November 19, 2021 - This year was a busy one, so these reviews might have to come in sections - and this one is up first!
2021 Season In Review - The AJ Foyt Championship at Lucas Oil Raceway
When I first came to the Midwest, it was largely to race on the pavement, and at events like the old "Night Before the 500." As things changed in racing & many of those special pavement events went away, it makes it even more special to me that we have more opportunities for them again & now.Thanks to Kasey Coler & his team, for all of their efforts to revive Pavement Midgets, and expand the recent reach of Pavement Sprint Cars. With all of the history that open wheel cars have had at that track, I appreciate what they've done to connect that history and establish the AJ Foyt Championship, and provide racers a season-long challenge to chase after.
This year, I was fortunate to race for two great race teams across the three divisions: Jerome Rodela's #25 in the Midgets, and Doran Racing's #77 in the Silver Crown & Sprint Car divisions.
From the first race of the year, Kasey & the LOR team showed their commitment to the racers. When the "Carb Night Classic" rained out Friday night, they gave us another chance - to come back Saturday morning to finish what we'd started. We had a really special day ourselves, that included a USAC Silver Crown win in Doran Racing's debut with the series, and followed up with a win in the Midgets with the Rodela Fab #25 to sweep the day at Lucas Oil - and became the first to sweep two different divisions in the same day, in the history of the track (since 1961)!
Race two was dubbed "Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming," paying homage to Jeff Gordon, and an honor to have him serve as Grand Marshal for the event. It was a Sprint Car & Midget doubleheader this time, and while we had a pretty good night, ultimately, we ran 2nd in both classes. In both cases were trying to keep up with Bobby Santos III, as he had his own 'sweep' of the night with two wins. Though the results weren't what we wanted, I'm fortunate to race with teams who weren't satisfied either, and we all went back to work to improve before our next chance.
Our third race, the "Independence Showdown," gave us the opportunity to race Midgets in front of a huge crowd with the SRX series in town. Jerome & his Rodela Fab team had the car fast all night, and we scored the "Hot Box Pizza Bounty" for the fans by setting fast time, and winning the 30-lapper from our eighth place starting position. It was a really fun race for me personally, and I was glad to have done a better job early in the race to make up those positions, and get the team the finish they deserved!
The season finale, the "Hoosier Classic," was an incredible night in its own right. There are often opportunities to run on dirt in all three divisions, on the same night - but I've never had any on pavement before, and on top of all that, we had the chance to compete for the Fatheadz Eyewear Challenge & the bonus money up for grabs. We had a really good night, won the Sprint car race, finished 3rd in the Midget, and won the Silver Crown feature to cap off the night and secure the 2021 AJ Foyt Championship! Thanks to the effort from so many people, some great racecars, and the bonus from Fatheadz Eyewear, this was the single biggest night of my driving career!
To finish the year with 5 Wins, at least one in each division, and 8 podium finishes in the 8 races to score the AJ Foyt Championship - was truly fantastic, and is a testament to the quality of people and teams that I had the privilege to race with this season. It takes tremendous effort to prepare for a chance to win any race, let alone compete for a Championship across a number of different cars & divisions. I'm so grateful that people from all directions came together to make something like this possible for us this season.
My wife Jordan, and my long-time friend Ryan Roberts - have each played important roles through-out my racing career, and it was great to have their support across all three cars & divisions this year.
Rodela Racing #25: Jerome Rodela, Chris Tramel, Krieg Poland, Tom Malloy & Steven. Support from Rodela Fabrication, Ed Pink Racing Engines & Trench Shoring.Doran Racing #77: Kevin Doran, Ken Keilholz, Chris Schunk, Jason Doran, Noah Bailey, Dave Doran, Tim Stroia, Dave Looper, Jon Saywell, Don, Neil, Landen, Logan, Tim Waechter & Linda Mansfield. Engines by Dan Binks & by Mike Lanci, and support from Glenn Farms, Lykins Energy, Rosewood Machine & Tool, and Fatheadz Eyewear.
Special thanks to our suppliers & manufacturing partners: Allstar Performance, Diversified Machine, Inc. / DMI / BullDog Rears, Eibach, FK Rod Ends, K&N Filters, Oval Track Pro, Saldana Racing Products & TJ Forged.
I'm grateful for the opportunities I had this year, the effort put in by all involved, and enjoyed the success that we shared together. I'm glad that the AJ Foyt Championship will be back again & up for grabs in 2022, and am working to put things together for next year. I'm excited about the conversations I've had so far, and looking forward to being able to announce our plans soon. Stay tuned!
