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.
SWANSON CONTINUES SILVER CROWN DOMINATION, WIRES "ROLLIE BEALE CLASSIC"
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.
Victory Lane - John DaDalt Photo
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.
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
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.
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 - RacePhoto1.com
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."
August 8, 2014 - Kody returned to the seat of the K&L Racing #12 for the NRA Sprint Invader Challenge at Limaland Motorsports Park, hoping to gain valuable experience and produce a strong finish. Kody drew to start 3rd in the night's 3rd heat race, with his finish set to determine his starting spot for the 25 lap feature event. Kody settled into 3rd early, but made the pass for 2nd around half-way and ended there at the conclusion of the 8 lap stint. After an invert of the heat winners, Kody would line up 6th for the feature event. In the opening lap, Kody shot around the outside, moving from 6th to 3rd, and keeping pace with the early leaders. A caution slowed the field around lap 5, but when the speeds picked up, Kody was hot on the tail of the #2 position. Soon, a three-wide battle for the 2nd spot erupted, as Kody used the top of the racetrack to clear himself into sole possession of the position. As the race wore past half-way, Kody began slowly catching the leader, especially as the lead pair caught lapped traffic. Yet, the caution flew again on lap 18, and stalled Swanson's momentum. After the restart, Kody lost a position to series point leader JR Stewart, but continued to pressure the top 2. At the checkered flag, Kody was only a few lengths behind a side-by-side battle for the win, and rounded out the podium in the 3rd position.
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.
McCune (88) & Swanson (64) at Owosso Chris Seelman Photo
June 21, 2014 - The "Big O" Owosso Speedway held their first ever Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint car event on Saturday, and Kody and the SpeedChasers #64 were there and a part of the action. In time trials, Kody posted a lap of 13.106 seconds around the paved oval, taking his first career Fast Time honors with the Must See Racing group. In preliminary heat race action, Kody drove from 4th to 2nd to transfer to the night's 50-lap A-Main event. After rolling a 10 on the dice for the invert of the night's fastest qualifiiers, Kody would line the #64 up outside of Row #5. At the drop of the green, Kody would take advantage of his great handling racecar, using the high groove to move from 10th to 7th in the opening lap. As the lead pack continued to shuffle, Kody had the #64 as high as the 4th position in the first 10 laps of action. Still early in the race, Kody faded to the 5th spot, having to adjust and regroup to make a charge back toward the front. By halfway, Kody had moved into the 3rd spot, and began tracking down the lead duo. Several times late in the race, Kody had the #64 pressuring heavily for the 2nd spot, but was never able to capitalize and held on to a solid 3rd place podium finish for the SpeedChasers, Inc. team. It was still a good run, and helps the team build momentum going into their next event, the "Firecracker 50/50" at Auto City Speedway in Michigan on July 3rd.
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.
June 6, 2014 - On Saturday, the Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint series rolled into the Auto City Speedway in Clio, Michigan for the Xtreme Speed Challenge. Driving the SpeedChasers, Inc. #64, Kody joined the running for the 50-lap affair. In time trials, the #64 toured the half mile oval in 13.103 seconds, good enough for 3rd quick. Starting at the tail of heat race #3, Kody passed up to the 4th position, to transfer to the A-Main event. Kody lined up 5th for the 50-lapper, after an invert of the 8 fastest qualifiers. At the drop of the green, Kody battled for position, losing a few spots, then gaining them back before settling into the 5th spot. After the half-way mark, Kody was still in 5th, but battling for position with 3rd & 4th when a lapped car broek a rear-end and leaked oil down the backstretch into turn 3. Kody and a number of cars spun, some getting into the outside wall, but luckily the #64 came to rest without making any contact. After a lengthy clean-up, Kody restarted 7th of the remaining cars with 15 laps to go. Kody passed a car on the restart, then two laps later, the caution flew again, moving Kody to the 5th spot and rebunching the field with a dozen laps to go. Kody moved up the racetrack, and made his way around the 07L, 22A, and 45 in the closing laps, bringing home a 2nd place finish for the SpeedChasers, Inc. team.
