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Silver Crown
Friday, 1 May 2020


Chris Windom, 2016 USAC Silver Crown champion Chris Windom, 2016 USAC Silver Crown champion Dave Heithaus Photo

In celebration of the 50th year of USAC Silver Crown Champ Car racing in 2020, we are reviewing the past 49 years of series history.



By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Simply put, Chris Windom went streaking in 2016.

Among the accomplishments in his historic season were occupying an exclusive club of his own as the only driver to win three consecutive features in USAC National competition as well as becoming the first driver to win multiple USAC-sanctioned Sprint Car features in a single night in 15 years at November’s Western World Championships.

Windom’s flourish in the latter half of the season was one of the greatest stretches of performance seen in quite some time.  The 25-year-old from Canton, Illinois reeled off 19 top-six finishes in a row in USAC National points-paying feature events across all three National series to conclude the season.

In the Silver Crown wars, it was a season in which the point battle came down to the final race between Windom and two-time defending Silver Crown champ Kody Swanson.  Trailing by a slim 10-point margin coming into the closer at Eldora, Windom pressed on to put an absolute shellacking on the field to come out on top of the standings by just five points, thus denying Kody an unprecedented third series title in as many years.

To defeat Kody and the DePalma Motorsports team in the title race, there could be no margin for error.  Hence, Windom had to be nearly perfect all year long. And he nearly was.

Chris Windom joined Al Unser (1973), Tom Bigelow (1973-74), Mario Andretti (1974) and Jimmy Caruthers (1975) as one of five drivers to finish in the top-five in every USAC Silver Crown race in a single season, but none of the previous drivers had to accomplish the feat in as many races (9) as Windom did.

In fact, Windom’s top-five stretch in Silver Crown events dated to the final three races of the 2015 season, bringing his streak to twelve in a row at the conclusion of 2016.  Since joining the RPM/Fred Gormly team midway through 2015, Windom scored 13 top-fives in his 15 starts behind the wheel of their car.

Among his three Silver Crown victories this season were a pair of events that will long be remembered at their respective tracks: a fierce battle in the final laps with Bryan Clauson for the win in June’s Horn-Schindler Memorial  at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway and a torrid back-and-forth race with Jeff Swindell for the victory in September’s Ted Horn 100 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

At Eldora’s 4-Crown Nationals. Windom completely dismantled the field, holding a 17-second lead at one point around the half-mile oval as he put all but the top-three finishers a lap down by race end.

By doing so, he leapfrogged Kody in the standings by a mere five points to claim his first USAC championship, marking the first time since 1992 that an Eldora Silver Crown season finale featured a point change at the top.

Yet, perhaps Windom’s biggest victory of the season was his recovery at the Hoosier Hundred after engine problems befell his regular ride in the RPM/Fred Gormly No. 98.  Windom hopped into Dave and Dennis McQuinn’s No. 14 for the first time, qualified, then started 17th and finished 5th in a performance that’s enormity wasn’t apparent until late in the season when Windom was in the thick of the title race.

Elsewhere during the 2016 Silver Crown season as C.J. Leary's turn finally came, breaking through for his long-awaited first career USAC National feature victory in the season opener at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track in April, joining his father Chuck, who won the 1997 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, to become the first father-son duo to win races in the history of the Silver Crown Series.

Kody added yet another amazing feat on his ever-growing resume by etching his name in Hoosier Hundred lore in May, earning the victory in the 62nd edition of the prestigious event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, joining Indianapolis 500 winners Jimmy Bryan (1954-56) and Al Unser (1970-73) as the only wheelmen to claim at least three straight Hoosier Hundred victories.

By 2016, Tanner Swanson hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a racecar as often as he once did.  Despite his limited schedule of races that one could count on a single hand, the 25-year-old Kingsburg, Calif. driver makes each and every one of those opportunities count, specifically at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. where, in May, he earned his fifth victory in his last six visits to the .686-mile paved oval at the Carb Night Classic.  In the process, he tied Mike Bliss to become the winningest driver in USAC Silver Crown competition at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Tanner maintained his dominance of the paved ovals, winning his fourth race in his last five appearances on the hardtop, warding off threatening skies and an old-fashioned Midwestern thunderstorm in June’s Vatterott College Silver Crown Showdown at the series’ largest venue, the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.

Despite winning ten races and a pair of championships over the course of the last two-and-a-half seasons, Kody consistently played second fiddle to his brother, Tanner, each time the division came to Lucas Oil Raceway.  Kody finally became first chair again at LOR in July, ending Tanner’s stranglehold of LOR and his run of five wins in the last six races at the track, dominating all 100 laps from the pole in a new (to him) racecar in the Rich Vogler-USAC Hall of Fame Classic.

On an August night in which every person at Salem Speedway was mindful of Bryan Clauson after his recent passing the week before, it seemed fitting that a car adorned with number 63 “parked it” in victory lane during the 57th running of the Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial in August.  Kody took over the race lead on lap 61 after Aaron Pierce spun out of the top spot between turns three and four.  Kody went virtually unchallenged from thereon in the series’ first visit to the southern Indiana high banks since 1988.

Although Windom captured the driver’s champion, due to the one race he piloted a car other than the RPM/Fred Gormly owned ride, Lima, Ohio’s DePalma Motorsports collected its third consecutive Silver Crown owner championship with Kody in the seat.

Tempe, Arizona’s Casey Shuman, a longtime veteran of sprint car and midget racing, earned Rookie of the Year honors in his first full-time year with the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Terre Haute, Indiana………They say good things come to those who wait.  Those words never rang more true than in Sunday’s “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track as C.J. Leary's turn finally came, breaking through for his long-awaited first career USAC National feature victory in the 2016 Silver Crown season opener, joining his father Chuck, who won the 1997 “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, to become the first father-son duo to win races in the 46-year history of the Silver Crown Series.

Leary, of Greenfield, Ind., the Silver Crown “Rookie of the Year” just one season ago, took the lead from Justin Grant on lap 94 and reversed his fortunes from last year’s “Sumar Classic” second place finish to take the victory in his Leary-Six-R Racing/Leary Construction-AMSOIL-sponsored DRC/Claxton Toyota.

The 100-lapper in the afternoon sunshine harkened back to yesteryear when the Terre Haute Action Track regularly hosted daytime events, creating a challenge for each of the teams from the get-go.  Within the first 10 laps, turn two took rubber and became a treacherous test as the drivers had little room for error between the paper-thin cushion and the Action Track’s infamous red, white and blue cement.

Leary, who started outside the front row, continuously made runs at ProSource fast qualifier and race pole sitter Grant for the lead, but was never able to pull ahead, having to settle for the second spot throughout the middle portion of the race.  On lap 55, Grant tagged the wall with the right rear in turn two, briefly disrupting his rhythm and momentum, but Leary was unable to close the gap, hitting the wall in the same spot as Grant moments later, with both continuing without damage.

Grant’s pace was electric as he lapped everyone but the first eight positions by the 68th lap.  By lap 74, Brady Bacon had found the rubber, closing in on Leary for second, now putting Grant, Leary and Bacon one-two-three with one quarter of the race remaining.

Leary closed on Grant once again after Grant bounced his right rear off the turn two wall, but Leary was unable to shrink the advantage, getting pinned behind the lapped car of Neil Shepherd on the bottom, allowing Bacon to run down Leary a few laps later and clear him for the second position with just 21 laps to go.

Just when Bacon appeared to be Grant’s top challenger for the lead, Leary returned the favor, beating Bacon to the bottom in the first turn to regain second.  With Grant able to ward off every single challenge that was thrown at him, a lap 89 caution for the stopped car of Austin Nemire reset the field.