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.
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.
On the start, Jerry Coons Jr. moved to the initial lead on the bottom as new pole sitter Logan Seavey stepped to the topside and charged back into the lead where he’d remain for the initial 16 miles. Lap 17, fourth starting Jake Swanson was the man on the move, powering underneath Seavey between turns three and four to assume the top spot.
By that point in time, Kody had well-established himself inside the top-10, while Seavey tucked in behind the rear bumper of J. Swanson against the inner guardrail while J. Swanson's DMW Motorsports’ teammate, Chase Stockon, was grinding on the cushion back in the third position.
J. Swanson led a freight train around the bottom as the field settled in and felt their machines out for the middle section of the contest with Seavey, Justin Grant, the reigning series champ, and a surging K. Swanson in tow, nose-to-tail in a seven-car pack. Seavey looked to the high side; he looked to the low side; all to no avail as he worked on J. Swanson. However, on the 45th lap, Seavey’s balance of urgency and patience paid dividends as he dug in and found the drive in the middle of the second corner to blitz past J. Swanson and become the leader for the second time in the event.
Just past the halfway mark, Justin Grant, who had just elevated himself to the second spot, slowed dramatically off the pace, dropping out on lap 51 and finished 20th, seriously putting a crimp in his bid for a repeat series title. Cue up the band as K. Swanson simultaneously saw Grant slow and also blast around the non-related J. Swanson to go from fourth to second instantaneously and began to rope Seavey in one chunk at a time.
Another major player joined the mix after the halfway point in Carmen Perigo, the series Rookie who was making his first Springfield start. The mustachioed Perigo used the high side to put himself into the top-five after running as low as 20th during the first restart on the 14th lap.
“Wind him up and watch him go” then successively picked the next few off in the following laps, ultimately racing around the outside of K. Swanson for the second position in turns one and two on lap 57. Perigo ultimately faded slightly toward the end to fifth and was also docked four positions for jumping the lap 34 restart and was repositioned to ninth in the final rundown.
It was go time for K. Swanson as he kept the pressure pressed on Seavey, getting a big bite off turn four under Seavey coming to lap 61, which gave him the edge to out drag race Seavey to the bottom of turn one and become the new race leader. K. Swanson bumped his lead up from a half-second to a full-second as the laps ticked away and the skies began to threaten.
Just then, on lap 77, while battling for 13th, Nathan Moore’s front bumper and the rear bumper of Patrick Lawson went chrome-to-chrome entering the first turn. The long slide backwards into the unforgiving concrete sent Lawson flipping over twice while Moore performed a 720 degree “helicopter” before landing on all fours. Heavy damage was evident on both cars, but both were able to walk away.
Under the red, the skies opened up and the rain began to fall. With the ever-increasing rain falling, a raceable track was lost. With the combination of the one-mile track surface not being able to be rolled in until the rain stopped 45 minutes later – which would last another two to three hours to get back into race shape – and the time allotment allowed for the event before the night’s concert was scheduled for the fairgrounds stage at the start/finish line, the race was checkered with 76 laps completed and leader Kody Swanson declared the winner for the third-time this season and for the 34th time in his career.
“Sorry about the rain, but it was a swamp in three and four before we even stopped,” K. Swanson stated. “I understand the decision. We wanted to get to 100 laps.”
“These guys gave me a great racecar, and I’m thankful to be able to pass some cars and be a part of it there at the end,” K. Swanson added. “I hated to see Justin Grant’s misfortune. We had to beat a bunch of great racers up there to be able to sneak away with one and I’m really proud of that.”
Logan Seavey led a race-high 32 laps in his Rice Motorsports/Fatheadz Eyewear – STIDA.com – Lucas Oil/DRC/Pink Foxco Chevy, keeping him with well within the series title fight versus K. Swanson with three races remaining. The Sutter, Calif. driver also put his Rice Motorsports team in total control of the series entrant championship, which they now lead by 49 markers.
“I just love racing these racecars and I’ve got a really good one to drive,” Seavey praised. “My tire was probably good to go another 100 laps. I feel like once I got going there, we were catching up to Kody. He did a good job, and they knew the rain was coming. They pushed hard and got to the lead, and they ran the race better than I did, and that’s what it is.”
Shane Cockrum (Benton, Ill.) turned in his third top-four finish in four starts this season with a third-place run at Springfield in his BLS Motorsports/Hustler Turf Equipment – Ben’s Lawn Service & Trailer Sales/Maxim/Kistler Chevy, noting that he believed he had something in store for K. Swanson if the race was able to go the full distance.
