Lucas Oil Raceway
Lucas Oil Raceway
Lucas Oil Raceway
Lucas Oil Raceway
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Madison, IL

  2020 Sprint Cars  


Simply put, things couldn’t have gone any better for Nolen Racing Saturday night at the Night Before the 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway, which was a special non-points USAC sprint and midget event. Nolen Racing competed in the sprint car portion.

After winning a Must See Racing asphalt sprint car race at the same track in June with a V6 Tranter-prepped Chevrolet engine, the team installed a Tranter V8 in its Beast chassis for Saturday’s contest.

Swanson won the pole with a time of 20.973 seconds, which was 0.046 better than fellow front-row starter Aaron Pierce’s 21.019, and he led all 40 laps of the race for the top prize of $10,000.

There was only one yellow, which occurred at the start when Ken Schrader and Nick Hamilton tangled in Turn 2. Neither were hurt.

Pierce chased Swanson the whole way. At first Pierce was 0.4 or 0.5 behind Swanson’s yellow No. 4, but he was only 0.247 behind on lap 17 as Swanson had to slow a bit due to traffic he was lapping. But by lap 25 the lapped cars weren’t a problem and Swanson was able to extend his lead to 1.135 seconds. He then padded his advantage. He was 2.170 ahead by lap 29, 3.110 seconds ahead by lap 38, and his margin of victory over Pierce was a whopping 4.092 seconds.

Kyle Hamilton finished third, Tyler Roahrig was fourth and Tanner Swanson, Kody Swanson’s younger brother, was fifth in the 23-car field.

Kody Swanson and Pierce both set their fastest race laps on lap 4, with Swanson again faster with a 21.202 to Pierce’s 21.251.

“I’m so thankful to everyone on this Nolen Racing team; they worked hard and we had a great sprint car,” Swanson said afterwards. “It was tight, but I have no complaints. We do this in memory of Gene [Nolen], and I’m so thankful for his son, Greg, who is carrying the torch for us and doing a great job of running a race team. These guys are first class and I’m thankful to be racing for them.”

  2020 Indy Pro 2000 Series  


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Wow! Kody Swanson has been striving for years to gain an opportunity to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Now 32, from Kingsburg in California’s Central Valley, Swanson is a five-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion.

This evening at Lucas Oil Raceway, a 0.686-mile oval situated only 15 minutes or so from the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Swanson took a big step toward that goal by winning the Cooper Tires Freedom 90. Remarkably, it was Swanson’s very first race on the highly acclaimed Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires open-wheel development ladder – and in a rear-engined car, a Tatuus PM-18 entered by Legacy Autosport and co-owned by Mike Meyer, whose great-grandfather Louis was the first-ever three-time Indy 500 winner.

After qualifying second last night, Swanson swept into the lead on Lap 40 of the 90-lap race, run entirely under green-flag conditions, and controlled the remainder of the 90-lap distance to secure an emotional victory in what was also the very first start in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires for Legacy Autosport.

New Zealander Hunter McElrea also drove a fine race, rising from sixth on the grid to take second for Pabst Racing. Polesitter Manuel Sulaiman, from Puebla, Mexico, had to be content with third for DEForce Racing.

The effectiveness of Swanson’s sublime performance cannot be overstated. Sure, he had plenty of experience at Lucas Oil Raceway, but he had never before raced on radial tires. The driving style necessary to extract the maximum performance from his 275-horsepower, 2.0-liter Elite Engines-powered Tatuus was completely different to that demanded by his usual thunderous V8-powered steed. Yet he took to the new discipline immediately.

By his own admission, and unsurprisingly, Swanson struggled to come to grips with the car in the early stages of the race. He almost lost control early in Turns One and Two, under intense pressure from series veteran Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), from Payette, Idaho, but quickly settled down.

Sulaiman, who claimed his second Cooper Tires Pole Award last night, took advantage of his greater familiarity with the car to pull out a useful advantage of almost three seconds over the course of the opening 20 laps. But by then Swanson was into his groove. The margin between them shrank steadily. By Lap 35, the two leaders were nose-to-tail, with Robb hanging on gamely in third.

Five laps later, as the leading trio worked to put a lap on Canadian Antoine Comeau (Turn 3 Motorsport) in Turns Three and Four, Swanson used his wealth of oval-track experience to sneak alongside Sulaiman on the preferred outside line. He then edged ahead as they crossed the stripe to begin another lap. Swanson never looked back, eventually taking the checkered flag almost a quarter-lap clear of the field to secure a first-ever PFC Award for Meyer and his father, Butch, as the winning car owners.

Then, after the victory celebrations, Swanson calmly headed off to climb aboard his USAC Silver Crown car in pursuit of yet another race victory.

With Swanson long gone in the lead, the focus centered instead on the battle for second. Sulaiman had seemed to be in control, but McElrea had other ideas. After making up one position at the start, the New Zealander had to wait until the 60th lap to make any more progress, when he scythed past Robb in Turns One and Two. Ten laps later he overtook Frost, whereupon it took only another handful of laps to reel in Sulaiman, whom he again passed in Turns One and Two.

There was no catching Swanson but it was still a fine drive by McElrea, earning him the Tilton Hard Charger Award.

Sulaiman held on for third, his maiden Indy Pro 2000 podium, while championship leader Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport), from Toronto, Ont., Canada, in his first-ever oval race, somehow found a way past Frost – a dominant winner at Lucas Oil Raceway one year ago – on the final lap to finish fourth.

Robb slipped to sixth at the finish ahead of Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), from New Albany, Ohio, who narrowly held off Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), from Homer Glen, Ill., and Russian Artem Petrov (Juncos Racing). Canadian Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing) was the final unlapped finisher in 10th.

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will return to action next week with the second oval race of the season, the Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge of St. Louis Presented by Cooper Tires on Saturday evening, August 29, at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill.


  2020 USAC Silver Crown Series  


BROWNSBURG, Ind., Aug. 22 — Nolen Racing’s Kody Swanson extended his record as the driver who has won more USAC Silver Crown pole positions than anyone in history when he got number 31 Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Later that night the five-time and reigning series champion led the 100-lap race that headlined the Dave Steele Carb Night Classic from laps 1-40. However, a problem with his car’s rear brake caliper then forced him to give up the lead to his brother and fellow front-row starter, Tanner Swanson, who went on to win the race. Kody was still in second place when he pitted under a yellow that flew on lap 56 when John Heydenreich spun in Turn 2 and hit the inside wall on the backstretch.

The Nolen Racing crew quickly went to work to replace the brake caliper, Kody returned to action, and came from the rear of the field to finish tenth. Prior to the mechanical issue Kody was flying. He had over a 1-second lead by lap 4, and he had built up a 10-car-length lead over his younger brother before he pitted.

Tanner Swanson went on to win over Aaron Pierce, Kyle Hamilton, Bobby Santos III, Justin Grant, Eric Gordon, Patrick Lawson, Russ Gamester, Chris Windom and Kody. The Swanson brothers were the only leaders of the race on the 0.686-mile asphalt oval.

Kody Swanson won the Fatheadz pole award with a time of 20.732 seconds, which was 0.245 of a second faster than Tanner’s best time. That accomplishment earned him a $1,000 bonus from Mac and Carol Steele, parents of the late Dave Steele, for whom this race is named.

  2020 USAC Silver Crown Series  



By Richie Murray - USAC Media

Salem, Indiana (August 15, 2020)………Throughout the annals of USAC Silver Crown’s 50-year history, no driver’s statistical output stacks up to Kody Swanson’s.  That has been proven time and time again as the Kingsburg, Calif. native has illustrated his very own record book during his illustrious career.

On an evening when he became the first driver in series history to reach 30 poles and 30 wins in a career, Swanson once again reached another record that once seemed unbreakable – that being Pancho Carter’s four consecutive Joe James-Pat O’Connor Memorial victories between 1974-77.

Swanson did just that on Saturday night at Salem Speedway, pressing leader Bobby Santos throughout the first two-thirds of the 75-lap race before taking the lead in traffic with a spectacular three-wide pass on the outside of turn one on the 50th lap, then holding serve on a couple of late-race restarts to capture the win after previous victories in the event in 2016-17-18-19.

“Being second, you have the benefit because you can go where they aren’t,” Swanson explained.  “Tonight, a couple times it got a little hairy and didn’t work.  I don’t know if there’s anything more “Pancho” for me than taking the lead three-wide in turn one on the outside at Salem.  I don’t know if I deserve to be in the company (of Pancho), but I sure do appreciate the honor.”

The victory for Swanson aboard the Nolen Racing/KECO Coatings – Goodridge – K & N Filters/Beast/Tranter Chevy was a welcome sight for the team after an uncharacteristic performance just six days prior in the Silver Crown season opener at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway.  There, the final result was an 11th place finish after running outside of the top-ten all throughout the 74-lap race.

That result put into motion a meeting of the minds for driver and team as a whole to get back on the same page and right the ship after an auspicious start in rocky waters.

“We had a meeting after Selinsgrove,” Swanson recalled.  “It was a tough conversation to have with all that led up to it with our results that night.  The way we ended (the meeting) was that it already happened, so I want that to be our rock bottom.  Everybody’s got a rock bottom and I am hoping that would be ours and everyone could pull together, and we could come out here this week and prove that we are better than we were in Pennsylvania.”

A similar scenario greeted Swanson on Saturday as it did just one year prior with the team utilizing two different racecars in practice.  This time, it was the brakes that were creating havoc with the primary car in practice, forcing the team to roll the second car out of the trailer.

In the second practice session, Swanson took the “backup” to the top of the charts, then proceeded to clock in with the fastest qualifying time in Fatheadz Qualifying, thus earning him the pole position.  However, at the start of the main event, it was Santos who got the jump on Swanson from his outside front row starting position while Swanson slotted into second.

“I did not want him to get the lead on the start and he didn’t want me to either,” Swanson remembered.  “We raced hard that first lap and I know I was sideways and trying to keep it down off him.”

Third-running David Byrne was right in the thick of the hunt with Santos and Swanson before he slowed dramatically with mechanical trouble just eight laps into the event, the second time in two starts this year that the 2019 third-place Silver Crown points finisher’s race has met an early end.

Swanson had hounded Santos throughout, running nose-to-tail with the former NASCAR Modified Champion during the mid-stages, turning up the wick with attempted bids for the lead on the 44th and 47th laps, thwarted by the presence of gridlock style traffic on each occasion, the latter involving a stifling five-car shuffle in which Santos and Swanson had to dance their way through.

“I tried hard to get him early; I didn’t want to wait for lapped traffic; I didn’t want to wait until the end, but I had no choice,” Swanson explained.  “I was getting a run on him on the outside of four, and I thought ‘that’s not very smart.’  It gets awful narrow there.  Bobby is a very smart racer and he’s not going to give you any of the racetrack you need to pass him.  What he was giving me there, I was trying to make work, but it couldn’t unless I just got lucky one time.  Maybe I got lucky a couple times that I didn’t wreck trying it.”

With the heady Santos, a winner of 10 Silver Crown races in his own right, holding down the fort up front, all Swanson needed was one moment to make his break.  Approaching the 10th place car of Joe Liguori, Santos became boxed in behind entering the middle of turn one.  Swanson swung high to the outside of both cars to paste his ride in the number one position.

With a clear track ahead, Swanson built his lead to over a second ahead of Santos when one-time Silver Crown winner and 9th place running Kyle Hamilton slowed on the front straightaway with smoke coming from the car, putting him out of the race.

That, plus a Liguori turn two spin with two laps remaining, set up a green-white-checkered finish with yellow flag laps counting for 73 laps of the 75-lap distance.

Santos had multiple shots at his one shot to defeat Swanson on the last couple of restarts, but couldn’t quite muster enough to put his car past Swanson, who drove to s 1.013 sec. margin of victory over Santos, with Aaron Pierce, Justin Grant and a career-best series finish for 2019 Silver Crown Rooke of the Year, Derek Bischak, who rounded out the top-five.

Meanwhile, Austin Nemire earned KSE Racing Products Hard Charger honors following his charge from 15th to 6th in his first series start of the season.

  2020 USAC Silver Crown Series  


SELINSGROVE, Pa., Aug. 11 — Considering that the Nolen Racing No. 20 qualified tenth and went to the work area three times during the 74-lap USAC Silver Crown season opener, the team and its driver, Kody Swanson, were glad to salvage an 11th-place finish in the inaugural Bill Holland Classic at Selinsgrove Speedway Sunday night.

“It was a tough day for sure,” Swanson said. “I’m really proud of the effort put in by everyone on this race team. They continued to dig all day to try to help us be the best we could be. We came in during a couple cautions late in the race to try to make the car better. The only thing we could confirm is it was some part issue that was failing in the suspension and causing our grief. We gave it our best effort to salvage what we could both in the work area and on the track to get as many positions as we could. I’m thankful for the effort by everyone. We look forward to running Salem on Saturday and trying to improve.”

 The team’s next race in a very busy month is the 61st annual Joe James-Pat O’Connor Memorial this coming Saturday, Aug. 15, at Salem Speedway in Salem, Ind. The team led every lap of that race from the pole last year. In fact, Swanson has won the Silver Crown race at Salem every year for the last four years. 

Sunday at Selinsgrove Swanson was third fastest in the final practice session with a 22.324. He qualified tenth in the 24-car field with a time of 22.274 seconds. That was just 0.598 off C.J. Leary’s new track record of 21.676. Swanson’s best lap during the race was lap 43, which he turned in 23.478 with about a half load of fuel. 

The race had two red flags; once at the start when David Byrne and Casey Buckman tangled in Turns 3 and 4, and once with 30 laps down when Dave Berkheimer flipped on the frontstretch and his car caught on fire. Luckily no one was hurt in any of the accidents. 

Swanson got off to a good start initially and was able to run in the top 10 for the first 10 laps before the problems surfaced with the team’s bright yellow Maxim, which has a Tranter-prepared Chevy engine. Its sponsors include KECO Coatings, Goodridge and K&N Filters. 

Swanson went to the work area under the red for Berkheimer’s accident, again under a yellow with 52 laps down, and a third time when he got a flat tire with just a handful of laps remaining. 

The pitstop with 52 laps down came under a yellow after an accident involving the drivers who were fourth and fifth at the time, Chris Windom and Kevin Thomas Jr., in Turn 3. 

Each time Swanson had to restart at the rear of the field, but he still finished on the lead lap and took the checkered just one spot out of the top 10. 

Other top runners had problems too. In addition to Windom and Thomas, Justin Grant stopped in Turn 2 with four laps to go while running second. (Swanson pitted under that yellow to have his flat tire changed.)  Brady Bacon and Logan Seavey had flat tires on the last lap while running third and fourth, respectively. Leary led the whole race until a restart with two laps to go, when Shane Cottle passed him with a fresher tire. 

  2020 ARCA Menards Series  


July 15, 2020 - NEWTON, Ia.: Five-time and defending USAC Silver Crown Series champion Kody Swanson (@KodySwanson) will make his ARCA Menards Series debut for Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) in Saturday afternoon’s Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway.
A three-time and reigning Little 500 winner, Swanson will drive the No. 22 Fatheadz Eyewear Ford Fusion and is eager to add success in the ARCA Menards Series to an already impressive Motorsports resume.

Following his first USAC Silver Crown Series championship in 2014, Swanson had the opportunity to test an ARCA car at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in preseason testing, but Saturday’s race will be the first in the series’ composite-style race car.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” said Swanson. “I’m excited to take this next leap in my racing career and compete in the ARCA Menards Series at Iowa Speedway with a winning-race team.”
Longtime marketing partner Fatheadz Eyewear has expanded its relationship with Swanson for his ARCA debut in a primary role.

Founded in March 2004 under the direction of Rico Elmore, Fatheadz first started by catering to men with heads too large to fit in standard width sunglasses comfortably. To solve this issue, Elmore created a product line with four oversized sunglasses available in varying colors.
Fatheadz has now grown to encompass five distinct lines of eyewear of all sizes for both men and women. With over 1000 unique product offerings, innovation continues to drive Fatheadz’s customer centric business.

“We are excited to extend and grow our relationship with Kody this year as he embarks on this next opportunity in the ARCA Menards Series,” said Rico Elmore, Founder and CEO of Fatheadz Inc.
“Kody has been a great ambassador of our brands for the past few years and we’re excited to be associated again with him as he transitions into stock car racing with Chad Bryant Racing.”
While Swanson, 32, does not have any prior stock car experience at Iowa, the Kingsburg, Calif. native has turned laps at the 0.875-mile race track in open wheel competition.

A 29-time race winner in Silver Crown competition (all-time leader), he also holds the track record at Iowa Speedway in Silver Crown competition, as well as boasting two second place efforts and a third.
While the vehicles are quite different, Swanson is hoping that some of his prior track knowledge will pay some dividends during his ARCA debut weekend.

“I’m sure that our only hour of practice will go by really fast,” added Swanson, who resides near Indianapolis, Ind. “I’m thankful to have some experience with this racetrack and hoping that background will help me feel comfortable in my new surroundings and transition to the different characteristics of these ARCA Menards cars more quickly.”
ARCA will not hold General Tire pole qualifying this weekend, so Swanson will likely start by owners’ points – putting him just outside the top-10 to start. 

With the 150-lap race being broken into three segments with a competition caution at the end or near Laps 50 and 100, Swanson realizes if his car isn’t to his liking at the start, veteran and championship winning crew chief Paul Andrews will have the ability to adjust on it.

“With no qualifying, it definitely changes your perspective.  Looking at the positives, with a short practice schedule already, we can continue to work through that entire session on getting me comfortable in the car, and what I should expect in the race.  I hope that I can become familiar enough with the car to provide Paul with good information, and we can continue to improve every chance we get.

“I’d like to get this team a win on Saturday – that’s what every racer sets out to do, but I realize that I will have an awful lot to learn in a short amount of time.  I am thankful to have this opportunity with the Chad Bryant Racing team, and I know they are familiar with Victory Lane in the ARCA Menards series and Iowa Speedway. I hope I can adapt quickly, continue to improve with each lap, and can be in a good position to contend for a win for this team.

“I am extremely grateful for the effort Chad Bryant and Rico Elmore have made to give me an opportunity like this, and thankful for everyone who has joined us to help make it happen.”
Team owner Chad Bryant is ecstatic to work with a driver of Swanson’s potential and be the platform for his first stock car start.

“To bring Kody onboard to our Chad Bryant Racing team to Iowa is huge,” offered Bryant. “He comes from an open wheel discipline, but I think he will capitalize on it tremendously this weekend in Iowa.
“He’s a deeply knowledgeable driver and wants to perform not only for the team but his partners too. Paul and the guys have been working hard on his race car and I cannot wait to get to the race track and see what kind of performance he can put together. I think we can contend for a win.”

In other open wheel accolades, Swanson, the 2009 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year joined Al Unser Sr. in 2018 as one of the only two drivers in history to win four consecutive Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown Series race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

In addition to Fatheadz, Rosewood Machine & Tool, Lyons Transportation, Matthews Family Racers, Beyond Designs and Radio Hospital will serve as additional sponsors on the No. 22 Ford Fusion for the 14th ARCA race held at the 0.0875-mile oval.

For more on Kody Swanson, please visit, like him on Facebook (Swanson Kody and follow him on Twitter (@KodySwanson). 

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please visit, like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace). 

For more on Fatheadz and their products, please visit, like them on Facebook (Fatheadz Eyewear) or follow them on Twitter (@fatheadz). 

The Shore Lunch 150 (100 laps | 150 miles) is the seventh of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Sat., Jul. 18 with a one-hour practice session from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and NBC Sports Gold while will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (Central).

  2020 Indy Pro 2000  
  2020 Pavement Sprint Cars  


Clermont, IN – June 20, 2020 - by Jacob Seelman

In perhaps one of the most thrilling battles in the history of the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro, Kody Swanson outdueled Bobby Santos to win the inaugural Indy Summer Nationals on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway.

The event was the first to be broadcast on MustSeeRacing.TV, part of the SPEED SPORT Network, and the first single-day non-winged event in series history. It did not pay points toward the championship.

Swanson and Santos put on a show from the drop of the green flag for the 30-lap feature, starting third and fourth but racing their way to the top-two spots within the first lap and a half. Once they got there, it was a game of cat and mouse the rest of the way, as the two longtime rivals sized one another up and did whatever it took to try and outfox the other.

Swanson led the first 17 laps in succession, spending most of that time no more than two tenths of a second out in front. However, his Nolen Racing No. 4 finally started to pull away from Santos at halfway, and Swanson was nearly a second ahead when a game-changing yellow waved with 13 laps to go. That caution, which was displayed for a spin by Nick Hamilton in turn two that saw Caleb Armstrong collected with nowhere to go, set up a double-file restart with Swanson electing the inside lane. However, when the green flag returned the one drawback of Swanson’s Tranter V6 engine was displayed, as it struggled to fire off as well as Santos’ Speedway Chevy V8 did, allowing Santos to take control of the race from the top groove.

But Swanson dug his heels in and went back to work. He tried to pitch his car to Santos’ inside in turn three coming to 10 to go, but Santos powered back around the outside and forced Swanson to reset for another go. Swanson continued to chip away at Santos with the shorter groove, and finally found success working lap 24, when he got just clear of Santos in turn two and slid across the front nerf bar of the No. 22a for the top spot. However, a spin by 10th-running Ronnie Wuerdeman before the lap could be completed negated the brilliant move, giving Santos the lead back and forcing Swanson to try yet again to pounce.

A subsequent caution on the restart, for the looped car of Bobby Komisarski on the backstretch, gave the feeling that the race was Santos’ to lose, but Swanson had none of it when action resumed for the seven-lap dash to the checkered flag. After falling into second when Santos got the launch off the top groove, Swanson pitched his Nolen Racing No. 4 to the inside of the second corner with five laps left and completed a sliding pass the likes of which any dirt sprint car driver would be proud of – powering to the lead and never looking back. Swanson pulled away from there to win by 1.859 seconds at the twin checkers, earning his first Must See Racing win and becoming the 20th different driver to win a feature in series history. Kody also joined his brother, Tanner Swanson, as a Must See Racing winner Saturday night. Tanner won his lone Must See Racing event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in March of 2012.

Once he got to victory lane, the emotion surrounding not only Swanson’s victory – but the never-saydie manner in which he got the job done – was palpable. Tears of joy rolled down his face as he hugged every member of the Nolen Racing crew and cried, “We did it! We did it!” amid a mob of wellwishers. The win was a perfect tribute to late Nolen Racing team owner Gene Nolen, who passed away on April 8 and stated in his last wishes that he wanted his eponymous race team to continue with Swanson driving.

Saturday night, that team – led by Swanson – banded together and did just that for their fallen leader. “This win is for Gene,” an emotional Swanson affirmed. “It’s been a long offseason for everyone with this virus mess, and I hate that we’re here without Gene, but we wanted to win for him so badly. I’m excited for Greg (Nolen, Gene’s son), and everyone on this team. They’ve been a part of this family for a long time, and I’ve only been here for a little while, but I’ve sure been thankful to be a part of it.

“I love these V6s, even though I had a little doubt in the back of my mind (whether the smaller engine would have enough speed at the .686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway),” Swanson continued. “But these guys are like the little engine that could. They said, ‘I think we can (win). And gosh dang it, we did. I sure wasn’t going to lose it like that, on a late restart, and I’ve got to thank Bobby Santos for running me so clean. I know I ran him really hard, but I really wanted this one. I wasn’t going to lose it lik e that, and we didn’t.

Santos came home as the runner-up, and though disappointed, gave a nod of respect to Swanson and the whole Nolen Racing crew for the fierce battle between the two sides all race long. “They were just handling a little better than we were at the end,” noted Santos. “Honestly, I needed those yellows. The yellows and the short runs were our friend, but we’ve just gotta be better next time. You always want to have good, hard, clean racing and we know we’re going to get that with those guys every time.”

  2020 Pavement Sprint Cars  


Pinellas Park, Florida – February 20, 2020 – by Dave Sink – Kody Swanson captured Thursday nights inaugural “Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125” at Showtime Speedway and officially ended the sprint car portion of 2020 Florida Speedweeks. Swanson’s win came aboard the Doran Enterprises #77 V-6 powered entry.

Swanson set quick time earlier in the day with a lap of 13.410 seconds around the quarter-mile semi-banked speedway near St. Petersburg, Florida. The 125-lap feature was scheduled to start straight up but Swanson elected to start the race from the outside front row.

When the green flagged dropped Swanson took command of the event but surrendered the lead to Kyle O’Gara just prior to lap 10. O’Gara began to build a sizeable lead over Swanson during the next 40 laps, despite apparent brake issues. The car appeared to be locking up the front brakes entering the corners.

Just after the 50-lap mark, Swanson began reeling in race leader O’Gara at a rapid pace. By lap 66 Swanson had taken the lead back and began to build a small cushion. Unfortunately for Swanson, a lap 84 red flag to clean up fluid on the track, would bunch the field up when the race resumed. Bobby Santos III had quietly worked himself into the runner up position after starting the race from inside the third row. It appeared as if a classic Swanson versus Santos III battle was brewing for the final 25 laps.

When the race resumed, Swanson wasted no time getting around lapped cars and kept Santos III at a comfortable distance the final 25 laps to capture the victory and a $5,000 payday.

Swanson beat Santos III across the line by 1.077 seconds followed by O’Gara, Joe Ligouri, and John Inman rounding out the top five.

In victory lane Swanson alluded to the fact he was patient at the start of the race and let O’Gara set the pace early on. ”I kinda play these races by ear” explained Swanson. ”The ideal is to lead the whole thing from start to finish. But as good as he was early, I wasn’t good enough to do what he was doing early. I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again. I didn’t know if he’d fade and I’d have a chance. Luckily, the longer the race went it kinda played back to us. I tried not to lose sight of him but there was period there where I really couldn’t even see him”.

With 25 laps remaining, Swanson indicated he was concerned, with Santos III right behind him and $5,000 on the line. ”I knew Bobby had come from fifth. Bobby is an incredible racer and does a great job saving his equipment. You know he’s gonna be there at the end and he's coming. I knew he would be very tough to hold off. At that point I felt fortunate to get a good start. There was no more saving after that. I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be, or as in control as I wanted to be. I kept moving around the racetrack to find a little bit of speed, wherever I could, just to stay in front of him”.

The race paid tribute to Dave Steele, who lost his life in an accident at a track in nearby Bradenton nearly three years ago. Swanson was quick to share what the victory meant to him personally. “It means a lot to win this race because Dave was a friend, teammate, and someone I had Thanksgiving dinner with during Turkey Night. He was someone who is truly missed and someone I think of often. The chance to win one in his memory is really special” concluded Swanson.

  2020 Pavement Sprint Cars  


February 16, 2020 – When details of the “Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125” were first announced, it was assumed Kody Swanson would eventually throw his name in the at with those wanting to compete. It only seemed natural.

Swanson, originally from Kingsburg, California but now calls Zionsville, Indiana home, has feasted on non-wing asphalt sprint car racing during his career. He captured his first Little 500 in 2016 for the legendary Hoffman Auto Racing family owned team. Since then he has found victory lane an additional 2 times including his past season.

In 2019 Swanson found victory lane with the Auto Value Super Sprints at Marne, Michigan on July 20 and captured another non-wing asphalt sprint car victory at Anderson, Indiana a couple of weeks later.

Swanson has found most of his success the past two seasons behind the wheel of the potent Gene Nolen owned, yellow BEAST chassis #4, with Bill Tranter V-6 engines. But Swanson finds himself behind the wheel of an unfamiliar machine to close out Florida Speedweeks with two non-wing pavement sprint car events at Showtime Speedway February 19-20.

With only a few days left until the fast approaching events, Swanson has become the latest driver to confirm participation in the inaugural “Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125” Swanson will behind the wheel of the Doran Enterprises #77 for these events. This car has most recently been wheeled by Eric Gordon.

Swanson was very interested in the event when he learned details of the event. “I like pavement sprint cars” Swanson explained. ”I’m glad to see them having a resurgence, especially without the wings. And it’s a chance to race in the month of February when there’s snow on the ground here in the Midwest piques my interest anyways. It’s a 125-lap race and a chance to honor a friend (Dave Steele) is something I’m excited to be a part of”.

The three-time Little 500 champion will be in an unfamiliar car for this event, but he is already familiar with the team as he competed for them at Daytona this past November. ”I was fortunate enough to run for the Doran Racing team at the historic 24 hours of Daytona last fall. I stayed in contact with them and I’m looking forward to racing sprint cars with them. Through a discussion, they asked me if I had any interest in going. I didn’t have anyone that was planning on going yet. It was nice reconnecting and hopefully we’ll have some fun racing together again”.

Interestingly, the Doran Racing team car is a BEAST chassis with a Bill Tranter V-6, much like the Nolen Racing car he competes with regularly.

“I’ve never been to Showtime before but I’m trying to do my homework on the place. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person and giving it a shot. I’m really looking forward to racing for the Doran Racing team again and giving it our best shot” concluded Swanson.

  2019 Historic Sportscar Racing - Classic Daytona 24 Hour  


Jaeger & Swanson Win Classic 24 Hour Class, Finish 3rd in Overall GT

We sure had a good time at the Historic Sportscar Racing Classic 24. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity and thankful for everyone that played a part in it! Thanks to Ken, Kevin and everyone at Doran Racing for all of their effort, and to Brad Jaeger for all his help and teaching me how to drive this Ford GT!

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media -

Rossburg, Ohio (September 28, 2019)………For Kody Swanson, 2019 was a year unlike any other.  The record books will forever show the Kingsburg, Calif. driver having another dominant year with five wins in 10 races and adding an unprecedented fifth USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series title to his laundry list of accomplishments within the series.

They say stats never lie, which is true.  However, stats don’t always tell the whole story, a story that’s had its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, heartaches and headaches, yet ended with the thrill of victory and another triumph in a year the 31-year-old driver calls gratifying.

“It’s been a very challenging year,” Swanson admitted.  “The thing that’s been great is these guys have been resilient.  We won two pavement races with a backup car.  Issues will happen in racing and you never know what will happen, but that’s what makes it so gratifying to win a race or a title, when you overcame so much.  These guys overcame an awful lot this year and they’re champions with me.”

It’s a story that began over the offseason, when Kody’s former team with which he had won four Silver Cronw driver’s titles in a four-year-span, DePalma Motorsports, closed up shop and sent the hottest free agent on the hunt for a new ride.

He landed at Greenwood, Indiana-based Nolen Racing, the venerable team that had been winners with the series spanning from 1991 to 2018 with drivers Johnny Parsons, Jim Keeker, Tony Elliott, Shane Hollingsworth and Chris Windom.

After a rigorous offseason of prepping equipment, building a relationship with the crew, and adapting to the new environment in general, Swanson and the Nolen team were thrown into the proverbial heat of the fire at March’s season opener in Memphis.

During Friday’s practice that weekend, Swanson practiced both of Nolen’s cars.  They had their primary car pulled apart on pit lane during the session after a brand-new driveshaft dealt them trouble.  Meanwhile, the team pulled out their backup and Swanson put some laps on it to make sure it was ready to run.  Swanson jumped back into the primary with a new driveshaft and proceeded to set the fastest lap of the afternoon.

Fast forward to raceday on Saturday, Swanson took to practice back in the primary before encountering what he described as a fluke engine part issue.  Nolen once again had to roll the backup car out where they tweaked on the chassis to get it to where Kody felt it was at its best.  Enter qualifying and Swanson promptly put it on the pole position.  Enter race time, and after dropping back following an early-race lead, Swanson dug his way back to lead the final 20 laps and score the victory.

“I’m exhausted; I’m elated; I don’t even know what to feel,” Swanson exclaimed at the time.  “I’m very grateful.  I haven’t been to my day job since Tuesday.  I could see the writing on the wall that we were already in a corner then.  We had guys that were there into the wee hours of the morning with me almost every night this week, then back at it the next day, just digging for all we were worth to be ready.  We got one ready and dug deep enough to get the other one ready just in case.  You hate to think you’d ever have a failure and need it, but we did, and it was ready to come in off the bench and do a great job for us.”

