Wins part of progress for local motorcycle racing team


A former Carmel resident has been racing motorcycles for 13 years. Even with that much experience, Nolan Lamkin continues to learn and improve.

And as a bonus, he’s winning races while doing so.

Lamkin, a 2019 Carmel High School graduate who lives in Indianapolis, scored victories in the first two MotoAmerica Series race weekends this season. Riding a BMW S 1000 RR for Carmel-based Tom Wood Powersports Indy, Lamkin, 22, earned wins in the Superbike Cup class at the season-opener at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., on April 21-23, and was victorious in the same class about a month later at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala.

CIC COM 0613 Nolan Lamkin 3
Submitted photos courtesy Nolan Lamkin

Lamkin was leading the Superbike Cup standings going into a June 2-4 event at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. He was fifth in the Stock 1000 class standings after the first two races. Nine events are on the 2023 schedule. The team was beset by mechanical and electrical issues at Road America, but Lamkin salvaged a sixth-place finish in the Superbikes race and was involved in a crash (but was uninjured) in the Stock 100 race.

As the first rider for the Tom Wood Powersports team, Lamkin knew he was part of a team-building process. In his second year of a three-year contract, he is pleased with the team’s progress.

“We expected to be up front, and we’re glad we’re there,” Lamkin said. “We’ve got a good thing going, and we’re seeing how we can make improvements. It’s a continuous process.”

With a lack of road-course facilities in Central Indiana, Lamkin frequently travels to Camden, Ohio (near Richmond, Ind.), to practice on a go-kart track. He uses the time to refine his skills, learning how to move the bike around and mastering a feel for what the front tire and wheel will do in corners after having reached speeds of about 180 mph.

Fractions of seconds separate winners from contenders, meaning Lamkin must be the best rider he can be.

“You’re always looking for a little bit more,” he said.

Lamkin gets help from his father, Bill Lamkin; crew chief Dustin Meador; and Donny Meador, Dustin’s father. Last year’s crew chief, Freddy Carswell, helped the Tom Wood Powersports team solve electronics issues that flared up with his BMW bike last season.

Dustin Meador, a Tulsa, Okla., resident who has raced in the MotoAmerica Series, said Lamkin does a great job of giving him feedback about how the bike is performing. And he said he has seen Lamkin mature as a rider.

“He’s really smart about his riding,” Meador said. “He’s really smooth. “It’s just awesome getting the results we’ve been getting.”

Lamkin’s long-term goal is to compete in the international MotoGP Series. More immediately, his focus is on polishing his riding and the team getting maximum performance out of his bike.

“There’s always stuff you want to improve on,” he said. “We’re plugging away at it.”