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Series
Pos.
 
           
 
2/20
USAC Sprint
19th
 
 
2/19
USAC Sprint
15th
 
 
2/18
USAC Sprint
16th
 
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Lev's Brewhouse
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The Bridge Restaurant
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Simpson Race Products
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MAXIM Chassis
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Sprint cars and Sunshine, must be time for the @usacnation Winter Dirt Games! - Phillips/WOLTERS #71p

A photo posted by Kody Swanson Racing (@kodyswanson) on

  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.  A Wednesday night open practice allowed competitors to turn some laps on their machines, work out the bugs and get ready for the weekend of racing.  The Wolters team encountered some engine trouble with the primary 71p, and used the rest of the night to work on their back-up car. 

Further inspection Thursday morning confirmed that the engine in the primary car would be done for the weekend, and that the team would run their 360ci steel block back up car against the aluminum 410s for the remainder of the trip. 33 cars journeyed south, and on opening night Kody qualified 15th in time trials.  He finished 6th in his heat race, and would have to finish in the top 6 of the b-main to earn a spot in the feature event.  The 71p finished 2nd in the b-main, and rolled off 14th for the feature event.  During a battle to take the 12th spot, Kody spun the 71p on the outside of turn 4 and would restart at the rear of the field.  By race's end, he had made it back up to a 16th place feature finish.  

Friday found 33 cars checking in for night two, and again Kody ended time trials in 15th.  A 3rd place finish in his heat race locked the 71p into the feature event, with Kody set to start in the 15th spot.  It was a 30 lap battle that found Kody moving forward, sliding back, and clawing his way back to 15th in the final laps.  On longer runs, the 71p had speed and would move forward, but it took too long to build momentum after restarts and mid-race cautions kept them from a better finish.  Even still, the team was gaining speed and remaining competitive with their 360 engine.  

Saturday night had 32 cars left, and the 71p timed in 7th during qualifications.  A few new set up ideas from the Phillips version of the 71p team seemed to be helping the Wolters' car pick up a little speed for the final night in Ocala.  A bobble at the start of the heat race slid Kody back to 8th, but by races end he had moved up to 5th and was rapidly closing on a transfer spot when he ran out of laps.  A 4th place finish in the b-main would earn them an 8th place starting position for the feature event.  In the early going, Kody had passed up to the 5th position when the caution flag flew, reverting to the previous lap and sending Kody back a few positions.  Near the halfway point, Kody was up to 7th and trying to make a pass for 6th when he made contact with the 98 of Chad Boespflug, climbing his left rear tire, and landing his 71p on the nose of the 98.  Both cars stopped and had to restart at the tail of the field.  A few laps later, Kody pulled the 71p pit side to save his equipment, and was scored 19th on the night.

"It was a tough week for us in Florida, but I really have no complaints.  Everyone that is a part of the Phillips/Wolters team worked hard and never gave up.  Even for running a 360, we were fairly competitive in a very tough series.  Personally, I feel terrible about Saturday night.  We had a really good chance at a solid finish, and I made a driving error that cost everyone on my team, and everyone on the 98 team, from getting the results that we both should have had that night.  It was a chance for us to end our trip on a high note, and I made a mistake.  While I hate that I cost the team those results, I am proud of the progress that we made as a team and I am excited about the rest of the season," - Kody.  

Kody will rejoin the USAC National Sprint cars at Lawrenceburg Speedway on April 2nd, from behind the wheel of Phillips version of the 71p.  

 
  2016 Winter Dirt Games - Video Vault  
       
 

Thursday, February 18th - Preliminary Events

Thursday, February 18th - Feature Event
 
 
 
 
Friday, February 19th - Preliminary Events
Friday, February 19th - Feature Event
 
 
 
 
Saturday, February 20th - Preliminary Events
Saturday, February 20th - Feature Event
 
       
 
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