Granted, any victory is difficult to come by.  Yet, Swanson always seems to make it look relatively easily, although the backstories certainly tell a different tale as was the case in round two at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway in April.  However, as with most success stories in racing, chapter one begins “Once upon a time…” somewhere in the race shop, with a crew burning the midnight oil with hour-after-hour of tedious maintenance and improvements.  Or, perhaps, on the road, the setting may become a parking lot, as it was with Swanson and Nolen.

“The Nolen Racing 20 and everybody that’s involved is just digging harder and harder,” Swanson explained.  “Yesterday, we worked in the parking lot for six-and-a-half hours before the rain came to make sure we’d be ready.  Whether we liked it or not at the time, it’s the kind of stuff like that that gives you a chance to finish 100 laps and a chance to win on race day.”

Swanson did just that as the class of the field once again, winning the pole and wiring all 100 laps to capture his second-straight series victory to begin the new season at the Rollie Beale Classic.

Swanson was solid in his dirt debut with Nolen Racing in May’s Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, starting 4th and finishing 3rd.  The following night, back on the pavement at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind., provided one of the team’s most challenging moments of the season.  On a restart just following the halfway mark of the 100-lapper, Swanson was leading after winning the pole for the third consecutive pavement race and all seemed right in Swanson and team’s world.  However, his car failed to launch on the lap 54 restart with an engine issue, handing over the lead to Kyle Hamilton who raced away to victory while Swanson settled for a 16th place finish.

Back to the drawing board, the team locked down and went straight to business with a 2ndon the dirt at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway and another pristine pole-starting/race-winning performance at Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway. 

However, two weeks later on the high banks of Indiana’s Salem Speedway, Swanson and Nolen Racing were thrust into a painfully familiar scenario.  Right before the second round of practice began, crew member Chris Phillips noticed that water was coming through one of the nozzle filters.  Engine builder Bill Tranter noticed it was a big issue as well, and Swanson was forced to hop out of the primary while the team quickly retrieved the backup car.  Crew members Rick Laughlin and Dale Latty had worked on the backup car leading up to the event to make sure it was ready just in case it was needed.

In a matter of minutes, the backup car went from having travel tires on it to race tires that could be scuffed for qualifying.  The time that was left only allowed for two laps of practice, which proved pivotal for Swanson to diagnose what needed to be done.

“In those two laps, I was able to find the things I didn’t like about the racecar and what made me uncomfortable from the cockpit,” Swanson explained.  “Immediately, we came in and there was no ‘hey, we’re tired.  You figure it out.’  They all jumped in and continued to just battle it out to make it better.”

Swanson described his qualifying run that day as an uncomfortable two laps.  Yet, it was good enough for the four-time series champ to win the pole by more than three tenths of a second.  Despite all that, Swanson had the hunger for more.

“After we qualified, I came in and wanted to change four shocks and four springs,” Swanson recalled.  “Not once did any of the guys give me any grief, like ‘hey, don’t be greedy.’  They just kept after it.”

Swanson promptly put the car on the pole and led wire-to-wire to capture his fourth consecutive Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial victory, equaling a feat previously only accomplished by Pancho Carter in 1974-75-76-77, the very same night he became the 19th driver to join the 100-start club in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series.

The following race on the dirt mile of the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Labor Day weekend provided yet another grief-stricken scenario during practice, which saw the Nolen Racing team losing power to not one, but two different engines during practice.  Fellow driver Patrick Lawson gave up his ride to Swanson for the main event where Swanson charged from 29th to 14th to earn KSE Racing Products Hard Charger honors.

A short week followed and, six days later, the story was written in reverse as Swanson and Nolen executed their smoothest night of the year, getting back to the basics – racing and winning, which they did again for the fifth and final time of the season under the lights of Lucas Oil Raceway at the Rich Vogler Classic after pulling another engine out from under the bench, installing it in their designated backup car and leading all 100 laps.

At the Eldora finale, all Swanson had to do was present his car for the 50-lap feature event and the title was his.  But Swanson is a racer and proceeded to knock out one of his better Eldora performances, starting 3rd and finishing 4th to wrap up the title by 60 points over Justin Grant.

The path to a championship isn’t always a point A to point B process, although that’s always the initial goal.  And though it was certainly unlike any other year Swanson had experienced in his illustrious USAC Silver Crown career, the end result was as familiar as a comfortable pair of shoes.  It’s something we’ve become accustomed to – Kody Swanson standing on the stage celebrating a Silver Crown driver’s championship where, Saturday night, at Eldora, he concluded the decade as the most decorated driver of the 2010s, and in the history of the series, perhaps the likes we will never see again to this extent.


638: The number of points accumulated by Swanson during the 2019 season, ranks 1stamong all drivers.

404: The number of laps led by Swanson during the 2019 Silver Crown season, 277 more than his nearest competitor, which ranks 1st among all drivers.

103: The number of starts Swanson now has in his Silver Crown career, which ranks 17thamongst all drivers in the history of the series.

82: The number of consecutive Silver Crown starts Swanson has made since 2012, which ranks 2nd all time behind Brian Tyler’s 97 and 1st among all active drivers.

10: The number of 2019 Silver Crown starts, which is tied for 1st along with 8 other drivers.

8: The number of times Swanson finished in the top-five and top-ten during the 2019 season. His top-fives ranks 1st while his top-tens rank tied for 2nd.

5: The number of wins Swanson earned in 2019 as well the amount of Fatheadz Eyewear Pole Awards he’s won and the number of Silver Crown driving championships he now has, all of which rank 1st among all drivers.


  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


Brownsburg, IN – September 7, 2019 – via USAC Racing

In a championship race that Kody Swanson has led since day one, it seems inconceivable the number of peaks and valleys he and Nolen Racing have endured and overcome throughout the season.

Six days earlier at Du Quoin, the team had not one, but two engines go south on them in practice and qualifying, forcing Swanson into another team’s car that he had never set foot in prior to the green flag, riding to a 14th place finish.

Six days later, the story was written in reverse as Swanson and Nolen executed their smoothest night of the year.  No backup cars, no engine changes, just back to the basics – racing and winning, which they did again for the fifth time this year in nine races, Saturday night under the lights of Lucas Oil Raceway at the Rich Vogler Classic.

“It’s tough, on top of a short week to do it.  It would’ve been a tough week anyway, let alone when you’re down and trying to get going,” Kody explained.  “You can either wait for something good to happen to you or you can put the work in and try to help.  I haven’t been to my day job since Wednesday morning, gutting it out with the guys in the shop.  Everyone who’s a part of it has continued to give everything they could.”

Swanson’s victory, the record-extending 29th of his USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series career, came after circumstances with the engine befell the team at Salem less than a month ago in the most recent pavement race.  It was at Salem this week where the team made a decisive choice on the package they were going to bring to Lucas Oil Raceway.

“We had to pull (an engine) out from under the bench and put it in the backup car,” Swanson said.  “I’ve been part of a gentleman’s agreement this year not to test at the places we’re going to.  We went to Salem, that’s close to the shop and we’re already done racing there, just to try to shake it down and make sure this one is still good.  Afterward, we felt like our backup car was the better choice of the two.  It was really good on starts and that’s what we needed to try it.”

Kody was knocked off the pole position by the final contestant of the Fatheadz Eyewear qualifying session, his younger brother Tanner Swanson, pitting the Kingsburg, Calif. siblings on the front row at the .686-mile paved oval where the two have had many a battle at the front of the pack for the past decade.

“We grew up together, so he knows all my tricks,” Kody said of his younger brother.  “He doesn’t get rattled and everyone knows, when he comes to town, he’s going to be a contender and probably the biggest threat.”

Kody didn’t allow Tanner to get an advantage in edgewise as he drove around Tanner in turns one and two on the opening lap to secure the lead.  Back behind the brothers Swanson, May LOR winner Kyle Hamilton slid up in front of Justin Grant in the first turn to snare the third position.

The first and heaviest incident of the night came on the ninth lap when a rear end issue on the car of Cody Gallogly sent him hard into the turn two wall, resulting in his left rear wheel bouncing down the back straightaway without abandon before coming to a rest more than a half-straightaway in front of his damaged machine.

Through much of the first half of the 100-lapper, Tanner and Hamilton were locked down just a few car lengths behind Kody with the trio breaking away from the fourth-place car of Justin Grant by nearly half a lap as the top-three entered the throes of traffic.  Swanson was the first to navigate between, under and around the traffic with precision, but Tanner and Hamilton cut through the chase to remain within a stone’s throw of Kody.

On the 43rd lap, Annie Breidinger, making her first series start in over two years, spun exiting turn two.  With Breidinger stopped, the trailing car of eighth-running Ryan Newman clipped his left front wheel into the left side of Breidinger’s tail tank, heavily damaging Newman’s front end and tearing off the rear bumper off Breidinger’s machine.  Breidinger restarted, but Newman, the 1999 Silver Crown champ, 2008 Daytona 500 winner and 2013 Brickyard 400 victor, was finished for the evening.

The most recent occasion Kody was in this exact position, leading a restart near the halfway point at LOR in May, his engine let go on him, putting him out of the race.  This time around, Swanson was like match on a fire, extending his lead lap-after-lap from the lap 48 restart onward.  Between laps 58 and 60 alone, Kody upped the interval between he and Tanner a half-second as traffic loomed once again.  A Breidinger turn one spin resulted in a lap 69 restart for Kody which bunched up the field and would wind up being the closest the competition would get for the remaining 31 laps of the green flag run to the conclusion.

It seemed as if the longer the race went, the more Kody’s car was changing and the more on top of it he became.

“Every stint, I drove the car a little bit different, using the throttle and the brake a little different and using the banking of the racetrack a little different, just trying to help my car be the best it could to try to get and keep the lead,” Kody said.

Kody opened up the can to two seconds almost immediately, running away as he extended it to over three seconds by lap 84, then four, then five and, finally, 6.165 seconds when the checkered flag flew to score his second career Rich Vogler Classic victory, and first since 2016, over Tanner Swanson, Kyle Hamilton, Jim Anderson and a career-best fifth-place finish for five-time Indianapolis 500 veteran James Davison in his second career series start.

Kody’s fifth career LOR Silver Crown victory moved him into a three-way tie with Mike Bliss and brother Tanner Swanson for the most wins in series history at the track.  It also marked Nolen Racing’s third career USAC Silver Crown victory at LOR, and first since 1995 with Jim Keeker as the pilot.  Nolen also won with Johnny Parsons in 1991.

“What a part of history in the United States Auto Club this track has played, let alone to tie someone like Mike Bliss, who had the ultimate stranglehold on this place for so long and Tanner did too for a number of years,” Kody exclaimed.  I finally had to get better or (Tanner) was just going to continue to beat me all the time.  I’m thankful to pick off a few whenever we could to make it up.  To tie them with five is pretty special.”

It’s the ninth time the Swanson brothers have finished first and second in a USAC Silver Crown event, eight of which have come at LOR.  Tanner won the first six of the Swanson one-two sweeps, while Kody has owned the upper hand in the last three.

  2019 "The Classic" 24 Hours of Daytona  


Lebanon, Ohio (August 21, 2019) California native Kody Swanson will team with former IMSA and Indy Lights driver Brad Jaeger to challenge the world famous Daytona International Speedway for “The Classic" 24 hrs of Daytona on Nov 13-17, 2019.

Kody Swanson is a 3 time winner of the prestigious Little 500 and 4 time USAC Silver Crown National Champion. The talented race driver and scholar has more wins than anyone in the history of USAC Silver Crown Racing with 28 wins and counting. He has dominated SC racing the past 5 years. The series, that touts past champion names such as Foyt, Andretti and Tony Stewart, is a training ground for future champions.

Kody Swanson commented, “This is such a unique opportunity for me and one I didn’t necessarily see coming. I know that I have a lot to learn, but I am excited about the chance to work with Brad, Kevin and the team. I will gain as much experience as I can in a new form of motorsports. I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Kevin Doran, Doran Enterprises, added, “I always look forward to racing at Daytona. This year running the Doran Ford GT2 car with Brad Jaeger and Kody Swanson is going to be exciting. We believe that after a few laps, Kody will adapt to a totally different feel in a race car. We are confident, with the skills that Kody has shown in open wheel USAC cars, he will impress.”

Veteran IMSA and Indy Lights road racer Jaeger, has led laps in the Rolex 24 hrs of Daytona, is past champion in the Pacific Formula 2000 and had set track records at multiple tracks including Sebring.

The pair will drive the famous #2 Ford GT that will be prepared once again by Doran Enterprises located in Lebanon Ohio. Kevin Doran is well known and highly respected in the road racing community. He has engineered cars that have won at the Rolex 24 hrs of Daytona, 12 hours of Sebring and the Petite LeMans.

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


Salem, IN – August 10, 2019 – via USAC Racing

…Time and time again, it seems that whenever Kody Swanson comes face-to-face with adversity, it’s a near guarantee that adversity has no fighting chance.

Twas the case Saturday night in round seven of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series season at Salem Speedway where the Kingsburg, Calif. native had to jump into his backup car early after engine issues befell his primary Nolen Racing ride during practice.  Swanson jumped into the secondary car, promptly put it on the pole and led wire-to-wire to capture his fourth consecutive Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial victory, equaling a feat previously only accomplished by Pancho Carter in 1974-75-76-77.

In fact, it’s the second time this year Swanson was thrust into this scenario.  He encountered mechanical trouble with the primary in the opener at Memphis before sitting on the pole and winning the main event.

It’s not an easy scenario for any individual to overcome, but Swanson just makes it appear easy.  The reality is, without the amount of preparation they put into it, their night could’ve been toast before it even began.  Instead, Swanson and Nolen get to once again enjoy the spoils of victory for the fourth time in seven races in 2019.

“Obviously, it was not part of the plan,” Swanson admitted.  “We practiced with the primary car, I picked out my best shocks and springs and did all the homework I could on that one and was really happy with where we were for running on used tires.”

Right before the second round of practice started, crew member Chris Phillips noticed that water was coming through one of the nozzle filters.  Engine builder Bill Tranter noticed it was a big issue as well, and Swanson was forced to hop out of the primary while the team quickly retrieved the backup car.  Crew members Rick Laughlin and Dale Latty had worked on the backup car leading up to the event to make sure it was ready just in case it was needed.

In a matter of minutes, the backup car went from having travel tires on it to race tires that could be scuffed for qualifying.  The time that was left only allowed for two laps of practice, which proved pivotal for Swanson to diagnose what needed to be done.

“In those two laps, I was able to find the things I didn’t like about the racecar and what made me uncomfortable from the cockpit,” Swanson explained.  “Immediately, we came in and there was no ‘hey, we’re tired.  You figure it out.’  They all jumped in and continued to just battle it out to make it better.”

Swanson described his qualifying run as an uncomfortable two laps.  Yet, it was good enough for the four-time series champ to win the pole by more than three tenths of a second.  Despite all that, Swanson had the hunger for more.

“After we qualified, I came in and wanted to change four shocks and four springs,” Swanson recalled.  “Not once did any of the guys give me any grief, like ‘hey, don’t be greedy.’  They just kept after it.”

Swanson edged ahead at the start of the 75-lap race with outside front row starter Bobby Santos delivering a challenge to the right rear hip pocket of Swanson exiting the second turn, which would develop into a five car breakaway led by Swanson, followed by Santos, David Byrne, Aaron Pierce and Kyle Hamilton in the opening five laps.

Austin Nemire slowed to bring out the first yellow flag on lap 8, pouring smoke and then fluid on the surface to force an early conclusion to his night.

On the lap 14 restart, Byrne used a big run on the front straightaway to slip underneath Santos for second, then began to hustle to present a challenge toward Swanson.  By lap 20, however, Swanson had broken away from Byrne to nearly a second as Byrne fronted a conga line ahead of Santos, Pierce and Hamilton.

Following a yellow flag for 2016 series champ Chris Windom who slowed before pulling into the pits and climbing out on lap 32, Swanson was stopped by race officials to see if he was leaking fluid.  Everything checked out in order and Swanson resumed his race from the head of the pack.

Once racing returned to green, Swanson went into full decimation mode, opening up a half-straightaway lead by lap 40 and then a full-straightaway advantage by lap 50.  As Swanson entered the clear, he was cruising as much as one possibly car at a place like Salem with its daunting 33-degree banking.

Behind him, though, a tight scramble for position ensued, allowing Swanson to open up the interval even more as second-running Byrne encountered the lapped car of Mike Haggenbottom.  Byrne drifted high in turn two on lap 55, allowing Santos to rip by underneath to return to second.  Hamilton slid up in front of Byrne in turn one three laps later for third while Pierce followed suit on the next lap in turn one by Byrne for fourth.

With ten laps remaining and tussling in traffic, Hamilton got hung up behind a lapped car, forcing him high at the exit of turn four, which Pierce took full advantage of, diving to the inside of Hamilton to take third.

With six laps remaining, five-time Indianapolis 500 starter James Davison tagged the turn four wall, slowing briefly to bring out the final caution period of the night.  He continued on to finish an impressive ninth in his USAC Silver Crown debut.

The yellow erased a seven-plus second lead for Swanson who now had to endure a two-lap rendezvous to secure the win.  Santos took a peek under Swanson as soon as the green flag appeared on lap 74.  Swanson answered the challenge, protecting his line into turn one, before stretching his lead to 0.914 of a second by race’s end, closing out his record-extending 28th career series victory over Santos, Pierce, Hamilton and Byrne.

The victory arrived on the same night Swanson became the 19th driver to join the 100-start club in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series, and in the process, equaled a mark set by USAC Hall of Famer Pancho Carter by winning four-straight in the Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial.

“Pancho is legendary in our sport,” Swanson admired.  “It’s just plain cool to share the torch with Pancho at one of the toughest places we tackle.  To come out on top, you’ve got to beat the racetrack and everybody else and there are countless great competitors here.”

Swanson’s victory in his Nolen Racing/KECO Coatings – Goodridge – K & N Filters/Beast/Tranter Chevy was reminiscent of the arrival of the Silver Crown division to Salem in 1988 where a strikingly similar-appearing yellow No. 20 was victorious with driver Bob Frey.

Swanson dedicated his win to the memory of USAC Media/Public Relations/Vice President Dick Jordan, who passed away the day before, on Friday, August 9.

“I’m thinking of our friend, D.J., Swanson said.  “I shared the race with him today from qualifying through all 75 laps.  He’s been riding along with me since Wednesday.  For whatever reason, I had “50s on 5” on the radio.  I can’t explain why, but it all makes sense.  Certainly, I’ll miss him, but I’m certainly glad to win this one in his memory.”

  2019 Pavement Sprint Cars  


Anderson, IN – August 3, 2019 – via Anderson Speedway

Kody Swanson took advantage of an opening in the low groove to win the sprint car feature on UAW Night at the Races Saturday Night. Swanson chased early race leader Aaron Pierce for more than 100 circuits and finally prevailed with the inside pass helped by lapped traffic.

RESULTS: UAW Night at the Races

Pierce started on the front row following the inversion from qualifying which saw Swanson, the fast qualifier starting sixth in the field. As expected Pierce grabbed the early lead chased by Joe Liguori and Chris Neuenschwander. Swanson, the winner of the Pay Less Little 500 in May, rapidly climbed through the field and by the tenth lap was running second. For the next 103 laps Swanson stayed glued to Pierce’s rear nerf bar but was never able to make a run on the inside to take the lead. With the race going green to checkers Pierce’s tires started to lose their grip with 25 laps remaining which allowed Swanson to turn up the pressure. On lap 113 the two leaders encountered the lapped car of Nick Hamilton coming off the fourth corner. Swanson was able to get inside of Hamilton while Pierce was forced to the outside. From that point Swanson pulled away to win by seven-tenths of a second over Pierce with Tyler Roahrig, Bobby Santos and Kyle O’Gara rounding out the top five.

Pierce said the tires on his ride went away at the end forcing him to run a higher line through the corners. Roahrig made a late race charge to be in a position to threaten for the win after starting fifth in the field. The sprint cars return to action on Sept. 12 with the running of the Glen Niebel Classic.

  2019 Auto Value Super Sprint Series  


Marne, MI – July 20, 2019 – via Pavement Pounders

Kody Swanson captured Saturday night’s Berlin Raceway Auto Value Super Sprint non-winged event in dominating fashion, and in the process, answered a long-standing question. Could the V-6 engine find victory lane outside of the Little 500 and Anderson Speedway with no weight break in the modern era?

Swanson made his second AVSS start of the season, but his first this season in the Gene Nolen Beast V-6. Swanson has been victorious the past two years at the annual Little 500 at Anderson Speedway using the V-6 engine against the more powerful 410 V-8 engines. The engine has proved successful at the 1/4 high-banked speedway despite giving up nearly eighty horsepower and not being given a weight break. Prior to Saturday’s event, many were skeptical of how competitive Swanson would be on the much larger 7/16-mile, semi-banked Berlin Raceway.

The non-wing sprint cars were making their first appearance at Berlin Raceway since a June 12, 2010 USAC National Sprint Car Series event that was won by Bryan Clauson. The event didn’t go off as planned as expected race-time temperatures, with a heat index of well over 100 degrees, was replace with rain showers that lingered well past 8pm. A persistent Berlin Raceway staff work tirelessly to get the speedway dried and race ready. After only one quick hot-lap session, the sprint cars went straight to their 30-lap feature event using only practice time to line the event up.

When the green flag dropped third generation driver Nick Landon got the jump and lead the first two laps before Aaron Pierce took the lead from his sixth starting position. Swanson, who started on the inside of row three, got bottled up on the bottom of the track and took a few laps to sort things out and get into a groove.

Swanson immediately moved behind Pierce and appeared to be the faster car. On lap seven entering turn four, Pierce bobbled, which allowed Swanson to get under him exiting turn four. That was all Swanson needed and lead the rest of the way. Swanson didn’t rest and appeared anxious the rest of the way as he encountered lapped cars. Swanson narrowly split two lapped cars in dramatic fashion late in the race for a quick three-wide pass going down the main straightaway. Swanson beat Pierce by 2.006 seconds to the checkered flag.

“In the feature I didn’t know what to expect” explained Swanson. ”Berlin is a big track. Its round and fast, but it’s a momentum track. I felt the V-6 would be competitive here of anywhere else we would go. It’s got a lot of corner speed here. It was my job to get it handling right for my guys. We threw a lot of changes at it on short notice. But we managed to get one”.

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


OREGON, Wis., July 1 — Nolen Racing’s Kody Swanson earned $8,000 and 70 points to increase his lead in the USAC Silver Crown point standings Friday night by winning the Bytec “Dairyland 100” on the half-mile, semi-banked paved oval at Madison International Speedway.

It was the series’ second visit to this track, Swanson’s second victory here, and his third series victory this year and the 27th one of his career, as the four-time champion added to his total as the most successful driver in USAC Silver Crown history. 

Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. now living in Zionsville, Ind., earned his fourth pole in the series this year in Fatheadz qualifying. This one was a new track record of 16.852 seconds, breaking Justin Grant’s mark of 16.870 established last year. It was the 28th time Swanson has been the fastest qualifier at a USAC Silver Crown race, which is also a record. 

This time he was in the bright yellow Nolen Racing No. 20 asphalt Silver Crown car, which is a Beast chassis with a Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engine. The car is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge, Wilwood Brakes and K&N Filters. 

Swanson was never lower than third during Friday night’s race at Madison, which features long straightaways and tight corners. 

The 21-car race got off to a rocky start. The yellow flew from laps one through 10 after Chris Dyson spun in Turn 2 and made contact with the wall in an accident that also involved Matt Goodnight. Dyson was unhurt even if his car was not, and Goodnight rejoined the field for the restart on lap 11. 

David Byrne passed Swanson on the inside of Turn 3 to take the lead on lap 13. Three laps later Kyle Hamilton also got by to push Swanson to third. 

A second yellow flew from laps 29 through 34 after the right-front wheel center broke on Austin Nemire’s car on the backstretch. His car slowed to a stop between Turns 3 and 4 while his wheel continued to the start-finish line before it could be retrieved. 

Swanson set his fastest lap of the first half of the race on lap 37 with a 17.227 while he was third. He was 0.180 behind second-place Byrne and 0.537 ahead of fourth-place Grant at the time. 

Swanson was still third, just 0.333 behind Byrne and 0.722 ahead of Grant, when a third caution flew from laps 45-47 when Kyle Robbins spun in Turn 4.

The race resumed, but not for long. Grant’s rear panhard bar broke, colliding with his torque tube and the snout of the rear end, separating the two, and spilling rear-end oil onto the racetrack on lap 51. Derek Bischak spun to a stop just before hitting the outside crash wall, and Travis Welpott slid in the oil into the Turn 3 wall. Luckily no one was hurt, but that crash caused a red flag. A look at the scoreboard showed Hamilton still leading Byrne, with Swanson third followed by Bobby Santos III and Eric Gordon. 

After trying his best to conserve his tires and brakes in the first half of the race and adapt to the changing track conditions and his lessening fuel load, Swanson had something for the competition in the second half. 

He passed Byrne on lap 57 to regain second place, and then he set his sights on Hamilton. 

Lapped traffic played a key role, as he used it to time things just right to get the lead from Hamilton in Turn 4 20 laps later.  

He was never again headed, but it still wasn’t smooth sailing. Just as he was about to take the checkered on lap 100 with a 5.021-second lead over Hamilton, a yellow flew when Nemire had another problem.

“It looked like [Nemire’s car’s] right-front assembly had a failure, which let the frame of his car down onto the racetrack and knocked the drag link off of the steering arm,” Swanson said. “So without any control, he slid from the top of Turn 4 down into the infield across a bunch of traffic, right in front of us.”

That set up a green-white-checkered finish for the restart on lap 108. Although it allowed the field to close up on him, Swanson was up to the challenge and he had a 1.678-second margin of victory over Hamilton when the race finally concluded with 109 laps complete. Byrne finished third followed by Santos and Gordon.

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


MECHANICSBURG, Pa., June 16 — People will be talking about Friday night’s USAC Silver Crown race at Williams Grove Speedway for years to come due to its wild finish, but the bottom line for Nolen Racing and its driver, Kody Swanson, was another podium finish and more points to help them keep their lead in both the team and driver point standings at the season’s midway point.  

Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who now lives in Zionsville, Ind., set the fastest lap of the race and finished second to Brady Bacon in what turned out to be a 101-lap race on the famous half-mile clay oval. His Nolen Racing No. 20, which is garaged in Whiteland, Ind. and sponsored in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge, K&N Filters and Wilwood Brakes, was just 0.612 of a second behind Bacon at the checkered.  

Swanson set the fastest lap of anyone in the race on lap 81 with a time of 23.039 seconds. He was sixth in Fatzheadz Eyewear Qualifying with a time of 22.245, which was just 0.446 off the pole. He had quite a trip in the race, however, as he was as far back as seventh at one point. He got a great start and vaulted from sixth to fourth on the first lap by passing Bacon and Austin Nemire.

 Nemire got him back on lap three and Bacon did the same on lap four to push him back to his original starting position. Steve Buckwalter passed him on lap five to drop him to seventh, but he got sixth back on lap 14 when he passed Tyler Courtney. The latter slowed between Turns 1 and 2 four laps later to bring out a yellow.

 Swanson remained in sixth place until lap 31, when he passed Nemire again to regain a spot in the top five. Six laps later he passed Bacon once again to move into fourth, and on lap 41 he passed the polesitter, Justin Grant, to vault to third behind leader Chris Windom and Steve Buckwalter.

 Swanson stayed with Buckwalter in a march toward the front, and when Buckwalter passed Windom for the lead on lap 48, Swanson was close behind.  He continued to pressure Windom for second, and looked to his inside a number of times but couldn’t quite get all the way alongside to hold his position underneath him, and would have to work for another opportunity. Finally, on lap 82, Windom missed the bottom and Swanson cleared him to the inside to take second.

 The following lap, both he and Windom tangled with the lapped car of Dave Berkheimer between Turns 3 and 4. Both Swanson and Windom were able to continue.

 For the next 10 laps Swanson was all over Buckwalter for the lead, but couldn’t find an opening to get alongside the leader. With just seven laps to go Swanson took a clean run to the inside to slide in front of Buckwalter in Turn 1, but couldn’t get it slowed down enough to stay in the groove and keep the pass. Trying to race to the outside on the backstretch, Swanson hung in the dust and slid behind Bacon in the running order. By Turns 3 and 4, Swanson and Windom battled for position, racing in tight quarters and aiming for third. They touched wheels, left rear and right front, sending the rear of Swanson’s No. 20 airborne, and sliding Swanson back out of the groove and to the fifth position with just a few laps to go.  

Swanson never gave up though. He passed Shane Cottle on lap 97 to regain fourth place, trailing Buckwalter, Windom and Bacon.  

Windom got into the back of Buckwalter in Turn 1 working lap 100, which spun Buckwalter out, drew a yellow, and set up an extra green-flag lap to finish the race. Windom apologized later, said he felt terrible about it and had been having brake problems, but it was heartbreaking for local favorite Buckwalter, who came so close to his first series victory.  

Windom had the lead after that and Swanson was still third behind Windom and Bacon. However, Windom suffered a flat right-rear tire in Turn 1 working lap 101, which gave Bacon the victory and Swanson second. Grant, hard-charger Mike Haggenbottom and Eric Gordon rounded out the top five, while Buckwalter ended up eighth behind Nemire and David Byrne. Windom was credited with ninth and Matt Goodnight rounded out the top 10.  

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  

DNF Knocks Swanson Out at Lucas Oil

BROWNSBURG, Ind., May 25 —Nolen Racing’s Kody Swanson was well on his way to his third consecutive victory in the Dave Steele Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown race Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway until he had to pit while leading shortly after the halfway point due to overheating problems with the team’s yellow No. 20.

Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who now lives in Zionsville, Ind., was the star of the show before the mechanical woes hit. He won the Fatheadz Eyewear/EPA Photography qualifying award to earn the pole and a $1,000 bonus from Mac and Carol Steele with a time of 20.562 seconds for the 0.686-mile paved oval. His brother, Tanner, qualified second with a 20.678-second lap and eventual race winner Kyle Hamilton was third with a 20.812.

 Kody Swanson got a great start in the 100-lap race with his car, which is powered by a Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engine. The team is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge, K&N Filters and Wilwood Brakes.  

Swanson led every lap until he was forced to drop out following a restart with 55 laps complete. His official finishing position was 16th.

Prior to that he fought off all challengers, including everything  Hamilton threw at him. Bobby Santos III passed Hamilton for second in Turn 1 working lap nine and applied strong pressure too, but Swanson kept the No. 20 ahead of them all. He steadily transformed his 0.2-second lead at one point to one of 1.731 seconds by lap 34. Two laps later Hamilton retook second from Santos, but Swanson still had a 0.734-second advantage over Hamilton on lap 46.  

A yellow flew on lap 49 after Matt Goodnight stopped on the backstretch. On the restart on lap 54 Swanson slowed dramatically on the frontstretch due to the mechanical problem and he retired from the race with 55 laps completed.  

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  

SWANSON 3rd in Final Hoosier Hundred

INDIANAPOLIS, May 24 — Kody Swanson’s quest to win five straight Hoosier Hundred USAC Silver Crown races was thwarted by Tyler Courtney, Kevin Thomas Jr., and a problem with his car’s brakes, but he was still able to finish a solid third Thursday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ 64th and most likely final Hoosier Hundred. With two victories earlier this year and Thursday night’s podium finish, the winningest driver in USAC Silver Crown history still leads the 2019 point standings as Nolen Racing strives for its first championship in USAC’s top division.

Swanson won the Hoosier Hundred in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. The 2017 race was cancelled due to rain. Since the Indiana State Fair Board is committed to turning the one-mile dirt track into solely a harness-horse training track and a parking lot in the future, Swanson will likely end up tied with Al Unser Sr. for consecutive Hoosier Hundred victories with four. They are the only two drivers to ever win four consecutive Hoosier Hundreds. Unser’s streak came in 1970 through 1973. Of the three dirt miles on the current USAC schedule, no driver has ever won five consecutive races at any of the tracks.

The first Hoosier Hundred was held in 1953, but there have been auto races at the facility since 1903. For the probable finale of auto racing at this historic facility, Swanson drove the famous Nolen Racing yellow No. 20. This version was a Maxim with a Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engine. The car is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge, K&N Filters and Wilwood Brakes.