“I think so; that’s kind of what we were doing,” Cockrum acknowledged. “We were saving and hoping for those last 15 to 20 miles and that’s how most of the Silver Crown races end up. We had a few opportunities early to probably get by Kody and I backed off because I thought there were going to be laps 80, 90 and that 100th lap. I wish we could’ve made those laps. I think we had something for them, but mother nature is out of our control.”
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.
Swanson’s 2021 season includes five Lucas Oil Raceway victories (2 Silver Crown, 2 Midget & 1 Sprint), which has elevated him to second on the track’s all-time USAC win list with 13, just two behind Tracy Hines at the top. His seventh overall Silver Crown win at the track also made him LOR’s all-time winningest driver with the series, surpassing younger brother Tanner Swanson’s six.
Every race for Swanson seemingly brings another record, another milestone, another mind-boggling moment that is recorded in the record books. But with so much at play, with all the preceding noteworthy tidbits and the hefty paycheck awaiting, Swanson felt the heart pumping at a bit of a higher rate in anticipation for this particular night.
“Kevin Doran and everybody that’s a part of this 77 team have been working really hard and worked really hard today,” Swanson praised. “I was probably a little grumpy just because the pressure was getting to me, and I know what’s at stake. Everybody kept working and never quit and I’m really thankful for the opportunity to race for them and what we’ve been able to accomplish at Lucas Oil Raceway this year.”
With his LOR victory, Swanson has now opened up a 48-point lead in the USAC Silver Crown standings as he chases a record-extending, unparalleled sixth series championship. This all coming despite missing a race at Williams Grove Speedway in June at a time when his plans didn’t include a full run at another championship. But, now in the driver’s seat of the title race once again, Swanson is game for whatever it takes.
“I wasn’t planning on it,” Swanson admitted. “I wasn’t running for points and was trying to do different things to make some new opportunities in my career. But at this point, to be in a great situation with a chance, and a couple people willing to stick me in a couple of dirt cars down the stretch, maybe we’ll give it a shot.” From the pole, Swanson was dominant early, often and throughout, immediately gapping the field to the tune of 1.253 seconds in the early stages.
After 15th running Shane Cottle stopped in turn four to prompt a caution on lap 38, eighth running Ryan Newman took a detour to the pit area with mechanical trouble, which cost him a lap and nine positions back to 17th, where he’d run until lap 58 when he was forced to bow out for good. The 1999 USAC Silver Crown champ, who was making his first series start in two years, finished with a 20th place result.
The driver on the move through the middle portion of the race was seventh starting Tyler Roahrig in his USAC Silver Crown debut. The 2021 Little 500 Sprint Car winner at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway powered under Tanner Swanson for the third spot between turns three and four on the 45th lap, then subsequently chased down David Byrne for second on the 50th lap and jetted past in turn one for the runner-up position.
Reigning USAC Silver Crown champ Justin Grant, running 14th, took a huge hit in more ways than one on the 81st lap when he spun sideways at the exit of turn four and slammed backwards against the infield front straightaway wall, knocking him out of the race and delivering a massive blow to his title chances. Grant was one point out of the lead and second in the standings coming in, but now resides in third, a distant 50 points behind.
Trouble also found fourth-running Derek Bischak with 13 laps remaining as he slowed to a stop at the entrance to the pits in turn three. It was a heartbreaker for the Angola, Ind. driver who was on pace to post his best career USAC Silver Crown finish.
The biggest melee of the night occurred on lap 94 as Tanner Swanson and Aaron Pierce touched wheels while battling for fifth in between turns one and two. The contact was made between Tanner’s right from tire and Pierce’s left rear, sending Pierce spinning to the bottom of turn two. Nathan Byrd, running 10th, attempted to take evasive action, but collided with Pierce, knocking both out of the race and heavily damaging both machines. Meanwhile, ninth running Eric Gordon also stopped on the back straightaway. His car was loaded up and carried back to the pits. The yellow flag period, and the ensuing cleanup during the caution laps, which counted up to lap 98, created a green-white-checkered finish scenario.
When the green flag was displayed, Roahrig was able to hang with K. Swanson for the first of the two laps, maintaining a distance of one to two car lengths. However, on the second lap of the GWC, and final lap of the race, K. Swanson ably stretched his lead out, ultimately prevailing by a 0.988 margin over Roahrig, Santos, Tanner Swanson and Byrne.
