we realized we had the car set up too low."

The theory was to find a setup that was "high travel, low roll" with consistent weight transfer on the brakes to gain camber, but with consistent roll resistance throughout the corner.  Sutton and Hamilton found that they could not find a sway bar off the shelf that was large enough for the task.  The team ended up having a custom sway bar built for them from RSRT partner Ridetech. 

The results have seen Hamilton routinely place in the top 20 of raw times in events with more than 100 entries.

Hamilton will travel this weekend to the CAM Challenge East at Grissom Aeroplex in Indiana, looking to build off of the success he has experienced in 2015 to score a class win.   The Smithville, Missouri racer would like to thank Ron Sutton Race Technology, Ridetech, Excessive Engineering, and All Star Performance for their support.

For more information on Ron Sutton Race Technology, visit them online at


Ron Sutton Race Technology is a one-stop resource for winning car building or improving performance for Autocross, Road Course Track Days & Pro Touring Cars. Ron offers suspension, brake & aerodynamic optimization services, complete chassis/suspension designs, cutting edge suspension packages, consulting services, books, workshops & an online store with 600 brands & over 90,000 parts. 

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