Swanson qualified fourth and ran in third position for all but the first six laps of Thursday’s 100-lapper. At that point Chris Windom, who led the first five laps, had a tire let go and he flipped violently on the frontstretch parallel to the Coliseum to bring out the first of two red flags. Luckily Windom climbed out under his own power.

Swanson was able to avoid getting involved, and Windom’s misfortune moved Swanson from fourth to third place on the restart on lap seven. He stayed there the rest of the race despite having to pump his car’s brakes in each of the four turns every lap.

From lap seven to lap 92 the top three of polesitter Thomas, Courtney and Swanson didn’t change. However, Courtney passed Thomas in Turn 1 on a restart working lap 93 to secure the victory. That restart followed a red flag for Chris Dyson, who luckily emerged unhurt after badly damaging his car in an accident in Turn 2.

Swanson was as close as two- and three-tenths of a second to Courtney several times during the race. He passed him for an instant on a lap 69 restart but Courtney got the spot back before the lap was completed. Swanson was also especially close around lap 77, but with the brake problem he couldn’t advance any higher. He was about 1.607 behind the runner-up, Thomas, at the checkered, and 0.993 ahead of the fourth-place finisher, Justin Grant. Brady Bacon rounded out the top five.

David Byrne trailed Swanson in fourth place for most of the race but dropped to seventh in the final standings, right behind Jason McDougal. Steve Buckwalter, Brian Tyler and Jacob Wilson completed the top 10 in the 32-car field.

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


TOLEDO, Ohio, April 28 — Nolen Racing’s Kody Swanson continues to rewrite the USAC Silver Crown record book, as he dominated the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness “Rollie Beale Classic” Sunday afternoon at Toledo Speedway. He won the pole, led all 100 laps of the race, had more than a 4-second lead over runner-up Bobby Santos III at the checkered flag, and set the fastest race lap to boot as he extended his record for the most series victories by anyone in history to 26.

It was the second victory in as many races this season for Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who now lives in Zionsville, Ind., and the Whiteland, Ind.-based Nolen Racing team. Swanson was unstoppable in Gene Nolen’s famous yellow No. 20, which is a Beast chassis powered by a Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engine that is supported in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge, K&N Filters and Wilwood Brakes.

Four drivers — Kyle Hamilton, Eric Gordon, Aaron Pierce and Santos — ran in second place during the race, which was delayed one day due to rain, but none could catch Swanson as he masterfully covered the half-mile asphalt oval enroute to his second consecutive and fourth overall victory in this race. There were four yellows that generated the same number of restarts to give his rivals good opportunities to get by, but no one could pass the four-time and defending series champion.

Hamilton, who qualified second, came closest. He was running about a tenth of a second behind Swanson until he got out of shape between Turns 3 and 4 on lap 20 and caused an inadvertent yellow. He blended back in line in ninth place for the restart.

That gave second to Gordon, who ran about two-tenths of a second behind Swanson for a while. However, at the halfway point Swanson was 0.530 seconds ahead of him.

Gordon pulled off the track four laps later with a reported driveline issue, although he returned later. That gave second to Pierce, but Swanson had a 1.6-second lead over him when the event’s final yellow flew on lap 59 when Chris Dyson spun into the infield between Turns 3 and 4.

As the race continued and his VP Racing fuel load decreased, Swanson got even faster. He had stretched his lead over Pierce to 1.9 seconds by lap 75, 2.681 seconds by lap 80, and 2.872 seconds with 10 laps to go.

Shortly thereafter Santos passed Pierce for second, but with five laps to go Swanson was 4.107 seconds ahead of him and he extended that to 4.121 seconds at the checkered. It was his sixth-straight Silver Crown pavement race victory, an all-time record. The top six were Swanson, Santos, Pierce, Justin Grant, Chris Windom and Hamilton. Gordon ended up 18th with 95 laps complete.


  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


MILLINGTON, Tenn., March 24 — Kody Swanson’s quest to earn a fifth USAC Silver Crown driver championship and Nolen Racing’s pursuit of the 2019 team championship in that series got off to an excellent start on Saturday when Swanson won the season opener at Memphis International Raceway (MIR) in the famous yellow Nolen Racing No. 20.

The Beast chassis is powered by a Tranter-prepared Chevrolet engine and the car is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings, Goodridge and K&N Filters.

The Whiteland, Ind.-based team and Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who currently lives in Zionsville, Ind., came away with a dominating performance even though Swanson had never raced at the three-quarter-mile, D-shaped asphalt track in the past and some mechanical gremlins forced the team to go to its backup car for qualifying and the 100-lap main event.

Swanson won the Memphis 100 by 1.694 seconds after a heated battle with Bobby Santos III, set the fastest lap of the race, led the most laps with 40, won the Fatheadz Eyewear pole, and was the fastest driver in practice on Friday during the series’ first visit to MIR since 2004.

The track is near Memphis, which is known as the birthplace of rock and roll, and both the 23-car race and Nolen Racing’s weekend had as many ups and downs as a gyrating rock star before Swanson brought the crowd to its feet in a thrilling finale when the checkered waved.

There were four main yellows, a couple of called-off restarts and even a closed red in the race, and Swanson was as far back as fourth at one point. He led the first five laps, but then dropped to third when both David Byrne and Eric Gordon got by. Aaron Pierce passed him on lap eight right before Matt Goodnight crashed between Turns 3 and 4 working lap 10. Goodnight was unhurt but there was a problem getting his car on the wrecker, and all the cars were brought onto pit road under a closed-red situation until that problem could be solved. 

With the race resumed with 20 laps complete Swanson was still fourth, and on lap 26 he came under heavy pressure from Santos for the first time. The pair battled like there were only a few laps remaining instead of 70, but Swanson was not only able to hold Santos off at that point, he passed Gordon for third on lap 31 and Byrne for second in Turn 3 on lap 32. Santos came with him, however, and Swanson was only 0.134 ahead of him on lap 34.

Pierce had a healthy lead over Swanson and Santos at that point, but on lap 36 Pierce pulled into the pits with a mechanical problem to give Swanson the lead again. Santos was still keeping the pressure up, and was only 0.147 behind.

A yellow flew on lap 42 for debris on the track. On the restart on lap 47 Gordon got by Santos for second but the yellow flew immediately for a bad restart, and Santos got the position back. The green flew again on lap 48, and Santos slipped under Swanson for the lead on lap 49 in Turn 1. At the halfway point Swanson was second, about 0.717 behind Santos.

Santos had a 1.573-second lead over Swanson on lap 58 and Kyle Hamilton was third, only 0.871 behind him. The interval between the top two cars remained about the same for the next few laps, but Swanson was able to put Hamilton 2.709 seconds behind him by the time another yellow flew on lap 66 when C.J. Leary rolled to a stop on the backstretch.

Following the restart on lap 71 Swanson passed Santos for the lead on lap 72 by getting under him in Turn 2, setting the fastest lap of the race by anyone at that point in the process, but he had to give the spot back when another yellow flew seconds later when Austin Nemire and Travis Welpott both had mechanical issues and stopped.

The green flew again on lap 79, and on the following lap Swanson charged under Santos to regain the lead in Turn 3. He was never again headed, but it still wasn’t easy. The top three finishers — Swanson, Santos and Justin Grant — all set their fastest laps on lap 85, with Swanson being the fastest of the entire field with a time of 21.598. There was some lapped traffic that caused some tense moments towards the end too, but Swanson took the checkered for his 25th career USAC Silver Crown victory, extending his mark for the most victories by any driver in the history of the series.

In victory lane Swanson thanked everyone on the team for their hard work. He also gave a special call-out to key team member Kevin Noblitt, who has been in the hospital since March 7 but is expected to be discharged today (Sunday).

“What a great feeling!” said team owner Gene Nolen. “It was a team effort. I’m proud of all of them. Kody drove a great race. I also want to thank all our supporters. Please visit us in the pits after any race!”

Swanson earned the pole during Fatheadz Eyewear Qualifying earlier on Saturday afternoon with a time of 20.830 seconds on his second lap. That was 0.253 of a second faster than the second-fastest driver in qualifying, Hamilton, in the very competitive field. Byrne, Santos and Chris Windom rounded out the five fastest drivers in qualifying.

Swanson’s qualifying run was only 0.027 of a second off the track qualifying record of 20.803 (129.789 miles per hour) set by the late David Steele in 1998.

His qualifying lap was also 0.209 of a second faster than the 21.039-second lap he ran to top Friday’s practice day. He turned 94 laps during Friday’s practice, which was four more than anyone else.

The race was streamed live on, which is also scheduled to broadcast the other events in the 12-race series.

The second event will be the Fatheadz Eyewear Sumar Classic April 14 on the dirt at the Terre Haute Action Track in Terre Haute, Ind.

For more information see the team’s website at and follow @NolenRacing on Facebook and @NolenRacing20 on Twitter. The series’ website is at

Swanson’s post-race quote follows:

“You can’t ever count out Bobby Santos. It was a tough afternoon of just grinding it out. There was a lot of great racing, and I’m grateful that he [Santos] races me clean.

“It’s been a busy week. We brought two cars here, and we were busy getting them both ready. In practice on Friday we were dealing with a vibration in the primary car. We put a new driveshaft in the primary car and got it ready to go, and also worked on getting the backup car ready.

“This morning in practice we did something that hurt the engine in the primary car, so with the time we had left in practice we put some more laps in with the backup car and got it ready for qualifying.

“It worked out well that we had worked on both cars earlier, because we were able to get the backup car better and sneak out with the pole.

“We had a good car for the race. I think Santos had some trouble at the end. I’m grateful for everyone’s effort on this team, and glad we were able to win one.”

[Regarding the fierce battle around lap 30] “I knew it would be a tough race. There were a lot of people whose cars were handling well, and I got shuffled back to fourth. I just tried to bide my time and get our car to handle better as long as the run went. It had to be a great race for the fans. The top four were in close quarters there for a while, and it was fun racing.

“He [Santos] was really good. On that one restart I got loose for some reason and he got by me. But he was having some engine problems I believe near the end. It was really lucky that we got another good run after that, so we could race him hard again for it. The top three finishers all set their fastest race lap on lap 85, so that shows just how hard we were all pressing at the end. All three of us were giving it our all.

“I’m thankful for all the hard work that all the men and women on this team put in. We overcame a lot to be able to win, and I’m thankful to everyone who put the effort in.

“It was a fun race; I’m glad it worked out!”

  2019 USAC Silver Crown Series  


WHITELAND, Ind., Oct. 11 — Nolen Racing announced today that it will downsize from a two-car to a one-car USAC Silver Crown team in 2019, and that car will be driven by the winningest driver in series history, four-time and reigning champion Kody Swanson.

Team owner Gene Nolen also said he will field two asphalt sprint cars next year, not three as he has done in recent seasons. That program’s primary focus is the Pay Less Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, and Swanson and Shane Hollingsworth will drive those cars. Swanson gave Nolen his first Little 500 victory in May, while Hollingsworth finished third.

“We want to publicly thank Jerry Coons Jr. and Chris Windom for driving for us,” Nolen said. “We really appreciate Jerry driving for us for all these years. They are both champion drivers, they’ve both been winners with us, and they are both very talented. Any team would be lucky to have either one. But we need to cut back the number of cars we’re fielding for a variety of reasons, and we hope that by making this difficult decision early, they will have time to find other good opportunities for 2019.”

Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who currently lives in Zionsville, Ind., led the USAC Silver Crown point standings all year enroute to his fourth title driving for another team. He broke a 32-year-old record when he won five races in a row (four on pavement tracks and one on a dirt track) this summer. His victory at the Salem (Ind.) Speedway in August was his 24th career victory in the series, breaking Jack Hewitt’s record for all-time wins in USAC’s premier series.

Windom finished third in the USAC Silver Crown series this season with two victories and Coons placed fifth while driving for Nolen Racing. Coons, a USAC Triple Crown champion, finished second in the Silver Crown championship with Nolen Racing in both 2015 and 2017.

Gene Nolen has been a top USAC Silver Crown team owner for 28 years. He has won USAC’s prestigious Robbie Stanley Award, and he is a member of the Little 500 Hall of Fame.

Nolen said that veteran team manager Kevin Noblitt and right-hand-man Rick Laughlin will be staying with the team, and it will still use Chevrolet engines prepared by Bill Tranter.

The team’s headquarters are in a 5,500-square-foot shop in Whiteland, Ind. The team is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings and Indy Race Parts, and it would welcome additional marketing partners.

The team's Web site is at It also has a Facebook page and it’s on Twitter. For information on marketing partnerships contact Restart Communications at

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  


October 9, 2018 - USAC Silver Crown Series

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

DePalma Motorsports, one of the most iconic and successful teams in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series, is riding into the sunset on top of their game, announcing that their 2018 championship season was the last for the Lima, Ohio-based team. 

It concludes a magical five-year run with Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif.  DePalma Motorsports itself won the Silver Crown owner title each year they had Swanson as their full-time driver between 2014 and 2018.  Swanson himself won Silver Crown driving titles in the DePalma No. 63 in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. 

The accomplishment of five consecutive series titles set by the team had never been seen before in the series, snapping the series record for streaking (four) set by Bob East/Tony Stewart Racing between 2002 and 2005 as well as Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, which grabbed four in a row from 2010 to 2013.

Along the way, Swanson and the DePalmas rewrote the record book, one of which Silver Crown participants will be chasing for years and years.  Regardless of dirt or pavement, the combo was always up front.

This past year, Swanson and the DePalmas won five-straight races, breaking Jack Hewitt’s long-standing, 32-year-old record of four-straight Silver Crown wins set in 1986.  The last of Swanson’s five wins, at Indiana’s Salem Speedway, was the ultimate.  Kody drove to his 24th career victory in the Silver Crown Champ Car Series, overtaking the top spot on the all-time win list.

With all that said, the accolades and the broken records have put the DePalmas at the pinnacle of the sport, but it’s the people of racing that car owner Tony DePalma is going to miss the most.

“I’ve met a lot of good people in this sport and built a lot of great relationships,” DePalma said.  “It’s been a pleasure to know a lot of people in this sport and it’s really one of the most rewarding things besides, obviously, winning races.  It’s been really neat to get to know Kody’s family and friends over the last several years.  It’s also fun to get to know our competitors.  Yeah, they’re the people we competed against, but most of them I view as friends.  That’s the most rewarding thing.”

DePalma returned to Silver Crown racing in 2002, inheriting his uncle Ralph’s stable of race cars after his passing.  DePalma owned cars had notable runs with driver Mike Brecht in the “4-Crown Nationals” at Eldora Speedway, turning in a 3rd in 2004 and a 2nd in 2006.

Following his father Jim’s passing, the cars were mothballed so to speak before the family team returned in 2010, then hit the circuit full steam when they put Swanson full-time in the seat for the 2014 season and quickly found the magic touch that Tony’s father and uncle used to claim the 1984 Silver Crown owner title with driver Dave Blaney.

The familiar sight of the No. 63 up front has been commonplace, and it will certainly be a change to see for those in the stands and those on the track, but also to the DePalma team.

“No doubt about it, we’re going to miss it,” DePalma admitted.  “’We’re going to miss the camaraderie, the anticipation and the anxiety of competing.  We were always pretty stoked and focused, and it was a standing joke of ‘hey, pass the bottle of antacid.’  We were really uptight about each and every race, but that’s part of the reason we did well is because we put so much into it.”

The team put all they had into it and then some as they raised their game to exemplary heights.  However, DePalma felt now was the right time to make the exit for a myriad of reasons.

“I saw my kids starting to miss things with their kids; that was one piece of it,” DePalma began.  “There are other things I want to pursue and have started to put into motion a little bit.  I’m missing some of the things I shouldn’t be missing.  Long story short, what took me over the edge was, what a better exit point than this?  We were going to have to exit at some point in time anyway.  Maybe it’s premature, but I’ve always believed, when I’ve looked at athletes in various sports, I’ve always scratched my head thinking ‘why didn’t you get out when you were on top?’”

As crazy as it seems now, Kody was still seen as primarily a “pavement specialist” at the time and was tabbed as the driver for the blacktop while he searched for rides on the dirt to prove himself as a capable shoe.  He recorded a 2nd, 5th and another 2nd in the first three pavement outings for DePalma during that initial season together in 2013.  For 2014, Kody was handed the keys to both the pavement and dirt rides and he hasn’t missed a beat since, reeling off 21 wins together with the DePalmas, more than any other driver/team combination in the history of the series.

“These last five years and the relationships that my family and I have had with the DePalma family and this team have been career and life changing,” Swanson said.  “When we met, I may have been more at a breaking point than a crossroads in my career, and along with a few other key people, this family and race team gave me a chance to continue and an incredible opportunity to be part of something special.  Over the years we were blessed to gel as a team, but developed further than that, and into a family of our own.  Everyone that has been involved has gotten along together so well.  We have developed relationships personally that treat each other like family, maybe even better in some cases, and has become a team that almost any and every other would pale in comparison to.”

“I am extremely grateful to have raced and become friends with each and every member of this team, and for the sacrifices that each of them, and their families, have made as part of this team,” Swanson continued.  “It has been such a unique situation, and something not easily found in an entire team across any sport.  Everyone involved gave it their all, without hesitation, and wanted to compete together for all the right reasons.  We all wanted to do our best, and everyone put in all the effort they could to try to win races together.  You simply can't ask for anything more than that in a team, and what we've been able to accomplish together has been incredible and something I am so thankful for my family and I to have been a part of.”


  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  

DePalma Motorsports Team

2018 Silver Crown Champions


September 23, 2018 - DePalma #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Rossburg, Ohio………Unprecedented is a word you don’t hear that often in racing that much.  After all, if you’ve been around for a while, you see records that may seem untouchable, or so many of us thought.

When Kody Swanson and the DePalma Motorsports teamed up in 2013, they basically created their own record book, one of which Silver Crown participants will be chasing for years and years.

Saturday night at Eldora Speedway, Swanson completed his fourth USAC Silver Crown season championship in one of the most dominant seasons of all, capturing the title by a grand total of 82 points.  Not a single time throughout the season did the Kingsburg, Calif. native trail the points race.

It was August 18 before Swanson even had a race where he finished outside of the top-two!  Prior to that, he began the season with two-straight runner-up finishes – two races in which he led a chunk of late in the going.  Then, he proceeded to reel off five victories in a row during a midsummer stretch that saw him win four times on the pavement and once on the dirt, on half-mile speedways and on one-mile tracks, at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway, the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Wisconsin’s Madison International Speedway and Indiana’s Salem Speedway.

Regardless of where you saw the series run, the No. 63 car was normally up front.  The five-in-a-row broke a long-standing, 32-year-old record of four-straight Silver Crown wins set by Jack Hewitt, who also made car No. 63 wrenched by Bob Hampshire the dominant force in the sport a generation before.  Sometimes it seems that as fast as the world moves, some things seem to stay the same.

The last of those five wins, at Salem, was the ultimate.  Kody drove to his 24th career victory in the Silver Crown Champ Car Series, overtaking the top spot on the all-time win list.  Hewitt had previously held the record for just shy of three decades.

All the personal accolades are nice, but the one that Kody may very well be the proudest of is the record achieved for DePalma Motorsports.  The Lima, Ohio-based family gave him a shot six years ago when his racing career was at a crossroads.

As crazy as it seems now, Kody was still seen as primarily a “pavement specialist” at the time and was tabbed as the driver for the blacktop while he searched for rides on the dirt to prove himself as a capable shoe.  He recorded a 2nd, 5th and another 2nd in the first three pavement outings for DePalma during that initial season together in 2013.  For 2014, Kody was handed the keys to both the pavement and dirt rides and he hasn’t missed a beat since, reeling off 21 wins together in the past five years and the four season titles.

Each of the five years Kody has been the full-time driver for the DePalma family, they have won the championship.  It’s another accomplishment we’ve not seen before in the series, snapping the series record for streaking (four) set by Bob East/Tony Stewart Racing between 2002 and 2005 as well as Curb-Agajanian Motorsports, which grabbed four in a row from 2010 to 2013.

It’s a season-long goal for Kody and the DePalma’s every year, and Kody takes a lot of pride in the chance to drive this car for this team and be able to make history together.

“When I got the chance to drive for them the first time, their goal was to try to win the championship or run as high as they could in the points,” Swanson recalled.  “I was just pavement only at the time.  But the following year, I got the chance to run for them full-time and we won our first title together - my first and theirs.  It’s so special to get five-in-a-row for them to become the first in history to do that.  It’s great to be a part of this, but I try so hard to do a good job for this team.  To be a part of this team record is as special as anything else to me.”

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  


Salem Speedway - Salem, IN

August 12, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Salem, Indiana………On a night when he was in a class of his own on the Salem Speedway high banks, Kody Swanson put himself in a class of his own in the record books.

The Kingsburg, California native led the 59th “Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial” from start to finish in a landslide, perhaps the best on-track performance he’s displayed of all 24 of his series victories, to surpass Jack Hewitt and become the USAC Silver Crown division’s winningest driver.

Swanson set additional records, including notching his fifth consecutive series win, which passed the four-straight wins accomplished by Hewitt in 1986 and Tom Bigelow between 1975 and 1976.His third-straight “James/O’Connor” triumph slotted him into exclusive company as only the second driver to win that many consecutively.  Pancho Carter won four-in-a-row between 1974 and 1977.

Twenty-one of those 24 wins have come behind the wheel of the DePalma Motorsports/Bob Hampshire-wrenched No. 63.  Hampshire was also the crew chief on Hewitt’s win streak and the majority of his Silver Crown wins over the years.  Swanson is quick to credit his crew on the Lima, Ohio-based team.  It’s something he doesn’t take for granted.

“It’s so hard to believe,” Swanson exclaimed.  “It’s what you dream about and what you wish for, but you never really give it a real chance.  Silver Crown cars have long been my favorite, so to be on that list is special, let alone be at the top.  But I didn’t do it alone, though.  Not a single one.”

After all the preparation and anticipation between races, the anxiousness and butterflies dissipate once the green flag drops.  It becomes all business.  Swanson was proficient right from the outset, setting quick time in qualifying, then jumping out to the lead at the start.

David Byrne was pretty much the lone challenger to Swanson’s throne early on, driving through an impressive shower of sparks that engulfed the nighttime sky to second by lap four and was routinely challenging for the race lead throughout the first third of the 75-lapper.

Following a lap 15 yellow for a slowing Matt Goodnight, Byrne remained relentless on the lone restart of the night, diving inside Swanson multiple times to no avail before slotting back in as the leader of the high-wire act displayed by Swanson’s pursuers, followed by Bobby Santos, Chris Windom and Jerry Coons, Jr.

Between laps 30 and 40, Swanson extended his lead from a mere half-second to a 2.5 second challenge as he cut through the lapped traffic with the precision of a laser-guided missile.

On the 53rd lap, Windom grabbed second from Santos and began shrinking Swanson’s lead ever so slightly over the next handful of laps.  Yet, the shrinkage didn’t last long, and Swanson opened up the lead once again, upping the interval to over six seconds and a near half-straightaway advantage that would simply not be overcome, challenging and lapping cars that were competing for the lead with him seemingly just moments earlier.

Swanson was flawless all night long, winning by just a tick under 8.5 seconds, and setting a new 75-lap track record in the process, over Windom, Santos, Coons and a career-best finish for Kyle Hamilton.

You couldn’t script a better performance than Swanson showcased on a fairytale night in which the record books were cast aside, and a new edition was published.  From dirt to pavement, this team seems to be on the same page much more often than not and Saturday night’s performance at Salem certainly showed.

“Salem is such a tough and challenging racetrack, not only physically as a driver, but man it’s hard on everything to have a car that will be good the whole race,” Swanson said.  “These guys go the distance for me every time and we do it together.  My wife and I drive to the shop and put in the effort with them.  As far as a team, we’re all in it together.  That’s what makes it so special.”

There are many things that make Swanson appreciate the efforts of his crew, including his spotter, and wife, Jordan.  But it’s the competition that keeps Swanson and crew challenging themselves to be better every time they hit the racetrack.

“Part of the reason every win is special in Silver Crown is because of who you’re racing against,” Swanson said.  “Everyone’s here.  Our crew goes the extra mile and they’re always trying something to get better because you know they are.  Every win is special because they’re all great competitors and they’re here to win just like any of us.  If you’re going to beat them, you’re going to have to put in the extra time and you’re going to have to have a little bit of luck too.”

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  


Madison International Speedway - Madison, WI

June 29, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Oregon, Wisconsin………History has been a major part of his story for quite a while, but now the record books will forever reflect the fact that Kody Swanson made good on two pieces of USAC Silver Crown history in Friday night’s debut at Madison International Speedway.

Swanson won his 23rd career race to tie Jack Hewitt atop the all-time series’ victory list.  Meanwhile, it was also the Kingsburg, California’s fourth-straight Silver Crown victory of the season, becoming the third driver to accomplish the feat and the first since Hewitt in 1986.

These are stats that the humble Swanson doesn’t take for granted and is quick to spread the credit around to the teams who’ve helped him along the way from the first one to number 23: Six-R Racing, the team whose car he piloted to his first back in 2010 and the ride in which Kody has become synonymous with – the DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire Chevy – that he raced to victory lane at the Bytec “Dairyland 100” for the 23rd win of his career.

“I’m just extremely grateful,” Swanson said.  “There’s 23, but I’ve done zero of them alone.  That’s how I feel about it.  It takes a team, it takes a family and it takes support from people no one will ever see.  I’ve been fortunate that 23 times those great people have carried me to victory lane.  Racing’s as big of a team sport as any.  It’s like a relay race and I get the baton last.  This team puts in the work and deserves to win races.  I take pride in being a part of that.”

Though USAC’s National Sprint and Midget divisions had made a smattering of visits over the years to the track, this was the first visit for the Silver Crown cars, putting everyone on mostly equal footing entering the gates of the half-mile paved oval.

“I put more into coming to Madison because it’s such an opportunity to have a clean slate,” Swanson explained.  “No one’s got any more laps than me.  No one’s got any more notes than me.  You get a chance to go out and be the first one to get it done.  But I was not getting it done early on.  I didn’t have the car handling very good.  That’s on me.  These guys never quit on me.  They jumped through hoops for me.  We changed four springs during practice and changed another one before qualifying.  We changed the left rear tire because I didn’t think we were going to be good enough.”

Despite the slight pessimism early on, Swanson sped to the lead from his outside front row starting spot, securing the lead from pole sitter Justin Grant by the time the two hit turn three on the opening lap.

Grant wasn’t content to play it conservatively and let Kody ride into the Badger State sunset.  Grant remained within arm’s reach of Swanson, and on lap six, used an inside move to snare the lead away from Swanson at the stripe where he would remain for the ensuing 41 circuits.

Swanson had remained within five car lengths of Grant as the front runners began to encounter lapped traffic just prior to midway.  Grant encountered the lapped car of leading series Rookie contender Travis Welpott and tried to race past him using the lower groove, but no room was vacant, and Grant’s ride got squirrelly off turn two.  All the while, Swanson was steadfast up top and smoothly drove by both to capture the lead.

“When racecars that are equal are battling up front, you have to look for opportunities.  Lapped cars are opportunities,” Swanson dissects.  “Lapped cars are opportunities.  As a driver, where I can help this team is being the best prepared I can be ahead of time to capitalize on those opportunities.  I saw he was going to choose low, so we chose high.  It’s hard to know exactly where they’re going to go, but it’s your job to know the drivers you’re racing against.  You got to have that feeling, that instinct, that it was time to sail it around the top.”

“I got lucky (Justin) got pinned in and I was close enough to capitalize and get alongside of him so that he couldn’t change lanes and occupy the space,” Swanson continued.  “He’s someone I love racing against because he races me clean every time. At that point, you’re committed and it’s your job to see it to the end.  I was fortunate to have a good handling car through the middle to keep it going on a long run.”

Once Swanson was clear of Grant, the space between grew incrementally to 1 second, to 1.5, to 2 and ultimately more than 2.5 seconds with 30 laps remaining following a lengthy 60-lap green-flag stint.  The construction of the lead would meet the wrecking ball when Toni Breidinger’s machine went up in smoke with 14 laps remaining.

That put second-running Santos right on the tail tank of Swanson for the lap 92 restart.  Santos was able to mount a furious challenge as he pulled alongside Swanson to the inside on the front straightaway.  Swanson was able to flex enough muscle to ward off the challenge into turn one.

With four to go, Kyle Hamilton slowed to bring out the yellow and set up one last restart for a green-white-checkered finish.  This time, Swanson never allowed Santos an opportunity to make a move, jetting away to lock up the lead as Santos followed single-file into one.

“I didn’t do a good enough job on the first restart,” Swanson admitted.  “You’re not going to beat Bobby Santos very many times.  If you give him an opportunity with five to go, you know he’s going to be there.  I didn’t do a great job on that first restart.  I maybe brought the pace down too slow and I spun the tires.  When it stood up, I slid out, and I drove it all the way down there into turn one and plumb missed the corner.  I just got lucky that he couldn’t carve it good enough to get by me, just back to me, and I had another opportunity to do a better job in turn three than I did in turn one.  I surely wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, so I got in hard to make sure he couldn’t get a run, got on the brakes well to hit the bottom and do it like I was supposed to.  On the second restart, I didn’t do it perfect, but I got it a little better and was able to bring it home.”

It was game, set, match as Swanson went on to stamp his place alongside and atop the USAC record books with a victory margin of seven tenths over Santos, Grant, a career-best finish for Jim Anderson in fourth and Chris Windom rounding out the top-five.


Owner Gene Nolen & Driver Kody

Swanson in Little 500 Victory Lane

Swanson Scores Nolen a Little 500 Victory

Anderson Speedway - Anderson, IN

May 26, 2018 - Nolen Racing #4

By Linda Mansfield -

Nolen Racing's Swanson Wins the Little 500; Hollingsworth Places Third for 1-3 Nolen Finish

ANDERSON, Ind., May 27 — After literally years of trying, team owner Gene Nolen of Greenwood, Ind. got his first victory in the biggest asphalt sprint car race in the world Saturday night when Kody Swanson drove one of his V6 Chevys to victory in the 70th annual Pay Less Supermarkets Little 500 presented by UAW GM at Anderson Speedway before a packed house.

To make the night even sweeter for the Little 500 Hall of Fame team owner, another Nolen Racing entry driven by Shane Hollingsworth of Lafayette, Ind., finished third for the Whiteland, Ind.-based team which is sponsored in part by KECO Coatings and Indy Race Parts and uses engines prepared by Bill Tranter of Franklin, Ind.

Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif. who now lives in Zionsville, Ind., overcame a spin and came from two laps down to post a 2-second victory over Jacob Wilson of Crawfordsville, Ind., at the checkered to earn the $25,000 top prize from a $125,150 purse. The event is sanctioned by Must See Racing and the United States Speed Association (USSA).

Hollingsworth was one lap down at the end but four laps ahead of the fourth-place finisher, Mickey Kempgens. Scotty Hampton was fifth followed by Chris Windom, Brian Gerster, Caleb Armstrong, Kenny Schrader and Shane Cottle.

Thirty-three starters comprising the fastest field in the event’s history tackled the taunting task of completing 500 laps around the one-quarter mile oval while also having quick pit stops, since one stop in each half of the race is mandatory.

A third Nolen Racing entry driven by Jerry Coons Jr. of Greencastle, Ind., qualified eighth, but something broke on that car and it lost a wheel, forcing Coons to drop out with 108 laps compete for a 28th-place finish.

Hollingsworth took the lead around lap 243 after leader Aaron Pierce pitted under yellow and then dropped out with mechanical difficulties. Bobby Santos III was second and Swanson was third on the ensuing restart around lap 248, and around lap 285 Hollingsworth had a one-lap lead.

Around lap 300 Santos spun and hit the wall in Turn 2 to advance Swanson to second, but he was still one lap down. Hollingsworth pitted under that yellow around lap 302, which gave the lead to Swanson and put Hollingsworth back to fourth place, but Hollingsworth was able to work his way back to third by lap 330. By that time Wilson was second.

About 20 laps later Swanson had built up a six-second lead over Wilson, but Wilson consistently cut that gap down and by lap 370 Swanson’s lead was only 4.251 seconds.