Tyler Roahrig (Plymouth, Ind.) demonstrated one of the most impressive USAC Silver Crown debuts in recent memory in his Klatt Enterprises/Wilwood Disc Brakes – Lucas Oil – Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Beast/J & D Ford. Roahrig became just the second driver in the last 28 years to finish inside the top-two in his first USAC Silver Crown start. David Gravel was the most recent to do so, finishing second at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 2020. Prior to that occurrence, the most recent occasion of a top-two debut came on pavement and was turned in by P.J. Jones at Lucas Oil Raceway in 1994.
“I didn’t forecast a second place right at first, but this is a great team,” Roahrig acknowledged. “There’s a reason this car is always fast. Terry Klatt and Bob East put a good piece under me. I can’t say I’m totally surprised because I’m in good stuff, but I’ve still got work to do here. This place is really tough and I’m sure the car’s still probably better than the driver. That was a lot of fun. I think these cars fit me because of my background with late models.”
Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.) finished his Hoosier Classic with three consecutive podium finishes with a third in the sprint car, a second in the midget, and closed out with another third-place result in his DJ Racing/Brown & Miller Racing Solutions – Simpson Race Products/Beast/Speedway Chevy Silver Crown car. “Overall, I can’t complain,” Santos said. “We were just not as good as we wanted to be. But I can’t be upset. It was still a good night. We’ve always got to keep working on it, keep making changes and just keep getting better. It’s just never good enough.”
Ninth-place finisher Russ Gamester reached a milestone on Saturday night by making his 200th career USAC Silver Crown start, becoming the second driver to reach the 200 mark. He remains just one behind Dave Darland (201), who owns the all-time record in that category.
By Anderson Speedway staff | July 10, 2021
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.
Roahrig continued to hound Swanson as the leaders tires were starting to falter and he was pushing up in the corners. Swanson won the Glen Niebel Classic for the second time by .268-seconds over Roahrig with Caleb Armstrong, Bobby Santos III and Kyle O’Gara rounding out the top five. O’Gara’s run was impressive after starting 11th in the field.
In the first full-size pavement Midget race at the track in ten years, O’Gara won the rain shortened event over Swanson with Dalton Armstrong coming home in third. Nick Hamilton led the first two laps before giving way to Armstrong with O’Gara running third. O’Gara grabbed the second spot on lap nine with fast qualifier Swanson claiming the third spot a lap later. Following a restart O’Gara was able to get underneath Armstrong on lap 19 on the front straight to take the point with Swanson moving into the second spot on lap 26 with an inside pass entering turn one. Rain brought the contest to an end after 38 of 50 laps.
Greenfield’s Doug Dugger made it back to back wins in Thunder Roadster action with Jason Powers and Austin Cory rounding out the top three.
By: USAC Media
Brownsburg, Indiana (July 3, 2021)………Kody Swanson admitted he needed to take a bit of a different approach than the one he took in his most recent midget outing after finishing second at Brownsburg, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway in June.
On Saturday night, he figured he needed to hit the “go” button just a little quicker.
The Kingsburg, Calif. native did just that in the Independence Showdown at the .686-mile paved oval en route to victory in the Brown’s Oil Champion / USAC Midget non-points special event, revisiting LOR victory lane for already the third time this season, and the second time in midget competition.
“I owed (car owner Jerome (Rodela) one,” Swanson said. “Last time, I brought a Silver Crown driver. He needed a midget driver to get it done early and I was too patient and too kind. Today, I knew I needed to be aggressive. I’ve been watching old videos to try and figure out how to race midgets again. I’m pretty pumped about this one. That was pretty cool working through the traffic.”
After setting quick time in qualifying, the eight-car inversion put Swanson on the outside of row four. By the end of lap one, Swanson had charged to third while third-starting Josh Wise had raced to second past pole sitter Jake Trainor in turn one, then dove under outside front row starter Cole Carter in turn three for the early lead.
Swanson worked his way by Carter on the inside of turn two on lap two, then spent the following 18 laps stalking his prey while Wise led the opening laps at LOR for the second-straight race after leading the first two circuits in June.
“The first 10 (laps) make all the difference,” Swanson stated. “By me being too slow early (in June’s race), I didn’t even give myself a chance. Tonight, I didn’t want to make that mistake again. I knew it was time to be up on it from the very first corner and to put this car in places it could go and try to make my way through there and put on a show.”