The car of Robert Ballou was the only lapped machine separating Grant in first and Leary, second.  Leary quickly disposed of Ballou and made his charge at Grant and, with just seven laps to go, Leary used a run off the bottom of turn four to jet past Grant for the lead and pull away from the field, winning by a 0.424 second margin over Grant, 2015 Silver Crown champ Kody Swanson, Bacon, Chris Windom, Shane Cottle, defending “Sumar Classic” winner Shane Cockrum, Bryan Clauson, Jerry Coons Jr. and Dave Darland.

One night after his runner-up finish in the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Leary was beaming with confidence and was finally able to claim the victory that had eluded him after six career runner-up finishes in USAC National competition.

“I never thought my first USAC win would come in the (Silver) Crown car,” Leary said.  “It kind of feels surreal.  The track was rough with it taking rubber, so we had to be a little patient there. That yellow (on lap 89) helped a lot because they had been telling me that Bacon was down there (on the bottom of the track) and that it finally took rubber, so I moved all the way down on that restart and got around Justin (Grant).”

Though somewhat disappointed by his second-place finish after running up front for the majority of the 100-lap race, by virtue of his fast qualifying time and leading the most laps (93), Grant, of Ione, Calif., leads the points after the first round of the 2016 Silver Crown schedule.

“The track was tricky just because it was super slick and there wasn’t really a lot to hold onto up top,” Grant said.  “But I felt like we were good up there.  I just hated to see that yellow at the end because I felt like we could’ve finished the deal, but it’s a good start to our season and hopefully we can keep building on this.  We’ll get one soon.”

Former “Sumar Classic” winner Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. had a quiet, but strong third place run as he seeks to become the first driver to win three consecutive USAC Silver Crown titles.

“I’m just so thankful to drive for DePalma Motorsports,” Swanson beamed.  “These guys work so hard for me and deserve to win every race and I hate that I couldn’t get this one for them.  But we’ll take third; it’s a solid run to start the season and we’ll just go out and try to win the next one.”


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 3, 2016 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Terre Haute Action Track – Sumar Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-21.691; 2. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/Six-R-21.806; 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-22.021; 4. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-22.066; 5. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-22.222; 6. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-22.225; 7. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-22.819; 8. Dave Darland, 17, Dutcher-22.836; 9. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-22.843; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-22.956; 11. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 27, Phillips-23.025; 12. Terry Babb, 00, Babb-23.226; 13. Robert Ballou, 14, McQuinn-23.259; 14. Bryan Clauson, 6, Klatt-23.544; 15. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-23.839; 16. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-23.914; 17. Terry James, 23, Satterthwaite-24.011; 18. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-24.610; 19. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-25.039; 20. Neil Shepherd, 7, Shepherd-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. C.J. Leary (2), 2. Justin Grant (1), 3. Kody Swanson (4), 4. Brady Bacon (6), 5. Chris Windom (5), 6. Shane Cottle (7), 7. Shane Cockrum (9), 8. Bryan Clauson (14), 9. Jerry Coons Jr. (3), 10. Dave Darland (8), 11. Robert Ballou (13), 12. Casey Shuman (16), 13. David Byrne (15), 14. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. (11), 15. Neil Shepherd (20), 16. Terry James (17), 17. Austin Nemire (19), 18. Terry Babb (12), 19. Steve Buckwalter (10), 20. J.C. Bland (18). NT


FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-93 Justin Grant, Laps 94-100 C.J. Leary.

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-73, 2-C.J. Leary-70, 3-Kody Swanson-64, 4-Brady Bacon-61, 5-Chris Windom-58, 6-Shane Cottle-55, 7-Shane Cockrum-52, 8-Bryan Clauson-49, 9-Jerry Coons Jr.-46, 10-Dave Darland-43.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Indianapolis, Indiana………Two-time and defending USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson has been the beacon of excellence in the series over the past two-plus seasons, but on Saturday night, the Kingsburg, California native added yet another amazing feat on his ever-growing resume by etching his name in “Hoosier Hundred” lore, earning the victory in the 62nd edition of the prestigious event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, joining Indianapolis 500 winners Jimmy Bryan (195456) and Al Unser (1970-73) as the only wheelmen to claim three straight “Hoosier Hundred” victories.

Swanson stayed in the hunt all race long, but just as he did one year ago, Swanson decided it was go-time near the two-thirds mark of the 100-lap event.  In 2015, Swanson took the lead from A.J. Fike with 33 laps to go.  This year, Swanson took care of business one lap earlier, sailing past Cottle with 34 to go before holding off multiple challenges from Cottle down the stretch to take his 13th career series victory, surpassing three-time Silver Crown champ Jimmy Sills and placing himself 7th on the all-time win list.

In the first quarter of the race, all eyes were on the battle at the front between Jerry Coons Jr. and Brady Bacon.  At the start, pole-sitter Bacon was overtaken by Coons for the lead, before shooting back to the top spot on lap two.  On the 27th circuit, just two laps after a restart, Coons squeezed between Bacon and the outside wall, outdueling Bacon for the lead in a drag race into turn one.

Meanwhile, Cottle began his charge, entering the top-five with a pass on Justin Grant in the first turn.  By lap 44, Cottle had assumed second with an inside maneuver on Bacon as Coons, Cottle and Swanson ran nose-to-tail.

On lap 58, Cottle’s persistence paid off as he ran down Coons for the lead with Swanson and Grant in hot pursuit, while Coons slipped to 4th.

With 35 laps to go, longtime series veteran Russ Gamester went for a wild end-over-end ride in turn two, bringing out the night’s first red flag.  On the ensuing restart, Swanson turned up the wick, eventually clamping down on leader Cottle using his patented patient, calculating, methodical approach, overpowering Cottle for the top spot on lap 67.

Swanson’s prowess on the dirt-miles couldn’t force Cottle into submission during the final stretch.  With 15 laps remaining, Cottle flexed his muscle by attempting to split between Swanson and the lapped car of Terry James, nearly colliding with each other as the pack trekked down the front straightaway.

Cottle refused to go away quietly, giving it one more shot with just nine laps to go, pulling to within a tail tanks’ length of Swanson as the pair stormed into turn one.  Catching and passing were proven to be two completely separate scenarios, as Cottle could only reel Swanson in briefly on occasion, but Swanson was simply too strong down the stretch, pulling away for the landmark win over Cottle, Coons, Indy 500 competitor Bryan Clauson and Chris Windom, who took over the seat of scheduled driver Brian Tyler in the McQuinn no. 14 after his primary ride, the RPM/Fred Gormly no. 98 suffered mechanical issues in practice.

Swanson has made the Indiana State Fairgrounds look like his own, personal playground in the last three years and this night was no different in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.

“The mile is probably my favorite and I don’t really know why,” Swanson said.  “There’s just something about it.  Part of it is because it’s the ‘Hoosier Hundred,’ which is so cool, but there’s a lot of challenges that the Indy Mile presents.  People say it’s narrow and it’s hard to get a hold of and you have to be precise.  For some reason, the more other people don’t like racetracks, the more I like them.  Getting three in a row is hard to put into word how much it means.  It puts me in a category with a group of guys that I don’t feel like I belong with, but it wasn’t just me.  Our team won this race three times; not just me.  I’m just so thankful to be a part of it.”

Kokomo, Indiana’s Shane Cottle took second in the Curtis Williams/Roger Williams Precision Engines – QS Components/Maxim/Chevy after leading nine laps and throwing a slew of challenges to Swanson in the final run, thereby earning his best series finish since his 2007 victory in the “Ted Horn 100” at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

“Kody was a lot better getting into the corner and through the center, but it just came down to him conserving his tires a lot longer than I did,” Cottle admitted.  “He had a little more left at the end and I had to save mine after the red and that allowed him to get by me.  I think we were a little faster than he was; I just couldn’t ever catch him.  This car is really fast, and it’s been good ever since I got in it.  So, hopefully, our time will come soon.”