Wilson used lapped traffic to take the lead from Swanson on lap 382. Hollingsworth was still third.

All was not well with Swanson, however. His tires weren’t as fresh as his rivals’ and his car was loose, and he spun by himself between Turns 1 and 2 on lap 411. Both he and Wilson pitted under that yellow, and two laps later Hollingsworth took the lead from Wilson while Swanson watched from third place, now two laps down.

Another yellow flew around lap 433 when Brian Gerster stopped on the backstretch. That helped Swanson get one lap back and put him on the same lap as Wilson, although Hollingsworth was still one lap ahead of both of them.

But Hollingsworth’s tires weren’t as fresh as Swanson’s or Wilson’s, and around lap 457 both Wilson and Swanson passed Hollingsworth to put the top three all on the same lap, although Hollingsworth still led.

Swanson passed Wilson for second around lap 470 with a move to the inside between Turns 1 and 2. He took the lead from Hollingsworth on lap 478 and Wilson came with him, and the trio finished in that order at the checkered for one of the most dramatic runs in Little 500 history.

Swanson set the second-fastest lap of the race on lap 448 with a time of 11.553 to polesitter Davey Hamilton Jr.’s fastest lap overall of 11.441 on lap five.

Coons had the seventh-fastest lap of the race on lap eight with a 11.718. Hollingsworth had the 11th-fastest lap of the race on lap six with a 11.786.

“We just didn’t give up,” said Swanson, who also won this race in 2016. “We got loose and I got tired, and did a spin. I messed up a little, but we never gave up. What an incredible team! Everyone on the 20 and the 3 put everything into it.

“Shane did a great job; he’s like my brother; he doesn’t race much, but he put it on us, as did Jacob Wilson. I’m afraid if I take a deep breath I’ll fall over!”

“Getting beaten by Kody Swanson is kind of common right now,” said Wilson, since this was Swanson’s third victory in as many nights. He also won two USAC Silver Crown races on Thursday and Friday.

“This was by far our best total run,” said Hollingsworth. “In the middle part of the race my car was a rocket ship. We had a great first stop. We tightened it up after the second stint and took a little too much stagger out, but I’m so happy to see two of Gene’s cars in the top three.”

“Yes, this was for Gene,” the happy winner confirmed.

The race will be broadcast on MAVTV on July 11. Check local listings for specific times.


  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  

Dave Steele Carb Night Classic

Victory Lane


Lucas Oil Raceway - Brownsburg, IN

May 26, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana………Winning three USAC Silver Crown Champ Car races in a row is an accomplishment of epic proportions.  In fact, it’s a feat that occurs so rarely, it took 13 seasons for it to happen again.

Perhaps there was something in the air that had Friday night’s “Dave Steele Carb Night Classic” at Lucas Oil Raceway pegged as the spot where the monumental task would be accomplished.

After all, the last one to win three consecutive was none other than Dave Steele in 2005, the man who used the .686-mile paved oval as his personal playground and ATM between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s in USAC competition and the man whose life was honored Friday night.

Perhaps no driver marvels at the significance of the event more than Kody Swanson.  One night following his fourth-straight “Hoosier Hundred” victory, Swanson was again on a mission to get the coveted trophy and winner’s share totaling $17,000.  But, this night had an extra emotional incentive factored in, winning the 100-lap event in memory of his late friend and mentor.

“Dave was an incredible competitor and his resume speaks for itself on the racetrack,” Swanson praised.  “He was a friend and a guy I looked up to.  I miss him dearly.  It’s truly special to be able to compete in a race in his honor, and to win it is something else.  Lynn and the Steele family are ones I care about so much.  It’s great to see them here tonight and to see what they put into this event as well.  You could feel the buzz from the crowd.  I really hope this is something that everyone enjoyed not only for the Silver Crown series, but in memory of Dave.”

On this night, not only was a statistical accomplishment on the line, so were bragging rights among brothers.  Tanner Swanson cashed in the fastest time in qualifying for a $1000 bonus, then elected to start the main event from the tail of the 22-car field, which would net him another bonus of $5000 if he could take the checkered flag.

A furious start saw new pole sitter Kody Swanson swap the lead with fellow front row starter Bobby Santos where they exchanged the lead multiple times in the opening laps before Kody cleared the most recent Silver Crown race winner at the track on lap three. 

Meanwhile, Tanner was hauling the mail and, by lap 32, had moved into the top-five.  Just like clockwork, three laps later, he was fourth.  Another four laps clicked by, he was third.

By midway, it had become a three-car race at the front with Kody leading Aaron Pierce and Tanner who were stacking ‘em deep and selling ‘em cheap in rush traffic, running nose-to-tail one-two-three.

Kody went to the low line often to work around the lappers, keeping his ears tuned in to his wife, Jordan, for direction as she served as his eyes in the sky as a spotter for the DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire Chevy No. 63.

“My wife does an amazing job spotting,” Swanson said.  “On a night like this where strategy is so important, I could try whatever strategy I had because I knew they were coming.  That played a huge role.  You hate to say it’s a radio race, but it is a strategy race.  I feel like the Silver Crown series is open wheel’s big-time.  You can’t ever give up.  If you never do, breaks will go your way.  And if you’re close, maybe you’ll come away with one here and there.”

After relentlessly working on Pierce for nearly one-third of the race, Tanner finally made the move on lap 68, sliding up in front of Pierce for second with an inside move in turn three.  However, Tanner drifted up the racetrack, nearly collecting the outside SAFER barrier in the process.  Pierce got back by momentarily, but it would be only four more laps before Tanner found a little bit of redemption, passing Pierce again, this time on the outside of turn two to take second.

“My goodness, multiple times I was three-wide in lapped traffic for the lead.  Man, I sure hope people enjoyed that.  I don’t know how it could get any more nail-biting.  If I hadn’t have had both hands on the wheel, I think I would’ve been in the same boat.  We survived that and were better after the caution.  The longer it went, the tighter I got and, all the while, I have to withstand all these charges knowing Tanner’s still coming and that maybe we hadn’t seen anything yet.”

The final sprint to the finish would now be a showdown between Kody and younger brother Tanner, the way it has so many times before.  Kody had been the dominant force thus far, but Tanner was the show throughout the race, bringing the fans to their feet with several daring passes on his charge to the front past 20 other competitors in the first 72 laps, something that didn’t surprise Kody one bit.

“I knew it wouldn’t be long,” Swanson admitted.  “I’ve told people Dave (Steele) might’ve been the greatest of all-time in a pavement open wheel car.  Tanner’s got to be next.  For as little as he races, the fact that he comes out and he’s the guy.  I’m biased, but I have to be.  He’s my brother and he’s earned it, I think.  He’s put it on us for how many years out here now?  Tonight, he spotted us the field!  Not only has he been special in a Silver Crown car at this racetrack, he’s been great in everything even as little as he gets to go.”

On lap 87, with the laps winding down, Kody took every avenue he could to keep his hard-charging younger brother at bay.  It looked like a race from the Thursday/Saturday Night Thunder era of the early 1990s with Kody using the Steve Butler line at the entry of turn one in an effort to get around the lapped car of Chris Windom, nearly clipping the grass with his left side tires.  Meanwhile, Tanner was running the old groove that was popular before the repave job in the late 1990s, right up against the outside wall in the corners.

“If you even think about making a mistake, Tanner’s going by you,” Swanson pointed out.  “I was fortunate that a couple of the spots played out in my favor and I was able to get clear.  I had one spot where I knew he got to my outside.  My only move left was to try and stay there on the bottom and do some sort of pick and roll and just hope that the lapped car occupied the space because I had been had.”

Tanner was relentless in his approach, pulling alongside Kody on several occasions and appeared poised to make the winning pass with 10 laps remaining on the outside at the exit of turn two, but was shielded by a lapped car that shackled his momentum, allowing Kody to breakaway.

Simultaneously, Tanner’s car began to run low on fuel, causing the engine of his Bowman/Elmore Racing #02 to sputter as Kody began to put a gap on the rest of the field and would finish it out with Silver Crown win number 22, which stands just one behind Jack Hewitt for the all-time series lead.

Tanner just missed an opportunity to become the track’s winningest Silver Crown driver.  He still stands at five alongside Mike Bliss.  Aaron Pierce finished third with Bobby Santos and Chris Windom rounding out the top-five.

Only eight times previously has a driver gone back-to-back-to-back within the same season in Silver Crown competition, Mario Andretti (1974), Tom Bigelow (1975), Rick Hood (1985), Jack Hewitt (1986), J.J. Yeley (2003), Jay Drake (2004), Tyler Walker (2004) and Steele (2005).

Even rarer, though, is the driver who’s won two Silver Crown races in two nights: Andretti at the Missouri and Illinois State Fairgrounds in 1974 and J.J. Yeley at Indianapolis Raceway Park and the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 2003.


  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  

Hoosier Hundred Victory Lane


Indiana State Fairgrounds - Indianapolis, IN

May 25, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Indianapolis, Indiana………Al Unser and Kody Swanson.  Of course, Al Unser’s place in the history of the sport has long ago been cemented.  Kody Swanson’s legacy continues to grow with each race, each year.

Following Thursday night’s 63rd running of the “Hoosier Hundred,” those two names will forever be linked as drivers who’ve mastered the 100-mile event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in four consecutive attempts.  Unser got the job done in 1970-71-72-73 and now Swanson in 2014-15-16-18 (2017 was rained out).

It’s a feat that the Kingsburg, California driver admits he’s unsure will ever sink in.  But this had a slightly different feel for the three-time Silver Crown champion.  Rather than settling in and then pouncing to the lead about two-thirds of the way in as he had during his first three wins, Swanson became the rabbit early on after starting from the pole position, setting the pace.

“Sometimes coming from fourth or sixth is ideal here,” Swanson explained.  “Winning the pole is important and getting those three bonus points is important.  Two years ago, it proved that every point counts.  I’ve won the pole before and still rode in third or fourth for a while.  Tonight, the racetrack was different.  I know the other three all came about the same way, but believe it or not, it wasn’t just by design.  You try to run each race independently, try to manage your tires, your situation, your brakes and they happened to work out the same as those ones.  I’d say it’s coincidence as much as anything.”

“Obviously, the later it gets, the more time becomes of the essence,” Swanson continued.  “The way the racetrack was, I didn’t feel like I wanted to be fourth or sixth because there are a lot of good cars and maybe you don’t have as many passing opportunities to get them back.  I was okay with leading early, for a little while, but the harder they wanted to press, the less I was okay with it.  I didn’t want to get off my game because of what was going on behind me.”  

At the start, Swanson set the tone, but two-time Du Quoin “Ted Horn 100” winner Shane Cockrum was an early challenger, peeking the nose of his No. 71 high and low on both ends of the racetrack on lap 12 before falling into line.  There wasn’t much time for riding around, though, and eight laps later, two-time USAC National Sprint Car champ Brian Tyler stormed to second past Cockrum and quickly closed in on leader Swanson.

A yellow on lap 21 slowed the pace for a moment, but not Tyler’s.  Tyler checked high, he checked low and, on lap 29, got a run on Swanson down the front straightaway that propelled him into the lead on lap 29.  Tyler quickly put a large gap between he and Swanson which grew to four-plus seconds by lap 40 when the yellow flag flew following series Rookie Kyle Robbins’ turn three wall contact.

Sometimes plans change mid-stream and, when constant pressure was being applied to from Tyler, Swanson admitted that the game plan changed.

“It’s hard,” Swanson admits.  “I’m trying to win the Depalmas a fifth-straight title, which has never been done.  If I had let somebody outthink me, and I blow a tire and give it away, then that’s on me.  I got to a spot where I couldn’t do it anymore. He got a big run and that seemed like the right time to change strategy a little bit and I tried to save as much as I could.  If I’m going to be behind, I might as well save everything I can.”

“The racetrack was different and what it was going to require was different,” Swanson continued.  “I hated leading early.  I mean, I just hated it.  Cockrum was good and (Shane) Cottle was good.  I knew Tyler would be good too.  If Tyler qualifies in the top-18, he’s going to be good.  I know that from being his teammate.  He was pushing hard, and I wasn’t going to hold him off for 70 (laps) in a row.  He wanted to go faster than I felt I could go at the time.”

Following the lap 44 restart, Tyler reestablished a stranglehold at the front, but in racing, things can change in a hurry.  On the 56th lap, Tyler made contact with a piece of brake rotor that came off Chris Windom’s car, sending Tyler hard into the outside wall and ending dreams of a first “Hoosier Hundred” victory for the veteran driver.

During that 12-lap stint following the restart, Swanson was fully-entrenched in his game plan, hanging a little bit closer to Tyler than before the yellow.

“We caught a caution there and I felt like I tried to stay with him a little bit and felt like I could,” Swanson said.  “It wasn’t as easy to run him down as I was hoping.  I felt like we could stay with him, and maybe the longer it went, the more things would come to us.  You watch their cars and I could tell he was very good through the corner and good off the corner.  I felt like we were running awful hard and I absolutely hated to see that happen to him.  Brian’s been a teammate, he’s a friend of mine and I know he’s been after a “Hoosier Hundred” win for a long time.  I can’t say that I would’ve gotten him, but I was going to give it everything I had at the end, but so would he, and he’s very good.”

When racing resumed, the show came down to a two-horse race between Swanson and Cockrum.  Swanson established his dominance by never wavering from 10-15 car-length lead as the two orchestrated a cat-and-mouse chase through lapped traffic.  However, each time Cockrum seemed to move his chess piece past one obstacle, Swanson picked one off himself and never gave Cockrum an opportunity to shave off any of the interval.

A lap 88 yellow for a turn three crash involving Jerry Coons, Jr. erased the gap, albeit momentarily.  Swanson never allowed Cockrum to get close enough to challenge, finishing out an incredible run of success on the Indy Mile, winning by 2.7 seconds over Cockrum, Tyler Courtney, Cottle and a career-best finish for birthday boy Johnny Petrozelle.

The win was the 21st of Swanson’s Silver Crown career, moving him to within two of Jack Hewitt’s record 23 victories.

Thank you to the DePalma family and everyone that is on this team for their outstanding effort and to all of our sponsors and partners that support us! TonyMattBrian, Bob, Clark, Jesse, Bk, Dad, JordanRyanNickMichael, and Liz.

Radio Hospital Allstar Performance Calico Coatings Callies Performance Products Champion Brands, LLC Hi-Tech Lubricants COMP Cams EibachFK Rod Ends Maria Melillo Goodridge LTD JE Pistons K&N Filters Ryan Kn Guy Kinsler Fuel Injection The Joie of Seating Maxim Chassis Multi Fire - High Performance Spark Plug Wires PRO Shocks Real Racing WheelsSaldana Racing Products Schoenfeld Headers Simpson Indy Simpson Race Products Wilwood Disc Brakes Winters Performance Products

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  


Toledo Speedway - Toledo, Ohio

May 4, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Toledo, Ohio………Twenty wins.  Count ‘em up and you’ll find that in the annals of USAC Silver Crown racing, only two individuals have reached such a mark – two individuals who’ve also become synonymous with car number 63 and crew chief Bob Hampshire, which have graced victory lane so many times over the past three decades in the division.

Kody Swanson has now entered the lexicon following his victory in Friday night’s Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness “Rollie Beale Classic” at Toledo Speedway as he put on a performance as smooth as glass in the city clearly made famous for its production.  The Kingsburg, Calif. driver now stands just three behind series king Jack Hewitt’s long-standing record of 23 victories.

Swanson’s performance came just five days after a topsy-turvy, tumultuous outing during the “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.  Alea iacta est for Swanson’s legacy in the history of Silver Crown racing as he arrived in the 2018 season and was reiterated at Terre Haute.  It’s a trait that has molded Swanson and the DePalma Motorsports team into three-time series champs, something they reinforced to all at Toledo after overcoming a subpar qualifying run (for them) that placed them mid-pack for the start of the main event.

“It’s hard to believe we had to make such big changes after practice,” Swanson reflects.  “We were pretty speedy, but knew it just wasn’t right.  I thought I screwed up and gave it all away.  I had to start behind eight very good racecars and drivers.  At Toledo, that’s pretty tricky.  We made even more changes after qualifying.  I’m not sure if we were going too far or if it hadn’t come in yet.  We were kind of in the dark.  We all huddled around and gave it our best shot.  The consensus was, right, wrong or indifferent; I was going to have 100 laps to figure out how to get whatever we could get.”

By the end of the first lap, Swanson had already advanced three positions to the sixth spot, taking evasive action when Kyle Hamilton’s ride was hesitant to take off. causing the inside row to check up momentarily.  Meanwhile, outside front row starter Jerry Coons, Jr. bolted to the lead at the start to lead the opening laps for the second consecutive race.

Swanson steadily moved forward to fifth on lap five and fourth on lap 15 where he maintained position for the remainder of the first third of the race as the first caution of the night came out on the 33rd lap for the stopped car of sixth-running Hamilton.  If the Swanson/DePalma team had any chink in its armor in recent years, it was restarts.  But for the lap 37 restart in Friday night’s race, this was where the team won the thing.

“Something we’ve struggled with at times is taking off on starts,” Swanson acknowledges.  “Tonight, this thing took off the best it has in four or five years.  We got a couple spots and some good runs on restarts because of the effort these guys put in at the shop.”

Second-running Santos didn’t quite launch on the restart, so Swanson went where they weren’t.  By turn two, Swanson had muscled the banks to take third from Byrne and second from defending race winner Santos in the snap of a finger.  Just three laps later, Swanson had roped in the race leader, Coons, and sped around him for the top spot exiting turn two on the 40th circuit.

“I don’t know if it was the motivation or driving angry or whatever you want to call it, but whether that was a good move or bad, I went to the top,” Swanson justified.  “It happened to work out and I kind of got a run on the outside and got into second with a two-for-one in one turn.  I don’t know why it seemed like a good idea at the time.  I thought, ‘well, I’ll just go for more.’  Bobby almost got back to the inside of me and that pretty much solidified that it’s now or never.  You’re either first or third at that point.”

Moments later, Coons had his race end abruptly when he began to slow before steering his ride back to the pit area.  Swanson, though, was on complete cruise control, ramping up his lead to a half-straightaway by midway.  Swanson continuously extended his lead throughout the second half as he checked off a succession of lapped cars until the final yellow flag fell with three laps remaining when Austin Nemire and Travis Welpott made contact in turn four, sending Welpott into a spin.

On the final restart, by rule, the lapped cars would be removed from the equation and start from the tail.  The frightening proposition for Swanson was that the two drivers directly behind him had found another life.

“Bobby (Santos) and David (Byrne) were second and third and are really good racers,” Swanson said.  “They’ll both race you really hard and really clean, but you’re not safe with them behind you.  They’ve proven they can pass anybody at any time.  It’s just one of things where you must focus.  I’ve got my wife on the radio, and we had the best car during the race.  It was my job to hit two good laps.”

“The engine took off great on the restart and got me a little bit of a gap, which is huge into turn one knowing that they’re not already on your bumper,” Swanson detailed.  “If you make any sort of mistake, you can run it in there and try to build some momentum.  Luckily, the thing re-fired up really well and we were able to pull away in the last two laps to seal it.  What a wild night, what a wild weekend it’s been.  It’s all the reasons why I love Silver Crown racing.”

Swanson finished out the deal, winning his third career “Rollie Beale Classic” by just a tick under a second over Santos, Byrne, Eric Gordon and Aaron Pierce.  Swanson had previously won the annual event back in 2011 and 2015, a race that has a special personal meaning to him.

“The first one I won, I got my picture taken with Rollie in victory lane and met his whole family, which was really cool,” Swanson remembers.  “Not only does this race mean a lot, but now we race in his memory.  The legacy that he left in open wheel racing just means that much more and it’s always cool to come back and race in Toledo in his honor.”

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  

Sumar Classic Podium Finishers

Swanson 2nd in Terre Haute's Sumar Classic

Terre Haute Action Track - Terre Haute, IN

April 29, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

One of the reasons that I love the USAC Racing Silver Crown series, is that if you never give up, you still have a chance.

What a roller coaster it was for us in Terre Haute. Clark had to put a car completely together over the winter, because of my mistake at Eldora, and in its first 4 laps on the track it was fastest in the first round of hot laps. Bob and Jesse have always done an excellent job with our engines, and over the last 5 seasons have had such few issues it has been incredible. We had a fluke problem show up yesterday, but Bob, Clark and Jesse had an emergency spare ready in the trailer. With my Dad flying in and good friend Bk joining the team to help for the race, it was all hands on deck to get the engine changed after hot laps. Since we missed qualifying, we'd have to come from last in the B-Main (essentially 28th in the field), but raced our way into 2nd to earn an 18th place starting spot for the 100 lap Sumar Classic.

While 100 laps can be a long time, passing can be at a premium, so balancing patience and aggression can be tough. My wife Jordan, continues to do a great job for me and this team from the spotters stand, and helped us negotiate that balance. We went from 18th to 5th in the first half, and had a really good racecar. In the second half, there was some very close and intense racing among the top 5. We were fortunate to capitalize on some key moments and make passes in tight quarters, and take the lead with 23 laps to go. A caution flag flew a few laps later, setting up the final 20 lap dash to the finish.

We were able to pull away a few car lengths after the restart, but as the battle for position continued behind us, we got collected in a very tough situation. A pass attempt for 2nd ran long into the third corner, and we were hit hard from behind. While we managed to keep it going, the left rear wheel was damaged, tire flattened, and we'd have to head pit side. Since we were in the final 25 laps, yellow flag laps did not count, and we weren't done yet. The team grabbed the spare left rear tire, gave the car a quick once over, and sent me back out to restart from the tail of the field with 17 laps to go. Jordan did great keeping me updated while we gave it everything we had to get back to the front after restarting about 15th in line.

This team does not give up, and we do not quit. After making it through the lapped cars at the tail, we began making passes for position, and continued to climb the ladder. With 6 laps remaining, we had the #63 back into 2nd position, but was over 3.5 seconds behind the leader. We closed the gap more than two seconds in 5 laps, but ran out of laps to challenge for the win. Justin Grant and the Hemelgarn #91 team did a great job all day, made the best 100 laps and earned their victory. Congratulations to them and their entire team.

Through all that we battled, our team never gave up, and until the checkered flew we still had a chance. You can't ask for anything more than that. At the end of it all, we passed over 35 cars for position, and I hope if nothing else put on a show for the fans of Silver Crown racing.

Thank you to the DePalma family for the opportunity, everyone that is on this team for their outstanding effort and perseverance, and to all of our sponsors and partners that support us! An extra special thanks to my Mom, who flies in for these Silver Crown races to watch Trevor, so that Jordan and I can give it our all to go compete as part of this team! What an incredible team to be part of, and an incredible ride. Thanks again!

TonyMattBrian, Bob, Clark, Jesse, Bk, Dad, JordanRyanNickMichael, and Liz.

Radio Hospital Allstar Performance Calico Coatings Callies Performance Products Champion Brands, LLC Hi-Tech Lubricants COMP Cams EibachFK Rod Ends Maria Melillo Goodridge LTD JE Pistons K&N Filters Ryan Kn Guy Kinsler Fuel Injection The Joie of Seating Maxim Chassis Multi Fire - High Performance Spark Plug Wires PRO Shocks Real Racing WheelsSaldana Racing Products Schoenfeld Headers Simpson Indy Simpson Race Products Wilwood Disc Brakes Winters Performance Products

  2018 USAC Silver Crown Series  


ISM Raceway - Phoenix, Arizona

April 6-7, 2018 - DePalma Motorsports #63

"ISM Raceway has always been a neat place to me. I vaguely remember being there as a kid and watching my Dad race SuperModifieds at the Copper World Classic, at what was then PIR.

In 2009, I ran 2nd in the USAC Silver Crown race, and after an eight year absence from the track for the series, I ran 2nd again a year ago.

This team put in so much effort over the winter in hopes that we could travel to Phoenix for the season opener and do one spot better this time. Bob and Jesse went to work improving and freshening the engine, Clark went above and beyond to prepare the chassis for a grueling 100 miles in the desert, as well as so much of the behind the scenes work that prepares a team for a Silver Crown race. Ryan made a couple of trips with me from Indianapolis to Alvada to help with even more of the preparation on the car, equipment and hauler. Matt came over to help get the truck and trailer ready, and delivered us safely to and from the races. My Dad, Mike, was always there to help me over the phone with the set up for these races, and stepped in to help me even more at the track. My wife, Jordan, is not only a huge help to me, but plays an important role for this team as my spotter, and does a great job keeping me informed, and safe with all of the action on track. The DePalma Family & Radio Hospital invest so much to put this car on the track, and are great people to be around and enjoy racing with.

We had a good weekend, but we didn't get what we came for. We qualified for the pole, and we made all 100 miles - a testament to the attention to detail that Clark gives these cars and this team - but we didn't win in Phoenix.

The 100 miler - now called the "Copper Cup," had to have been a good race from the stands, because it sure was fun from the seat. At one point, the Top 6 cars were nose to tail, and some two-wide as we all fought for position and to move up the ladder. We started from the pole, fell as far as 5th, and raced our way back to 2nd with 40 laps to go. Kyle Hamilton was looking awfully good in the Klatt #6, but misfortune under their hood allowed us past and to the lead with 35 laps left. By then, Bobby Santos III had been from the front, to the pits, to the back, and was well on his way back to the front. He put on a charge through the field with 30 laps to go, and pulled alongside me for the lead on lap 80. We raced side-by-side for a lap and half before he was able to pull away through the dogleg with the lead. I did all I could to give chase, and kind of hung with him for the next dozen laps or so - hustling hard to keep up in hopes that we'd catch a lapped car and maybe I'd have another chance. As we came to 5 to go, we finally caught that lapped car - but Bobby rolled right on by and continued to pull away with the lead, and on to his 2nd straight Copper Cup victory.

Racing is a tough sport, and this is a tough series. On one hand, when you set out and work constantly toward accomplishing a goal, and come up short, it can be disheartening. On the other, we did have a really good weekend, and to be part of this team, with everyone working toward those goals together, is something really special.

As Tony and I talked throughout the weekend, regarding our hopes and nerves, and again after the race was over - we kept coming back to this. The one thing that is (& was) for sure, is that we couldn't have asked for any more effort from anyone on this team, and that everyone gave it their all - and how could you ask for anything more than that? You can't!

Thanks to everyone that is part of this team for all of the effort, and everyone who partners with us for your support!" - Kody.



2018 Chili Bowl Nationals Recap

Tulsa Expo Raceway - Tulsa, Oklahoma

January 9-13, 2018 - Dunlap Performance #32

The Chili Bowl Nationals is such a unique event, and offers something a little different for everybody. While our final results this year weren't what we were aiming for, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to drive the Dunlap Performance #32, and to have been able to work with a great group of people.

The format at Chili Bowl places utmost importance on your preliminary night heat race, and could be the most critical 8 laps of your week, and I failed to deliver. I got 'stuck' in traffic, and after narrowly avoiding disaster a few times, it caught up with me and I stalled in the middle of the racetrack, collected another car and did not finish that important heat race.

From then on, we were buried. BrianMikeCasey, Craig, John, and Casey Shuman - along with help from a few more friends and good neighbors - got the 32 back together and ready to start digging out from our hole, at least as far as we could make it. We won our preliminary D-Main, came from 13th to 6th in the C-Main, and would be finished for the night.

Saturday's I-Main nearly had us part of the 'Breakfast Club' at the Chili Bowl, as we started racing just after noon. After starting 8th we won the I-Main to advance to the H. Starting 13th, we passed a lot of cars in a short amount of time to finish 5th, but that is where my run ended.

Casey Shuman carried the Dunlap torch driving the #32D from the E-Main to the D-Main, rounding out the 2018 Chili Bowl for the team.

Like I said earlier, it wasn't the end results we wanted, but I was impressed by and grateful for the effort put forth by Brian & Mike Dunlap, as well as Casey, Craig, John, and Casey Shuman - not only preparing a top-notch program and racecar, but for their perseverance when things didn't go our way. I am thankful that they took the chance on me for this year's Chili Bowl, and for the opportunity to have raced for them!

  2017 Rumble in Fort Wayne  

Kody leading his heat race in the SpeedChasers #8. Todd Ridgeway Photo


The Rumble in Fort Wayne is a unique event that links open wheel midgets to their roots and is held annually at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, the very same site that hosted the United States Auto Club's first sanctioned event in 1956.  

To close out the 2017 season, Kody made his first trip to the building, and attempted his rookie 'Rumble' at the famed indoor midget event.  

The whole plan came together late in the year, after Kody discussed his interest with SpeedChasers team owner Tom Brewer. With less than 2 months until the race, they decided to give it a shot, and the team purchased a car just in time to get ready for the Rumble. 

Thursday night the building was open for practice, to give the teams a chance to shake-down their cars and to help the track take shape.  Just a lap into their first session, the u-joint came apart on the SpeedChasers #8, ending their evening and setting them up for more work ahead.  Without any real spare parts to speak of, the team relied on close friend Mike Fedorcak, who loaned parts off of the original Munchkin midget chassis to get the #8 back on track for the weekend.  

An entire driveline exchange was completed on Friday, and the car was finished just moments before the final call for practice.  Yet, the excitement continued, as fuel system gremlins plagued them in both practice sessions, and the first real laps on the car would have to come in qualifying.  

Kody timed 12th fastest of the 32 cars, just making the invert for heat race line-ups, starting him on the pole of the final heat race.  He led all 10 laps to earn a starting spot in the feature field for his first night at the Rumble.  A small and tricky 1/6 mile concrete oval produces laps in the high 7 and low 8 second range, and leads to very tight racing and close quarters.  Kody started the feature event in the 10th position, made a few passes and continued to battle for position before eventually finishing the 50 lapper in 6th place.  

With a full night of racing under their belt, and a decent night's rest, the team entered Saturday's Rumble finale with higher hopes and expectations.  They picked up speed in qualifying, but still only timed in 10th fastest as the field continued to tighten up.  Kody led all 10 laps to win his heat race for the second night in a row, and would line up 7th to start the feature event.  

In the early going, Kody slipped back to the 9th position, but continued to work with the car and change his line on the track to make progress toward the front.  After a couple of key passes, Kody had moved into the 5th position as the race reached halfway.  On lap 46, the caution flag flew, and the ensuing restart would provide a new opportunity to gain positions.  With less than two laps left, Kody moved into the 4th spot, and he completed the pass for 3rd coming through the final corner to the checkered flag, earning the team a solid podium finish in their 'rookie' Rumble.  

While it was Kody's first start in the Rumble, and SpeedChasers' first official entry in the event, team owner Tom Brewer, and mechanics Ryan Roberts, Cheryl Allen, and Tony Vakerics are no strangers to the Coliseum.  Most often, they have been found helping their friend Mike Fedorcak campaign his Munchkin #97. 

"Racing can be tough sometimes, and for this race it took help from a lot of people to make it happen.  Tom & Cheryl not only lead this team, but went out and bought a car to get us started, and Tony Vakerics stepped in to play a big part helping them get it ready for this weekend.  Ryan Roberts did an awesome job as our chief mechanic for the event, to get us going, getting us back out there when we had trouble, and keeping us competitive.  Mike Fedorcak is a great friend of the team, and was very generous to get us the parts we needed to keep us running.  Bill Sink and his son Cole were great additions to the team at the track and Bill played a big role helping Ryan and I with the driveline repairs on Friday.  Clark Lamme joined us and was great as part of this team for the weekend.  My wife Jordan is always incredible support for me. I really enjoyed learning an awful lot about racing indoors at the Rumble, and the challenge wouldn't have been nearly as fun nor possible at all without all of the people who helped make it happen.  I'm definitely looking forward to giving this event another shot!" ~Kody.
  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  

USAC Racing - Dave Olson Photo


By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

When one sits and begins to dig into the numbers that Kody Swanson has put up during his four-year tenure with DePalma Motorsports’ USAC Silver Crown program, the figures jump off the page.

Of course, 2017’s series title was his third driver championship, which equaled him with fellow Californians Bud Kaeding and Jimmy Sills as the only drivers to earn three series titles.

His 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th victories moved him past some tall cotton on the way to second-place on the series’ all-time win list at the conclusion of the 2017 season: J.J. Yeley, then Dave Steele and, finally, Brian Tyler.