Applying constant pressure to Wise, Swanson made his bid for the lead on the 19th lap by swinging to the bottom of turn one and drifting up in front of the 2005 USAC National Midget champion at the entry to turn two. Wise ducked under Swanson and the pair raced side-by-side the entire length of the back straightaway before Swanson emerged with the advantage in turn three.
Swanson was able to pull away thereafter to earn his 11th career win at LOR (3 Midget, 2 Sprint, 6 Silver Crown), winning by a relatively comfortable 2.096 second margin over Wise, Nick Hamilton, Bobby Santos and Tanner Swanson.
After leading all 30 laps during his May midget triumph at LOR, it took Swanson two-thirds of the race to get to the head of the pack. Swanson acknowledged it wasn’t merely about being patient in his pursuit of Wise, he simply wasn’t “there” just quite yet.
“I wasn’t good enough in the middle of the race,” Swanson recalled. “I got distracted and was watching Josh instead of where I needed to be. Jerome’s car deserves to go faster than what I was giving it and I was glad to figure it out and finish it for him.”
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.
“It was crazy, especially on the restarts with PT. My goodness, I didn’t have anywhere to go except the wall and I kept hitting the wall,” said Castroneves, with his reference to P.T. being fellow driver Paul Tracy. “After that, something happened. It was really difficult – my car was really loose. So in the end, I said I’ve got to go to the bottom because I saw some of the guys go to the bottom – that’s the only way for my car to have a shot. The long runs were terrible for me. Restarts were the best. So, I kept it relatively clean, but man, I can’t believe it’s my first podium on the dirt. That is awesome.”
The most talked-about driver was Tracy. The 2003 NTT INDYCAR Series champion led the first 25 laps of the 50-lap feature and used the bumper and fenders of his purpose-built SRX racecar prodigiously to protect that lead and then defend his position as Swanson, Castroneves, Marco Andretti and Bobby Labonte surged toward the front.
“I know I’m going to have some Bobby Labonte fans after me because he’s super pissed at me, and rightly so,” Tracy said. “He got by me on the restart. I was running on top and I decided I was going to cut to the bottom like Tony did and I just got it all wrong. He turned in a little earlier than I thought he would and I tagged him and that was it. So that was my bad and I went over to apologize to him he was having none of it.
“The SRX cars put on a great show. I felt really good on this track. This is a wonderful track that Tony has and I couldn’t be happier with how we ran overall tonight. We picked up a lot of points and hopefully made some new fans. I’m sure we made some enemies because those Bobby Labonte fans probably hate me.”
The fender-banging and door-slamming proved entertaining and crowd-pleasing, but the repercussions left a lot of work for Camping World SRX Series co-founder Ray Evernham and his team of mechanics.
“I think we had another good show tonight but, as race director, I’ve got a couple of phone calls to make to some people this week where I’ll have to say, ‘Look, this is for fun.’ We’ve got a lot of torn-up cars, but it sounds like the fans like it,” Evernham said.
“We should’ve put Kody in that practice car to begin with. It looked like he liked it better than his original car. I knew when both of them got to the front, when Kody was on the bottom and Tony was on the top, I knew it was going to be pretty exciting. I thought Kody had it won on the last lap because I thought he was rolling the bottom good enough to slide up in front of Tony.
“I thought it was great, but I’ve got to wait what and see the fans think.”
After two straight dirt-track races at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway and Eldora, the Camping World SRX Series returns to pavement for its fourth race July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana. Bobby Santos III is the local all-star who will join the Camping World SRX Series regulars at the .686-mile asphalt oval near Indianapolis.
Santos is from Franklin, Massachusetts, and is best known for his success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Nicknamed “Bobby New England,” Santos has 149 career Modified Tour starts with 19 victories, 54 top-five finishes and 18 pole positions to go along with his 2010 series championship. Additionally, Santos has excelled in USAC, scoring 10 career Silver Crown wins, including four at Lucas Oil Raceway. Two of his seven career National Sprint Car victories have come at Lucas Oil Raceway, as well as one of his 11 career victories in the Champion Midget category. The versatile Santos is a four-time winner of the A.J. Foyt Championship (2006, 2011, 2017 and 2020), which is awarded to the driver with the season-best points tally at Lucas Oil Raceway in USAC’s top-three series – Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget.
Returning to the Camping World SRX Series for a second straight week is Scott Speed. The Manteca, California-native finished sixth on the dirt at Eldora and now he will test his mettle on asphalt.