Friday, May 30th - Kody drove the K&L Racing / Sidney Bridge Restaurant #12 at Limaland Motorsports Park with the Elwer Fence 360 Sprints. Kody rarely competes in Winged Sprint cars on dirt, so it is always tough to come in to a place like Limaland, which is a home track for many Ohio competitors. Yet, his night started out promising, after rolling off 5th in his heat race, Kody came home 4th and was gaining on the lead pack. He would start 8th in the 25 lap feature event, and stayed solidly among the top 10. Kody began working his way forward, to 7th, then 6th, and was underneath his competition and looking for the 5th spot when he was forced pit side with just a few laps remaining. Kody will return to the K&L Racing #12 and winged dirt sprint car competition later this summer.
May 24, 2014 - Kody and the RFMS Racing #3 took to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the famed “Night Before the 500.” In conjunction with the Mazda Road to Indy series, Kody and the USAC National Pavement Midgets took to the 0.686 mile for qualifications on Saturday afternoon. Kody and the #3 toured the paved oval in 21.211 seconds, good enough for 2nd quick. As the field lined up for the 50-lap special event, Kody would find himself starting outside of the front row. In the early going, Kody paced himself and his equipment, fading to 4th before making a charge toward the front. He passed for third and began catching 2nd before a flat left rear tire and engine woes ended his night.
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.”
May 21, 2014 - Kody and the SpeedChasers, Inc. #64 battled the rain, competition and track at Anderson Speedway, posting the 6th fastest time in qualifications. After driving from 5th to 3rd in his heat race, Kody would line up on the pole position of the Must See 60 lap feature event. At the drop of the green, Kody was forced to tuck in line behind race leader Troy DeCaire. As the duo began to pull away from the field, and start catching lapped traffic, Kody was able to pull the #64 to the back bumper of DeCaire, even looking low off of turn two. Still early in the race, Kody began to manage his equipment, knowing that the longer duration of this race could play a factor. Unfortunately, his night was forced to an early end on lap 21 with mechanical woes. The SpeedChasers #64 was fast, and Kody looks forward to returning to the track with the team this Saturday, June 7th.
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.
May 10, 2014 - The Buckeye Machine & Fabrication Sprint cars rolled into Waynesfield Raceway Park for night #2 on their 2014 season 32 cars strong. Making his first Waynesfield appearance of 2014, was Kody Swanson in the Kent Wolters' owned, K&L Racing/Sidney Bridge #12 Maxim.
After starting 4th in his heat race, Kody was challenging for 2nd as the field exited turn 2 on the first lap. Running the high side of the track, Kody's #12 slipped up over the banking, sliding him back to the 7th position. Over the next 7 laps, Kody passed back up to the 3rd spot and into the feature event.
By virtue of his heat race finish, Kody started 12th for the 25-lap A Main event. Coming from deep in the field, Kody wasted little time in his charge toward the front. In the first lap, he was up to 9th. In the second lap, he passed up to 6th before the caution flag waved. While the field reverted back to the previous completed lap, Kody was forced back to the 9th position. When the action resumed, Kody continued his march toward the front, moving back into 6th when the field slowed again on lap 5. Over the next 10 laps, Kody worked his way into the top 5, then challenged the front runners, working the outside of turns 1 and 2 to take over the 3rd spot. On lap 15, Kody slid into the 2nd position, only to have the caution flag negate yet another pass. After restarting 3rd, Kody moved into the 2nd position, and battled for the lead over the last 10 laps. It was to no avail, as he couldn't clear the #18 of Todd Keen, and was forced to settle for 2nd place. Still, it was a great night for the K&L Racing team, and a lot of fun for the fans to watch. Kody and the #12 plan to make a return to Waynesfield before the summer is over, hoping to pick up where they left off.
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.
April 19, 2014 - The USAC Naitonal Sprint car series rolled into the "Big E" Eldora Speedway for the Branson/Larson Classic 31 cars strong, including Kody in the DePalma Motorsports/Hampshire Engines #63. In qualifying, Kody timed 19th, putting himself outside the front row of Heat race 3. He raced around the outside of the polesitter and led the opening lap before eventually finishing 3rd and transferring straight to the night's feature event.