Thirteen drivers have won on both the pavement and dirt in a Silver Crown car during a single season.  One driver has done it twice (Yeley in 1998 & 2003).  But, get this.  Swanson has accomplished this feat in three-straight seasons!

Prior to 2014, only Rickey Hood (1985), Jack Hewitt (1986), Yeley (2003) and Steele (2005) had won four Silver Crown races in a single season, but never more than once.  Since that point, Swanson has won at least that many in three of the last four seasons.

During the season, he led all drivers in every major statistical category with 241 laps led, 9 top-fives, 10 top-tens in 10 starts and 5 ProSource Fast Qualifying times.

Of all the accolades, numbers, statistics, facts and figures you can conjure up, the most rewarding number to the humble and appreciative Swanson is four.  The four represents the number of car owner titles the DePalma family, with legendary crew chief Bob Hampshire, has earned in Swanson’s four years at the helm of the Radio Hospital-sponsored No. 63.

“I might be more proud and excited to be a part of that record than I am anything else,” Swanson said regarding the team that tied East/Stewart Racing’s four title run from 2002-05.  “I've always taken my role as a driver to help my team succeed.  To have been part of an incredible last four seasons and accomplish what we have together is very special to me.”

It was the latest into the season Swanson had gone without a victory since 2014.  Okay, so it was the third race when he reached victory lane for the first time in 2017.  But there was no inkling of a hitch in his giddy-up as he took control of the points by race two and never lost grip with victories following at Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway, Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway, Salem (Ind.) Speedway and at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds. 

Throughout Silver Crown’s history, many drivers and teams seem to have spurts of excellence in which they are the dominant force within the series for multiple years before another team, another driver, claims the throne.

Drivers capturing back-to-back titles and never returning to the top of the standings include Hewitt (1986-87), Yeley (2002-03), Steele (04-05), Levi Jones (2010-11) and Bobby East (2012-13).  Previously, only Bud Kaeding was able to garner three in a four-year span from 2006-09 while Sills took three of seven between 1990-96.

After Chris Windom rose to the top in 2016 with a narrow defeat of Swanson by a five-point margin, Swanson and the DePalmas easily could’ve packed it in and settled for the success they had already attained, but that didn’t interest this group who marched on with the same approach and the same laser-sharp focus that was engrained in their approach to every challenge they encountered.

“It was tough on all of us to miss it in 2016, but maybe even more because it was so close,” Swanson admits.  “This year, I don't think we really refocused on any changes.  For the most part, I think our approach was the same.  This team does a great job on preparing for each race as it comes, and I think that helps us to do the best we can at every race on the schedule.”

With a remarkable 16 wins in four seasons, that would be enough to rewrite most of the pages in Silver Crown’s record book.  Yet, Swanson and the DePalmas have gone a step further by merely writing their own book, doing it their own way that has seen them rise to incredible heights with much more lying ahead on the horizon.

“It has been an incredible journey to this point,” Swanson realizes.  “When you think about just what has taken place with our team these past few years, it has been almost hard to believe.  There are times when the magnitude of it all sinks in, but I really try not to think about it too much.  I'm definitely grateful to have made it this far, but I'm planning to keep working hard at it and see what the future holds.”

The USAC Silver Crown, along with all of USAC’s National Series schedules, will be released Thursday morning, December 7.

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  

DePalma Motorsports #63


DuQuoin Fairgrounds - DuQuoin, IL

September 3, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois………Over the past eight seasons, Kody Swanson has steadily climbed the ranks to become the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car presented by TRAXXAS division’s second winningest driver.  The foundation for the Kingsburg, California native’s remarkable run of success in the decade of the 2010s was laid at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds where he notched victory number one back in 2010.

Since then, Swanson had picked up 17 additional series victories, including seven more on one-mile dirt ovals.  Yet, another win at Du Quoin had eluded him until Sunday night when the two-time series champ flipped on the figurative switch in his patented style with less than ten laps remaining, passing Jeff Swindell in traffic to win his second career “Ted Horn 100” in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.

“To have a chance to win any Silver Crown race is a neat opportunity.  To drive this car and win for this team is special no matter where it is.  We’ve been fast here a number of times, but just couldn’t catch the breaks,” Swanson recalls.  “There’s a lot that can happen that can take you out of a Silver Crown race.  That’s why they’re so special when you do get them.  Tonight, it was a battle.  There’s so many good cars nowadays, you don’t get to rest or ride to save your tires.”

Among those good cars running up front early on was C.J. Leary who led the opening seven laps from the outside of the front row before Swanson ripped the top spot away briefly on lap eight with an inside pass coming out of turn four.  Leary immediately responded by snatching the lead back away from Swanson on the outside into turn one where he would lead through the 22nd circuit.

As opposed to starting 28th such as he did at Springfield, Swindell didn’t have as much traffic to wade his way through this time around following a solid sixth-place qualifying effort.  Just shy of a quarter-way through the 100-miler, Swindell rode the inner rail inside turn two past Leary to capture the lead and, by lap 30, had built up a half-straightaway cushion.

After halfway, Swanson put a charge on Leary just as Swindell did earlier, getting underneath in turn two to grab the second spot where he would remain until the final restart brought out by the slowing car of Robert Ballou in turn three, which bunched up the field and erased Swindell’s sizable advantage.

On the lap 77 restart, Swindell shot away just as he had done time-and-time again, slamming the screen door shut behind him before his followers even had a chance to react.  Third-running Chris Windom did react though when Swanson stumbled in second.  Windom dove inside on the front straightaway to take second and began his pursuit on Swindell for the race lead.

A repeat of last year’s epic duel between Swindell and Windom commenced, but a bid for a second consecutive Windom victory at the “Magic Mile” ended abruptly just four laps later, on lap 81, when he began to slow coming off turn four before pulling into the infield, sidelining him for the night.  Swanson inherited second with 19 laps remaining, but had a half-straightaway of ground to erase to catch up with Swindell, plus the issue he encountered on the restart that he couldn’t immediately identify.

“I didn’t know if we had a bleeder stick or what,” Swanson explains.  “As we were coming to green, I came over the radio and said ‘hey, you got to keep an eye out because something’s wrong.’  I don’t know what happened to the car, but it felt like it was down on the left side.  I didn’t know if we had a torsion bar stop or something going funny.  With us being so loose with the tire situation we had, I didn’t think we were ever going to see Windom again.  I still don’t know if we would’ve if he hadn’t had that trouble.”

“After the race, I saw the left rear go flat,” Swanson added.  “We were loose, way worse than we had been all race long.  The longer we ran, the better we got, but we were still not the same as we had been throughout the middle of the race.  I just had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have another caution.”

Swanson’s wish would be granted as the race would continue without a yellow, but it did force he and Swindell to maneuver through the throes of heavy lapped traffic in the final ten-lap run which was to Swanson’s advantage and Swindell’s disadvantage.

On the 91st lap, Swindell had trouble negotiating the lapped car of Aaron Pierce in turn three.  As he stepped to the outside of Pierce, that opened the door for Swanson to capitalize on the bottom to snare the lead away with nine laps remaining.  Swindell didn’t go away lightly as he came back a lap later to avenge his turn three defeat to no avail.

“It was tough trying to track down Jeff,” Swanson said.  “Those guys were really good all day.  Yeah, we run for the championship, but I want to win races.  I said ‘it’s time to lay it down.  I don’t know if the tires are going to last or not, but I want to try to win.’  It took everything we had to try to catch up.  As we got loose, I had to keep moving, keep changing my line a little bit and try to figure how you can help your racecar.  We got a little better just in time.  I got a little bit of a run on him and closed enough to where if something happened, hopefully we could capitalize and we did.”

A lap later, Swanson knew if he didn’t get through the lappers in a timely manner, he could envision Swindell doing the same thing that just occurred to him.  Swanson went on the aggressive heading into turn three, splitting through the middle between David Shain and Joey Moughan to escape Swindell who saw access to the opening close in a hurry.

“Lapped traffic is so tough on these miles,” Swanson said.  “The way the racetrack is, as narrow as it gets, makes it hard to predict.  We were able to capitalize on a moment there in lapped traffic and get to the lead.  I got stuck a few laps later and was worried if I didn’t make the right decisions, Jeff would return the favor.  I had to make a pretty big move down the backstretch by splitting between two lapped cars.  I don’t know if that was a good idea or not, but tonight, it worked out.  Maybe that was what sealed the deal.”

That move and the clearing of J.C. Bland - the final car in the pack - provided Swanson a road paved in gold toward the finish line where he finished off his fourth win of the season by five seconds over Shane Cockrum, who got by Swindell for second with four laps remaining.  Swindell took third ahead of C.J. Leary and ProSource pole winner Jerry Coons, Jr.

Local favorite Shane Cockrum of Benton, Illinois, finished a season-best second in his Hardy Boys Motorsports/Financial Transportation Services – Infinity Shocks/Maxim/Claxton Chevy.  Top-tier finishes have become commonplace for Cockrum at Du Quoin in recent years, but the two-time “Ted Horn 100” winner’s bid to even compete on Sunday was up in the air until recently after brake and engine issues at Springfield gave the team a major setback.  The team loaned an engine from Carli Motorsports that had previously been used by Justin Grant to sit on the pole at Syracuse and Springfield in recent years and was the powerplant of choice for Tracy Hines’ final Silver Crown on the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2013.

“I want to thank the Carli bunch again,” Cockrum praised.  “To loan a motor out that may potentially outrun them, hats off to them.  If it wouldn’t have been for them, we wouldn’t even be out here.”

Annually, there is no louder cheer for anyone than there is for Cockrum at Du Quoin as a large throng of fans certainly had something to cheer about this night with a runner-up finish.

“I go to all the miles and I don’t think there’s anybody that cheers any louder for anybody at any track than they do here for me.  We’re pretty tickled,” Cockrum beamed.  “I want to get half my hometown here.  We’re 15 minutes away and I think we keep getting a few more every year, which is really cool.”

A number of records and milestones were on the line Sunday night if Germantown, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell could’ve brought home his Swanson Racing/Jet Star – Rosewood Machine & Tool – Jeff Freel/Maxim/Toyota to victory lane at Du Quoin, such as he did in 1990.  It’s been 24 years since his most recent series victory and he would’ve become the series’ oldest ever race winner.  Yet, after borrowing a pair of shoes from Kody Swanson (that were too small for his feet), leading 68 laps and earning his third-straight podium finish with a third-place run, Swindell came up just short of getting the only record he wanted on this night: 2017 “Ted Horn 100” winner.

“We gave it away,” Swindell point blanked.  “We had the dominant car the whole feature.  We kept pulling away on all the restarts and my crew kept giving me the ‘wide open’ hand signals.  We lost the radio about 25 laps in and, once we got to lapped traffic, I couldn’t tell where we were.  I didn’t know (Kody) was that close.  I tried to sneak around one of those lapped cars going into (turn) three.  When I did, he slid out and about sent me out to the wall.  That cost me dearly and left a hole open for Kody to come through.  If I had known he was that close behind, I probably would’ve just sat behind the guy and waited.  We got back around Kody on the outside there, then he split two lap cars going into three, but they closed up on me and that was the end of it.  He got a good lead after that.  It’s really sad because I think we definitely had the car to win.”

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  
Victory Lane at Salem Speedway


Salem Speedway - Salem, IN

August 12, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Salem, Indiana.........After a two-race "winless" streak, Kody Swanson admits it's hard to say that he and the DePalma Motorsports team were struggling.

Yet, for a team so accustomed to winning over the past four seasons, the results were bound to change soon as he, chief wrench Bob Hampshire and the crew went back to the books and did their homework over the last two weeks to return to victory lane for the second consecutive year in the "Joe James/Pat O'Connor Memorial" Saturdaynight at Salem Speedway.

Swanson's 18th career victory in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS has him walking in high cotton as he moved into sole possession of second-place on the all-time series win list while his second-straight "James/O'Connor" triumph made him the fourth to accomplish the feat, joining Parnelli Jones (1960-61), Pancho Carter (1974-75-76-77) and Brian Gerster (2014-15).

To put his name on a list with those individuals and reach that kind of comfort level on Salem's 33-degree banks was something Swanson never imagined to be in the cards when he made his first visit years ago.

"Those guys live for tracks like this to show how they great they are and were," Swanson said. "That hadn't always been my style. Last year, I felt I had to do my best impression of those guys to stay in the title hunt. The first time I came here, I never thought I'd get comfortable. As time's gone on, I've embraced the challenge and gotten more accustomed to what it takes to run the banks."

Swanson laid down the gauntlet in ProSource Qualifying, breaking his one-year-old track record by five-hundredths of a second and more than three-tenths faster than second-fastest. However, as was the case in last year's event, Aaron Pierce would grab the advantage early on from Swanson.

With the spectacular sight of sparks trailing from the tails of the front-running cars lighting up the nighttime sky, the pace of the top-three was astounding with Pierce, Swanson and Chris Windom jockeying for position, separating themselves from fourth and fifth-running David Byrne and Justin Grant through the first-quarter of the 75-lap sprint.

On lap 19, Grant attempted an inside pass on Byrne for fourth between turns three and four, but lost the back end and looped it down the backing without contact. He would restart and recover to finish a solid seventh.

On the lap 24 restart, once again, Pierce was able to get away from Swanson, immediately opening up a ten-car-length lead. But it didn't long for the two-time champ to reel him back in just seven circuits later on the 31st lap.

"I got a run up to the top of the hill right by the fence in turn three," Swanson recalls. "I turned it down and had just enough of a run off four to outrace him into turn one. Once we got to the lead, we could control the pace a little bit, but from there, it was no easy task."

On lap 41, Windom was all over the rear bumper of Pierce for second and the two even made slight nose-to-tail contact in turn two. After relentlessly trying to work the lower line on Pierce for several laps, Windom out-drag-raced Pierce into turn one to take second and set the forward the motion of tracking down Swanson.

"Once Chris got clear, I knew he'd be coming," Swanson said. "Chris was strong early, he was pressing me hard and showing me a nose all the time that reminded me that if I ever screwed up, he was out of there. I knew if I slowed up at all, Chris was going by us both."

Windom closed the gap and hounded Santos for the ensuing ten laps before he began to fade ever so slightly and Swanson continued to run consistent laps in the low 17-second range that rarely wavered a tenth or two in either direction throughout the duration, something to do that Swanson made appear relatively easy, but is certainly not.

"This place is incredibly difficult," Swanson said. "It's so high-banked and physically demanding just on the load and the force that you go through. With an open wheel car, you carry so much speed and you don't have a lot of grip. That makes it hard to drive. On top of that, Salem has some character on both ends. I used to fear coming here because it was a track that made me feel uncomfortable. I always felt like I was behind. I was just trying to react. I wasn't able to race because I was just trying to survive each lap. Running this car last year and running with these guys made It fun. Today, when I came through the gates, instead of thinking 'oh my gosh, I'm at Salem,' I was excited for the challenge. No one's going to have a perfect handling racecar here, so it's time to get up in the seat and do your job."

A handful of lapped cars were all that Swanson needed to stream by in the final laps, and did so without much hesitation to win his third series race of the year by 1.606 seconds over Windom, Bobby Santos, Pierce and Davey Hamilton, Jr.

A 75-lapper at Salem can be physically and mentally wearing on any driver. There's no time to breathe due to the pure speed and the closeness of the racing. Despite the obstacles, as the race went on, the more comfortable Swanson became.

"My wife spots for me. I trust her with everything," Swanson said. When you hear the 'clear by 3' go up to 'clear by 5,' you have a little reassurance. It was tough in lapped traffic. We seemed to catch them at the wrong time and it allowed them to close. The longer the race went, the better I felt. In the last 20, we were able to click off pretty smooth and consistent laps. With bumps, it's fun as a driver because you can always move around and you're constantly trying to figure out, 'can I use it better or can I dodge it better?' As your car wears out, if you can figure it out, it will pay dividends."

Thanks to: Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Callies Cranks, Champion Oil, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kinsler Injection, Maxim Chassis, Real Wheels and Winters.

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  
DePalma Motorsports #63


Williams Grove Speedway - Mechanicsburg, PA

June 16, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania………Kody Swanson has been the master of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS throughout the last three-and-a-half seasons.

No driver owns more victories (14) or championships (2) than the Kingsburg, California driver in that span.

However, the master still attests that he remains a student of the sport.  That has seeded him with the motivation to continually adjust and seek to find deficiencies in all areas of his racing craft that he feels he has to improve to make him a better driver.

In Friday night’s “Horn-Schindler Memorial” at Williams Grove Speedway, the humble, soft-spoken Swanson transformed into a stone-cold assassin when it comes to Silver Crown racing by running down the dominant Damion Gardner with 17 laps remaining to record his 17th career series victory, moving him up to second on the all-time list alongside Brian Tyler with now just one past legend of the series standing in front of him, the one who made the white No. 63 wrenched by Bob Hampshire the car to beat in its era, just like it is today.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more storied racer than Jack Hewitt,” Swanson said.  “Also, I was a teammate to Brian Tyler for a little while at the beginning of my Silver Crown career.  I feel pretty well connected to those two guys.  It’s a pretty special territory to be in.  I don’t know if I feel like we belong, but I’m thankful to be a part of it.  Brian and Jack had so many huge Silver Crown wins.  I guess we’re racking up our own little list here.”

In Friday’s race, however, Damion Gardner held a commanding lead from his pole starting position.  The five-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champ was making just his fourth-career Silver Crown start in only his second visit to the Grove of any kind after a Non-Wing World Championship triumph in 2002.

For much of the 100-lapper, Concord, California’s Gardner led by at least a half-straightaway and sometimes as much as a full-straightway.  Yet, to many long-time observers, with Swanson still lurking in the field, the outcome had yet to be decided.

On lap 62, seventh-starting Swanson worked his way past Justin Grant for the second position.  Though, just behind Gardner in the pecking order, Swanson remained a country-mile behind the leader until a yellow shortly thereafter bunched up the field for a restart with 31 laps to go.

As opposed to one year ago, the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 of Gardner was the chasee instead of the chaser such as it was in the 2016 “Horn-Schindler” when Bryan Clauson, in the 6, nearly ran down Chris Windom in the final laps for the win.

Gardner was initially able to gap Swanson on the lap 69 restart, but Swanson surely, and steadily, knocked off tenths of a second per lap as the two frontrunners occupied the middle groove on both ends of the racetrack.

Yet, with 17 to go, Swanson hit the topside of turns one and two, cut off the second corner and ducked underneath Gardner for the race lead, but wasn’t quite able to out-drag race Gardner into turn three before he wisely tucked back into line.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again is the creed that Swanson would adhere to a lap later, following Gardner and repeating the same exact maneuver on the same piece of real estate.  This time, Swanson had enough pull to push himself into the lead. 

“I knew Damion was running a similar line as me,” Swanson explains.  “I knew from tracking Justin (Grant) down that, once they move to the same spot, it’s so hard to get a run and get beside him without jeopardizing our race and wrecking us both.  When tracking him down, I knew there was less than 20 to go and it was time to get creative.  I tried the same line I used to get to the lead three times.  Once, earlier, I botched it so badly, but I didn’t lose much ground.  I thought ‘hey, if I actually do that right, that could be it.’  The second time, I got close, but I really chocked it up hard because I didn’t have enough room to do it without getting into him.  But I didn’t want to show him anything either, so I followed him in line and tried to do it right and had a really good head of steam on the next one.”

From there on, Swanson would remain in control for the balance of the race, even surviving a restart with nine to go, to win his second Silver Crown event in a row and become the first driver since himself in early 2015 to win back-to-back series races on the dirt and the pavement in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy over Gardner, Jerry Coons Jr., Chris Windom and Brady Bacon.

At first glance, it might appear to be another in a long line of patented late-race success stories for Swanson in which he bides his team before he inflicts his competitors with a venomous strike in the final quarter of the race on his way to victory.  Instead, Swanson feels this was one of those classic ‘get-up-on-the-wheel’ type of deals for all 100 laps.

“On the miles, we know we’ve been strong late,” Swanson pinpoints.  “Tonight, I didn’t qualify well.  I told the guys I felt like I blew the second lap and that put us deep.  I felt like I drove all 100 laps as hard as I could.  There were certain times where I had to take care of it, but it wasn’t a traditional ‘take-care-of-your-equipment’ type night for me.  I was hustling really hard to try to get by guys.  I had to get by Jerry (Coons, Jr.) and he doesn’t make mistakes.  And Justin doesn’t either.  You just have to find a way around.  Maybe I got by him because I know he had some brake problems and I thought we could pressure him into it a little bit.  I know we were forcing everyone to pick It up a little bit.  Damion was so good, it was going to take everything I had to run him down.”

“I’d like to say I was saving and it worked according to plan, but I was scrambling,” Swanson admits.  “I typically don’t blister tires or wear out brakes, but I did both tonight.  These guys I’m racing against, they’re so good at the half-miles and also in a dirt sprint car, I feel like you have to go hard for 100 laps when you come to a place like this.  It’s something I’ve struggled to do.  Maybe I was just doing my best impersonation of a real dirt guy tonight.”

Of Swanson’s 17 career victories, eight have come on one-mile dirt ovals.  Though he hasn’t been uncompetitive by any means on the half-mile dirt tracks, he hadn’t recorded a victory on one since the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2014, Swanson admits the halves have been a bit of a struggle for him at times.

“They’re just different,” Swanson feels.  “I feel like I’m as in as good of shape as anybody in these longer races.  But you kind of race them different.  The miles have certain factors that aren’t as critical on the half-miles, like tire management.  There’s a lot of things on the half-miles that other drivers have been better than me at.  I’ve tried to identify those and I’ve been working on them to do what I can to up my game like those other guys have on the half-miles to do a good job for my team.  They just race differently.  The miles have such a uniqueness to them and, on the half-miles, many people say these cars look like bigger sprint cars and they kind of act like it.  Guys that have been so dominant in USAC Sprint Cars have been really good in USAC Silver Crown cars on the half-miles lately. That was an area I struggled with and have gone to work trying to get better.  I know I’ve still got more to go, but tonight we were good enough.”

In addition to his move up the ranks of all-time Silver Crown winners, Swanson has now recorded victories on many of the country’s most legendary dirt tracks: the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, the defunct New York State Fairgrounds, the Terre Haute Action Track and now Williams Grove Speedway.  It’s something that, at one point, seemed impossible not only to fans of the sport, but also to himself.  Not too bad for a guy once considered a pavement specialist.

“There was a time in my career, a lot of folks said I’d never be good enough on the dirt,” Swanson recalls.  “I still don’t feel like I am.  I’m still learning and working really hard.  These guys (DePalma Motorsports) give me a really good car.  They work really hard, so I’m going to work hard for them and try to get better.  To be second all-time is incredible.  For me being a guy who’s not supposed to be winning at Williams Grove, it’s pretty cool to be able to figure it out and beat some of the best dirt guys in the nation and to get it done at such a historic track.”

Like last year, the Klatt Enterprises/Beast – Klatt Enterprises/Beast/Ford experienced a similar, yet opposite fate on its Williams Grove run.  Last year, the car was the “chaser” with driver Bryan Clauson at the wheel as the No. 6 came on strong toward the end to nearly pull off the victory.  On Friday, the same car, driven by Damion Gardner, was the “chasee,” leading the first 83 laps before being overtaken by Swanson.  Nonetheless, it was a solid second-place run for the team in just Gardner’s fourth-career Silver Crown start.

“I ran as hard as I could early,” Gardner said.  “I just wanted to get to the lappers and put them all down, then ride the middle.  I knew Swanson would be coming at the end, the track would get slower and there’d be yellows.  I had two choices: if I slowed down, I wouldn’t be as good and he would catch me.  Then, if I ran hard, it was going to hurt my tires.  We went fast.  Yeah, I hurt my tire, but there were other scenarios that played in there.  On that track there, you should be able do 100 laps wide open.  They told me to lay off for a while and I did, but maybe not enough.”

Fifteen years after his first and only visit to Williams Grove, Gardner is still in awe of the place and holds a true appreciation of one of the capstone dirt tracks on the American racing scene.

“Bad dudes come from PA and the Grove and fast joints like this,” Gardner praised.  “This place is historical.  It’s legendary.  Every time you come here, you want to win.  You pay attention to places like this.  The fans love us when we come out here; they show us a lot of respect and appreciation.  I like to put on a show and these fans really appreciate it.”

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. took a steady, solid third-place finish in his Gene Nolen Racing/KECO – Indy Race Parts/Maxim/Tranter Chevy, but it didn’t come without its trials and tribulations.

“I started to feel the steering wheel getting slippery with about 40 to go,” Coons remembers.  “It was pretty early on.  It was mainly on my left hand.  I kept wiping my hand on my suit down the straightaway.  With about 15 to go, the car started to get stiff.  Then, we had a yellow come out.  Without being on the throttle, it was getting pretty hard to steer, so I knew it was getting pretty low on fluid.  With about 10 to go, it was getting to where it didn’t like to turn left very well.”

“Here, you kind of roll into the corner and get the car sideways to where it’s turning to the right,” Coons continued.  “I could get it into a set and hold it there.  I got myself into a rhythm.  A couple times down in turns three and four, if I bobbled at all, lost the front end and had to turn it to the left, it took me a lot to get it back down.  Overall, the car was good.  We had an ignition box not running right in the first hot lap session.  Then, we went through the fuel system and changed the ignition box.  After those problems, a third-place is looking pretty good!”

Thanks to: Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Callies Cranks, Champion Oil, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kinsler Injection, Maxim Chassis, Real Wheels and Winters.

  2017 Ohio Dirt Sprint Cars  

Victory Lane: Waynesfield Raceway Park

Swanson Scores Waynesfield Summer Kicker

Waynesfield Raceway Park - Waynesfield, OH

June 3, 2017 - K&L Racing / RMT #21k

The "Summer Kicker" at Waynesfield drew 23 sprint cars for a unique format and $1500 to win. Hot Laps and Group Qualifying found Kody and the #21k 5th fastest overall, lining them up for Heat Race #2.

In heat race action, Kody started 3rd and found himself there after the opening circuit. On lap 3, a slide job through turns 1 and 2 moved him past Dallas Hewitt and into the 2nd spot. With the top 4 all running the cushion, Kody moved to the bottom of turns 3 and 4 with two laps to go, and began reeling in the leader. On the final lap Kody dove back to the bottom and beat Dustin Ingle to the checkered flag by a nose to take the heat race win.

With an invert of 3 for the Feature lineup, Kody's last corner pass netted him a front row starting spot alongside polesitter Kyle Simon. After the initial green, caution in turn one rebunched the field for a
complete restart. In the opening laps Kyle Simon held the early lead around the bottom, while Kody began to push the top groove higher and higher working to build momentum. By lap 4, Kody had the #21k rolling and had pulled back alongside Kyle for the lead as the top groove came in.

As the race neared halfway, Kody began to pull away and entered lapped traffic. The 21k was strong getting through lapped cars, allowing Kody to continue building his lead.

In the final 10 laps, the #21k had started picking up a vibration, so Kody settled in a little more conservative to ensure he would make it to the finish. By race's end, Kody had lapped up to 11th
place to score the 4 second victory over Kyle Simon and Dallas Hewitt.

"We had a really good car tonight, and I always enjoy racing with Kent and everyone on this #21k team.  Everyone really works hard to do their part, and tonight it paid off.  This track is a lot of fun to
race on, and I'm thankful to have been the guy in the seat tonight."

Thanks to: Rosewood Machine & Tool, The Bridge Restaurant in Sidney, Lev's Brewhouse and JR Levering Construction, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, American Racer Tires, Simpson Race Products, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, Weld Wheels, DMI / Bulldog Rears, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kalvinator Engines and Maxim Chassis.

  2017 Indiana Dirt Sprint Cars  
Epperson Painting #2e

Swanson 5th at Bloomington

Bloomington Speedway - Bloomington, IN

June 2, 2017 - Epperson Racing #2E

22 Sprint cars rolled into Bloomington Speedway on Friday evening, and with Hot Laps & Group Qualifying in the books, Kody had timed the Epperson Racing #2e 2nd in the first group. 

Starting 3rd in Heat Race #1, Kody held the bottom off turn 2 to take the lead on the opening lap, only to have a caution flag fly and force a complete restart.  When the field came back to life, Kody was able to hold his own in 3rd before taking the 2nd spot a lap later.  With the top 4 cars strung out around the rim of the 1/4 mile, it appeared that was how they would finish.  About halfway, one car slid over the banking, and the caution flag flew again to liven things up.  On the restart, Kody held the bottom off of turn 2 and with a slide job in turn 3 took the top spot.  He held on over the final laps to take the heat race win.  

An invert of the Top 8 heat race finishers put Kody starting 8th on the grid for the A-Main.  
In the opening laps, Kody struggled to build much momentum, and hovered in the 8th-10th range.  An early caution lined things out, and Kody started moving back forward a little.  As the track wore in, shining up slick all across the middle, Kody began moving around to find where he could pick up some speed.  Another caution flew around half way, and Kody continued further up the order.  After getting around a few lapped cars, Kody moved into the 5th position in the final laps to earn a respectable finish behind Brady Short, Max McGhee, Dakota Jackson, and Jordan Kinser.

"I'm thankful to race for Tony, and all of the hard work that Gary and Steve put in on this #2e.  I've still got more to learn about these Indiana bullrings, but I feel like I'm gaining on it.  I'm glad to salvage a solid finish for tonight, and I'm looking forward to our next chance to try it again."

Thanks to the following sponsors: Epperson Painting, PPG Paints, Spike Chassis, Claxton Engines, and Indy Race Parts, PRO Shocks, K&N Filters, Allstar Performance, FK Rod Ends, and Simpson Race Products.

  2017 - 69th Annual Little 500  
Nolen Racing #4 - Bill Miller Photo

Swanson 4th in 69th Annual Little 500

Anderson Speedway - Anderson, IN
May 27, 2017 - Nolen Racing #4

The Little 500 is one of the wildest races in short track open wheel racing, and this year's version did not disappoint. Kody, the defending winner, had to secure a new ride for the 2017 edition, and he found a great home in the Nolen Racing #4. Powered by a Bill Tranter V6, the car has a unique sound and has been fast every year in the Nolen stable.

After a rain delay pushed practice and qualifying to late Thursday evening, Kody took his 4-lap time and put the #4 on the front row in 3rd position.

On Saturday evening, the 33 car field would come to life from 11 rows of 3, set to go for 500 laps. In the early going, Kody rode in the top 3, as the leaders quickly made their way to the back of the field and encountered lapped traffic. 500 laps on a tight quarter mile can be tough to survive, so avoiding accidents takes a serious focus. In the first 150 laps the caution flew many times, and as the field began to thin out, the speeds began to pick up.

The first round of mandatory pit stops found the leaders refueling and taking fresh tires between laps 150 to 200. Once the pit stops cycled through, Kody was back to the 9th position, but the #4 was ready to move toward the front. By halfway, Kody was up to 5th and coming forward. By lap 285, Kody had taken over the top spot and began lapping even more of the field. The #4 was really strong on used tires, and that kept the car up front for a race high 183 laps led.

A caution flew near lap 340, but with so much of the race left to go, Kody and the #4 stayed out, hoping to catch a caution in the next 50 laps or so to set up a dash to the finish. That caution never came. A 120-lap green flag run ensued, featuring Kody lapping even more cars, but fading fast on tires that now had nearly 300 laps on them.

On lap 469 the looming disaster finally struck, as another car and Kody made contact into turn one, spinning the #4 to a stop. While waiting on a push truck, the #4 car went a few laps down to the field, and still required to make their final pit stop, would lose another. Kody rolled out of the pits to the final restart in 6th place and 3 laps down, with just 25 laps to go. Their final charge was a good one, Kody got one of his laps back, and moved up to the 4th position by the time the checkered flag flew.

"We had a really good race car tonight, and I felt like we had a real chance to win. Our car was good high or low, and maybe we just didn't catch the right breaks tonight.  I feel bad for the team, I would have really liked to get this car to Victory Lane for them. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have driven Gene Nolen's #4, and for all of the hard work that everyone put in to give us a chance to win this race."

