USAC SILVER CROWN HISTORY:
6x Silver Crown Champion
34 Silver Crown Wins
36 Silver Crown Poles
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Toledo, Ohio (October 10, 2021)………Kody Swanson possesses the rare and unique talent to make the extraordinary seem commonplace, and for the high majority of Sunday afternoon’s USAC Silver Crown season finale at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway, he performed just as you’d come to expect from the series’ winningest driver.
The first 83.5 trips around the half-mile paved oval were relatively free of stress for Swanson, but a bit of turn three duress nearly derailed both his bid for the race win and another Silver Crown driving title.
With Swanson alone at the head of the field, the car of 13th running Annie Breidinger slid sideways against the turn three wall, right into the path of Tyler Roahrig, who T-boned Breidinger’s idle machine at the top of the banking. Next in line was Swanson who smashed the left front of his nose and wheel into the rear bumper of Roahrig, testing the maximum limits of metal’s unmalleable flexibility.
A major puncture wound to the nose and a bent axle became the battle scars Swanson carried for the final 13 circuits en route to victory, and despite all the lingering circumstances, Swanson remained untouchable and unmalleable in his own right.
His car seemingly bulletproof, his concentration impervious, Swanson masterfully thwarted a challenge from pavement master Bobby Santos during the final laps to record his fifth career Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic triumph and his unprecedented sixth career USAC Silver Crown championship.
“I’m so fortunate and so thankful for this entire Doran Racing team, all the effort they put in all year and for this race that I can screw something up and still have a chance for it at the end.
The lapped car spun in front of us, and Tyler (Roahrig) and I were already there and trying to figure out a way through because I knew Bobby (Santos) was coming,” Swanson continued. “I bent the front axle up on this thing but, luckily, during the caution, I could scrub in front of the pits, and they could tell, ‘hey it’s going to fit.’ That’s part of it. It’s your job to finish it in the end.”
The only blemish on an otherwise spotless drive was as a victim of momentary circumstance in his Doran Enterprises/Glenn Farms – Lykins Energy Solutions/Beast/Lanci Ford, a race in which he captured the pole, led all 100 laps and earned a feature win, all while becoming just the third driver in history to sit on the pole, win the race and corral the series title all in a single day’s work, and the first to do so in a quarter century – Jimmy Sills in 1996 and Steve Butler in 1992.
Swanson entered the day with a one-point lead over Logan Seavey in the championship race. After adding three points for winning the pole, Swanson carried a four-point advantage into the season’s curtain closer, which had been slightly delayed by morning showers.
Jetting out to the early lead was Swanson while third-starting David Byrne slotted into second and was affixed to Swanson's rear bumper from the onset of the opening lap while outside front row starter Justin Grant, the defending series champ for one more day – slotted into third.
The same three continued to breakaway from the rest of the field throughout the first 20 laps until eighth running Kyle Robbins jettisoned his left rear wheel as he made his way down the front straightaway. As he skidded along the pavement, alongside his dribbling wheel/tire, he was dotted in the rear bumper by Davey Hamilton Jr. while both Seavey and Nathan Byrd scattered to and fro to successfully avoid a major catastrophe. The day, however, was finished for Robbins.
The most frightening incident of the day occurred on the 38th lap when contact between Jim Anderson (13th) and Taylor Ferns (14th) in turn two sent Anderson spinning 180 degrees, rear first, into the outside back straightaway wall. As Anderson’s car sat motionless, a split second later, Travis Welpott (16th) ramped his right rear over the left front of Anderson, sending Welpott flipping down the back straightaway before bouncing back on all four wheels into the turn three infield grass.
All drivers walked away from the incident. Unrelated to the melee, third-running Grant was black flagged for spilling fluid onto the track. He’d ultimately return but dropped out on lap 48 while running 15th.
Swanson maintained a two second lead as the race hit the second half with Santos now becoming a player in the game with a move into second on lap 62 as he ripped around the outside of Byrne off the fourth turn. Suddenly, the gap between Santos and race leader Swanson began two dwindle, with nearly a full second cut off his lead.
Swanson put his championship competition of Seavey a lap down on lap 75 and was on cruise control, up 1.5 seconds at that particular point when the aforementioned near disaster between he, Breidinger and Roahrig occurred with 17 laps remaining. A highly noticeable gaping hole was visible on the front of Swanson’s ride for the remainder of the race, in which he kept 2017 Toledo Silver Crown winner Santos at bay to score his 34th career series event by a 1.135 second margin over Santos, Brian Tyler, Byrne and Hamilton Jr.
Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.) finished runner-up to Swanson Sunday at Toledo and finished his Silver Crown season with four starts and four top-three finishes – two seconds and two thirds – in his DJ Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions – Simpson Race Products/Beast/Speedway Chevy.