Two-time “Hoosier Hundred” winner Jerry Coons Jr. led 32 laps on his way to a third-place result in the Nolen Racing/KECO – Columbus Container/Maxim/Tranter Chevy.

“I saw Bryan on the outside a couple times, but I wasn’t worried about him doing something silly,” Coons said.  “I just needed a little bit more everywhere.  I just couldn’t believe the pace those guys were setting early.  I got to the lead and just tried to cruise and conserve because that’s what you do here, but Kody went by me with 50 to go and I couldn’t believe how quick they were running.  But these cars change over the years and this is our first mile with the Maxim, so we’re pleased to come away with a third.”

“Hoosier Hundred” contingency award winners included Brady Bacon (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Terry James (KSE Hard Charger) and Austin Nemire (Wilwood Brakes 13th place finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 26, 2016 - Indianapolis, Indiana - Indiana State Fairgrounds - 62nd Hoosier Hundred

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-34.396; 2. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-34.402; 3. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-34.910; 4. Bryan Clauson, 6, Klatt-35.130; 5. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-35.272; 6. David Byrne, 40, Byrne35.583; 7. Dave Darland, 17, Dutcher-35.589; 8. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-35.747; 9. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/Six-R-35.842; 10. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-35.862; 11. Chris Windom, 14, McQuinn-35.907; 12. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 27, Phillips-36.058; 13. Joey Moughan, 29, Moughan-36.060; 14. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-36.135; 15. Mark Smith, 99, RPM/Gormly-36.135; 16. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-36.205; 17. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-36.288; 18. Davey Ray, 25, Sachs-36.292; 19. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-36.317; 20. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-36.355; 21. Terry Babb, 00, Babb-36.659; 22. Joe Liguori, 58, Liguori-36.712; 23. Neil Shepherd, 7, Shepherd-36.972; 24. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-37.033; 25. Russ Gamester, 51, Gamester-37.061; 26. Danny Long, 44, Long-38.779; 27. Terry James, 23, Satterthwaite-41.994; 28. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson (Time of 35.418 disallowed), 29. Mitch Wissmiller, 0, Barker/Thackery-NT; 30. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-NT; 31. Chris Fetter, 88, Fetter-NT; 32. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-NT; 33. Tad Roach, 84, Spivey-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (3), 2. Shane Cottle (8), 3. Jerry Coons Jr. (2), 4. Bryan Clauson (4), 5. Chris Windom (17), 6. C.J. Leary (9), 7. David Byrne (6), 8. Davey Ray (18), 9. Mark Smith (14), 10. Dave Darland (7), 11. Jacob Wilson (19), 12. Casey Shuman (16), 13. Austin Nemire (5), 14. Terry James (27), 15. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. (11), 16. Justin Grant (15), 17. Jeff Swindell (28), 18. Brady Bacon (1), 19. Russ Gamester (25), 20. Shane Cockrum (20), 21. Neil Shepherd (23), 22. Aaron Pierce (13), 23. Steve Buckwalter (24), 24. Terry Babb (21), 25. Joey Moughan (12), 26. Joe Liguori (22), 27. A.J. Fike (10), 28. Danny Long (26), 29. Mitch Wissmiller (29), 30. J.C. Bland (30). NT

**Russ Gamester flipped on lap 66 and Jeff Swindell flipped on lap 85 during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Jerry Coons Jr., Laps 2-26 Brady Bacon, Laps 27-57 Jerry Coons Jr., Laps 58-66 Shane Cottle, Laps 67-100 Kody Swanson.

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-137, 2-C.J. Leary-125, 3-Shane Cottle-122, 4-Chris Windom-116, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-110, 6-Bryan Clauson-110, 7-Justin Grant-104, 8-Brady Bacon-91, 9-David Byrne-89, 10-Dave Darland-86.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Terry James (27th to 14th)





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana………In recent years, Tanner Swanson hasn’t gotten behind the wheel of a racecar as often as he once did.  Despite his limited schedule of races that one could count on a single hand, the 25-year-old Kingsburg, California driver makes each and every one of those opportunities count, specifically at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana where Friday night he earned his fifth victory in his last six visits to the .686-mile paved oval at the “Carb Night Classic…The Race Before the 500”.  In the process, he tied Mike Bliss to become the winningest driver in USAC Silver Crown competition at Lucas Oil Raceway.

To put his domination in perspective, Tanner’s only defeat in the past four seasons at Lucas Oil Raceway in a Silver Crown car came after leading the opening 99 and three-quarters of a lap in a race in July 2014 before David Byrne snuck by him for the win on the final corner.

However, early in the night, it was not a simple cakewalk for Tanner after only managing a fourth-place qualifying run in ProSource Qualifying.  Up front, it was three-time Lucas Oil Raceway Silver Crown winner Bobby Santos on the pole with Tanner’s brother Kody Swanson, a one-time Lucas Oil Silver Crown winner and the previous night’s victor at the “Hoosier Hundred” at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, alongside.

At the drop of the green flag, the top-three consisted of highly accomplished pavement shoe Santos in the lead with K. Swanson and T. Swanson running one, two, three.  By lap three, Tanner had got around Kody for the second spot.  The three followed nose-to-tail, trying to maintain a quick pace, but also conserving the tires with a full load of fuel behind them.

On lap 21, fourth-running Jerry Coons Jr. went for a scary ride after his throttle stuck at the end of the back straightaway.  With nowhere to go and no time to slow the car down, Coons pummeled the SAFER barrier, leaving a trail of rubber against the pearly white wall from the entrance of three to between turns three and four.  Coons was uninjured.

Tanner would size up Santos, peeking his nose alongside Santos multiple times in a bid for the top spot through the middle portion of the 100-lap event.  But luck didn’t seem to be on Tanner’s side as yellow flags flew on multiple occasions just as Tanner appeared ready to pounce on Santos for the lead.

By lap 70, the trio of Santos, T. Swanson and K. Swanson were all running just feet from each other in a high stake, highspeed game of poker as each stayed within striking distance but trying not to show their hand quite yet.

Santos was able to withstand each challenge to his perch, but on lap 81, his car quickly slowed with apparent engine trouble, giving way to Tanner Swanson for the remaining 20 circuits.

From that point forward, Tanner went relatively unchallenged, making his way with ease around a handful of backmarkers in the final few laps to take the checkered flag over Kody, Chris Windom, first-time series starter Robert Stout, Aaron Pierce.  Justin Grant came home 6th in his pavement Silver Crown debut while David Byrne, Joe Axsom, Shane Cockrum and Joe Liguori rounded out the top-10.

Throughout the 56-year history of Lucas Oil Raceway, there have been distinct eras of domination in USAC competition.  In the last 20 years, when one showed up to the Brownsburg, Indiana oval, for a time, it seemed no one could beat names such as the aforementioned Mike Bliss and Bobby Santos, but also Dave Steele and Tracy Hines.  In the mid-2010s, the name that strikes fear into competitors signing in at the pit window at Lucas Oil belongs to Tanner Swanson, who led the remaining 20 laps of Friday night’s race to take the victory in his Bowman Racing/Bowman Properties – Bowman-Elmore Racing/Beast/Kistler Chevy.

“We were great on the long runs, but on the restarts, I was super tight all the time,” Tanner recalled.  “We lost our radios as soon as I went green, but I figured Kody was close and I was trying to make moves that wouldn’t put us both in a bad spot.  I hate to win one when the leader falls out, but I’m glad that this team and all their hard work paid off.”