Nolen Racing Team - Crew Chief: Rick Laughlin; Crew: Kevin Noblitt, Dale Latty, Rich Winings, Bill Tranter, Steve Simpson, Blake Hollingsworth, George Lynam, Doug Van Klompenburg, Kameron Gladish.

#4 Team - Crew Chief: Dan Launderville; Crew: Mark Ashbrook, Don Ernst, Jeff Herbert, Matt Kendall, Tyler Kendall, Chuck Maddox, Ryan Roberts, Chris Simon, Doug Yust, and Mike Yust.

Nolen Racing Sponsors: Columbus Container, Centennial Sales, KECO Coatings, Ron Peterson, Engines by Tranter, Eastern Cross Technologies, Indy Race Parts, Seals-It, Mag-Tech, Royal Spa, and Advanced Racing Suspensions.

Thanks to Sponsors: K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, Simpson Race Products, Wilwood Brakes.

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  
Victory Lane: Lucas Oil Raceway

Swanson Scores at Lucas Oil Raceway

Lucas Oil Raceway - Brownsburg, IN

May 26, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63 Release: Brownsburg, Indiana……… Lately, it seems every victory Kody Swanson captures sets a new standard in the USAC Silver Crown record book.

Friday night’s “Carb Night Classic” at Lucas Oil Raceway was no exception as the Californian led all 100 laps from the pole to surpass J.J. Yeley and join the late, great Dave Steele for third on the all-time series win list with his 16th career triumph.

For a time in the late 1990s, there was no greater dominator in USAC competition at LOR (then known as Indianapolis Raceway Park) than the late Steele, the two-time Silver Crown champion who passed away this past March after a sprint car crash at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.

Currently, we are in the midst of the Swanson era at the .686-mile paved oval located west of Indianapolis where Kody and his younger brother, Tanner, have combined for five-straight, and seven of the past eight, Silver Crown wins.  Though Tanner won the first five of those, Kody had the upper hand in the last two in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire.

Kody appreciates each and every win that he’s fortunate to earn in his career, but Friday’s victory gave him pause in his victory lane speech as the significance of placing his name alongside Steele’s in the record book has deeply personal meaning.

“Dave Steele was someone that I really considered a friend, and someone I looked up to as a driver,” Kody explained.  “I was so saddened by his passing and for his family.  To join him is an honor; he was incredible behind the wheel and in this series.”

Kody started on the pole of the 100-lap event after recording ProSource Fast Qualifying time as the last car to hit the track in time trials.  Right from the outset, it was the three LOR dominators of the decade running one-two-three with Kody Swanson, Tanner Swanson and Bobby Santos – winners of nine of the past 10 at the track – leading the way.

The trifecta was the class of the field as they seceded from the pack, holding a straightaway lead over the fourth-place car of Jerry Coons, Jr. just ten laps into the show.

Lapped traffic came into play early on, but it didn’t do much to slow the pace of the leaders who maintained a torrid transit as they slipped their way around the tail-end of machinery.  By lap 30, Kody found a home in a new zip code a half-straightaway ahead of Tanner and Santos.

At halfway, the race’s first yellow flag flew when Troy Thompson, in his series debut, spun backwards into the infield grass at the exit of turn two while battling with Bill Rose.  Thompson’s car made no wall contact and the Florida native was able to restart.

On the ensuing restart, Kody had a pair of lapped cars as a buffer between himself and Tanner.  It only took Tanner a lap-and-a-half to clear both Aaron Pierce, then Justin Grant.  By then, Kody had taken advantage of the situation and stretched his lead out to 1.5 seconds.

With 27 laps remaining, fifth-running Jerry Coons, Jr. slowed with a flat right front tire to bring out second caution of the evening.  The Tucson, Arizona native and USAC Triple Crown champ lost a lap in the pit area as the Gene Nolen Racing crew efficiently went to work on replacing the rubber before sending him back into the fray.

With the field bunched up at the resumption of racing on lap 77, Santos poked a nose under Tanner for the second position in turn one.  The move was made to no avail, but Kody up front wasn’t able to escape the two chasers who ran nose-to-tail and remained close enough to strike despite their own personal battle for second.

In the late stages, the race for the win wasn’t the only competition at stake; there was also the ongoing race against the imminent storm.  With 10 laps remaining and dark clouds emerging over the springtime Indiana sky, sixth-running Justin Grant slammed the turn three SAFER barrier, eerily similar to the shunt he experienced at Phoenix Raceway a month ago.

After the accident cleanup, that left just two laps and a green-white-checker shootout to the finish.  Kody, Tanner and Santos lined up uninterrupted first through third for the final restart.  Santos repeated his move from the most recent restart, but this time, powered his way past Tanner to snag second.

Santos went to work, gaining on Kody as he laid down his fastest two laps of the race, since lap four, on the 99th and 100th circuit.  The anticipation grew as a David Byrne-esque charge for the win played through the minds of the enthusiastic crowd on-hand.  However, Kody was even quicker than Santos on the final two rounds and muscled the No. 63 to his third overall LOR Silver Crown win by three-tenths over Santos, Tanner, Chris Windom and Aaron Pierce.

It was the third win in four races for Kody in the “black” pavement car that the team purchased after destroying their traditional “white” car in a jarring crash at Gateway Motorsports Park in June of 2016.  Not that the white car was a slouch by any means, but it rarely got over the hump to find victory lane in Kody’s hands since he began his tenure with the team in 2014.  The lone win with Kody at the wheel of the white car came at Toledo (OH) Speedway in May of 2015.

The black car utilized Friday night is a former RFMS Motorsports machine driven by A.J. Fike and has done wonders for the team’s asphalt program.  Since the addition of the black car, Kody and the DePalma Motorsports team have won three of four on the blacktop: LOR (1st), Salem (Ind.) Speedway (1st), Phoenix (2nd) and LOR (1st), including 200 straight laps led at LOR over the past two events.

“I don’t think I fully attributed the trouble we were having to the white car until we got the black one,” Kody admits.  “That white car had been wrecked and straightened before we had it and I don’t think I quite realized what lasting effects that had.  This black car has been solid for us right out of the box and my guys work really hard to keep us near the front.  I’m really thankful that the hard work is paying off.”

Thanks to: Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Callies Cranks, Champion Oil, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kinsler Injection, Maxim Chassis, Real Wheels and Winters.

  2017 Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series  

Jordan Swanson hands Kody his helmet while holding Trevor. Cindi Hand Photo.

Swanson 2nd at Fremont Speedway

Fremont Speedway - Fremont, OH

May 13, 2017 - K&L Racing / RMT #21k

Fremont Speedway has been kind to Kody Swanson over the past few years, including taking home the Mike Hensel Memorial trophy in 2014 and 2016.

The first visit of BOSS Sprints to Fremont for 2017 was a fun one, and kept fans and drivers alike on the edge of their seat. The racing surface was very fast and had a little 'character' on the entrances to turns 1 and 3, keeping cars' Left Rears in the air and drivers with both hands on the wheel. Kody started the #21k outside of row 2 in his heat race, and methodically made his way to the front. Once he made the pass for the lead, he was able to sneak off to score the victory.

The 40-car field warranted 5 heat races, and a redraw for the Top 10 Feature starting positions. Kody drew fairly high, and would roll off 8th for the A-Main. Cars jostled for position on the racetrack and amongst one another while everyone tried to navigate the quickly changing track conditions. Kody was able to move forward, then slid back avoiding an accident, and had to come back forward again. Cautions never seemed to fall in his favor, giving a pass and position back each time the flag flew as scoring reverted to the previous lap. Yet, the 21k kept creeping toward the front, moving into the 2nd spot as the laps wound down. The final caution would set up a Green-White-Checkered finish, and in the final lap Kody stuck the bottom of turns 3 and 4, but to no avail as he would settle for 2nd behind winner Dustin Smith.

"I would have really like to get that one tonight. We were a skeleton crew today. Kent had to stay and man the restaurant (he owns the Bridge Restaurant in Sidney, OH), so Jon Burke was my only guy tonight, and he did a heck of a job keeping me going forward and getting this car back to the track. We've got great people that support us, and I'm thankful to be driving this car, and looking forward to another chance here at Fremont."

Thanks to: Rosewood Machine & Tool, The Bridge Restaurant in Sidney, Lev's Brewhouse and JR Levering Construction, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, American Racer Tires, Simpson Race Products, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, Weld Wheels, DMI / Bulldog Rears, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kalvinator Engines and Maxim Chassis.

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  
Al Steinberg Photo via USAC Racing

Swanson 2nd in Phoenix Copper Cup

Phoenix International Raceway - Avondale, AZ

April 29, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63

Excerpts taken from Release: Phoenix, Arizona………It had been eight years since the United States Auto Club competed at Phoenix Raceway.  Since then, the track has been slightly reconfigured, repaved and renovated.

On Saturday, to Bobby Santos, it was still the same Phoenix Raceway he knew and loved back in 2009 when he raced to a USAC National Midget victory at the one-mile tri-oval.

In his return, Santos used his experience and bravado to outduel David Byrne in a wild west shootout, racing past Byrne using a massive run off turn four, then fending off his comeback attempt off turn two a lap later to capture his seventh career USAC Silver Crown presented by TRAXXAS victory at the “Phoenix Copper Cup.” ................

As had been the case all afternoon long, Santos struck back, using a high-low crossover off turn four on lap 92 to pull wheel-to-wheel with Byrne down the front straightaway.  Byrne was credited with the lead at the start/finish line, but the lead wasn’t long for this world as Santos outpaced Byrne into the first turn to capture the point.  Byrne fought back with all his might in turn three, but slid up off the bottom, allowing Santos to speed away.

A three-car breakaway of Santos, Byrne and K. Swanson ran nose-to-tail in the final laps with Santos continually using a big run off turn two to ward off all potential challengers.  Swanson relentlessly worked on Byrne for second, finding the outside groove to his liking as he sped around Byrne for second off turn two.

Swanson quickly charged at Santos, but the sand in the proverbial hourglass had run out, as Santos crossed under the double-checkered flags for his first series victory in nearly two years at Iowa Speedway, the last Silver Crown victory on pavement by a driver not named Kody or Tanner Swanson until Saturday at Phoenix. .................

Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson took second in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire.  Yet, despite taking over the point lead in the latest Silver Crown standings, the 2014 and 2015 series champ was looking for more.

“Because I race all season, people want to look at the points,” Swanson said.  “I feel something I’m good at is surviving long races.  After the (championship) heartbreak last year, my focus has been to win races when we can.  Not that I wasn’t before, but I really want to focus on that.  Today, even with the late yellows, I didn’t think I had anything for these guys.  As the race played out, suddenly I was in the hunt at the end.  We found something a little bit different, but it was too little, too late.  I’m a little disappointed in myself for not figuring it out soon enough.  Being here on the podium is a good day, but I would’ve liked for it to have gone a little longer or I’d have liked to have figured it out a little sooner.”

For the full article, please visit:

Thanks to: Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Callies Cranks, Champion Oil, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kinsler Injection, Maxim Chassis, Real Wheels and Winters.

  2017 Ohio Dirt Sprint Cars  

Victory Lane: Waynesfield Raceway Park

Swanson Scores Waynesfield Season Opener

Waynesfield Raceway Park - Waynesfield, OH

April 23, 2017 - K&L Racing / RMT #21k

Flashback to May 2nd, 2015; Waynesfield Raceway Park was holding their season opener, Kody Swanson was driving the K&L Racing #21k, and coming off of a USAC Silver Crown victory the night before at Toledo Speedway. Later that night, Kody found himself in Victory Lane for the second night in a row, scored his first win driving for car owner Kent Wolters, and started a trend for the duo. Moving ahead to 2016, Kody and Kent teamed up to snag the Waynesfield season opener again, and this time it was Trevor's (Kody & Jordan's son), first ever trip to the Winner's Circle at 4 months old. Fast forward to last Saturday night, as the #21k team rolled into Waynesfield Raceway Park looking for their 3rd-straight victory in the track's season opener.

On a cold April evening, 23 sprint cars filled the pits including the likes of defending Track Champion Luke Hall, some USAC tour regulars, and other multi-time winners and veterans. Kody started on the pole of the first heat, but had slipped to 3rd in the early going. By the end of 8 laps, Kody had the #21k building momentum and reached the back bumper of 2nd, but to no avail, and finished in the 3rd position. The night's heat races were won by Drew Rader, Landon Simon and Dallas Hewitt.

After the B-main was completed and finalized the starting field, an invert of 8 put Kody outside the front row of the Feature Event line up. When the field roared to life, the outside lane filled the top 3 spots as Kody took the lead with 4th starter Luke Hall and 6th starter Dallas Hewitt in tow, while Landon Simon began his march forward from 7th. As the top 5 began to pull away, Kody had over half a straightaway lead when he caught the tail of the field on lap 10. While Kody had the #21k running around the rim of the 1/4 mile racetrack, lapped cars continued to battle for position two wide, making it tough to negotiate traffic. The K&L Racing #21k was handling great, so when an opening finally appeared Kody was able to sneak through the traffic, and keep a few lapped cars between him and those in pursuit. As the feature continued caution free, the leaders all remained in lapped traffic, enabling hard chargers Dallas Hewitt and Landon Simon to take over the 2nd and 3rd positions while Luke Hall slipped to 4th. In the final laps, Kody had lapped up to 10th place and took the checkered flags with a 3.8 second margin of victory.

"Kent and I have been racing together for some time by now, and it has been really fun to race with such good friends," said Swanson. "Jeff and Bart were a big help at the track tonight, and Jon has been great for us pitching in at the shop. I always enjoy racing with these guys and I'm happy to have stood alongside them in Victory Lane tonight. Thanks to all of our sponsors and everyone who works hard to support this team!"

Thanks to: Rosewood Machine & Tool, The Bridge Restaurant in Sidney, Lev's Brewhouse and JR Levering Construction, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, American Racer Tires, Simpson Race Products, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, Weld Wheels, DMI / Bulldog Rears, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kalvinator Engines and Maxim Chassis.

  2017 Indiana Dirt Sprint Cars  
Victory Lane: Lincoln Park Speedway

Swanson Scores First Indiana Sprint Car Win

Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, IN

April 15, 2017 - Epperson Racing #2E

Dub Pub Media Release:

Former Little 500 winner & USAC National Silver Crown champion, Kody Swanson won his first career Indiana Sprint Car feature Saturday night at Lincoln Park Speedway.

Swanson held off defending track champion, Shane Cockrum to put the Epperson Painting/SPIKE Chassis/Claxton Engines No.2e in victory lane. Drawing for starting position in his heat race, Swanson would start 4th and finish 2nd, qualifying him for a spot in the feature event. The inversion put Swanson the key starting spot, rolling off from the pole position. Swanson would start on the pole of the feature event and lead all 25 laps at the tricky quarter-mile oval. Swanson triumphed over drivers Shane Cockrum, Shane Cottle, Tyler Thomas, and Jon Stanbrough, who would round out the top five finishers in the 22-car field.

"I'm thankful to be driving for Tony & Millie,” said Swanson. “I have really enjoyed working with Gary and the 2E team. They are all such great people that it is fun racing with them, and I'm happy to get them to Victory Lane."

Thanks to the following sponsors: Epperson Painting, PPG Paints, Spike Chassis, Claxton Engines, and Indy Race Parts, PRO Shocks, K&N Filters, Allstar Performance, FK Rod Ends, and Simpson Race Products.

  2017 USAC Silver Crown Series  

Collin Markle Photo via USAC Racing

Swanson 3rd in Sumar Classic

Terre Haute Action Track - Terre Haute, IN

April 2, 2017 - DePalma Motorsports #63

Excerpts taken from Release: Terre Haute, Indiana………Chris Windom picked up right where he left off in a number of ways Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.

One night after celebrating a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Windom was back in the familiar setting of victory lane at the 17th running of the “Sumar Classic.” ....

Windom became just the fifth driver in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to follow up a win in the previous season’s final race with a victory in the season opener the next year.  The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Al Unser (1974), Tom Bigelow (1976), Jerry Coons, Jr. (2011) and Kody Swanson (2015).

In fact, dating to the 2016 “Ted Horn 100” at Illinois’ Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Windom has been victorious in three-straight Silver Crown events, the 10th driver in the history of the series to do so.

The Canton, Illinois native also became the fourth defending Silver Crown champ to capture the following season’s opening race, joining Al Unser (1974), Dave Steele (2006) and Kody Swanson (2015).

The three most recent “Sumar Classic” winners coming into Sunday, Shane Cockrum (2015), C.J. Leary (2016) and Kody Swanson (2014) owned the lead in the first half of the 100-lap event, but by the midway point, Windom had steadily worked his way to the front from his ninth starting position, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to make his way through the pack.

By the 50th lap, Windom chomped into Swanson’s lead.  The two series champs worked the bottom after Swanson moved his line between turns three and four from the top to the bottom.  Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags. ....

Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California grabbed third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy. 

“You really don’t want to get too far back at Terre Haute behind guys like Shane (Cockrum) and C.J. (Leary), both former Sumar winners,” Swanson said.  “I knew I had to figure out how to get around them early on and the top of (turns) three and four seemed to be holding.  If you’re going to get to the lead doing it, you got to be the first one to try it.  You have to stick your neck out and make something happen.  This crew works hard for me and I was going to work hard for them to make sure I got us back to the lead.  I did everything I could do to put us in a position to win.  I chased it higher and higher; there were so many cars on the bottom throwing the marbles out and, when the moisture went away, you just couldn’t keep doing it anymore and I had to come to the bottom.”

“This team’s a pleasure to race for,” Swanson continued.  “We went in with what we thought was going to happen and it just didn’t tonight.  We never quit.  We gave it everything we had and we’re disappointed because these guys are good and we want to win, but tonight we just missed a little bit. We’ll come back and try again.  There’s no one else I’d rather come back to the races with.”

For the full article, please visit:

Thanks to: Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, K&N Filters, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, PRO Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Callies Cranks, Champion Oil, Wilwood Brakes, Schoenfeld Headers, JE Pistons, AllPro Cylinder Heads, Goodridge, Kinsler Injection, Maxim Chassis, Real Wheels and Winters.

  2016 Trick or Treat 30s  

Luck Runs Out at Millstream

Millstream Speedway - Findlay, Ohio

October 15, 2016 - K&L Racing / RMT #21k

The Trick or Treat 30 at Millstream Speedway, was an unsanctioned event that drew a solid car count for a $5000 to Win show in the middle of October. Although the night ran a little late, I'm happy for the racetrack and the Hammer's, they have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into that place and I'm glad they were rewarded with good car counts and fans in the stands.

I want to wish congratulations to Shane Cottle, Paul, JR and the 57 team on their victory. They earned it and ran the best race for a full 30 laps.

Personally, I never like when someone who didn't win tries to claim the next day how they should have won, would have won or could have won, and I don't ever want to be THAT guy, so please understand that is not what I'm saying here. BUT, I don't want the night that we had with the 21k to go completely under the radar either. So I will say, I would have liked the chance to see where we could have been at the end of 30, had engine woes not sidelined us early. Shane always does a good job, and the 57 car was strong, and I know he wasn't the only one. Matt Westfall coming from 9th in the 33m, Brady Short in the 11p, Sheldon Haudenschild in the 93, and plenty more would, could, and did play a factor, but I certainly wish we would have had the chance to see where the 21k could have been by the end of 30 laps (Please do not take this the wrong way, or take this as whining, but I just want to share our story).

I am so thankful for all of the wonderful people God has brought into my life, my family who has always supported me, and for the new faces who have really made racing fun these past few years. Across the board, I have been so fortunate to drive for some great owners, work with some outstanding people and race teams, and it truly has been a blast to enjoy the moments that we've shared together. Last night was my season finale (at least as far as my current schedule shows), and we really did have some fun with Kent, Jon, Lou AnnJordan, Trevor, late arrivals Bob & Clark, and our RMT #21k. We drew the highest card in the bunch for the heat race, started in the back row, threw the kitchen sink at the thing to free it up, and finished 2nd to make the redraw. I pulled the 1 card (out of 12, so that was really a stroke of good luck), and went back to the drawing board for the feature. Again, we felt like we'd have to get creative with the setup to win, so back the other way we went, and I ended up a little nervous about our final game plan. Apparently, Kent could tell. He says to me before we strapped in, "Don't worry. They're going to be better than us early. Cottle (starting 5th) is going to go by you, Little Haud (starting 6th) probably will too. Don't worry. If you can figure out how to hang in there, its going to come to us. Lap 20 we'll be back to 'em and the final 10 it'll be ours to go get. Don't worry. We're doing the right things to be there at the end."

At the drop of the green, Michael Fischesser beat us to turn 1 and started pulling away. Within a few laps, Shane Cottle had gone by us on the bottom, and started tracking down the leader. I continued to move around to find where to make our car the best early, and pretty soon they weren't pulling away. By the time Cottle passed for the lead, I had closed our gap a little, and snuck into 2nd before the first caution flew. On the restart, I felt like we had started to get better, hung with the 57 for a lap and maybe that things were coming to us. The first red flag was a long one, teams were allowed to come out to make air pressure adjustments, and I knew Cottle would be good and the guys behind us would be coming. On the restart we committed to the top, and the 21k had just continued to get better. We caught the lip just right, and down the backstretch on the 2nd lap took the lead only to have the red come out again, and we'd have to give the spot back. As we sat on the track during that red they told us the running order, and that we were only on lap 12, 18 to go. Then I remembered what Kent had said, I caught myself grinning just a little, thinking "he was right, we're back to 'em and now it's our chance to go get it." When we refired, I didn't know how we'd end up but I felt like we had a chance. Into turn one on the restart, we picked up a big vibration under the hood, and our night was done. It still had plenty of oil pressure when I got it shut down, but there was no doubt our race was over.

As we made the drive home, it was a series of mixed emotions (like racing will so often give you). Sad for Kent that his engine could be hurt, frustrated/irritated/sad that we didn't get the chance to see where we'd have ended up and finish a good race, and then kind of a silver lining excited for the fun that we did get to have. We went into a big show, at the heaviest Millstream track since I've ever been there (with our Steel 360), with a group of people that I'm thankful to call friends - and I feel like we had a legitimate chance to race for the win in it. I'm thankful for all of the people and sponsors that chip in on the 21k, for Kent and the opportunities he's given me, and for everyone's hard work that goes into this team to even give us a chance. By the end of our drive back, and most of all, I am grateful to have made it home safely with my wife and son from another night at the races, and for another day today. God is good.

Enjoying the Ride - OnBoard from the Lap 11 Restart

  2016 Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series  
Millstream Speedway - Dean Yoder Photo

Swanson 3rd at Millstream

Millstream Speedway - Findlay, OH

September 11, 2016 - K&L Racing #21k

The Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series rolled into Millstream Speedway on Sunday afternoon 40 sprint cars strong. The series' 40 car format featured 5 heat races and twin B-Mains to set up a 24 car feature field. Driving the K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine & Tool #21k, Kody led the opening laps of Heat Race #2 before finishing in the 2nd position, and earning a spot in the 'redraw' for the Top 10 starting spots in the A-Main.

Kody pulled the #6, and would line up outside of row 3 for the 25-lap feature event. At the drop of the green, cars fanned out across the wide Millstream Speedway, running a variety of different lines from top to bottom. Kody moved up to take the long way around, and moved into the 4th position in the early going. The first half of the race went caution free as the leaders strung out until catching lapped traffic. When the first caution flew, a number of lapped cars were spread through out the top 5 running cars, making for an interesting restart. Kody timed the first few cars well, and had a run on the 3rd position when another car slid off the bottom, just breaking the rhythm of the #21k. In the tight racing action, this allowed the 5th place car to get a run on Kody, sliding him for the position before he could regain his momentum. A few laps later Kody would retake the 4th spot, only to have a caution flag force him to give the spot back. A series of yellows late in the race made it tough to make ground, but Kody found a new line through turns 3 and 4 that suited the #21k a little better, and forged ahead to take the 3rd position on the final lap and earn another podium finish.

  2016 Ted Horn 100 - USAC Silver Crown  


DuQuoin Fairgrounds - DuQuoin, Illinois

September 3, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

DuQuoin has proved to be a challenge for Kody and the #63 team, and this year was no exception. A problem with the magneto generator forced the team to the sidelines in the second half of the practice session, and into a scramble drill to make it out to the trailer and back before qualifying to get the parts to fix it. With qualifying under way, and knowing they only had a few more cars to go before their spot in the order, Bob and the 63 crew got the generator replaced and the engine roared back to life. With Kody already in the car, Jordan kept an eye on the racetrack offering a little advice before Kody headed out for his qualifying lap. It was a great team effort, and with a lap of 31.932 seconds the result was Fast Time!

Kody led the 33 car starting field to green, pacing the first 15 laps out front. As the track began to rubber in, Kody felt that tire wear would be a bigger issue by the end, and let a few cars past as they continued their rapid pace. As the race wore on, tires had become a factor, and Kody was hoping he'd saved enough for the end. Through out the middle of the race he had faded nearly to 5th before marching back toward the front. A final series of restarts in the last 30 laps found Kody back to the 3rd position, and ready to make a run at the leaders, hoping he had saved enough tire to make it to the end. Over the final laps, the lead duo simply proved too strong, as they were able to pull away from Kody in their battle for the win. "It is tough to finish 3rd tonght because we want to win every time out, but considering how our day started we will take it. Early on I was worried about our tire wear, I felt like I had to be harder on the right rear tire than normal just to keep up. We let those guys go hoping they'd wear themselves out and we'd be in a position to win at the end. I really thought we'd played the strategy right, but just didn't have enough speed to do it when the opportunity was there. Our tire is wore down just as much as their's, if not a little worse, so I know we couldn't have gone any faster than we did in the middle of the race, we just ended up 3rd best tonight. This a great team to race for, and I'm thankful for all of the effort and hard work that everyone puts in, and put in tonight. These guys don't quit, and neither do I, so we'll see what we can do in the finale at Eldora," - Kody.

Thanks to the entire DePalma family and Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, Bob, Clark, Tony, Matt, Brian, Ryan, Jon and Jesse, and everyone else who stops by the shop or track, or has just been pulling for the #63 team. Thanks to all of our sponsors and product sponsors: Maxim Chassis, Pro Shocks, All Pro Cylinder Heads, Inc.Allstar PerformanceBanshee GraphicsCallies Performance ProductsChampion Brands, LLC Hi-Tech LubricantsEibachGoodridge LTDFK Rod EndsJE PistonsK&N FiltersKinsler Fuel InjectionReal Racing WheelsSchoenfeld Headers, Simpson IndyThe Joie of SeatingWilwood Disc Brakes.

  2016 Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series  
#ParkedIt - DePalma #63 in Victory Lane

Swanson WINS in Thriller at Atomic

Atomic Speedway - Chillicothe, OH

August 27, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

(BOSS Series Article) Many fans at the Rick's Trucks & Equipment BOSS sprint car show at Atomic Speedway saw an epic and exciting finish at last year's event. One year later, that July of 2015 show was still the talk amongst the crowd. Traditional wingless sprint cars are known for excellent racing and close competition, but even the competitors themselves are now wondering if there isn't a little magic in the clay at Atomic Speedway. For the second consecutive BOSS event, an epic finish, this time among no less than 5 cars over the final 5 laps had fans on their feet for an open wheel, slide job, free-for-all. In the end, it was Kingsburg, California driver Kody Swanson picking up his 3rd BOSS win of the season leading the final 3 laps to secure the win. 

The evening began with 34 teams signed in to tackle the unforgiving Atomic high banks. The four heat races were won by Tony Main, Dallas Hewitt, Bill Rose and Todd Kane. All four of whom would play major roles in the main event. The twin B-Main events found Atomic Speedway regular and local winged driver, Josh Davis from Chillicothe exciting the hometown crowd charging from 4th to 1st to pick up a win in a B-Main full of non wing veterans. The second B-Main was won by Ann, Ohio driver Stratton Briggs who is one of the youngest drivers on the tour.

The 22 car main event found Chad Wilson and Bill Rose on the front row with Swanson and Dustin Smith in row 2. The third row was comprised of Todd Kane and Cooper Clouse and Dallas Hewitt and Tony Main made up the fourth row of the 8 car redraw. At the drop of the green flag, it was Wilson getting the jump on the field in search of his first career BOSS win and leading the first 3 circuits. Swanson wasted no time in jumping to 2nd and on lap 4 overhauled Wilson for the lead. 

The race's first caution flag flew for the spun car of Eric Semple off turn #2. On the restart it was still Swanson and Wilson showing the way, but in the mad scramble for position behind the lead pair, someone got into the back of Wilson sending him around and collecting Bill Rose and sending Shawn Westerfeld on a soft tumble. Wilson and Rose were done for the night but amazingly, Westerfeld was able to continue.

The second restart at lap 5 set the stage for 15 consecutive green flag laps and 4th starting Dustin Smith of Russiaville, Indiana had found something to his liking as he drove the Lou Gagliardi owned #77 car to the point to lead lap 6 and began to open a slim margin on the field. Behind Smith, a dog fight was underway with Swanson, Kane and Hewitt throwing slide job bombs at one another while Cooper Clouse and Michael Fischesser waited to pounce on the runner-up trio. 

With less than 10 laps remaining, Smith's right rear kissed the Atomic concrete wall a little too hard and began to go down. Meanwhile, Todd Kane found something through the middle of the race track and passed Swanson for the runner-up spot, then tracked down Smith to pass for the lead on lap 20, only to have it negated when the race's third and final caution flew for an incident involving Steve Little, Cody Gardner and Eric Semple. 

The caution put Smith back at the point, but the yellow did nothing to help the deflating right rear tire on the car. Back under green, Kane pulled alongside Smith, who hung on valiantly in the closing laps and held on to lead through lap 22. Working lap 23 Smith's car pushed up the track exiting turn 2 as Swanson threw the slide job on Kane for second place and Tony Main launched off the bottom of turn 2. From inside to outside it was Main, Kane, Swanson and Smith literally 4 wide for the lead with 2 to go and Dallas Hewitt looking for a way to make it 5 wide.

Swanson was credited with leading lap 23 as he was side by side with Kane at the line. The car on the charge in the last 3 laps was Hewitt who rode the wall from 5th to 2nd with a lap to go, but Swanson held strong at the point to score the exciting win and Tony Main squeaked past Hewitt off turn 4 to steal the runner-up spot. Todd Kane finished 4th and Michael Fischesser methodically worked his way up to round out the top 5. Cooper Clouse gained on points leader Shawn Westerfeld with a 6th place run and a heartbreaking finish for Dustin Smith who wound up 7th. Justin Owen, Drew Rader and Kent Wolters rounded out the top 10 with hard charger of the race being Rader who cruised from 20th to 9th. 

  Saturday August 20 - Springfield's Bettenhausen 100 Rained Out ...  
  2016 Joe James / Pat O'Connor Memorial - USAC Silver Crown  

DePalma Motorsports #63 in Victory Lane

Swanson Spectacular in Salem's Joe James / Pat O'Connor Memorial

Salem Speedway - Salem, Indiana

August 13, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

We "Parked It." This is the first time I've ever borrowed Bryan Clauson's phrase, but with his "Still Chasing 200" logo on the side of the hood and him riding along with us on Saturday night I hope it is ok to use. I told Dillon Welch in Victory Lane that I've never felt worthy of the term, and I still don't. Everyone knows (or should know) that Bryan was an incredible racer on the track, but he matched his own legacy with the type of person that he was off of the track. Honest and genuine, he always made time for fans and other racers alike, and always did it with a smile. He is already truly missed, and our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Lauren and the Clauson family, as well as the rest of the racing community.

As far as the race itself, the Joe James / Pat O'Connor Memorial has been a long standing tradition, and is an event I'm thankful to have been part of in my career. I was great to have met members of the family in Victory Lane that still support the event, and the first installment under the USAC Silver Crown series banner. Salem Speedway has such a unique atmosphere, one that commands respect and your full attention as a driver, and just makes me nervous. I was definitely having trouble keeping those nerves to myself on Saturday, and I appreciate everyone on the team and in our racing family for putting up with me, and understanding the situation that day.