Speed is one of the most versatile drivers in motorsports. His career began with his climb up the American open-wheel ladder and it took him all the way to Formula One in 2006 and 2007, after which he turned his attention to American stock car racing, where Speed rose to the elite NASCAR Cup Series as a driver for Team Red Bull. Over the last decade, Speed has made his mark on the worldwide Rallycross stage, winning three Summer X Games gold medals from 2013 through 2015 for Team USA and five consecutive Rallycross championships from 2013 through 2017 for Andretti Autosport.
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.
“I can’t say enough about (this team),” Swanson exclaimed. “Everyone puts in a ton of effort, and this has got to be the nicest midget there ever was, and it deserves to win races. Jerome (Rodela) has done nothing but be ahead of the game on his end. I’m thankful that he let me be a part of this.”
Swanson dominated from start to finish in the nearly caution-free feature which saw only one incident, a turn four spin by Bob Guess in turn four on the fifth lap.
The lead steadily increased as the race marched on, leading by 4.125 with 10 laps remaining, then upped the ante even further in the final laps, closing with a curb-stomping 8.604 second margin at the finish line over Thomas Meseraull, Bobby Santos, younger brother Tanner Swanson and Justin Grant.
For Kody, it was his 10th overall USAC triumph at Lucas Oil Raceway and his second ever midget win at the track. His first came all the way back during the 2010 season.
In Friday’s midget practice/qualifying, Ryan Shilkuski tagged the turn four wall, flipping him onto his roll cage and sending him sliding on his cage down the front straightaway. He was uninjured.
May 30, 2021 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.
“We have a great race team here,” Swanson said. “It’s our first time with Doran Racing in the Silver Crown series and they worked their tails off to make this thing better every time. They didn’t give up. Early on (in the morning’s warm-up session), I didn’t think I had the car to keep up with (Santos) for a hundred laps. I just had to hope that maybe we had a chance at the end. Luckily, with traffic and the track changing some, maybe it came to us a little bit and gave us a chance. I’m so grateful for everyone that’s part of this team, everyone that supports it and my wife Jordan from the spotter’s stand.”
Santos found the early advantage after driving around the outside of Kody for the race lead on the opening lap. However, major trouble ensued just four laps into the contest. Nathan Byrd, making his USAC Silver Crown debut, flipped along the main straightaway before landing on all four wheels against the outside wall. Although the crash was wicked, Byrd walked away without injury.
Kody fell back a spot to third on the ensuing restart when Justin Grant slipped under for the runner-up spot in turn one, then Grant began his chase, closing the gap to within a couple lengths behind Santos as the two carved their way through traffic.
The second calamity of the morning occurred on the 17th lap when Jake Day, making his first Silver Crown start, and two-time Carb Night Classic winner Tanner Swanson, found themselves up against the outside wall between turns three and four.
Tanner had set quick time in Fatheadz Qualifying on the prior night before the rain came. However, during the combined practice/qualifying session, Tanner hit the turn one outside wall, causing heavy damage to the Bowman Racing ride. After initially scratching for the event, Tanner returned to race on Saturday, but a mechanical problem arose during the brief practice, forcing repairs which didn’t allow the team time to get on track until four laps had already been completed.
By lap 30, Santos had built his lead to over a second. At the same, though, Kody began to surge, racing to the inside of Grant in turn four, then completing the pass at the entrance to turn one on lap 39.
Passing halfway, Kody’s deficit still sat at nearly two seconds as he and Santos began to shred through more traffic, creating a two-car separation for them from the rest of the pack. Amid traffic, Swanson pounced, cutting Santos’ lead to two car lengths and anticipated just the right opportunity to make it his “winning time.”
“Lapped traffic is always on your side when you’re in second just because you get the opportunity to pick what the leader doesn’t,” Swanson explained. “We caught a couple cars racing other cars, which is part of doing it, and got the chance to see it unfold and pick whichever lane was left. Fortunately for us, it worked out.”
Worked out, it did, as Kody closed right to Santos’ rear bumper on the 63rd lap. Santos dove underneath the lapped cars of Logan Seavey and Kyle O’Gara in the first turn. Santos and Seavey nearly touched wheels in one and, at the exit of turn two, the door was open for Kody to duck underneath Santos. The two drag raced side-by-side into turn three with Kody coming out the other side as the race leader, immediately opening up a one second gap over Santos.
Two late cautions, both involving Kyle Robbins turn two spins on lap 73 and lap 86, briefly halted Kody’s torrid pace. Each time, however, Kody was unrivaled as he distanced himself from Santos and Grant with an open track void of another soul within his line of sight. Akin to qualifying laps in the end, Kody drove the point home by setting the fastest overall lap of the race at 21.297 seconds just nine laps from the finish.