In the 46-year existence of USAC’s Silver Crown division, Friday night’s race marked just the fourth time that the series has raced on back-to-back nights.  Kody Swanson once again proved to be the most versatile, following up Thursday night’s “Hoosier Hundred” victory on the dirt with a second place run on the pavement one night later in the DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Hampshire/Hampshire Chevy to extend his championship point lead to 24 over Chris Windom heading into June 10th’s race at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

“I always say I should win every night I get in this car and I mean it,” Kody declared.  “Tonight was one of those nights where I thought we’d maybe be able to double up.  Tanner just does a phenomenal job and I hated to see Bobby (Santos) out because he was making Tanner press awfully hard.  I was just hoping to capitalize late in the race because I thought we had that good of a car.  With about 30 to go, the power steering started going out, so that made it tough, but the guys gave me a car that I could still handle despite that.  But we’ll take second.  I think it’s the first time in two years I’ve even been able to see that #02 car (of Tanner Swanson) here, so we’re looking forward to coming back in July.”

Canton, Illinois driver Chris Windom collected his third top-five finish in the three series races run thus far in 2016, finishing a season-best third on Friday night in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise/Beast/J & D Mopar.

“The car took off really well on the restarts; that’s how I got by Pierce and Wilson early on,” Windom said.  “We just didn’t have the four-tire grip that the #63 and the #02 had, but at the end, we came on a lot stronger.  We just couldn’t keep up with them for that long to be there at the end.”

“Carb Night Classic” contingency award winners included Bobby Santos (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Aaron Pierce (KSE Hard Charger) and Shane Cottle (Wilwood Brakes 13th place finisher).

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 27, 2016 – Brownsburg, Indiana – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – Carb Night Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Bobby Santos, 122, DJ Racing-21.380; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.449; 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-21.462; 4. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.516; 5. Robert Stout, 21, Bowman/Armstrong-21.533; 6. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-21.546; 7. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-21.653; 8. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-21.773; 9. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.832; 10. Joe Liguori, 99, Gormly-21.978; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-22.032; 12. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-22.081; 13. Austin Nemire, 91. Hemelgarn-22.247; 14. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-22.432; 15. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-22.550; 16. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-22.751; 17. Tad Roach, 84, Spivey-NT; 18. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Swanson (4), 2. Kody Swanson (2), 3. Chris Windom (7), 4. Robert Stout (5), 5. Aaron Pierce (6), 6. Justin Grant (12), 7. David Byrne (9), 8. Joe Axsom (11), 9. Shane Cockrum (16), 10. Joe Liguori (10), 11. Austin Nemire (13), 12. Casey Shuman (14), 13. Shane Cottle (15), 14. Jacob Wilson (8), 15. Bobby Santos (1), 16. Jerry Coons Jr. (3), 17. Patrick Lawson (17). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-80 Bobby Santos, Laps 81-100 Tanner Swanson.

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-204, 2-Chris Windom-180, 3-Shane Cottle & Justin Grant-159, 5-Jerry Coons Jr. & David Byrne-141, 7-C.J. Leary-125, 8-Shane Cockrum-121, 9-Casey Shuman-117, 10-Bryan Clauson-110.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania………Chris Windom was able to fend off a furious late-race rally by Bryan Clauson to win in the return of champ car racing to Williams Grove Speedway after a 35-year hiatus in Friday night’s “Horn/Schindler Memorial” 100-lap USAC Silver Crown race.

C.J. Leary was the first car to hit the track for ProSource Qualifying and the first to break Steve Kinser’s long-standing one-lap track record from 1981 by three and a half seconds.  None of the remaining drivers were able to reach the bar that the Greenfield, Indiana driver set, which placed him on the pole for the main event.

Leary and outside front row starter Justin Grant engaged in a side-by-side battle for the top spot on the opening lap with Leary assuming and maintaining control throughout the early stages.  However, turn four proved to be a Bermuda Triangle of sorts in the first quarter of the race, plaguing a bevy of drivers that halted the action on four separate instances involving three different drivers.

Race leader Leary had seen nothing but daylight in front of him during the first several laps, but on the lap 29 restart, all Leary had was smoke in his eyes as a continuous plume billowed from the headers of the number 30.  Leary began to slow dramatically, eventually coming to a stop in the first turn one lap later before being towed off to the pit area.  The night for April’s “Sumar Classic” winner at the Terre Haute Action Track was finished after such a strong performance in his first visit to the Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania track.

Justin Grant inherited the lead for the lap 35 restart, but, by lap 37, Windom had sliced into Grant’s lead, setting Windom up for an outside turn four pass to take the top spot.

Meanwhile, Clauson was picking cars off at a rapid pace from his 16th starting position, crossing over from the topside to the inside of Mark Smith for fourth out of turn 4 on lap 39.

Windom sailed away on a comfort cruise after the race’s final caution flew for the stopped car of Austin Nemire on lap 40.  The Canton, Illinois driver built his lead to a full-straightaway advantage with 35 laps to go.

Yet, Clauson was determined not to give in, taking third from Grant on lap 65 and sliding up in front of Brady Bacon for second on lap 69.  However, Clauson still had a long row ahead of him to catch Windom who was on cruise control up front.

With 10 laps to go, some fans were seen leaving the grandstands with the feeling that the conclusion would be inevitable with Windom rolling to an easy victory.  It appeared that Clauson would need a caution to close the gap on Windom’s seemingly insurmountable lead, but with the pedigree that Clauson has attained over the last decade plus in the United States Auto Club, nothing was outside the realm of possibility.

Shot out of a cannon, Clauson continued to chop and slash the interval between him and leader Windom little-by-little, driving on the edge, appearing as if he was on a single-car qualifying run in the final laps.

With three laps to go, Windom jumped the skyscraper-high turn three cushion, allowing Clauson to close in on Windom’s machine as the two exited turn four.

As the two sprinted down the front straightaway with two laps to go, Clauson got the bite off the bottom and was able to pull ahead by a car length inside of Windom at the exit of two on lap 99.  Yet, Windom was able to find each and every morsel of horsepower to muscle his car back in front into turn three.

As Clauson and Windom ran Hoosier-to-Hoosier between turns three and four, the duo had to contend with the lapped car of David Byrne immediately after passing under the white flag indicating one more lap to go.  The two split Byrne with Windom aiming for the topside and Clauson cutting to the low side.  Clauson attempted to slide job Windom at the entrance to one by drifting up to the top line in front of Windom, but came up just shy, getting his car too far sideways and killing his momentum between turns one and two.

But, like Michael Myers in the “Halloween” movie series, Clauson would not go away, re-emerging yet again to make one last run at Windom into the final two turns.  However, it was simply not enough as Windom led the final 63 laps to claim his third career USAC Silver Crown Series victory over Clauson, Kody Swanson, Bacon, Grant, Smith, Casey Shuman, Jerry Coons Jr., Steve Buckwalter and Shane Cottle.

Like Kody Swanson’s stranglehold on the dirt miles over the past few seasons, Windom appears to have taken a shine to the half-mile dirt tracks, previously taking victories at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg Ohio in 2013 and the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2015.  In those two races, Windom led a combined 97 of 100 laps.  Friday night at Williams Grove, Windom led the final 63 laps of the contest, but putting his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise/Maxim/J & D was no cinch as he had to hold off the hottest open-wheel driver in the nation, Bryan Clauson, in the closing laps.

“Holy cow,” Windom exclaimed.  “My guys came on the radio with about 10 (laps) to go and screamed at me to go.  I saw that (number) 6 car down there and I knew Clauson was coming.  What a hell of a race for these fans at the end!”