After a brief intermission for track work, the 22-car field roared to life for the 30-lap A Main. Starting 19th, Kody was able to pick up 1 spot in the opening laps before a lap 5 red flag halted the action. As the track began to dry out, the surface began coming apart, making it very dusty back in the field. With it being hard to see, another red flag flew on lap 9, followed by a caution on lap 15 as cars collided with the concrete rim of the big half-mile. As the race wore on past the half-way mark, the track had finally started to slick up enough that the racing surface was wider, and it was getting easier to see as the dust died down in the back of the pack. With about 10-laps to go, Kody found his rhythm and began gaining ground on the cars in front of him. The #63 was able to build momentum, gaining a good run off of turn 2 and allow Kody to get a good run into turn 3. With about 5 to go he passed for 13th into turn 3, and a lap later, used the same move to take the 12th spot. In the closing laps, Kody was able to really gain on 10th and 11th, but ran out of time before he could put any pressure on the position. With his run at the end of the feature, it ended up being a positive day at Eldora, gaining a lot of experience and a little speed at the high-banked half-mile.
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.
The snow has finally melted and we're hoping to go racing this weekend with the USAC National Sprint car and Silver Crown series' in Indiana. Driving the DePalma Motorsports/Hampshire Engines #63, Kody will join the USAC National Sprint car series at Lawrenceburg's 3/8 mile clay oval on Saturday night. Then on Sunday night, Kody and the team will meet the USAC Silver Crown series for their season opener at the Terre Haute Action Track, the 100-lap "Sumar Classic" on the big 1/2 mile.
Also- USAC has introduced a new interactive way for fans from across the country to stay involved this season, with the USAC Silver Crown series pool. The published release is included below, the rules and selection sheets are linked to download, and it is FREE to play! So make your picks, and send them in to email@example.com by 4:00 p.m. EDT(3:00 p.m. CDT) on Sunday, April 6 for your chance to win a Hoosier Racing Tire Jacket, and eventually become USAC's Inaugural Silver Crown Fan of the Year.
(March 31, 2014) – Interested in earning the title of “USAC Silver Crown Fan of the Year”? Want a chance to win prizes from each USAC Silver Crown race? Your chance for all that starts this Sunday with Round One of the Inaugural USAC Silver Crown Pool. And, entry to this Pool is FREE, so no reason not to take your shot at the big win.
Conducted in similar style to the popular Chili Bowl Pool among others, the USAC Silver Crown Pool will include six driver groups for each of the eleven events on the series schedule with Pool winners crowned for each event and ultimately a season-long Pool champion that will be crowned “USAC Silver Crown Fan of the Year” and earn a pair of tickets to USAC’s Night of Champions awards banquet.
Selection sheets along with rules and points breakdown for this Sunday’s Sumar Classic at the Terre Haute action track are attached in both Excel and PDF formats. Simply make one selection from each of the six groups, fill in the tiebreaker and get your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 p.m. EDT (1:00 p.m. PDT) on Sunday, April 6.
The winner of Sunday’s USAC Silver Crown Pool Round One will win a Hoosier Racing Tire jacket and toboggan.
Round One – April 6 (Terre Haute Action Track)
Round Two – May 17 (Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis)
Round Three – May 22 (Indiana State Fairgrounds)
Round Four – June 14 (Gateway Motorsports Park)
Round Five – June 29 (Memphis International Raceway)
Round Six – July 24 (Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis)
Round Seven – August 1 (Belleville High Banks)
Round Eight – August 16 (Illinois State Fairgrounds)
Round Nine – August 31 (DuQuoin State Fairgrounds)
Round Ten – September 20 (Eldora Speedway)
Round Eleven – October 11 (New York State Fairgrounds)
March 12, 2014 - Speed Chasers, Inc. Release - Speed Chasers is pleased to announce that Kody Swanson will again be our primary driver in 2014. However, he has rides for the entire USAC Silver Crown series and the USAC Pavement Midgets and will be trying for the championship in each. So when Kody is busy Tyler Roahrig will be driving for us. Tyler ran for Speed Chasers four times in 2013 and got a 2nd place at Anderson. Tyler will also have a full schedule in late model stock cars where he has been a top driver for several years. We are really looking forward to working again with both Kody and Tyler. Both are outstanding drivers and competitors but also men of character from racing families. An added bonus for me is that both are deeply interested in the engineering of race cars and the flow of ideas has already been beneficial.