Brian Tyler’s first USAC Silver Crown pavement start since 2013 resulted in a third-place finish aboard his BCR Group/Flint Trucking – QS Quality Components – Duncan Oil/Beast/Kercher Chevy. For the Parma, Mich. native, it was first “podium” finish with the series on pavement since winning at New York’s Oswego Speedway in 2009.
Furthermore, Tyler and Russ Gamester both wrapped up their 201st career USAC Silver Crown starts on Sunday at Toledo, tying them for the all-time record in that category alongside Dave Darland.
Statesville, NC – GMS Racing is proud to welcome five-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion Kody Swanson to the No. 21 ARCA Chevrolet for a one-race deal at the series' next event at Salem Speedway this Saturday.
Swanson, an accomplished racer who has a total of 33 USAC Silver Crown wins in his career, has competed in various disciplines of asphalt open-wheel motorsports, including sprint cars and midgets. In 2020, Swanson also competed in two Road to Indy races, winning an Indy Pro 2000 race at Lucas Oil Raceway in his first start.
Always willing to jump in a different style of race car, Kody Swanson became noticed by many during the Camping World SRX Series race at Eldora Speedway in June, where he fought Tony Stewart for the win. Though he came short of the victory with a second place finish, his efforts caught the attention of GMS Racing President Mike Beam, who served as his celebrity crew chief during the event.
"I am really excited and grateful to have an opportunity to race with GMS Racing, and to continue pursuing different avenues with my career. This whole deal started with the opportunity to compete in the SRX Series earlier this year. I was invited to race at Eldora Speedway as the Local All-Star for the event, and that was where I met Mike Beam. We were paired together by the series, and he would be my crew chief for the race. I felt like we got along really well, and worked together with the same intensity, both willing to put in the extra effort and what it takes to win. We ended up just one spot short that night, but it started a conversation and relationship that has led to an opportunity like this," said the driver from Zionsville, IN.
While Swanson is relatively new to stock cars, he does have some solid experience behind the wheel, including one ARCA Menards Series start at Iowa Speedway, where he finished eighth in his debut last season for then team owner, Chad Bryant. After the ARCA race, Bryant, who currently serves as crew chief of the No. 21 GMS Racing ARCA team, fielded Swanson in four late model stock races at Hickory Motor Speedway, in which Swanson finished as high as second. Earlier this year, Swanson made his pro late model debut, winning the 2021 World Series of Asphalt and track championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
"Another person who I met a few years ago, and has been trying to help me get into new types of cars, is Chad Bryant. Last year, I made my first ARCA series start in one of his cars, and even made a few starts in his Late Model Stock at Hickory. After that SRX race this year, he and Mike have been working hard to help make this happen for me, and I'm really thankful to have this chance."
Kody Swanson is no stranger to Salem Speedway, as he has a record five consecutive wins in the James/O'Connor Memorial Silver Crown race at the track, along with the track record lap time in a Silver Crown car. In 2021, Kody made his debut with the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Salem, setting the fast time and winning in his first start.
"I'm looking forward to going to Salem Speedway. I have never driven an ARCA car there before, but I'm encouraged to have had some experience there with the USAC Silver Crown series, and the ARCA/CRA Super series. I hope that I'm able to adapt well enough to these new cars to do a good job, and run well for the team this weekend. I am grateful for the opportunity and look to make the most out of it. Thank you to Maury Gallagher and Mike Beam for making this happen, and to my sponsors GMS Fabrication, Harvest Supply, Inc., Rosewood Machine & Tool, Radio Hospital, and Lyons Transportation for supporting me."
The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 from Salem Speedway will take place on Saturday, October 2nd. Fans can watch the race live on MAVTV or live stream it on TrackPass at 8:00 PM ET. For live updates through the race, follow along on the team's Twitter handle, @GMSRacingLLC.
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Springfield, Illinois (August 21, 2021)………Kody Swanson knew he had a long row to hoe starting from the 23rd position during Saturday afternoon’s Bettenhausen 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. As it turned out, he didn’t even need the full 100-mile distance to make it to the lead.
The Kingsburg, Calif. native carved his way through the field to take the lead on lap 61, then led what wound up being the final 16 miles, when a red flag for a crash and subsequent rain with 76 laps completed forced a premature finish to the 58th running of the event for the USAC Silver Crown National Championship.
That turned the Bettenhausen 100 into the Bettenhausen 76 and marking the first rain-shortened race for the USAC Silver Crown series since the 1998 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
The hard charging effort put in by Swanson from 23rd was the second furthest back any winner has started at Springfield in the USAC Silver Crown division, only trailing Kenny Irwin Jr.’s all-time series record run from 28th to 1st in 1995.