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet,” Windom stated.  “With all the history here, I can’t believe we’re here!  This track was awesome.  These guys did a great job of prepping it. It was superfast early on in practice and qualifying.  It’s probably my new favorite Silver Crown track.  In the feature, it slicked off there. You just had to be very easy on the top because it built a big curb and it was very easy to jump over.  I did it a few times and thought I was going to lose the lead there.  At the end, it was just the lap cars that were running side-by-side in front of me and I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t want to completely come off the top and go to the bottom and have someone drive around me, so I just tried to use them as a pick, and then I saw the 6 car down there, so I had to start sliding, going as quickly as I could.”

Noblesville, Indiana’s Bryan Clauson hoped to become the first driver since Rodger Ward in 1959 to lead a lap at the Indianapolis 500 and win in a champ car at Williams Grove Speedway in the same season.  Clauson came up just short despite a valiant effort after his car experienced mechanical problems during qualifying, finishing second while earning KSE Racing Products/Martens Machine Shop Hard Charger honors in his Klatt Enterprises/Cancer Treatment Centers of America – Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality & Restaurant Group/Beast/Ford.

“We had a tough night all the way around until the feature,” Clauson reflected.  “But these guys worked hard to get this car good for the feature.  We were really strong, especially late.  I got to him there and really wanted to run the bottom in (turns) one and two, but I kind of had a lapper pinning me down.  I just decided to try and clear him and get up in front of him but didn’t get it done.  We made up a lot of ground there late by just driving my butt off to try and get there; I just needed 105 (laps) or so.  We dug out of a big hole there and it was a spectacular run there for sure.”

Kody Swanson, of Kingsburg, California came home third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy while maintaining his series point lead by 15 over Windom heading into the June 25 “St. Louis Silver Crown Showdown” at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

“What an honor it is to be here at Williams Grove and it’s great to drive this DePalma family 63,” Swanson said.  “They’re a great family to race for and a great group of people to work on it.  They put a great racecar on the track for us every time.  I always hate it when I can’t win for them, but we gave it everything we had tonight.  We struggled a little early, but as the track got a little wider and a little trickier, we were able to find something there late and battle our way up to third.”

Contingency award winners at Williams Grove Speedway included C.J. Leary (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Bryan Clauson (KSE Racing Products/Martens Machine Shop Hard Charger) and David Byrne (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 10, 2016 – Williams Grove, Pennsylvania – Williams Grove Speedway – Horn-Schindler Memorial

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/Six-R-20.379; 2. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-20.459; 3. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-20.602; 4. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-20.757; 5. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-20.776; 6. Mark Smith, 99, RPM/Gormly-20.933; 7. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-20.999; 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-21.202; 9. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 27, Phillips-21.254; 10. Joe Liguori, 58, Liguori-21.305; 11. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-21.400; 12. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.451; 13. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-21.526; 14. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-21.759; 15. Billy Pauch Jr., 52, Lesko-21.830; 16. Bryan Clauson, 6, Klatt-22.844; 17. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-23.472; 18. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-27.303; 19. Dave Darland, 17, Dutcher-37.954; 20. John Heydenreich, 90, BBH-NT; 21. Neil Shepherd, 7, Shepherd-NT; 22. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (3), 2. Bryan Clauson (16), 3. Kody Swanson (5), 4. Brady Bacon (4), 5. Justin Grant (2), 6. Mark Smith (6), 7. Casey Shuman (14), 8. Jerry Coons Jr. (8), 9. Steve Buckwalter (13), 10. Shane Cottle (11), 11. Austin Nemire (7), 12. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. (9), 13. David Byrne (12), 14. Dave Darland (19), 15. Shane Cockrum (21), 16. Chris Fetter (18), 17. Dave Berkheimer (17), 18. John Heydenreich (20), 19. Joe Liguori (10), 20. C.J. Leary (1), 21. Billy Pauch Jr. (15) 49:29.81

**Neil Shepherd flipped over the turn three wall during qualifying.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-29 C.J. Leary, Laps 30-37 Justin Grant, Laps 38-100 Chris Windom.

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-268, 2-Chris Windom-253, 3-Justin Grant-217, 4-Shane Cottle-192, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-190, 6-David Byrne-178, 7-Bryan Clauson-177, 8-Casey Shuman-169, 9-Shane Cockrum-154, 10-Brady Bacon-152.






By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Madison, Illinois………Tanner Swanson maintained his dominance of the paved ovals on the USAC Silver Crown series schedule, winning his fourth race in his last five appearances on the hardtop, warding off threatening skies and an old-fashioned Midwestern thunderstorm in Saturday afternoon’s Vatterott College “Silver Crown Showdown” at the series largest venue, the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

Tanner began the race from the pole position after taking ProSource Fast Qualifier honors earlier in the day, slotting him to start alongside his older brother, two-time defending series champ Kody Swanson.

Kody out-drag-raced Tanner into the first turn on the opening lap, but a substantial factor on the longer paved circuits is drafting and both Tanner and Chris Windom would demonstrate that fact as the top-three exited turn four at the conclusion of lap one. 

Tanner was able to line up behind Kody’s tail tank and quickly erase the gap, slipstreaming by on the inside with Windom in tow to take the top-two spots as Kody dropped to third.

However, dropping two positions early in a 75-mile race was the least of Kody’s worries.  On the ninth lap, Kody’s engine began to sound sour as he took a dramatic drop in speed while he lumbered down the front straightaway.

One lap later, as Kody entered turn one, one of the worst nightmares a driver can face – a stuck throttle – became his reality.

Just before the turn, Kody was hard on the brakes, veering hard left as he mowed through the infield grass and rumble strips before careening up the track and making near head-on contact with the SAFER Barrier. 

Dark, heavy skid marks left by the four tires of Kody’s machine were highly visible on the pavement surface from the moment of realization of the stuck throttle until the moment of contact with the wall.  Kody was uninjured.

During the lengthy yellow flag for the cleanup, lightning could be seen within the vicinity of the speedway.  Fans were directed to exit the grandstands as a precaution, but since the track was dry, the racing resumed on lap 21.

With storms imminent, the urge to get to the front in a timely manner weighed heavily on each competitor as their race could be interrupted at the drop of a hat, and the drop of precipitation.

Just one lap after the restart, on lap 22, Tanner made a bid for the lead, chattering his teeth as he rode his left side wheels over the rigid turn one rumble strips to get by Windom, to no avail.

On the 27th circuit, Tanner used the draft to his advantage, running down leader Windom on the inside of turn three.  Tanner ran his line a little wide as he entered the corner side-by-side, forcing Windom just a tad out of the groove at the bottom of the corner.  It was just enough to slow Windom down and allow Tanner to slip by for the lead just three laps shy of the halfway point.

Meanwhile, young Austin Nemire was putting in his best performance in his year-and-a-half of Silver Crown series experience.  Nemire had reeled in the two leaders, coming within roughly five car-lengths of Windom in second as the trio separated themselves from the rest of the field.

As flagman Tom Hansing threw up the crossed sticks indicating the halfway point, the temps had cooled considerably and the winds flared up as the sun-drenched St. Louis afternoon quickly became a distant memory and the main race now became the sprint to defeat the rain before the checkered.

In the second half of the race, Tanner, little-by little, was able to open up his lead over Windom as Nemire began to fade somewhat in the third spot. 

With 10 to go, Tanner’s lead was three-plus seconds over Windom and his time up front went undaunted the rest of the way, except for a little precipitation on the white flag lap.

Tanner grabbed his first career victory at Gateway, leading the final 34 laps to defeat a distant Windom, who led 25 in the first half of the 60-lap event while Nemire, David Byrne and Joe Liguori rounded out the top-five.

During Tanner’s victory lane celebration, the skies finally relented, opening up a deluge of rain upon fans and competitors alike.  But it was not enough to throw a damper on the Kingsburg, California native’s celebration after racking up his second series victory of the season in his Bowman Racing/Bowman Properties – Bowman-Elmore Racing/Beast/Kistler Chevy.

