Silver Crown
Saturday, 29 May 2021


Winner Kody Swanson (#77) battles Bobby Santos (#22) for the lead in Saturday's Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown opener at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. Winner Kody Swanson (#77) battles Bobby Santos (#22) for the lead in Saturday's Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown opener at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. Dave Olson Photo


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.



USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 28-29, 2021 – Lucas Oil Raceway – Brownsburg, Indiana – .686-Mile Paved Track – Carb Night Classic

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: (Held on May 28) 1. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-20.714; 2. Kody Swanson, 77, Doran-20.821; 3. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-20.831; 4. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.111; 5. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn-21.115; 6. Jim Anderson, 92, Kazmark-21.149; 7. Shane Cottle, 81, BCR-21.189; 8. Kyle Hamilton, 6, Klatt-21.226; 9. Nathan Byrd, 11, Hamilton/Byrd-21.292; 10. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-21.295; 11. Travis Welpott, 18, Welpott-21.309; 12. Kyle Robbins, 7, KR-21.354; 13. Eric Gordon, 99, Armstrong-21.397; 14. Derek Bischak, 131, Bischak-21.455; 15. Logan Seavey, 222, Rice-21.496; 16. Austin Nemire, 16, Nemire/Lesko-21.586; 17. Kyle O'Gara, 1, SFHR-21.598; 18. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-21.667; 19. Bryan Gossel, 06, Gossel-21.736; 20. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-21.796; 21. Annie Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-21.827; 22. Brian Gerster, 94, Myers-22.131; 23. Mike Haggenbottom, 24, Haggenbottom-22.251; 24. Brent Yarnal, 29, Yarnal-24.806; 25. Jake Day, 42, Day-25.884; 26. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Bobby Santos (2), 3. David Byrne (3), 4. Justin Grant (4), 5. Taylor Ferns (8), 6. Jim Anderson (5), 7. Logan Seavey (12), 8. Shane Cottle (6), 9. Patrick Lawson (17), 10. Austin Nemire (13), 11. Kyle Robbins (10), 12. Kyle O'Gara (14), 13. Bryan Gossel (16), 14. Mike Haggenbottom (19), 15. Eric Gordon (11), 16. Matt Goodnight (15), 17. Annie Breidinger (18), 18. Jake Day (21), 19. Tanner Swanson (23), 20. Travis Welpott (9), 21. Nathan Byrd (7), 22. Dave Berkheimer (22), 23. Brent Yarnal (20). NT

**Nathan Byrd flipped on lap 5 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-63 Bobby Santos, Laps 64-100 Kody Swanson.

USAC SILVER CROWN POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-70, 2-Bobby Santos-70, 3-David Byrne-64, 4-Justin Grant-61, 5-Taylor Ferns-58, 6-Jim Anderson-55, 7-Logan Seavey-52, 8-Shane Cottle-49, 9-Patrick Lawson-46, 10-Austin Nemire-43.

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-60, 2-Tanner Thorson-54, 3-Thomas Meseraull-47, 4-Brady Bacon-43, 5-Chris Windom-39, 6-Buddy Kofoid-29, 7-Justin Grant-29, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-27, 9-C.J. Leary-23, 10-Jake Swanson-23.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 18, 2021 – Williams Grove Speedway – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania



Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Tanner Swanson

Hoosier Auto Race Fans Silver Crown Halfway Leader Award: Bobby Santos

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Bryan Gossel

KSE Racing Products Hard Charger: Patrick Lawson (17th to 9th)