At the checkered, Kody was once again on top, taking the victory over Bobby Santos, David Byrne, Justin Grant and Taylor Ferns, who was making her first USAC Silver Crown start since 2014.
The name’s listed above, along with Tanner Swanson, are several of the main stalwarts of the series on pavement who’ve been battling with Kody for series supremacy throughout much of the past decade. Kody doesn’t take it lightly with every single victory carrying a meaningful weight for him just based on the competition he regularly faces.
“That’s what makes winning these races special because you’ve got to beat some of the best in the country in any type of racing,” Kody stated. “Bobby (Santos) could be anywhere, whether he was at Indy or in NASCAR, he’s that caliber of a guy, and I think the same of Justin (Grant) and my brother, and many more within the series.”
Also, of note, 2019 Carb Night Classic winner Kyle Hamilton collided with the turn three wall during practice/qualifying on Friday, causing major damage to the right side of the car and forcing him to scratch despite qualifying 8th. He was uninjured.
April 25, 2021 - The legend of Kody Swanson continued on Sunday afternoon with his first-career Super Late Model series victory at Salem Speedway to open up the 2021 ARCA/CRA Super Series season. The five-time USAC Silver Crown champion took the lead away from Carson Hocevar with 10 laps to go and pulled away on a late restart to score the win in the hills of Southern Indiana. It was a clean sweep of the day for Swanson, who had also set fast time in qualifying. After setting fast time, he and Team Platinum struggled to find speed early in the 100-lap event. As the race went on, however, the No .26 came to life in a big way.
“I’m really proud of everyone on Team Platinum for all their effort and taking a chance on me. They stuck with me all day and we made some good changes,” Swanson told Speed51. “This is a tough racetrack and I felt like I couldn’t do what they can do. Luckily, in 100 laps it sometimes comes to you and today it did for us.”
While it was his first win in a Super Late Model, it wasn’t his first win at Salem. Swanson now owns six wins at the half-mile over the course of his career, with the other five coming with USAC Silver Crown. For Swanson, his familiarity with the track played a key part in helping him get up to speed in what’s still a relatively new discipline of racing for him.
"This is the first time I’ve raced with these guys at a track I’ve been to before. Even the little things like knowing how to get on and get off pit road, knowing where the bumps are at a place like this with a lot of character really helps. I knew where the trouble spots are and where to stay away from."
Sunday was his first Super Late Model race since the World Series of Asphalt back in February, where an early wreck hampered his efforts the rest of the week. Even when the results weren’t there during the week-long event, it was that experience that helped him and Team Platinum go on to win at Salem.
“Aside from getting caught up on lap one of the Pro race, I felt like we had a really good day. I’m still very new to Late Models and I haven’t run a Super besides New Smyrna and we struggled a lot there. We got involved in a crash and were racing in a wounded car all week. The guys put the effort in to do it and we took our tough licks but the idea was to get the experience to get better, come home and get a straight one and try again.”
Scott Tomasik finished second, with Hunter Jack, Kyle Crump and Brett Robinson rounding out the top-five.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
April 17, 2021 - Kody qualified 6th and started outside the front row tonight for the 100 lap feature. The Team Platinum 26 was strong early on, but was battling a failing clutch throughout most of the race. Kody led through lap 61, and raced in the top 5 as the issue worsened, before eventually being forced pit side with 10 laps to go.
“While we’re bummed that we didn’t get the final results we wanted, I am encouraged by how we ran. We never gave up, and this is a great team and group of guys. I’m thankful for everyone’s effort, and for all who support us. Looking forward to our next chance to try again!”
April 9, 2021 - Ever wonder how grassroots racing legends would fare against drivers who made their careers earning national championships and winning the most prestigious races in North America? Wonder no more as the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) will pit an amateur driver against its star-studded lineup in the first five of its six-race inaugural season, which debuts this summer on Saturday nights in primetime on CBS.
Six-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby will race in the SRX opener June 12 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. Then, when SRX leaves pavement in its rearview mirror and switches to dirt for its June 19 race at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway, four-time Knoxville track champion Brian Brown will compete. SRX continues on dirt June 26 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and that’s where five-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson joins the SRX field. A return to pavement comes July 3 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana, where prolific USAC and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner Bobby Santos III joins SRX at the track where he has been a victory lane mainstay. Finally, if winning the July 6 Slinger Nationals – one of the most prestigious short-track races in the country – wasn’t incentive enough, an invite to compete in the July 10 SRX race at Slinger (Wis.) Speedway comes with the Larry Detjens trophy.