Kody will be missing our opening races in Florida for the best of reasons. He needs to go back to Kingsburg to participate in the wedding of his brother, Tanner. That means that Tyler will be kicking off the season for us at Pensacola. Now if the snow would only melt so we can get the race car out of the shop! -Tom
March 3, 2014 - RFMS Release - We are pleased to announce that Kody Swanson is racing the USAC Midget Pavement schedule for the RFMS Racing team in the 2014 season! At only the age of 25, Kody is a USAC National Silver Crown, Sprint, and Midget feature winner. Before his senior year of high school, he won the USAC Western Sprint Car Championship and was named Rookie of the Year in 2005. Then in 2007, Kody became the 19th driver in USAC history to ‘sweep’ a Sprint and Midget doubleheader. Since then, he has had an impressive career; clinching tracks records in 7 different states and feature wins in 10 states: CA, OR, NV, UT, IL, IN, MI, OH, NC, and FL. Now, Kody holds the record for the fastest driver in USAC Traditional Silver Crown history, at 146.212mph. If Kody isn’t impressive enough on the track, he also is an excellent student. He was the valedictorian of Kingsburg High School in 2006, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University in 2010.
February 22, 2014 - While the 2014 USAC Silver Crown season is still over a month away, Kody and the DePalma Motorsports team have already made some progress on their season. Knowing that the short track dirt events would be the biggest challenge for their driver, the team got the ball rolling to get some experience together and help Kody prepare for the upcoming year. Last weekend, they traveled to Ocala, Florida for “Winter Dirt Games V,” the three race USAC National Sprint car season opener at Bubba Raceway Park.
With 34 cars on hand for opening night, things started out a little tough for Kody and the #63 team. They went out later in time trials, and turned a lap of 15.658 seconds, which was only good enough for 25th quick. After starting 7th in his heat race, Kody was running in the 6th position, but still out of a transfer spot when his ignition box went out on the final lap, relegating them to the B-main event. After a quick change of ignition boxes, Kody started 9th in hopes of making it to the top 6 and a transfer position for the night’s A-main event. At the conclusion of the 12-lap semi-feature, Kody was scored in the 8th position, and would be done for the night.
After Friday night’s events were rained out, only the Saturday night finale was left to rebound and build some momentum on the season before the long trip home. With 32 cars returning to make the call, Kody went out 30th in the qualifying order. With an exciting lap of 14.216 seconds, Kody topped the speed charts and set Fast Time for the first time in his career in the USAC National Dirt Sprint car series, picking up an extra $200 bonus courtesy of ProSource. By virtue of his qualifying time, Kody would start 6th in his preliminary heat race. In the opening laps Kody moved into 5th, and finally passed for 4th with just two laps remaining to secure a transfer position to the night’s A-Main event. For the 30-lap feature, Kody started outside of row 3 in the 6th spot. The cars and drivers battled a very heavy racetrack in the feature event, producing some exciting wheelstands,
but making it very tricky to get around the 3/8 mile track. Unfortunately, Kody and the #63 were unable to go forward, but held on for an 11th place finish. Even still, Kody and the team were happy with the night’s effort and the progress they made since Thursday night’s opener. “Things were definitely tough on Thursday night, but these guys didn’t give up on me, and I was really glad to bounce back the way we did qualifying on Saturday. Bob, Clark and the whole DePalma family really put a lot into this, and I’m really thankful to work with such a great group of guys,” said Kody.
The next sprint car event for Kody and the DePalma #63 is still to be determined. Their next event currently scheduled is the USAC Silver Crown season opening “Sumar Classic” on April 6th at the Terre Haute Action Track.
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