Swanson’s victory was also his third in the champ cars at the Springfield Mile after previously winning in 2014-15, making him the 10th driver to win at the track on three occasions, joining Chuck Gurney (7), A.J. Foyt (4), Jack Hewitt (4), Brian Tyler (4), Mario Andretti (3), Tony Bettenhausen (3), Dave Darland (3), Al Unser (3) and Rodger Ward (3) in that group. Saturday’s victory also put the five-time series champion and current series point leader back in victory lane on the dirt for the first time in three years, since the 2018 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. It’s a fact that was not lost on Swanson. “It’s been three years, not that it’s been bothering me,” Swanson said with a slight laugh. Swanson’s qualifying lap was blistering at 30.075 seconds, which translates to 119.701 mph around the one-mile dirt oval. But, as it turned out, it was a blistering lap in more ways than one, a lap which necessitated a right rear tire change prior to the feature.
Therefore, by rule, he gave up his position on the pole, instead taking new rubber, a gamble that turned out to be well worth the risk for he and his Chris Dyson Racing/Thetford – ProtectAll – Norcold – Racer Magazine/Maxim/Kistler Chevy. “We had to change the tire because I made an error in qualifying,” Swanson admitted. “I ran it harder than I needed to, spun the tires harder than I needed to, blistered it, and we weren’t sure it was going to make it. Rather than wonder all race if we could make it, you put a tire on, you go on the attack, do your job and get it done.” And that’s just what he did. He was one of five drivers to opt for a fresh right rear tire, forcing them all to near the back of the 31-car field. A handful of other teams had a variety of mechanical issues on the start that ultimately pushed Swanson up to 23rd.
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Brownsburg, Indiana (August 14, 2021)………On a night in which he pocketed a total of $77,100 in total prizes, Kody Swanson saved his best for his last in an encore performance during Saturday night’s inaugural Hoosier Classic USAC Silver Crown feature at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind.
After winning the Sprint Car feature and finishing third in the midget earlier in the evening, the Kingsburg, Calif. native wrapped up the evening with a dominant, picture-perfect Silver Crown performance at the .686-mile paved oval, leading all 100 laps in his Doran Enterprises/Glenn Farms – Lykins Energy Solutions/Beast/Lanci Ford.
By winning two of the three features throughout the program, Swanson netted the Fatheadz Challenge $50,000 bonus and, added in with his $12,500 Silver Crown victory, $1,100 pole award courtesy of Fatheadz Eyewear and PJ1, along with his winnings from the sprint car and midget events, it totaled the richest day for any driver walking out of a Lucas Oil Raceway USAC event, surpassing the $60,280 captured by Dave Steele following his sweep of the Mopar Twin 25 Midget races in 2002.
August 12, 2021 - Only two more days until the Hoosier Classic at The Oval at Lucas Oil Raceway, but you can grab your Kody Swanson event tee online today! Choose pickup at checkout and we'll have it ready for you trackside. Now the only question is what color to choose!
Black, Royal & White Tees
Black Hoodies, White Crewneck Sweatshirts
July 10, 2021 ... Anderson, IN - Two of the hottest sprint car drivers matched wits in the 20th running of the Glen Niebel Classic with Kody Swanson emerging as the victor. Swanson and Tyler Roahrig battled throughout the 125-lap race at Anderson Speedway Saturday for the CB Fabricating Glen Niebel Classic presented by Intersect.
Swanson set fast time in qualifying with followed by a tight pack. Eleven of the 19 entrants qualified within a half-second of Swanson’s time. As a result of the invert Billy Wease jumped into the lead chased by Chris Neuenschwander and Tyler Roahrig. By lap 25 Dakoda Armstrong had advanced to third followed by Swanson and Roahrig. Roahrig made a gutsy outside pass of Swanson on lap 31 coming off the fourth corner and moved into the second spot on lap 41. The red flag waved when Doug Fitzwater made heavy contact with the turn two outside retaining wall, his second trip into the concrete during the night.
The chess match between Swanson and Roahrig continued on the lap 59 restart when Swanson took advantage of traffic and moved back into the second spot. At the halfway point Wease’s night came to an end with an apparent suspension problem on the right front. That put Swanson on the point. For the next 62 circuits around the high banked quarter-mile oval Roahrig ran in the tire tracks of Swanson looking both high and low to make the pass. The third and final caution flag waved on lap 95 when Jacob McElfresh spun on the back straight following contact with Emerson Axsom.
By RACER staff | June 27, 2021 12:27 AM ET
Tony Stewart made it back-to-back victories in the Camping World SRX Series by winning the third race of the six-race short-track series Saturday night at Eldora Speedway.