“We wanted to add to the drama and excitement SRX will bring fans by adding a Rocky Balboa or Cinderella story to each week’s race. Our amateur all-stars will have the opportunity to prove they’re more than just the hero at their home track – that they, in fact, have what it takes to get up on the wheel against the best in the world.” – Ray Evernham, SRX Co-Founder
Coby, the 41-year-old from Milford, Connecticut, has scored 29 career feature wins at Stafford – 12 on the Whelen Modified Tour, eight in Pro Stock, five in SK Modifieds, and four in Late Models. He is the only driver ever to win four consecutive Modified Tour championships (2014-2017), with his other two series titles coming in 2012 and 2019. He has amassed 29 career victories and 32 pole positions on the Modified Tour.
Brown, a 42-year-old from Grain Valley, Missouri, is the driver-owner for the team that bears his name. He has 180 career feature victories, including five in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. He is the four-time and reigning 410 Sprint Car champion at Knoxville (2007, 2010, 2019 and 2020), where his 52 wins place him fifth on the all-time list at the historic track. He also has 17 wins in 360 Sprint Car competition at Knoxville, sixth-best all-time. Brown was the 360 Sprint Car class champion in 2002 and won the 360 Knoxville Nationals in 2014. Additionally, he had a streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes in the 410 Knoxville Nationals from 2012 through 2014. He also holds the distinction of being named Owner of the Year at Knoxville after the 2009 and 2019 seasons.
Swanson is a 33-year-old native of Kingsburg, California, who resides in Indianapolis. His five USAC Silver Crown championships (2014, 2015 2017, 2018 and 2019) are the most in series history, as are his 30 career Silver Crown wins and 31 Silver Crown poles. Swanson holds the Silver Crown record for most consecutive wins (five) and he is the all-time series leader in podium finishes and laps led. He is a three-time winner of the Little 500 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway and owns four consecutive Hoosier Hundred victories at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis and five straight Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial wins at Salem (Ind.) Speedway. In four of his last five Silver Crown starts at Eldora, Swanson has finished in the top-five. He is still searching for that elusive first win at Eldora, with second place in the 2015 4-Crown Nationals his best finish at the half-mile, dirt oval.
Santos, a 35-year-old from Franklin, Massachusetts, who bears the nickname “Bobby New England,” is best known for his success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He has 149 career starts with 19 victories, 54 top-five finishes and 18 pole positions to go along with his 2010 series championship. He also won the 2016 Whelen All-Star Shootout exhibition race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Additionally, Santos has excelled in USAC, scoring 10 career Silver Crown wins, including four at Lucas Oil Raceway. Two of his seven career National Sprint Car victories have come at Lucas Oil Raceway, as well as one of his 11 career victories in the Champion Midget category. The versatile Santos is a four-time winner of the A.J. Foyt Championship (2006, 2011, 2017 and 2020), which is awarded to the driver with the season-best points tally at Lucas Oil Raceway in USAC’s top-three series – Silver Crown, Sprint Car and Midget. Santos’ Midget victories also include the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway in 2008 and the Copper World Classic at Phoenix Raceway in 2009.
The Slinger Nationals is a short-track staple, a proving ground for the best of the best among Super Late Model drivers for the last 41 years. Past winners include NASCAR Hall of Famers Alan Kulwicki (1981) and Mark Martin (1984) and NASCAR Cup Series champions Matt Kenseth (1994, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2019) and Kyle Busch (2011). The 42nd Slinger Nationals is the Tuesday night prior to SRX’s race on Saturday night at the .25-mile oval.
The Slinger Nationals will have more on the line than ever before, with the winner of the race earning a spot in the SRX race four days later.
Tony Stewart, Tony Kanaan, Paul Tracy, Bobby Labonte, Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Elliott, Ernie Francis Jr., Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves and Michael Waltrip are the 10 fulltime drivers comprising SRX. After the events at Stafford, Knoxville, Eldora, Lucas Oil Raceway and Slinger, SRX concludes its inaugural season July 17 at the Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway. Inclusion of additional drivers for the Nashville finale will be announced at a later date.
Superstar Racing Experience was created by a team consisting of Sandy Montag and The Montag Group, George Pyne, NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham, and legendary driver Tony Stewart. The Montag Group leads business operations and Evernham oversees all racing operations. Pyne is a member of the Board and serves as an advisor. For more information, please visit us online at www.SRXracing.com, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.