“That was an exciting race,” Tanner exclaimed.  “We were worried about the rain the entire time, but I feel like I wore my car out trying to get by Chris (Windom).  We started picking up a vibration, but I don’t know if that’s just me being worried or what, but I think we were on seven cylinders there at the end.  It’s just a testament to how good the Bowman guys got this car to cut the corners and give us a chance to win.”

St. Louis resident and Canton, Illinois native Windom, took over the series point lead from Kody Swanson with his second-place finish in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise – Seals-It/Beast/J & D Mopar.  He now leads the points by 11 over the two-time defending series champion.  The 60-lap Gateway race was just one of the many adventures Windom was taking part in during a 24-hour period from Friday night to Saturday night.

He competed in Friday night’s USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway before heading straight to Gateway via truck-ride on minimal sleep to be at the track in time for an 8:20am drivers’ meeting.  After his runner-up finish at Gateway, Windom hurried to the airport so he could hop on a flight to Kansas City, Kansas to participate in Saturday night’s USAC Sprint event at Lakeside Speedway, where he arrived just in time for qualifying.

“I just need to thank all my guys who withstood the heat all day and gave me a great racecar,” said a pleased Windom.  “Evan (Avart) gave me a car to win with today and I think I just pressed too hard early trying to hold Tanner off.  Congrats to him and his team; they are definitely the guys to beat right now on the pavement side.  I’m very happy to come out with a second place run and be able to move into the points lead.  I know it would mean a lot to (car owners) Fred & Gloria (Gormly) to be able to win a championship as it would to me.  Hopefully, we can keep this streak of momentum rolling and click off a few more wins and the points will come with that.”

Sylvania, Ohio’s Austin Nemire looked strong in a career-best third place finish in his Ron Hemelgarn/Hemelgarn Enterprises/Beast/Speedway Ford.

“It was definitely an experience for being my first time there,” Nemire admitted.  “The track was fast all day long and we kept gaining on it.  A few things went our way and we ended up with my best finish in a Crown car, so we're all pretty happy!”

Contingency award winners at Gateway Motorsports Park included Tanner Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Joe Liguori (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Tad Roach (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: June 25, 2016 – Madison, Illinois – Gateway Motorsports Park – Vatterott College “Silver Crown Showdown”

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-31.462; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-31.714; 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-31.979; 4. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-32.305; 5. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-32.325; 6. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-32.336; 7. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-33.285; 8. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-33.374; 9. Joe Liguori, 99, RPM/Gormly33.442; 10. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-34.291; 11. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-34.786; 12. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-35.835; 13. Tad Roach, 16, Logan-NT.

FEATURE: (60 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Swanson (1), 2. Chris Windom (5), 3. Austin Nemire (4), 4. David Byrne (6), 5. Joe Liguori (9), 6. Justin Grant (7), 7. Casey Shuman (8), 8. Hunter Schuerenberg (12), 9. Jerry Coons Jr. (3), 10. Shane Cottle (11), 11. Kody Swanson (2), 12. Patrick Lawson (10), 13. Tad Roach (13). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Tanner Swanson, Laps 2-26 Chris Windom, Laps 27-60 Tanner Swanson.

KSE HARD CHARGER: Joe Liguori (9th to 5th)

NEW SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-320, 2-Kody Swanson-309, 3-Justin Grant-272, 4-Shane Cottle-245, 5-David Byrne-239, 6-Jerry Coons Jr.-236, 7-Casey Shuman-221, 8-Austin Nemire-212, 9-Bryan Clauson-177, 10-Shane Cockrum-154.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana………Despite winning ten races and a pair of championships over the course of the last two-and-a-half seasons, Kody Swanson consistently played second fiddle to his brother, Tanner, each time the USAC Silver Crown division came to Lucas Oil Raceway.

But on Thursday night, Kody finally became first chair, ending Tanner’s stranglehold of the .686-mile paved oval and his run of five wins in the last six races at the track, dominating all 100 laps from the pole in a new (to him) racecar in the “Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic.”

Kody, of Kingsburg, California, hit the track in a different machine than he usually pilots, which also sported different colors.  The DePalma Motorsports team recently acquired the former RFMS Motorsports car, driven by A.J. Fike in recent years, after irreparably damaging the primary, familiar white #63 at Gateway Motorsports Park in June.

On this night, though, Kody’s car was completely black, except for the red lettering that adorned the nose and tail tank of the machine.  “The Man in Black,” as Kody would be known throughout the night, was on a rail from the get-go, setting ProSource Fast Qualifying time to earn the pole starting position.

The pomp and circumstance prior to the start of the main event was abundant with 12 new members joining the class of 2016 during a ceremony held on the front straightaway.  Steve Butler, Russ Clendenen, Jimmy Davies, Willie Davis, Bob Higman, Tommy Hinnershitz, Dick King, Rick Mears, Pat O’Connor, Kevin Olson, Tony Stewart and Bob Tattersall all joined the immortal list of those who have been enshrined as one of the legends for their contributions to USAC throughout their careers.

After the fifth annual USAC Hall of Fame induction ceremony concluded, it was time to get down to business.  At the drop of the green flag, Kody spurted out front to take the advantage on the opening lap.  Tanner, who started fourth, was not far behind, taking third from 1999 series champ Ryan Newman after the former Daytona 500 winner slid up and pancaked the wall, but kept on moving, at the exit of turn three on lap four.

On the 17th lap, Tanner got a run on second-place Jerry Coons Jr., diving to the inside at the entrance of turn three and engaging in a wheel-to-wheel battle through turns three and four before sliding up in front of Coons at the exit of turn four to secure the runner-up spot.

However, by that point, Kody had already built up a half-straightaway lead.  Yet, soon came lapped traffic, which entered the fray a quarter of the way into the race.  As the leader, Kody knew Tanner was lurking and couldn’t be too far behind.  His pace could not lessen, or Kody would once again have the oh-so-familiar sight of staring directly at the tail tank of the black and yellow 02 of his younger brother as he pulled away into the distance.

Entangled in traffic on lap 24, Kody chose to split the lapped cars of David Byrne and Shane Cottle at the exit of turn two, then slide down below to overtake both Shane Cockrum and Casey Shuman in turn four to maintain his gap over a closing Tanner, who chopped Kody’s lead by a half-second.

On a lap 48 restart, after a spin by Patrick Lawson between turns one and two, the field was bunched up and the lead cars were removed from lap traffic.  Immediately, it didn’t appear to make much of a difference as Kody pulled away from Tanner and the rest of the field once again.  With 30 laps to go, Kody had once again rebuilt his lead to a half-straightaway.

A pair of cautions in the late-going couldn’t even hinder Kody’s dominance, but an Austin Nemire spin with two laps remaining did set up one last green-white-checkered run to the checkered between Kody and Tanner.

As had happened time and time again throughout the night, Kody got a good jump on the restart, pulling away to create a seven-car-length interval between the two by the time the pair had crossed under the white flag.

Kody would not be deterred on the final lap, defeating Tanner by 0.768 seconds, followed by Coons, Bobby Santos, Chris Windom and Newman at the line to finally return to victory lane at Lucas Oil Raceway for the first time since July of 2011 in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Beast/Hampshire Chevy.  With the victory, Kody, the two-time, defending series champ, retook the point lead by seven markers over Chris Windom.