Thanks to the entire DePalma family and Radio Hospital, Hampshire Engines, Bob, Clark, Tony, Matt, Brian, Ryan, Jon and Jesse, and everyone else who stops by the shop or track, or has just been pulling for the #63 team. This has really grown to be a racing family, and I'm thankful that you all have included my family and I. Thanks to all of our sponsors and product sponsors, we have had a really strong car and I believe that everyone plays a part. Thanks to Advanced Racing SuspensionsAll Pro Cylinder Heads, Inc.Allstar PerformanceBanshee GraphicsCallies Performance ProductsChampion Brands, LLC Hi-Tech LubricantsEibachGoodridge LTDFK Rod EndsJE PistonsK&N FiltersKinsler Fuel InjectionReal Racing WheelsSchoenfeld Headers, Simpson IndyThe Joie of SeatingWilwood Disc Brakes.

Thanks to everyone at Alt & Witzig Engineering, Inc. for putting up with our racing schedule, and to Dan and Jake for coming down to the track to show your support!

Thanks to Andy, USAC Racing & Salem Speedway for giving our series a chance, and letting us be a part of the James/O'Connor Memorial event. Thanks to my family for the incredible support, and to the racing community for the outpouring of support for everyone this week. It hasn't been any easy week for any of us, and this definitely wasn't an easy race to come back to, but I'm happy that by the end of the night, we can say we "Parked It." Thanks BC! ~Kody

  2016 Jack Hewitt Classic  
Up the Middle: Kody takes the #21k from 14th to 5th in the Hewitt Classic.

Swanson finishes 5th in Jack Hewitt Classic

Waynesfield Raceway Park - Waynesfield, OH

August 6, 2016 - K&L Racing/Rosewood Machine #21k

With 30 cars on hand, and a unique format for the Jack Hewitt Classic, Waynesfield Raceway Park was full of excitement on Saturday night.

In Qualifying, Kody put the #21k 2nd fastest overall, and would line up 4th in the 2nd heat race. With tonight's format, drivers finishing in the Top 2 of their heat would make the dash, and the rest would line up behind either in the A or B mains. Kody quickly moved to 3rd before falling to 4th, and barely held on to the transfer spot. His 4th place finish would start the #21k 14th in the 30-lap Feature Event. Before the night's A-Main the K&L Racing team went to work on the car, trying to find the speed that they've had in weeks past. A few things popped up and were remedied, hoping that would be the trick for a fast racecar in the feature. Starting 14th would prove to be a large challenge, as it seemed wherever Kody went to pass, another car occupied the spot, and he would get shuffled back. After the first third of the race, Kody hadn't really made any ground, still racing around 12th to 15th. The 30-lap feature went caution free, definitely a disadvatage starting that far back. But as the race wore near halfway, the field began to string out and Kody was finally able to move around the racetrack in search of a way past. Once the #21k got rolling, they quickly picked off positions, passing high, low and even through the middle. Lapped cars began to play a factor, and Kody continued his march toward the front, but it would be too little too late on this night. In the final lap, Kody completed a turn 3 slide job to net the team a Top 5, 5th place finish. "Well, this definitely wasn't the result we wanted, but it'll have to do tonight. We really overcame a lot to get this Top 5, but it is frustrating for me to have had a car this good and not be able to figure out how to get it done. I just got stuck deep in the pack early and seemed like I couldn't make a single decision right in traffic the entire first half of the race. I'm really bummed for the team, they gave me a good car and I'm thankful for all of the hard work put in on this #21k. We'll keep our heads up and work hard toward the next one." 

Thanks to our sponsors: K&L Racing, Rosewood Machine & Tool, Lev's Brewhouse, The Bridge Restaurant. Thanks to our supporting manufacturers: PRO Shocks, Maxim Chassis, American Racer Tires, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, K&N Filters, Schoenfeld Headers, DMI Components, Wilwood Brakes, Simpson, Weld Wheels, AllPro Heads, JE Pistons.
  2016 Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series  
K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine #21k TylerCarrRacingPhotos

Swanson finishes 5th at Portsmouth

Portsmouth Raceway Park - Portsmouth, OH

July 23, 2016 - K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine #21k

25 BOSS Sprints answered the call for their first trip to Portsmouth Raceway Park, and the first time back for non-wing sprint cars since 1995! Kody started 7th in Heat #3, needing to finish in the Top 3 to make the redraw for the top starting positions in the A-Main, or in the Top 5 to make the show directly through the heat.  Kody began working through traffic from the drop of the green, moving into 5th by lap 2 and quickly tracking down the front four.  Kody slipped into 4th, then passed for 3rd just past halfway, but when the caution flag flew for another stalled car, something in the front axle of the 21k gave way - leaving Kody unable to steer and sliding into the infield, out of the race.

Kody would have to start 6th in the B-Main, and finish in the Top 5 to transfer in his last chance to make the feature event.  Kody moved forward through the pack, taking over 2nd about halfway through the 10-lap event.  Over the final stretch, Kody tracked down the leader and took over the top spot coming to the white flag to punch his ticket to the A-Main.  

Starting 16th, Kody looked to get a strong run out the 21k in the 25-lap feature, and things were looking good early.  On the initial start, Kody came up the middle through turns 1 and 2, moving up 7 spots to 9th in the first lap! Yet the caution flag waved, sending the field into a complete restart and Kody back to the 16th spot.  With the lineup reset, many of the cars chose different lines through the opening lap, making it tougher for Kody to move through.  Even still, the 21k was working well high, low or through the middle, and Kody was picking up positions quickly.  By lap 10, he had moved to the 6th position and had his sights set on the top 5.  While racing for the 5th spot, the 21k ran hard into the cushion in turns 1 & 2, and mud packed into the right side wheels, causing heavy vibration.  With the threat of blowing the rear end and driveline assembly, Kody was forced to slow down, trying to keep the rear end shake to a minimum and still maintain some sort of speed on the racetrack.  From there, it was just a survival to the finish, but Kody was able to sneak into 5th with just two laps to go to earn a Top 5 finish and the night's Hard Charger Award.  "While tonight didn't quite turn out like we'd hoped, we still managed a decent finish and salvaged a solid run.  Even despite our unfortunate start to the night, I think we really had a good chance to finish on the podium until I packed the wheels full of mud.  It was frustrating to have to ride out the rest of the feature, because the 21k was really that good tonight.  Thanks to everyone who pitches in on this team, and for the guys for working so hard tonight.  We overcame a lot, and it would have been great to get a top finish, but we'll settle for 5th and work hard toward the next one."

Thanks to our sponsors: K&L Racing, Rosewood Machine & Tool, Lev's Brewhouse, The Bridge Restaurant. Thanks to our supporting manufacturers: PRO Shocks, Maxim Chassis, American Racer Tires, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, K&N Filters, Schoenfeld Headers, DMI Components, Wilwood Brakes, Simpson, Weld Wheels, AllPro Heads, JE Pistons.

Thanks to the BOSS series, A Plus Automatic Transmission for sponsoring the Steel Block Award, and the Bridge Restaurant in Sidney for the Hard Charger Award.

  2016 Rich Vogler / Hall of Fame Classic - USAC Silver Crown  
Trevor, Jordan and Kody are joined by Eleanor Vogler in Victory Lane.

Kody Turns the Tables in Swanson Brother Battle at Rich Vogler / Hall of Fame Classic

Lucas Oil Raceway - Brownsburg, Indiana

July 21, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

What an incredible journey this life has been, and what an awesome night it was to finish the Rich Vogler Classic in Victory Lane.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this 63 team, and for everyone who is a part of it. So many work hard to keep us on the track, and to keep us competitive.

From the entire DePalma family and Radio Hospital, to Bob, Clark, Jon,Ryan, Jordan, Jesse, everyone who stops by the shop and support us from afar, everyone is a part of this team, and it continues to be an amazing team effort.

We're fortunate to have great manufacturer support, and a couple came up big for us this week. Corey and Advanced Racing Suspensions, and David and Eibach Springs each gave us some great turnaround to get us what we needed, and great products to put on the pavement car. Randy and The Joie of Seating got my seat straightened after Gateway and back to the shop in time for this race despite the short gap between. Thanks to everyone who has continued their support - K&N FiltersFK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, Callies Performance ProductsAll Pro Cylinder Heads, Inc.Champion Brands, LLC Hi-Tech LubricantsKinsler Fuel InjectionGoodridge LTD,Simpson IndyReal Racing WheelsWilwood Disc BrakesSchoenfeld Headers, and JE Pistons. Thanks to Bart & Banshee Graphics for the quick service and making the 63 look good all dressed in black.

Huge thanks to Don Fike and the RFMS Racing team for selling us such a quality racecar on short notice, and being a big part of helping our team to remain in the title hunt.

I'm thankful for everyone at Alt & Witzig Engineering, Inc. for putting up with my crazy schedule, and still having a job for me when I get back from racing, they truly have been so good to Jordan and I.

I am so thankful for the family that I have, the support I have had, and people to enjoy this incredible journey with. Thanks to Eleanor and the Vogler family for their continued support, to Andy and his staff for their constant efforts for this series. Thanks to Chris Seelman and Christopher Pedersen for the great photos!

Thanks again !!

  2016 Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series - Ohio Doubleheader  
Waynesfield Raceway Park Victory Lane: K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine #21k

Swanson finishes 2nd then 1st in BOSS Double

Attica Raceway Park - Attica, OH

July 8, 2016 - K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine #21k

Kody started Heat Race #3 from the 3rd position, needing to finish in the Top 4 to transfer to the A-Main, and the Top 2 to make the A-Main redraw for the top 10 starting spots. He made quick work of the front row, taking the lead on lap 2, then held off a charging Shawn Westerfeld in the final laps to win.  

For the 25 lap feature event, Kody started 5th, and this race was a battle from the very beginning. In the early going Kody slid into 4th, and then 3rd before he began running down the leaders.  A series of cautions made it tough to get a rhythm going, but eventually Kody moved into the 2nd position, and began trying to reel in leader Luke Hall.  A red flag flew near the halfway mark, and on the restart an engine bobble and a jumped start by the 4th place car sent Kody back a few spots, and forced him to race his way past again.  Over the final 10 laps Kody ran back up to the 2nd spot, but just couldn't quite track down the leader.  "We had a great car tonight, good enough to win if I could have figured out what I needed to do as a driver.  Luke and the #9N team are always really strong, and he just out drove me tonight.  He ran really well around the top of 1 & 2, and for whatever reason I couldn't bring myself to leave the bottom, that was my mistake and what I believe kept us from contending for the win.  I'm thankful for this team and everyone who pitches in to be a part of this #21K, and I'm hoping we can do one spot better tomorrow night."

Waynesfield Raceway Park - Waynesfield, OH

July 8, 2016 - K&L Racing / Rosewood Machine #21k

Kody started Heat Race #2 from the 5th position, and raced to the lead with a few laps remaining. On the last lap the caution flag flew, setting up a 1 lap dash to the finish.  Kody held on to win, securing his spot in the A-Main and in the redraw for the top 8 starting spots.

For the 25 lap feature event, Kody started 4th before racing into 3rd in the opening lap.  By lap 4, he had moved in to 2nd, and began to track down race leader, and Friday night winner, Luke Hall.  A turn 3 slider moved Kody's #21k to the lead on lap 6, before cautions slowed the action on laps 9 and 11. Through the middle of the race, Kody held a comfortable lead, but as the track began to wear away Luke Hall and his #9N battled back, trading multiple slide jobs for the lead in the final 10 laps.  Kody was able to clear Luke as the duo entered lapped traffic in the final laps, holding off a last lap charge to score the Dick Spencer Memorial win.  "Kent may not even remember this, but tonight is the 4 year anniversary of this first race I ever drove for him.  I was just filling in for my brother that night, and Kent continued to give me a chance on dirt when no one else did, so to win this particular race for him these years later is special.  That was one whale of a battle with Luke, and he races so clean that it is always fun to race with him. He got the better of me last night, and I'm happy to have held him off tonight.  Thanks to everyone who works on this #21k, the sponsors and manufacturers who support us to give us a chance to be competitive, it truly is a team effort and I'm grateful to be a part of it." 

Thanks to our sponsors: K&L Racing, Rosewood Machine & Tool, Lev's Brewhouse, The Bridge Restaurant.

Thanks to our supporting manufacturers: PRO Shocks, Maxim Chassis, American Racer Tires, FK Rod Ends, Allstar Performance, K&N Filters, Schoenfeld Headers, DMI Components, Wilwood Brakes, Simpson, Weld Wheels, AllPro Heads, JE Pistons.

Thanks to the BOSS series, and A Plus Automatic Transmission for sponsoring the Steel Block Award.

Extra Special Thanks to "Swanny" Mark Swanson for letting us use his dually truck to get to the track this weekend! Thanks again to everyone involved with this #21k team!

The "Week of Indy" hosts some of the biggest events of the year in short-track open wheel racing. For the USAC Silver Crown series, the "Hoosier Hundred" and "Carb Night Classic" run in consecutive nights on Thursday at the Indiana State Fair and Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway. Saturday night, Anderson Speedway hosts the biggest pavement sprint car race of the year, the "Little 500." Sunday night the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint series race in the "Hensel Memorial," the highest paying non-wing sprint car race in the state of Ohio each year. In 2016 it was a Swanson sweep, with Kody taking his 3rd straight Hoosier Hundred, Tanner continuing his dominance at Lucas Oil Raceway to pick up the Carb Night Classic, his 5th win in last 6 races there, Kody became the first California driver to win the Little 500, and then became the first driver to repeat as a winner of the Hensel Memorial.

"The more that all of this sinks in, the crazier this past weekend seems. I am so thankful for the support of my family, and the opportunity to be part of 3 fantastic race teams. This is truly a team sport, and I am thankful for everyone from the owners, to the crews, to the sponsors and manufacturers that support the DePalma #63, the Hoffman #69 and the Wolters #‎21k. It is still unbelievable to think that together we WON the Hoosier 100, the Little 500, the Hensel Memorial and ran 2nd in the Carb Night Classic, all in a 4 day span. What an incredible ride! Thanks again to each of these teams for letting me be a piece of their puzzle, and part of one unforgettable weekend!" ~Kody.

The Week of the Indianapolis 500 - 4 Days, 4 Big Races, 4 Different Cars

Looking forward to this 4 day stretch next week!

A photo posted by Kody Swanson (@kodyswanson) on

  2016 USAC National Sprint cars - #LetsRaceTwo  
DePalma Motorsports #63 at Eldora

Swanson rounds out Eldora with pair of Top 10s

Eldora Speedway - Rossburg, OH

May 6 & 7, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

The USAC National Sprint cars and the World of Outlaws shared the twin-bill at Eldora's #LetsRaceTwo on Mother's Day weekend. Kody and the DePalma team would stick to the USAC side of the card this year, hoping to gain some more experience for when the Silver Crown series visits the track at the 4-Crown Nationals. Friday night, Kody qualified 14th and didn't make the transfer in the heat race. He started 3rd and finished 2nd in the B-Main to advance to the 30-lap feature event. Starting 14th, there were cars all around, making it tough to break through the traffic and build a rhythm moving forward. Soon enough Kody was able to start moving forward, and tracked down the lead pack from nearly 1/3 lap behind. A late restart shuffled things up, and Kody finished in the 10th position.

Saturday night was another chance on the high banks, and things were looking up. An 8th place qualifying time, a transfer through the heat race and a little bit of luck put Kody and the #63 starting outside the front row of the feature. With the fast groove being the small amount of cushion that had packed against the concrete, it was a treacherous race, with many cars wrecking out of competition. Kody held the 2nd position for a while before sliding back to the 4th position. A series of late restarts were costly, and by feature's end Kody was scored in the 7th position. "I really hate to miss an opportunity starting on the front row, and I hate that I let these guys down. They all work really hard, but things just didn't work out tonight. I really need to get more comfortable and get better racing here, and while I felt like I made some improvements this weekend, I defintely have more to work on. I'm very thankful to drive for and be a part of this team, and I hope that their efforts will be rewarded at the 4-Crown," said Swanson.

  2016 USAC Silver Crown - Rollie Beale Classic  


Toledo Speedway - Toledo, OH

April 30, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

USAC's 50th appearance in Toledo, Ohio will wait for another day after impending rain and cold temperatures have forced postponement of Saturday night's Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic" USAC Silver Crown race at Toledo Speedway. Rain is expected to start in the late-afternoon, reaching a 90% chance by evening, so race organizers and USAC have agreed to cancel the program for Saturday, although, discussion continues regarding a possible makeup date. Stay tuned to for any further updates.

  2016 Non-Wing Dirt Sprint Cars  

K&L Racing / RMT #21k in Victory Lane

Swanson Scores Waynesfield Season Opener

Waynesfield Raceway Park - Waynesfield, OH

April 23, 2016 - K&L Racing / RMT #21k

For the first time in 2016, Kody and the K&L Racing team headed out to race in the team's home state of Ohio, looking to get back in a rhythm and just have a good time racing. After finishing 4th in his heat race, Kody would line the #21k up outside of row 4 for the feature event. From his 8th place starting spot, the march toward the front was tough, as racing through traffic proved difficult in the early going.  Side by side battles for position left no where else to go, as all three grooves around the 1/3 mile were occupied. After 6 laps or so, a few restarts broke up those battles, and a lane opened to continue forward. Once Kody took over the 4th spot, he passed for 3rd a lap later, and used a slide job to steal 2nd the lap after that. By now, the leader had built nearly a straight-away lead.  Yet in a few quick laps, his lead was erased and a slide job in turn 3 moved the #21k out front.  From there the race continued green to the finish, and the #21k held the lead through lapped traffic to the checkered flags. "That race was really a lot of fun, and this car ran great tonight. I'm thankful to be driving this car for this team, and for all of the hard work that these guys put into this. We really had a lot of fun racing together tonight, and I'm grateful that we were able to get it to Victory Lane for them," said Swanson.

  2016 USAC Silver Crown - Sumar Classic  

Swanson 3rd in Sumar Classic, Silver Crown Season Opener

Terre Haute Action Track - Terre Haute, IN

April 3, 2016 - DePalma Motorsports #63

The USAC Silver Crown series headed to the Terre Haute Action Track for their 2016 season opening event, the Sumar Classic. Driving the DePalma Motorsports #63, Kody and team would kick off the year hoping to start strong on what could be a record setting third consecutive championship season. A stout field featured teams rolling out brand new racecars, fresh engines, and a level of competition that has only continued to rise. The afternoon sun continued to dry out the Wabash Valley half-mile, and when time trials were completed, Kody and the #63 were scored 4th with a lap of 22.066 seconds. From the outside of row two, Kody got a good start, racing around the top of the racetrack in the opening lap to move into the third position. The 100-lap event was run with torrid pace, as the lead cars continued to push the groove all the way to the outside retaining wall, flirting with disaster as each lap clicked off. The caution flag flew around the lap 25 mark, resetting the field with lapped cars already strewn throughout the lead pack. Kody continued to hold the third spot for the bulk of the race, but as the event ran later into the second half, the #63 slipped to fourth while battling lapped traffic and the changing track conditions. Yet by the time there were less than 20 circuits to go, Kody had caught the top 3 as the early leaders continued to battle. The final caution flag flew, and a restart with 7 laps to go found an opportunity for Kody to move back into 3rd, and hope for a chance at the lead pair. Dealing with lapped cars allowed the leaders to slip away, and left the #63 with a hard-fought 3rd place finish. "These guys work so hard, and always give me a great car, but today I just didn't quite get it done for them. The goal is definitely to win every race, but this is still a strong finish toward the big picture, and I'm looking forward to getting another chance at the next one," said Swanson.

  2016 USAC National Sprint cars - Winter Dirt Games VII  
Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, FL
Winter Dirt Games VII

February 18, 19, 20 

Kody joined Kent Wolters' portion of the Phillips/Wolters Motorsports #71p for the USAC National Sprint car season opening Winter Dirt Games in Ocala, Florida.  Teams were greeted with warm weather and sunshine for three nights of racing to kick off their 2016 tour... For the rest of the story on the Winter Dirt Games, and VIDEOS - CLICK HERE.

  2015 USAC Silver Crown Articles  
Back-to-Back Champions - Rich Forman Photo

Back-To-Back Champion Swanson Seals Syracuse "Salt City 78" Win

October 10, 2015 - article - Syracuse, New York…….Completing what has been a magical two-year run, Kody Swanson won Saturday’s “Salt City 78” at the New York State Fairgrounds to make back-to-back wins on “The Moody Mile,” all while closing out his second-straight Silver Crown championship. The Kingsburg, California driver made it four wins on the year while turning the standings into a rout aboard the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.

“Today, we were just here to win with points not being a factor at all. I had to run really hard to run those guys back down after we dropped to fifth and pass them back, so it was good to have nothing else weighing on my mind. I had some doubts if we could get back up there with as difficult as I thought it would be to pass, but I was able to dig a little deeper and get out of that hole and win this for my team. They’ve carried me to this level, and it’s been a dream to have these two seasons with them. You never know if it will keep going like this, but it’s wild to think of what we’ve accomplished,” said Swanson, who has accumulated nine wins and two championships with the DePalma family and crew chief Bob Hampshire.

Justin Grant used group qualifying during Saturday’s early-morning practice to secure his first series pole and the ProSource “Fast Time Award.” He led the field to the green after his initial start was called back, and he brought Shane Cockrum with him from row-two early in the race. Cockrum took the lead from Grant on lap ten just before the race’s first caution for Steve Buckwalter on lap ten.

On the restart, Swanson slid high and lost two spots to A.J. Fike and Jerry Coons, Jr., but he quickly regained one on the next lap. Fike took second from Grant on lap eighteen, and Swanson joined him a couple laps later as the Syracuse rookie Grant started to backslide.

Fike and Swanson were chipping into Cockrum’s lead before a lap-26 caution for Richie Tobias, who got up into the outside wall but restarted at the tail. Swanson wasted no time on the restart, disposing of Fike for the runner-up spot on lap 31. The major battle was behind them, with the latter half of the top-ten fighting hard.

Tenth-running Aaron Pierce brought out the third caution on lap 39 when he lost his right-front wheel in turn-one. Pierce somehow kept from incurring major damage as he came to a stop, but his race was over. Again the restart was key, as Coons took fourth from Grant as they entered turn-one.

Cockrum and Swanson checked out on the field during a 22-lap green-flag run, with traffic looming ahead and about to play a major factor in the race. On lap 54, Swanson shot to the outside off turn-four as Cockrum was bottle in traffic. The following lap, Swanson made his big move, powering to the outside of Cockrum at the flagstand and out-racing him to the bottom as they funneled down into turn-one, barely clearing Cockrum in the process.

Swanson was gone, slicing through what was left of the lapped cars while building a lead of over seven seconds in just five laps. He appeared well on his way to victory when Casey Shuman retired from the eleventh spot on lap 65, stopping in turn-one. The cars on the move were Shane Cottle and Chris Windom, who had just passed Cottle for fifth before the caution. Cottle had started the race from the rear after having to be push-started.

Windom nailed the restart with nine laps to go and grabbed fourth from Coons, then caught Fike to take third with six to go. Cottle was coming along with him, and he slipped into fourth right behind Windom. Windom’s teammate Stewart Friesen, the modified stalwart and defending big-block winner at “Super DIRT Week,” was also hooked to them and entered the top-five.

Brady Bacon necessitated the final slowing of the field on lap 73, and that set up a green-white-checkered restart. Swanson was flawless, completing another masterful drive to take a 1.184-second victory. In the process, Swanson had defending his race win on three dirt miles from the year before and joined Ralph DePalma, Rex Mays, Bob Sweikert, Rodger Ward, and J.J. Yeley as back-to-back Syracuse winners. His twelve career wins tie him with Jimmy Sills for seventh all-time.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of room when I went to the outside of him for the lead, but luckily I had the room and the run, and Shane ran me clean when I got back down in front of him. With that opportunity there, I knew I had to take it. To win the last one again this year feels great; we didn’t have as many wins this year, but I still feel we improved. The places where I let us down, I got a little better, and they have helped me along even more. The names this high on the list are some of the greatest ever, and they say they’re gonna ‘let me try again next year,’ so I’m looking forward to taking on the next challenges and seeing what is next for our team,” Swanson said.

Victory Lane - Photo: David Spencer/The State Journal Register

Swanson Makes It Back-To-Back "TONY BETTENHAUSEN 100" WINS

August 22, 2015 - article - Springfield, Illinois…….Kody Swanson joined exclusive company on Saturday afternoon at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, as he became the seventh driver to go back-to-back in the “Tony Bettenhausen 100” with a spirited drive from 16th to a dominant win. It was the third win of the season for the defending series champion, which puts him at 11 career wins to tie Bobby East for 8th on the all-time list.

“Driving for a team like this with a crew chief like Bob Hampshire, I get to hear a lot of Jack Hewitt stories and what they were able to do back in the day. Today felt a little like that, coming from so far back and still being able to get it done. I’ve never thought of myself in regard to being with a group like the guys who have gone back-to-back in this race, or even the group of guys on the all-time win list, but it’s been so much fun and we’re just gonna enjoy this ride,” Swanson said.

Swanson took ProSource “Fast Time” for the day, but was relegated to the 16th starting spot after using a push start to make his qualifying attempt....Click Here for the rest of the Article.

Video Highlights: Kody Swanson Wins Back-to-Back Bettenhausen 100s


Race Recap: Hustle on the High Banks

July 31, 2015 - Belleville High Banks, USAC Silver Crown - DePalma Motorsports #63:

The Hustle on the High Banks in Belleville Kansas may be one of the toughest events on the USAC Silver Crown series schedule.  It is big, it is fast, and you have to run against the guardrail of the big half-mile if you want to compete.  Kody qualified the #63 in the 2nd position, earning a front row spot for the 50-lap feature.  In the opening lap, Kody slid toward the bottom of the racetrack in a bid for the lead, but lost the 2nd spot in the process.  For much of the race, Kody trailed in the 3rd position, as 2nd through 6th all tightened up with the leaders in heavy lapped traffic.  As the continued to work high and low around the slower cars, Kody lost the 3rd spot and slid to 4th, where he would eventually finish.  "This place is tough, and I wish I had got the team better results to show for their effort.  We're in this for the long haul, and hanging in there to finish 4th is still a good points day for us, and that'll have to be my silver lining.  These guys all work really hard, and I'm looking forward to the next chance to win one," said Swanson.  
The Pass for the Lead - Chris Pedersen RacePhoto1.Com Photo

Race Recap: Rich Vogler Classic

July 23, 2015 - Lucas Oil Raceway, USAC Silver Crown - DePalma Motorsports #63:

Since joining the Bowman Racing team in July of 2013, Tanner Swanson had led 385 of 400 laps and won 3 out of 4 USAC Silver Crown series races held at Lucas Oil Raceway, including a win in May of 2015 with over a 16 second margin of victory.  In each one of those wins, Tanner's brother Kody has finished 2nd in the DePalma Motorsports #63. 

In this year's Rich Vogler Classic, Kody qualified 3rd and Tanner 4th, making an all Swanson second row to start the 100-lap feature.  At the drop of the green, Kody shot forward to the 2nd position, while Tanner was pinned in line, falling to 7th in the opening lap.  By lap 3, Kody had worked his way to the lead, as Tanner began his march through the field.  Tanner quickly drove to the top 5, and was up to 3rd before lap 20.  On lap 32, Tanner drove past teammate and NASCAR star Ryan Newman for 2nd, and started his pursuit of the lead.  Within a few laps, he was to Kody's back bumper, as the duo continued to pull away from the field.  As the race neared halfway, the brothers encountered lapped traffic, often racing three-wide as Tanner applied pressure for the race lead.  Kody held on until lap 67, when he committed to the bottom of the racetrack in traffic, and Tanner sailed around the outside.  

For the next couple of laps, Kody trailed his brother by a few car-lengths before Tanner started to steadily pull away.  By races end, Tanner lapped up to the 6th position, and took the victory by a margin of over 5 seconds.  Kody finished 2nd to Tanner, over 6 seconds ahead of 3rd place Ryan Newman, and added to his series points lead.  

Tanner's impressive streak now includes 4 wins and 1-2nd in the last 5 races at Lucas Oil Raceway in the Silver Crown series, leading 419 of the 500 laps. 

K&L RMT #21k in Victory Lane

Weekend Recap: BOSS Sprints at Lernerville, PPMS

July 4, 2015 - Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, BOSS Sprints - K&L Racing #21k:


The day started with the team finding and fixing the vibration from the night before, a faulty u-joint in the driveshaft assembly.  Kody started deep in his heat race, but drove to 2nd to make the redraw for the first 8 positions in the feature.  Kody drew the worst pill in the bucket, and would start 8th on a track that is known for being tough to pass.  Kody found the outside lane around the monster half-mile and quickly began moving up, taking the lead with a handful of laps to go.  Kody and the early leader continued to battle for the top spot through lapped traffic, with Kody holding on to score the win by just 0.102 seconds.

July 3, 2015 - Lernerville Speedway, BOSS Sprints - K&L Racing #21k:

In his first trip to Sarver, PA's Lernerville Speedway, Kody was fastest in series hot laps, but pulled off early with a vibration.  The team worked to find anything it may have been, and Kody went out for his heat race.  With the vibration still there, Kody paced conservatively finishing 2nd in the event.  Before they were able to find the issue, or run the feature, rain showers washed out the remainder of the program.  
On his way to fast time - Chris Pedersen RacePhoto1.Com Photo
Race Recap: Silver Crown at Terre Haute Action Track, "Sumar Classic"

July 2, 2015 - Terre Haute Action Track, USAC Silver Crown - DePalma Motorsports #63:

As the defending winner, Kody and the #63 looked strong in the Sumar Classic, setting quick time by nearly 4 tenths of a second and earning the pole starting position. Early in the race, Kody rode in the third position, saving his tires and equipment knowing the 100-lap distance would be a factor.  However, on lap 20 his #63 began to experience some engine issues, stumbling and nearly shutting off in the corners.  Kody held on to 3rd for a while, before fading to 5th.  In the late going, a number of restarts made it even tougher for Kody to hold his ground, and he slipped to 7th by the races end.  Even though it wasn't the result they were hoping for, Kody continued to build his series points lead. 


Race Recap: Silver Crown at Iowa Speedway

June 20, 2015: Iowa Speedway, USAC Silver Crown - DePalma Motorsports #63: 

After winning the pole with a lap averaging 140.581 mph, the 7/8 mile Iowa Speedway proved to be a tough go for Kody and the #63.  A stumble at the start had the leaders racing 4-wide into turn 1, with Kody fading to 5th in the opening lap.  After a few cautions, Kody had shuffled back even further, but was back up to the 7th spot when he felt a heavy vibration just before halfway.  Kody was bringing the #63 to pit road when his rear axle snapped at the right rear tire, sending it down the racetrack while Kody slid to a stop and the end of his day.  While it wasn't a great day at the racetrack, Kody still held on to the USAC Silver Crown series point lead leaving Iowa. 

K&L RMT #21k in Victory Lane

Swanson Wins In Waynesfield

June 13, 2015 - Waynesfield Raceway Park, Non Wing Sprints - K&L Racing #21k: While tracks throughout the midwest were forced to cancel events due to weather, Waynesfield, Ohio was able to get their show in despite the threat of rain all around them.  Driving the K&L Racing #21k, Kody would draw to start 6th in heat race #2, needing to advance to the top 2 to start in the front three rows of the night's A-Main event.

In the early going, a four car battle from 3rd to 6th kept the racing tight, and made it difficult for Kody to navigate through the pack.  As the race neared half way, Kody had cleared the traffic into the 3rd position, and began to run down the lead duo.  A few laps later, he rook over the 2nd spot, and had just one chance to catch the race leader.  With a drag race to the checkered flag, Kody came up just 0.07 seconds short of winning the heat race, but would earn a 5th place starting spot in the A-Main event.  

