September 8, 2019
Swanson Brothers Traveling USAC Silver Crown Show
It was no coincidence when I read about the up and coming Kody Swanson in an article in the National Speed Sport News 14 years ago. What caught my eye was he in addition to being a race car driver he was a member of the Kingsburg, California FFA Chapter serving as President.
I immediately made contact with his father Mike Swanson and eventually arranged to meet Kody in Indianapolis where the National FFA Convention was held. He was getting his FFA American Degree, the highest honor bestowed on a FFA member. I was immediately impressed with his humble manner. He has that somewhat rare quality of listening to who he conversing which made me remember him.
The NSSN article mentions his brother Tanner got him interested in racing with Junior Sprint cars at age 12 after Tanner had seen them race. Since that time they have had many racing adventures, often in a race against each other.
Tanner now lives in California with his wife Allison and son Levi. He works for Golden State Farm Credit in his hometown of Kingsburg, California. Like his older brother Kody, he too was the president of the local Kingsburg FFA Chapter. He limits his racing to Silver Crown races in the Indianapolis area with an occasional foray in the Little 500 at nearby Anderson Raceway in Anderson, Indiana.
During NASCAR weekend festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctions a Silver Crown race at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway six miles from Indy in Brownsburg, Indiana. When I last reported about the Indy weekend several years ago, the track known as Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) hosted USAC night on Thursday, NASCAR truck races Friday evening, and NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday evening at the.686 mile oval.
Though Tanner won the pole, Kody jumped into the lead in turns one and two and never relinquished the lead in the 100 lap race. Tanner held on to second place which, though he was challenged by third place Kyle Hamilton, he finished second. May 24, 2019 LOR winner Hamilton finished third, followed by JIm Anderson in fourth and fifth place James Davison who was making his USAC Silver Crown debut.
Six days earlier Swanson and his Nolen Racing team could not get the primary or backup cars to run for the USAC Silver Crown race at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, a one mile dirt track in DuQuoin, Illinois. Swanson borrowed the Patrick Lawson #2 race car, started last and worked his way up to 14th in the unfamiliar car. Jacob Wilson won that race for his first Silver Crown victory.
“It’s tough, on top of a short week to do it. It would’ve been a tough week anyway, let alone when you’re down and trying to get going,” Kody explained. “You can either wait for something good to happen to you or you can put the work in and try to help. I haven’t been to my day job since Wednesday morning, gutting it out with the guys in the shop. Everyone who’s a part of it has continued to give everything they could.” (Thank you to USAC Media Man Richie Murray for his help with this information)
USAC Silver Crown returns to the dirt for the final two races of the 2019 season, The Bettenhausen 100 on the one-mile Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois September 22 and the 4-Crown Nationals at the 1/2 mile dirt at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Raceway, Rossburg, Ohio September 28.
Swanson leads second place Justin Grant in the points battle by 63 going into the next race. Grant won the Bettenhausen 100 at the State Fairgrounds in 2017. Swanson last won in 2015.
Maine man kisses the bricks at Indianapolis Brickyard 400
In 2003 I was covering the Brickyard 400 when Kevin Harvick won for the first time at Indy. The burnout he did was a classic, exploding the right rear and tearing much of the sheet metal in that corner to shreds on the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy. Fast forward to September 9, 2019 when the California driver entered Victory Circle once again at Indy.
In 2003, Maine native Michael Morneau was beginning his career as a journeyman pit crew member. He joined Haas CNC in 2004.
Martin racing genes passed on
Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) Season Finale
The NMKA will be holding a triple header next Saturday September 14, 2019 at Spud Speedway. With a rain out on September 7th and a scheduled doubleheader, the top division will feature 75 racing laps thus testing drivers and machines.
Races will be Presented by Machias Savings Bank and JRT Customs. Coastal NAPA sponsors the NMKA Summer Kart Racing Series at Spud Speedway. Blacked Out Window Tint sponsors the Kids Karts, Aroostook Trusses the Junior Cage Karts and Aroostook Savings and Loan the Senior Cage Karts.
The pit gates will open at 9:30 am with practice until 11:15 followed by a mandatory driver’s meeting at 11:30. Races will begin around noon. Awards will immediately follow the races. Pit admission is $10 per person and grandstand viewing is free.
Photo of the week
Let’s Go Racing,
Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)