Stewart put on a show at the track that he owns, starting from last in the 12-driver field to lead twice for six laps – all in the last seven laps of the 50-lap feature race at the half-mile, high-banked clay oval.
“Jack Hewitt was probably the best I’ve ever seen here at Eldora and I learned a couple of things watching him win the 4-Crown one year where he won all four divisions, and I used that line a lot early in the race here today and it helped out a lot,” said Stewart, referring to sprint car and midget racer Hewitt’s sweep of the 1998 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora.
Stewart won the previous Camping World SRX Series event at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway on June 19, taking his first SRX win and the series’ first on a dirt track. Eldora marked the second and final dirt track race on the SRX schedule and Stewart showcased his versatility by holding off local all-star Kody Swanson by .481 of a second.
“Kody found the bottom. I couldn’t roll the bottom as good as he could. I was real dependent on being up on the top. I just think that’s what Eldora does – the complexion of the track changes during the race,” Stewart said.
“I thought the top was good in the beginning in the main and then Kody got just crushing everybody on the bottom and got rolling through there. But the good thing was when he went by, everybody else followed him down there like they were in a parade and left the top open. And the longer we went, I finally got the momentum going on the top to get back by him.”
Swanson, the five-time USAC Silver Crown champion who leads the division in wins (30) and poles (31), nearly pulled off another victory for the local all-stars, emulating Doug Coby’s win in the Camping World SRX Series season opener on June 12 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
“I felt like we had a really strong car through the middle of the race,” said Swanson, who was forced into a backup car for the feature race after sustaining damage to his primary car in the second heat race. “I really appreciate everybody with SRX and the guys on the crews. They built 16 cars to come out and put this on in a short amount of time and I appreciate them letting me have a chance in a backup car. I hate to tear up their equipment and I hate to lose.
“I felt like we were really good in the middle of the race and the bottom just kind of gave up a little bit and I got the top of (turns) one and two working. But once Tony had track position, it was hard to get back by him. I felt like I had a chance there but I just didn’t hit the bottom perfect and he got back around. It’s awful hard to beat him here at Eldora.”
Four-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves acquitted himself well at Eldora, finishing a stout third and rising to second in the Camping World SRX Series championship standings, 33 points behind Stewart.
FULL FEATURE: https://youtu.be/ApeINd6eKSc
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Brownsburg, Indiana (May 29, 2021)………A magical afternoon for Kody Swanson was made complete with a completely dominating performance in Saturday’s USAC Midget special event feature at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind., which came on the heels of winning the USAC Silver Crown race earlier in the morning.
Swanson’s Carb Night Classic sweep marked the first time any driver had won multiple USAC features on the same day at Lucas Oil Raceway’s .686-mile paved oval since Dave Steele captured both ends of the Twin 25 midget features in 2002.
Kody, however, is the first driver to accomplish the feat in two different types of racecars since the track’s construction 60 years ago in 1961.
The Kingsburg, California native’s Silver Crown win just hours prior came in his first start for the Doran Enterprises team. Although Kody did technically have one prior USAC Western States Midget start in 2011 for Rodela at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway, his first appearance in Rodela’s immaculate pavement midget on this day produced a familiar winning feeling aboard the Jerome Rodela/Rodela Fabrication – Trench Shoring Company/Gerhardt/Ed Pink Toyota.
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Brownsburg, Indiana (May 29, 2021)………An offseason switch to a new team proved to be no issue whatsoever for Kody Swanson during Saturday morning’s Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown season opener at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. after rain pushed Friday night’s show to a rare 10am feature start time.
Just as he did for Nolen Racing in 2019’s opener in Memphis, Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) stormed right out of the gates on Saturday at LOR’s .686-mile paved oval to score his record-extending 31st career series victory, and sixth overall at Lucas Oil Raceway, equaling his brother as the all-time winningest Silver Crown driver at the track.
Swanson, in his Doran Enterprises/Glenn Farms – Lykins Energy Solutions/Beast/Lanci Ford, trailed early leader Bobby Santos for the first 63 circuits of the 100-lapper before taking advantage of a logjam in traffic on the bottom of turn three.From that point forward, after maneuvering to the front, Swanson displayed total dominance down the stretch and, despite multiple late cautions, Swanson ably trounced the rest of the competition by a 4.219 second margin.
Swanson has actually now won at the Carb Night Classic in four of the past five seasons, winning in the Silver Crown car in 2017-18, with the Indy Pro Series in 2020 and again in the Crown car on Saturday morning. However, this one was extra special with a brand-new team fielding its first ever Silver Crown entry, and Kody responding to the challenge by making victory lane his home once again for the ninth time at LOR.