When the green flag flew on the 25-lap feature event, Kody was able move up a spot to the 4th position in the opening lap, and was pressuring for 3rd a lap later when the first caution came out.  When the race resumed, Kody continued his attack for the 3rd spot, before taking the position and setting out after the lead duo as the top 3 rode the cushion at the top of the raceway.  Within a few laps, Kody had caught the 2nd place car, and pulled along side before taking the position with a slide job through turns one and two.  As the race approached the half way point, Kody had began to catch race leader Luke Hall in lapped traffic, who was going for his 3rd consecutive Waynesfield victory.  On lap 18, Kody pulled along side the leader exiting turn two, only for the caution to come out, and revert him back to the second position.  On the final restart, Hall pulled away a few car lengths, but with 5 laps to go the #21k began closing on the leader.  With two laps to go, Kody took the lead with a slide job in turns one and two, and held the spot on the outside through three and four while Hall attempted to slide back for the lead.  Kody held on for the final lap to take the win in the K&L Racing/Rosewood Machine & Tool/Sidney Bridge #21k.  "It was a lot of fun to race on that kind of track tonight, and I'm thankful to have got the win for this team.  Everyone that is a part of this worked really hard tonight and gave me a great car, so I'm really happy that everything worked out for us in the end," said Swanson.  
  - David Biro III Photo

May 21, 2015 - Indianapolis, Indiana…….Kody Swanson etched his name in the record books as a two-time “Hoosier Hundred” winner on Thursday night at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, as he distanced himself from the field over the final laps to earn his tenth career Silver Crown Series victory, tying him for ninth on the all-time list with Mike Bliss and Gary Bettenhausen.

Swanson started from the pole after taking the ProSource “Fast Time Award,” but a first-corner tangle slowed the initial start of the race, and A.J. Fike claimed the lead as the race finally hit a green-flag run. C.J. Leary went with him early as Swanson held down the third spot. He was looking for second on lap eleven when fourth-running Tracy Hines slowed to a stop on the backstretch, bringing out a yellow.

After the restart, Swanson went after Leary, taking the second spot on lap 22 and chopping into Fike’s lead. Shane Cockrum was also quick early, as he battled for third with Leary. Meanwhile, Brian Tyler was on the move from the tail of the field after taking over Randy Bateman’s ride for the feature when his original mount experienced engine issues. Tyler ran from 27th up to the top-ten by lap 40.

Just after that, the third caution of the night appeared. The race hit halfway with Fike and Swanson building a lead over Cockrum and Jerry Coons, Jr., who had disposed of Leary for the fourth spot. Steve Buckwalter was also on the move, as he had driven up to sixth after starting 16th. Tyler found himself in seventh on the yellow.

A few laps later, Buckwalter’s night ended as he broke and met the turn-two concrete, flipping over and necessitating a red-flag period. Under red, both Leary and Dave Darland changed right-rear tires, costing them a one-lap penalty.

Swanson pressured Fike hard on the restart, but Fike was able to hold him off on lap 55. Behind them, Tyler was inside the top-five and passed Coons for the fourth spot.

Just as they completed lap 67, Swanson had a big run to the outside of Fike down the front-stretch, outracing him into the corner for the lead on lap 68. Tyler moved to third and began to run down Fike as the race hit the lap-75 mark. A caution on lap 84 set up an 11-lap race to the finish, and Swanson drew away from the field. Tyler jumped to the inside of Fike on lap 96 and made a daring move to take second. But Aaron Pierce was coming with him, and he wrestled the runner-up spot away from Tyler on the next lap.

With two laps to go, tenth-running race rookie Tyler Courtney lost a right-rear tire down the backstretch and brought out a final caution, setting up a two-lap race to the checkers. Swanson would not be threatened, however, and he motored to a 2.044-second victory over the final two laps in the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.

“I’m not a ‘statement’ kinda guy, but we answered some questions from others and from ourselves tonight. After last year, it was hard to know what this year would be like, especially with the tire change. Nobody had a year like last year since Hewitt in 1986, and I’m no Jack Hewitt. To find out that we can get it done again this year, it’s exciting to me, and to win it a second time is just hard to believe. Every time we show up, I feel like we’ve got a shot to win, and it makes it a lot of fun. They worked really hard from last night when they were still assembling the engine – Bob Hampshire and Clark Lamme pulled an all-nighter and prepared a car capable of winning the Hoosier Hundred, which just sums up how incredible this DePalma family and team is,” Swanson said.

Kody with car owner Kent Wolters in Victory Lane. (J&T
Swanson WINS Waynesfield Season Opener

May 2, 2015 - The Buckeye Machine Non Wing Sprint Cars were first to take the track for the 2015 season. Michigan native Joshua Turner led the field to the first green flag of the season with Cody Gardner to his outside.  As the field entered into turn number four to complete the opening lap, Mark Silva went upside down to stop the action. After cars pushed off for a second attempt to get the race underway, Kody Swanson began to make his way through the field, moving from his fourth starting spot to the lead by lap 2.  A second red flag came for the 74 of Drew Rader when his car went upside down at the entrance way to the pit area.  On the restart, Swanson began to to pull away over two seconds from Cody Gardner by the halfway point.  Late in the race, Gardner managed to cut Swanson’s lead to just a half second, before Swanson pulled back away over the final few laps to pick up the opening night win.  Cody Gardner finished second with Mike Dunlap finishing in third.



Kody Swanson (left) of Kingsburg, California stands alongside race sponsor Ron Hemelgarn in victory lane after winning Friday night's Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic" USAC Silver Crown season opener at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.  The victory was Swanson's sixth victory in 11 series starts dating back to the beginning of the 2014 season. 

May 1, 2015 - Kody Swanson continued his winning ways in the Silver Crown Series after five wins propelled him to the 2014 championship, as he led every lap in Friday's Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic" at Toledo Speedway. The Kingsburg, California driver forged a tie with Tracy Hines for 11th on the all-time series win list with his ninth career triumph.

"I had to hold up my end of the bargain to get this team a pavement win after we got them to bring this car out two years ago. I'm thankful to be with this team and work with them to strive for the same goal. They are the true definition of a good "team." Today is my grandfather's birthday, and yesterday was my anniversary with my wife Jordan, who is the ultimate partner and a big part of this team, too. My dad has been a huge part of this effort, getting the pavement car going well, and to reward him and all my guys is special to me," Swanson said.

Kody, who earned the pole after setting the ProSource "Fast Time," outgunned brother Tanner on the start at the start, as Jacob Wilson snuck to the second spot before a lap-six chain reaction sent Jerry Coons, Jr. and Austin Nemire spinning through the infield as both Kyle Hamilton and Tim Barber stopped in turn-four. Under yellow, Tracy Hines pitted for a right-front tire. All cars restarted except Hamilton.

Less than a lap later, Bobby Santos abruptly turned right in turn-three, stopping at the wall and giving up his fifth-place spot. From there, the Swanson brothers and Wilson disappeared into traffic, as Tanner passed Wilson for the runner-up spot on lap 41. As they neared halfway, Tanner jumped outside of brother Kody to race for the lead.

The two came up on a pack of cars on lap 49, with Tanner vaulting over the right-rear tire of C.J. Leary and somersaulting into the catchfence through turn-one. He came to a rest propped upon the inside wall in the middle of turns one and two, luckily able to walk away from a frightening crash that eft a fuel spill and some fence repair.

After the red, Wilson hung with Kody Swanson for the lead. Behind them, David Byrne tried to use the outside lane to look for third, but instead relinquished that spot to A.J. Fike. On lap 57, Coons continued his recovery by taking the fifth spot from Byrne.

After a final caution on lap 59, the lead duo again pulled away as Wilson stayed right on Swanson's back bumper. On lap 70, he looked to the outside but could not complete the pass. Swanson then gradually pulled away from Wilson, opening up a comfortable advantage before again reaching slower cars in the final circuits. He negotiated those flawlessly to post a 1.100-second victory in the DePalma Motorsports - Radio Hospital #63 Beast/Hampshire.

"I knew we had to keep pushing over the last half with Wilson coming at us the way he was. We finally got a little gap to give myself some time through traffic, with as difficult as that was and how it bit Tanner earlier in the race. It was a relief to see Tanner was okay after that big crash. He came up to me and told me it was up to me to get it done now. The red was a long time to sit and think, and get knocked out of your rhythm. Our job is to be good in those situations, though, and I love this series for those type of situations that make you go well all race long," Swanson said.

Wilson came home second in the Wilson Brothers Racing #07 Beast/Toyota.

"I tried to push Kody and try to make him run my pace, but I wore my stuff out a little bit to do it and he was able to save enough for the last half of the race. He ran a very smart race, and it's tough to beat him right now. We've gotten closer and closer; I can't thank my family and Keith Holsapple enough for getting us this strong. I really feel like we could get some wins if we can ever knock down the door for a Silver Crown win, and we'll have to beat Kody to do it," Wilson said.

Fike, who started 17th, came home third in the RFMS Racing - Liberty Village #3 Beast/Foxco.

"I really felt like we were just as fast as the leaders before the red, but I just screwed up qualifying to put us in a hole. We didn't need the red; our tire sealed up and we weren't as good after that. Starting last row, I had to use my stuff up a little bit to get to where we got. I can't complain, though - my group did a great job tonight," Fike said.

Coons came home fourth in the Nolen Racing - Columbus Container #20 Beast/Chevy, and Aaron Pierce rounded out the top-five in the Sam Pierce Chevrolet - G&G Oil #26 Beast/Chevy.

  2014 USAC Silver Crown Articles  

Victory Lane - John DaDalt Photo

Swanson Puts Exclamation on Dominant Championship Season with Syracuse Win

October 11, 2014 - USAC Racing Article….Kody Swanson finished off a magical 2014 Silver Crown Series championship for he and DePalma Motorsports on Saturday in the “Salt City 78” on the New York State Fairgrounds mile. The Kingsburg, California driver was dominant all year, notching five wins in ten races to claim his first USAC National title.

“I can’t really believe this is how it’s all worked out. That’s what this is all about. To be able to go five-for-ten in Silver Crown and winning the championship is so special. They (DePalma Motorsports) hadn’t won a race in the series before this year, and they knew we had to find a way to make me better on dirt. They did everything they could do to make us better to compete for the championship, and it’s amazing to see a group that is such an epitome of “team.” These are great people, and we have a lot of fun racing together,” Swanson said of his team led by owner Tony DePalma and crew chief Bob Hampshire.

Swanson, who has been a series mainstay since 2009, put into words his pursuit of the series crown over the past six season, saying, “I’ve been trying for this for so long – I was a rookie in 2009 and had a shot at it a few different times. I lost a year to injury and then lost my full-time ride, so last year I got to drive for Ricky Nix and Eddie Sachs on dirt, and the DePalmas on pavement. I’m so grateful to all of them for keeping me on track last year, having a lot of fun, and putting me in position to have a year like this one. This is years and many people in the making, and I’m so happy to do it with the DePalmas, my family, our friends, and all the people who are involved and helped us accomplish what we have this year. It’s an incredible feeling to win the race and see all of them so happy and excited at what we’ve been able to do.”

Swanson immediately showed himself as a strong contender for the race win, as he jumped to the lead from outside the front row on the opening lap before a caution for Shane Cockrum. After a quick yellow, Swanson was off with the lead as two-time series champion Bobby East pressured him. East got a run down the frontstretch as they completed lap twelve to take the lead going into turn-one.

East pulled away as Swanson kept a conservative pace that stacked up the pack behind him racing for second through eighth. A.J. Fike stayed glued to Swanson through the first half of the race, as Rich Tobias, Stewart Friesen, Jerry Coons, Jr., and Steve Buckwalter raced just outside the top-five.

Swanson began to gain ground on East around lap 50, slowly reeling him in as Fike came along with him. He went to work quickly after catching him, using the difficult groove through turns one and two to slip underneath with the lead on lap 67.

Fike was the pursuer over the final ten laps, moving past East for second and coming after Swanson for the top spot. He had a shot at the win in the final two laps, but a move to the outside while negotiating a slower car sent him out of the groove through turns one and two, allowing Swanson to slip away.

The dream season for Swanson and the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire ended parked on the frontstretch of the “Moody Mile” with the win.

“I didn’t want to be too greedy and risk losing the championship by going too hard to win the race. We were almost in position to come here with a little safety net, but in the last two laps at Eldora, we blew a tire and put ourselves in jeopardy with the championship today. So that was on my mind throughout the race. We finally reeled Bobby (East) back in and the opportunity presented himself with that hole down there that could make you tight. Right when I got there, his car hit it and the hole opened up. I wanted to go harder at the end to fend off A.J. for the win, but I wanted to be sure I didn’t cost myself all of it by running the tire off,” Swanson said.

Chris Pedersen Photo -
Race Review: USAC Silver Crown at Eldora

September 21, 2014 - When the USAC Silver Crown series rolled into Eldora Speedway for this year's "4-Crown Nationals," they were in for an adventure. The track was fast and tricky on Saturday night, seeing even veterans like Dave Darland get upside down in Hot Laps. Kody held the #63 near the front of the pack, timing in 2nd quick in qualifications. Persistent rain interrupted the program, forcing the feature event to be run on Sunday afternoon. At the drop of the green, Kody settled into the 2nd position, but didn't waste much time before pressuring Jerry Coons Jr. for the lead. On lap 13, Kody was able to slide for the lead into turn 1, only to fall back to 2nd in turn 2. A handful of laps later, Kody fought back to the lead with a similar move through turns 1 and 2. Late in the race, a flurry of caution flags waved, as competitors began blowing tires on the abrasive surface. With only green flag laps counting, and having to revert to the last completed lap, this added 8-10 actual laps to the race, and to the tires on the #63. A red flag flew on lap 45, with Kody already down to the cords on his right rear tire. He held the lead until lap 48, just trying to limp to the finish, and on the white flag lap it finally blew. Kody ran the last lap on the rim, and held on for a 9th place finish.


Phil Rider Photo

Swanson Takes "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at Springfield

September 7, 2014 - USAC Racing Article…..Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. led wire-to-wire to win Sunday’s “Tony Bettenhausen 100” USAC Silver Crown race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. He won the pole in the DePalma Motorsports - Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire and never trailed, finishing a half-lap ahead of runner-up Tracy Hines. 

"I was pretty motivated today after I felt like I gave away a great opportunity to win at Du Quoin. I made an error in lapped traffic that ended up making us overheat and costing us the race. They gave me a car that could win there, too, and I needed to come back and win one for them. It's my job to find a way to win, with as good as my cars have been all season, and today gets us back on the track. This is a tough series to win races, so I'm thankful to be racing for this team," Swanson said.

Just two cautions in the race's first half kept the field close to Swanson, and he used the 54-lap green flag stretch to end the race as a way to show his dominance, leaving Hines quickly and eventually putting pressure on eighth-place Dave Darland to go a lap down in the final circuits. Swanson backed off with his huge lead, leaving eight cars on the lead lap.

The win was the fourth of Swanson's incredible season, which tallies him up to seven for his career. That puts him tied for 12th on the all-time USAC Silver Crown win list with Rick Hood and George Snider. Only all-time series win king Jack Hewitt (1986), Gary Bettenhausen (1980), J.J. Yeley (2003), and Dave Steele (2005) have matched four wins in a single Silver Crown season.

"Bob Hampshire (crew chief and engine builder) was a legend before I ever met him. To be teamed up with that, I've had a lot to live up to. I knew I had to get better on dirt and learn how to run as well as his cars can go. Now, we go to their home track and they always run well there. They've done everything they can to make me comfortable at a place like Eldora, so I hope we can keep building on what we've done. Our goal all along has been the championship, and we saw how easily it can get away from you a little bit in this deal, so we have to end strong to get it," Swanson said.

The point battle was affected only minimally, with second-place Hines and third-place Bobby East unable to close in on Swanson going into the September 20 “4-Crown Nationals” at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. 

Chris Pedersen Photo -
Race Review: USAC Silver Crown at DuQuoin

August 31, 2014 - A tough night and a 13th place finish in the Ted Horn 100 hardly tells the story for Kody and the #63 car's trip to DuQuoin, IL. After practicing near the top of the speed charts, Kody was slated to be the 24th and final car out in qualifying. With a lap of 30.729 seconds, Kody timed in 2nd fastest, and earned a spot on the front row of the 100-mile feature event. At the drop of the green, polesitter Bobby East led the field into turn 1. Kody rode patiently in 2nd until the lead duo caught lapped traffic on lap 9. Kody shot to the inside, as he and East split a slower car on the frontrstraightaway, with the 63 taking over the top spot in turn 1. Kody would lead until after lap 30, when he was chased above the thick cushion in turn 1 while lapping a slower car, and damaged the front air scoop and bellypan on the #63. A few laps later, the engine showed increasing water temperature, eventually forcing Kody to take the car pit side. The DePalma team did a great job making the necessary repairs, cooling the car and getting back to the track just a few laps down. After restarting at the tail, Kody drove quickly through the field, proving the strength of his racecar. Unfortunately, their chance to win was foiled early in this one, and they were credited with 13th at the finish. "I just made a mistake early in this one, and I feel like it cost us a really good shot at the win tonight. The car was really fast tonight, and I hate it for the guys that I didn't get them a finish to show for it," said Swanson.


Chris Pedersen Photo -

Springfield Rained Out, Rescheduled Sept. 7th

August 18, 2014 - Kody and the DePalma Motorsports/Hampshire Engines #63 followed the USAC Silver Crown series tour to Springfield, Illinois on Saturday for the annual "Tony Bettenhausen 100." With weather threatening in the area, and the possibility of practice times being used to set the field (if qualifying was rained out), Kody and the #63 went to the top of the board in hot laps. His lap of 29.061 was well below the official track record of 29.305 seconds around the famed mile oval.

As rain continued to hold off, the 26-car field took official time in qualifying. Kody went out near the half-way mark, posting a lap of 30.835 seconds on the drying racetrack. Just a few cars later, Tracy Hines went 30.646 seconds to earn the pole, with Kody scheduled to start to his outside. As the field prepared for green, the rain began to fall, washing out the remainder of the day's events. USAC and Track Enterprises announced the reschedule date of Sunday, September 7th. The next series event is Sunday night, August 31st at DuQuoin Illinois' "Magic Mile."


The DePalma Motorsports #63 and crew in Belleville High Banks Victory Lane

Swanson Keeps Rolling at Belleville

August 1, 2014 - USAC Racing Article - Belleville, Kansas…….Silver Crown Series point-leader Kody Swanson continued his dirt dominance of this season as he took his third win of the season on Friday night in the “Hustle on the High Banks” of Belleville, Kansas. The Kingsburg, California driver rallied from as deep as seventh to steal the win late in the race, running strong to the end as other front-runners experienced problems.

Chris Windom took the lead from outside the front-row as Swanson stumbled on the start after taking the pole for the 50-lapper. He dropped to fourth as Windom and Christopher Bell took off running the high side, and Tracy Hines moved from the third-row to third in the opening laps.

The first caution came on lap seven for Caleb Armstrong, who had an encounter with the turn-two cushion and had major rear-end damage. Windom still led Bell up front, as they opened up a gap over Hines, Jerry Coons, Jr., and Swanson.

The second and final caution came on lap 15 for Jacob Wilson, and this time on the restart, Swanson lost two more spots before regaining his momentum. With Swanson now in 7th, Windom and Bell displayed their strength on an extremely treacherous cushion around the vaunted half-mile, stretching it out to over half a track over third.

Bell fell off Windom’s pace after catching the turn-one guardrail just past halfway, and Windom’s lead appeared to be insurmountable. He toyed with the Belleville guardrail, running a wicked pace on the cushion and opening up his lead even more. With about 15 laps to go, Windom suddenly dropped down on the track for a lap, and after going back to the top a lap later it was apparent that he was slowing. Meanwhile, Swanson was moving back through the field as he stayed up top while others experienced tire problems or damage from banging the guardrail and had to move down.

Windom eventually moved to the bottom with ten to go as the RW Motorsports #17 was running out of fuel, but he held the lead through lap 44 before dropping to the bottom of the backstretch and exiting the race track just as Swanson sprinted by with the lead. He led with five to go and was virtually unchallenged over the final laps, winning by 5.361 seconds in the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.

“Sometimes, it’s just your night. When they told me we were in the lead, I honestly didn’t believe it. You just never say die in Silver Crown racing, and especially with this team. We had an engine issue and switched to this one for tonight just to be sure we could finish the race, and we gave up a lot of ground on the restarts. It was hard to believe I was running them down late. I got into the wall pretty hard myself and it wasn’t the same from there. Luckily, the car was good enough to get us there. To win tonight, they said we’d have to run up there, and it feels great to deliver for my team on a track like tonight. I started racing for these guys and promised them I could win pavement races, and two years later I haven’t won a pavement race but we’ve got three dirt wins!” Swanson exclaimed.

Hines found his way by Bell for second but came up short in defending his Belleville Silver Crown victory from last year with the Lightfoot Racing – Hughs Brothers #16 Beast/Chevy.

“Belleville is always a little gnarly anyway, but when run a heavy champ car, it gets your attention. When it was four feet from the wall, it wasn’t a big deal, but when it stopped moving and we were banging the guardrail, that was tough. We paced well early and knew we were catching Bell, but I got into the wall hard and felt like I almost flipped it. I backed off at that point and the 63 went by us – I had nothing for him at that point,” Hines said.

Bell held on for third despite a violently shaking car due to a blistered right-rear tire and heavily packed right-rear wheel on the Fred Gormly – RPM Auto Enterprise #99 JEI/Chevy.

Bobby East recovered from changing an engine early in the day to move from 13th to finish fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing #10 Maxim/Kistler, and Dave Darland rounded out the top-five in the MTR Martco – Longworth Equipment #19 Beast/Toyota.

  Race Review: Mother Nature Postpones USAC Silver Crown "Memphis 100"  
The DePalma/Hampshire #63 on Pit Road Susannah Stapp Photo
Race Review: USAC Silver Crown at Gateway

June 14, 2014 - Kody and the DePalma/Hampshire #63 lead the USAC Silver Crown series to the Gateway 100 at Gateway Motorsports Park, and left the event in a dead heat for the series points lead. After suffering from mechanical trouble in qualifying, Kody would start the #63 from the tail of the field for the 80-lap, 100-mile feature event. At the drop of the green, Kody began moving up the running order, still experiencing some trouble under the hood. As the race wore on, the #63 continued to hold together, allowing Kody to move a little further through the field, up to the 5th position with just 25 laps to go. As attrition plagued much of the competition, Kody and the #63 held on for a 5th place finish and helped the team salvage a solid finish in what could have been a tough day for their season hopes. The USAC Silver Crown series will return to action on Sunday, June 29th at the Memphis International Raceway.

Swansons are Unstoppable; Kody wins "Hoosier Hundred"

May 22, 2014 - USAC Racing Release- Indianapolis, Indiana…….After three Silver Crown Series events this season, the scoreboard reads “Swanson Family: 3, Everybody Else: 0.” Point-leader Kody Swanson scored his second victory of the season on Thursday night as he came on to take the lead on lap 78 and win the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

“I’m not even sure if I know what to think about all this. This is something special. You come out here and just try to do your job and perform for your team without ever really thinking about this moment. This whole team is quite a story. My deal with them started with a pavement car out in a barn where they could have left it sitting forever. It’s just an amazing group of people from the DePalma family to (crew chief) Bob Hampshire to Clark and everybody else who comes and helps us,” said an elated Swanson on the famous fronstretch.

Bobby East led from outside the front row, although the original start ended when Jon Stanbrough got turned around in turn-one and Dakota Jackson ended up as the unlucky recipient of a meeting with the turn-one concrete. His race was over, but Stanbrough restarted.

East led and opened up a comfortable margin as Swanson quickly made his way from eighth into fourth within the first ten laps. Shortly after, Caleb Armstrong got into the turn-four wall just after Swanson had passed him for third. His night was done.

The race hit a longer green run as East led Hines, Swanson, Shane Cockrum, and Chris Windom. A red flag stopped the action on lap 30, however, as John Hunt turned over in turn-three. He walked away.

Two-time race winner Jerry Coons, Jr. joined the top-five as they broke away from the field during a 34-lap green run that saw East open up a commanding lead. Swanson moved in on Hines for second using a lapped car, but he made contact which forced a caution on lap 63.

The race restarted with 34 laps to go, and Coons made a big move into turn-one to take a top-five spot. Then, Swanson jumped to the higher groove and went to work on Hines, taking the second spot on lap 73. With clear track between him and East, the gap was shrinking rapidly, and Swanson went to the outside of East entering turn-one on lap 78 to take the lead.

From there, Swanson was untouchable, winning by 4.148 seconds aboard the DePalma Motorsports – Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.

“I felt like I messed up qualifying and told my guys I owed them some spots early. It was important to get those spots early. I was good for a while and stayed with Tracy, and then I’d have trouble keeping up. I knew if I was gonna get anything done, I’d have to get creative. Luckily, they pinched down more and I was using the outside, especially in turn-two,” Swanson said, further explaining his assault on the lead, “After working so hard to get Tracy. The closer we got to Bobby, the more he protected the bottom, and that probably helped a little. I got a good run to catch up to him, and I kinda thought I’d try the top and use my momentum to go after him quickly. I got a run to the outside and it stuck.”

Swanson drives from last to 2nd at Lucas Oil Raceway

May 17, 2014 - While Tanner Swanson stunned the Lucas Oil Raceway attendees " with one of the most spectacular USAC Silver Crown performances of all time," his brother Kody was having an exciting race of his own.

As the track opened for practice on Saturday, Kody and the DePalma Motorsports #63 found that something had gone awry with the driveline system. The team made changes to the driveshaft, hoping that would be the solution and they would get a few laps of practice before qualifying. It was to no avail. So, on pit road, the DePalma Motorsports team got their elbows up and had one of the most spectular performances of the day, even if no one in the stands knew it. Anything there was to change in that system, and they changed it, hoping to find the problem that had kept them off track before the feature event rolled off the grid. With just minutes to go, the car was buttoned back up, and the #63 came to life. Without posting a qualifying time, Kody started at the tail of the 19 car field, with 100-laps to match the outstanding job his team had given him on pit road. He wasted little time, making his first laps at speed while working his way through the back of the field. When the caution flag flew just 15 laps into the race, Kody had the #63 up to the 5th position. After a lengthy caution, the handling began to change on the car, slowing their progress as the race approached halfway. As tires became worn, and the fuel loads burned off, the #63 had Kody moving forward again, passing Bobby Santos III for 4th, and Tracy Hines to move into 3rd. Eventually, he tracked down David Byrne for the 2nd spot, making the pass in lapped traffic. With just laps to go, and fear of going a lap down to his brother, the caution flag flew and gave Kody a single chance at the top spot. On the restart, Kody dove low in turn 1, but Tanner took the run off of turn 2 and the victory. It was the third time that the Swanson brothers have swept a Silver Crown race 1st and 2nd, and was a great ending to a long day for the DePalma Motorsports/Hampshire Engines #63.

Kody’s finish enabled him to retain the series point lead by nine over Hines going into next Thursday night’s “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. Saturday’s festivities included the annual USAC “Hall of Fame” inductions, which saluted Rollie Beale, George Bignotti, Don Branson, Larry Dickson, Gus Hoffman, Jud Larson, Norm Nelson, Eddie Sachs, Don Smith, Bob Stroud, Rodger Ward and Bob Wente.

Swanson takes Buckeye Machine BOSS "Hensel Memorial" and $5K

May 3, 2014 - BOSS Release - Fremont, Ohio - by Brian Liskai
– Kody Swanson gave his grandfather a wonderful birthday present Saturday. The Kingsburg, California driver scored the $5,000 top prize at Fremont Speedway to open the Buckeye Machine BOSS Series 2014 season.

There were 40 cars signed in to compete in the non-wing event on Smith Family Foods Night. The 33-lap feature was run in honor of the late Mike Hensel whose race cars carried that familiar number.

Swanson battled with fellow Californians Thomas Meseraull and Robert Ballou from lap 10 on until taking the lead for good on lap 24. He had to not only battle Meseraull and Ballou, but heavy lapped traffic to score the Mike Hensel Memorial 33-lap win on Smith Family Foods Night.

“What a phenomenal handling race car. Everyone who works on this did an outstanding job. What an opportunity for me to drive. I feel so lucky and happy to be here. I have to thank the DePalma family. One of their boys is getting married today and that’s why they aren’t here. Also thanks to Radio Hospital and I have to give a shout out to my grandfather at home. It’s his birthday today,” said Swanton beside his Hampshire Engines/K&N Filters backed #63.

“Thanks to the Hensel family for putting this on. It was pretty hairy out there. There was times when Robert and Thomas and I were three wide for the lead with a lapped car and everyone was touching wheels. It was a great view for a minute but I sure as heck wanted to get out of there,” added Swanson.

Tyler Gunn, a regular with Fremont Speedway’s winged 305 sprints who was making his non-wing debut, and Mike Galajda paced the field of 24 cars to the green in the feature. Gunn would lead the first lap as third place starter Meseraull grabbed second with Galajda, Chad Boespflug, Ballou and seventh starter Swanson in tow. Meseraull would slide into the lead on the second circuit, bringing Boespflug into second with Gunn, Ballou and Swanson staying close.

Action would grind to a halt on lap four as Fremont 410 winged regular Chris Andrews would take a wild ride down the back stretch. He would exit the machine unhurt. On the green Meseraull would continue to lead as Ballou drove into second with Gunn and Swanson battling for third. Andre Layfield would spin on lap six to bunch up the field.

When the green reappeared Meseraull and Ballou battled side by side with Gunn joining the fray on lap eight. Gun would slide off the high side of turn one a circuit later, losing a couple of positions as Swanson moved into third with Todd Keen taking fourth.

By lap 14 Swanson’s tire choice began to kick in as he reeled in Meseraull and Ballou. That trio then had the crowd on their feet as they raced three wide at times, rubbing wheels. The leaders caught lapped traffic by the 18th circuit but that did not slow their tremendous battle. On lap 24 Swanson dove under both Ballou and Meseraull and took the lead. Meseraull and Ballou stayed close over the next handful of laps but after clearing lapped traffic Swanson began to pull away.

Swanson would take the checkered for his first career Fremont win while Meseraull, Ballou, Michael Fischesser and Scotty Weir rounded out the top five. Fremont 410 winged sprint regular Brian Smith would charge from his 19th starting spot to finish sixth and earn a $333 hard charger bonus from the Hughes Racing in memory of Mike Hensel. Mike Miller, Gunn, Dustin Smith and Bryan Sebetto (up from 20th starting spot) would round out the top 10.

  Swanson Stomps "Sumar Classic" Silver Crown Field at Terre Haute

April 6, 2014 - USAC Racing Release - Terre Haute, Indiana…….After racing in pavement races last year for DePalma Motorsports, Kody Swanson took advantage of his first dirt start with the team in the Silver Crown Series presented by Traxxas by winning Sunday’s “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute Action Track. The Kingsburg, California driver retook the lead on lap 38 and and was untouchable over a long green-flag run to win in the Radio Hospital #63 Maxim/Hampshire.

“To be able to run with these guys all year, I don’t know if I can describe how excited I am to run for the championship with this team. I thought, ‘Man, wouldn’t we really surprise some people if we went to Terre Haute, a place that I shouldn’t be any good at, and pull off a win?’ We’ve put together a dirt sprint car and went to Florida and last night at Lawrenceburg, just trying to get me better, so to reward that the first race out is special. This group works so hard and has so much passion for Silver Crown racing, so I’m really proud to win here for them,” Swanson said.

Swanson led from the outset after qualifying second, but a flurry of early cautions posed restart after restart for him to hold of challenges. Chris Windom vaulted to second, as Bobby East also moved forward to shuffle polesitter Tracy Hines back to fourth. That foursome came to a pivotal restart on lap 35, when Swanson continued to lead on the high side.

USAC Racing - Rich Forman Photo

Windom hit the bottom to take the lead after the green came out, taking the lead as they completed lap 36. Hines was surging back to the front, as he bolted by Windom to claim the point on lap 37. By then, Swanson had regained his momentum on the top to take the lead as the field completed the 38th lap.

Hines was back to Swanson’s inside, about to take the lead as they finished lap forty, but a caution came out, giving Swanson the lead back. On the restart, he jumped to the bottom and pulled away from the field.

Swanson lapped up to fourth while distancing his lead, facing no challenges as the race went green the remainder of the 100-lap distance. For Swanson, it was his fourth career series win.

“I knew the top was getting awful thin, even early on, as I was leading. I thought I’d have to come down at some point, but it was great to race with those guys and battle my way back to the lead. I think changing with the race track, and being able to move around when you need to, is so important to win on dirt and I’m still learning that. To put together a whole race at Terre Haute and win is exciting for all of us,” Swanson said.

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