“Tanner is the best here; there’s no question,” Kody said of his younger brother.  “People asked me last time about the sibling rivalry, and I told them, ‘There isn’t a rivalry; I’m 0-for-6.  He just beats me.’  Tonight, though, we got the better of him. I can’t thank this team enough.  They just about pulled an all-nighter last night to get this thing together. I have to thank Don Fike too; he gave us a whale of a deal on this car.  To win this event is great.  To be a part of this series is just great.  I’ve heard stories about Rich (Vogler) and, to win a race in his memory, that’s really special to me.  It’s so neat that his family still supports USAC and the pleasure is mine tonight.”

Despite coming up a little short in a solid second-place run, Kingsburg, California’s Tanner Swanson extended his streak of top-two finishes in the Silver Crown Series at Lucas Oil Raceway to seven in his Bowman Racing/Bowman Properties – Bowman-Elmore Racing/Beast/Kistler Chevy.

“I could stand here and tell a bunch of lies and say we had a chance, but the fact is he was just better tonight,” Tanner acknowledged.  “I thought we’d have a shot with another yellow, and then we got another one and had no chance.   We’ve been on the other end of that deal and have had great cars and have been able to capitalize, but tonight, we just missed it.  Kody was just hooked up.  We could go for about two laps after a restart, but there was no way we could keep the pace he had.  I know he wasn’t showing us all he had, but I told (car owner) Mike Bowman that, three years ago, this team had never won a Silver Crown race and we would’ve been ecstatic with second.  We’ll move on, but if we can’t win it, I’m glad Kody did.

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons Jr. raced to his best career finish at Lucas Oil Raceway Thursday night, garnering a third-place finish in his Nolen Racing/KECO – Columbus Container/Beast/Tranter Chevy.  It also marked the best finish for a Gene Nolen-owned car at LOR since Jim Keeker drove the number 20 to victory in August of 1995.

“My spotter was keeping me aware of where I was,” Coons explained.  “We’ve had good cars here and we tried a different setup tonight and were just a little too positive on the right front.  You never have a perfect car, but they gave me a good one tonight.  I felt like we were better on the long runs than Santos, but he was better on the short ones, so I was a little nervous with all those yellows.  I was just hoping we could get through the lap traffic smoothly and, thankfully, we did.

Contingency award winners at Lucas Oil Raceway included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Casey Shuman (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) Kevin Studley (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: July 21, 2016 – Brownsburg, Indiana – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.169; 2. Ryan Newman, 21, Bowman/Armstrong-21.228; 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-21.285; 4. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.298; 5. Bobby Santos, 122, DJ-21.329; 6. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-21.338; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.404; 8. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-21.538; 9. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-21.611; 10. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-21.655; 11. Joe Liguori, 99, Gormly-21.780; 12. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-21.865; 13. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-21.956; 14. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-22.071; 15. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-22.175; 16. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-NT; 17. Kevin Studley, 157, Studley-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Tanner Swanson (4), 3. Jerry Coons Jr. (3), 4. Bobby Santos (5), 5. Chris Windom (6), 6. Ryan Newman (2), 7. Justin Grant (9), 8. Jacob Wilson (8), 9. Joe Axsom (10), 10. Joe Liguori (11), 11. Casey Shuman (15), 12. Austin Nemire (12), 13. Kevin Studley (17), 14. David Byrne (7), 15. Patrick Lawson (16), 16. Shane Cottle (13), 17. Shane Cockrum (14). 45:52.428

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-100 Kody Swanson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Casey Shuman (15th to 11th)

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-385, 2-Chris Windom-378, 3-Justin Grant-324, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-300, 5-Shane Cottle-276, 6-David Byrne-274, 7-Casey Shuman-262, 8-Austin Nemire-251, 9-Tanner Swanson-213, 10-Joe Liguori-186.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Salem, Indiana………On a night in which every person at Salem Speedway was mindful of Bryan Clauson, how fitting it was that a car adorned with number 63 “parked it” in victory lane in Saturday night’s 57th running of the “Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial.”

Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson took over the race lead on lap 61 after Aaron Pierce spun out of the top spot between turns three and four.  Swanson went virtually unchallenged throughout the final 15 laps of the USAC Silver Crown series’ first visit to the track since 1988 to take his 15th career USAC Silver Crown victory, tying him for fourth all-time with J.J. Yeley.

Earlier in the night, Swanson became the first driver ever to break into the 15-second bracket in a Silver Crown car around Salem’s high banks on his way to a new track record and ProSource Fast Qualifying time, which put him on the pole position for the night’s 75-lap event.

After amazingly avoiding the rain all throughout the afternoon, the skies opened up just prior to the start of the main event.  The brief shower moistened the track, but, 20 minutes later, through the efforts of the track crew, the track was dry, and drivers were called to their cars.

At the drop of the green, Swanson jumped out to the front with Pierce in second, back eight car lengths.

As the sparks began to fly into the dusk, Pierce began to close on Swanson for the point.  However, in turn one, Austin Nemire lost control of his machine, spinning sideways on the banking as Casey Shuman came onto the scene, contacting Nemire’s left front with the nose of his Predator chassis.  Shuman would restart, sans nosepiece, while Nemire would make his exit on the hook.

Pierce was able to hang with Swanson on the lap nine restart and, on lap 11, dove underneath Swanson on the bottom of turn two to take the lead.

On the 13th lap, Jacob Wilson, the only past “Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial” winner in the field, slowed on the back straightaway with a broken weight jacker, forcing him into the pit area for the remainder of the night.

Just a handful of laps later, Pierce and Swanson came upon the lapped car of Patrick Lawson as the pack hit the start/finish line.  Pierce nearly contacted Lawson, slowing him down a notch as Swanson dove to the inside, allowing Windom to corral second as Swanson got shuffled back to third.

Pierce was able to keep Windom at bay as the race approached the one-third point, but on a lap 29 restart, Windom drove downhill off of the turn four banking, giving him the momentum he needed to pull side-by-side to the inside of Pierce into turn one.  Between turns one and two, Windom’s right front tire contacted the left rear of Pierce, sending off a puff of smoke and knocking Pierce squirrely.  Nonetheless, Pierce was able to resettle to hold off the challenge and retain the lead as the two raced down the back straight away.

As ominous clouds hung over the trees in turns one and two, Pierce maintained his advantage, running mere inches from the outside wall in turns three and four, leaving little room for error.

Lap 41, Swanson turned low below Windom in the second turn.  Swanson engaged in a drag-race down the back straight, beating Windom to turn three as he dirt-tracked it in sideways in front of Windom, hanging on to grab second.

With two-thirds of the race now complete, Pierce and Swanson were nose-to-tail for the lead with Windom and Jerry Coons Jr. just behind, a half-lap ahead of fifth-running Bobby Santos.

Pierce continued to run on the razor’s edge up top with just 15 laps to go as he bid for his first Silver Crown victory since a 2007 victory at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway when, suddenly, the back end of his car snapped around on its own between turns three and four.  Though he managed to keep the car off the concrete, Pierce was unable to tame Salem on this day after an impressive drive in which he led 50 laps.

On the restart with just 12 laps to go, no one had an answer for Kody Swanson, who shot away from the field to take an unchallenged victory over Windom, Coons, Santos and Justin Grant.

On a night in which tributes to Bryan Clauson poured in from fans, teams and officials alike, where each car was adorned with a BC “Still Chasing 200” sticker and USAC officials donned green BC shirts in honor of the fallen driver, Swanson did what he has done so often over the past three seasons in the DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Beast/Hampshire Chevy.  He “parked it” in victory lane.

“This means a lot,” Kody said.  “It’s a pleasure to drive for these DePalma Motorsports guys anywhere, but especially at a place like Salem.  This is a place where it’s usually the braver you are, the faster you go.  That’s not my style.  We got a little lucky.  Don’t get me wrong; these guys prepare to win, but we were close enough to be able to capitalize on a couple

things late in the race.  I never have “parked it.”  I’ve never felt like I’m worthy enough to use that term, but we “parked it” tonight for BC (Bryan Clauson).”

Chris Windom, of Canton, Illinois, continued his impressive streak of series finishes in 2016, finishing second to Swanson and, therefore, tallying his seventh consecutive top-five finish in seven series starts this season in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise – Seals-It/Beast/J & D Mopar.

“We were good right out of the box,” Windom said proudly.  “Struggles in qualifying set us back, but Evan Avart gave me a good race car and we could drive up through there pretty quick.  We got a little snug around halfway through, and then Kody put a pretty bold move on me, and I about spun out.  That’s kind of what you have to do here, though, to pass somebody - just drive it in there and pray.  This place is a little treacherous, but it’s a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to race here.  We’ll take a second, though, and keep this momentum up and head to Springfield.”

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons Jr., a 2005 USAC National Midget feature winner at Salem, took third in his Nolen Racing/KECO – Columbus Container/Beast/Tranter Chevy.

“I need to get to the gym and add about 20 pounds of muscle I think,” Coons joked.  “That was harder than any 100-lapper we run anywhere else.  Chris (Windom) got tight in (turns) one and two towards the end, but I was better in (turns) three and four, so when I’d make it up, he’d gain it back.  We’ve been working on our pavement program and getting it better and better, so we’re happy with a third.”

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Salem Speedway were Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Chris Windom (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Austin Nemire (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: August 13, 2016 – Salem, Indiana – Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery – 57th Scott County Visitors Commission Joe James-Pat O’Connor Memorial

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-15.972 (New Track Record); 2. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-16.311; 3. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-16.358; 4. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-16.566; 5. Bobby Santos, 122, DJ-16.571; 6. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-16.621; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-16.643; 8. Joe Liguori, 99, RPM/Gormly-16.762; 9. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-16.924; 10. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-16.998; 11. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-17.056; 12. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-17.619; 13. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-17.830.

FEATURE: (75 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Chris Windom (6), 3. Jerry Coons Jr. (4), 4. Bobby Santos (5), 5. Justin Grant (9), 6. Aaron Pierce (2), 7. David Byrne (7), 8. Joe Liguori (8), 9. Patrick Lawson (12), 10. Casey Shuman (13), 11. Shane Cottle (10), 12. Jacob Wilson (3), 13. Austin Nemire (11). 27:59.49

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Kody Swanson, Laps 11-60 Aaron Pierce, Laps 61-75 Kody Swanson.


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-458, 2-Chris Windom-445, 3-Justin Grant-382, 4-Jerry Coons Jr.-364, 5-David Byrne-326, 6-Shane Cottle-317, 7-Casey Shuman-305, 8-Austin Nemire-288, 9-Joe Liguori-235, 10-Tanner Swanson-213.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois………In a battle of the young lion and the wise veteran, resilience prevailed as Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois fought back to retake the lead from Jeff Swindell with a daring outside turn three pass just three laps from the finish to win his first career USAC Silver Crown Championship race on a dirt mile in Saturday night’s “Ted Horn 100” presented by Casey’s General Stores at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.

Windom and Swindell’s seesaw battle entertained the sizable southern Illinois crowd throughout much of the 100-miler with Swindell leading 21 laps early in the happening before Windom took his turn at the front for a large chunk of the middle portion of the race.  Swindell charged back to reclaim the point on lap 64 before Windom fought tooth-and-nail in the final laps to work his way back to Swindell as the two exchanged the lead three times in the final four laps.

Windom took control of the race after ripping the lead from Swindell on lap 98 to earn his second series victory of the season – and the fourth of his career – in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise/Maxim/J & D.

“This is awesome,” Windom exclaimed.  “I don’t know what to say.  I thought we had that one for a while and, obviously, we were all tire managing.  I had a lot left in the tank, but I didn’t know how hard I could pressure (Jeff Swindell) because I knew it was going to be really close on tires.  I let Jeff get back by me; he threw a couple of hard blocks and I tried to get back around him.  I really had to run my butt off.  I’ve been so close to winning at this place so many times.  It’s awesome

to be able to come back here with (crew chief) Evan Avart after we lost one (in 2014) and win this one.  This is pretty special.”

Windom rolled off ninth on the grid at the start of the 100-lapper while ProSource Pole winner Kody Swanson lined up alongside Justin Grant at the front.  Swanson quickly sprinted off with the lead into turn one, but it was 1990 Du Quoin winner Jeff Swindell who shot to second on the opening lap from the outside of the second row.

As Swanson enjoyed the edge up front on lap nine, back in the pack, a battle for position between a gaggle of cars on the front straightaway got a bit hairy when Jackie Burke ramped over the right rear of another car at the start/finish line, which sent him airborne before landing on all fours, knocking out the front end as he slid helplessly into turn one. 

Simultaneously, the car of Chris Fetter shot straight up the racetrack toward the outside turn one wall.  In Fetter’s path was the stopped car of Burke that was nailed in the tail tank by Fetter who then slammed hard into the wall.  Both drivers were able to walk away uninjured from their broken racecars.

Swindell stuck right with Swanson on the lap 15 restart, then powered around the outside of Swanson between turns one and two to nose ahead.  Swanson clawed his way back to pull even with Swindell as the two raced wheel-to-wheel down the back straightaway into turn three.  Swindell used the middle of the racetrack to glide around Swanson coming out of the fourth turn, then beat him in a sprint to the stripe to grab the lead on the 16th lap with two-time defending race winner Shane Cockrum in tow.

Swindell, looking as effervescent as he ever has behind the wheel of a champ car, immediately began to stretch his lead as the race reached the quarter-point, while Windom began to mount his charge to the front, overtaking Swanson for third and Shane Cockrum for second in quick succession before setting his sights on leader Swindell.

On the 35th circuit, Windom raced his way into Swindell’s shadow after using a big run off of turn four to streak down to the inside of Swindell as the two sped side-by-side past the flag stand toward the first turn.  Swindell put a halt to Windom’s bid for the lead after cutting across the nose of Windom at the entrance of one, forcing Windom to back out and allowing Swindell to momentarily escape with the lead.

Windom refused to be rattled and, just two laps later, the two came upon the lapped car of Danny Long in turn three.  Swindell was forced to check up, allowing Windom to slip underneath Swindell for the lead on lap 37.

As the contest neared the midway point, Windom expanded his advantage to more than a second over Swindell when a yellow for debris erased the interval.  Tires had become a concern for teams with half the race still remaining and, under the caution, forced teams to find ways to stem the tide of wear by rolling through the moisture to cool down the rubber and conserve their tread for the push to the finish.

Just after halfway, Swindell was scraping just to hold onto second by the skin of his teeth with two-time defending series champ Swanson draped all over him for the runner-up spot.  Yet on the lap 61 restart, Swindell found his second wind, trailing by just a single car length as he hounded Swanson every inch of the way around the “Magic Mile.”

On lap 64, Swindell was close enough to reach out and tap Windom on the shoulder as he followed him down the back straight.  Swindell pulled along the inside of Windom as the pair ran side-by-side into turn three, with Swindell beating Windom to the inside guardrail first to re-take the lead with 37 laps to go.

But Windom wouldn’t stray too far from the lead as both he and Swindell separated themselves from the rest of the field.  On lap 69, Windom took another run at Swindell for the lead at the entrance to turn one.  Swindell would have none of that, however, slamming the door on Windom with authority as the two banged wheels which sent Windom sideways, causing him to lose ground to Swindell as he fell back to more than one second behind.

The stoppage of Jacob Wilson’s machine set up a restart with 24 miles remaining that saw Windom unable to get any traction when the green flag flew, allowing Swindell to run away to a one-and-a-half second lead as Windom, Swanson and Shane Cottle battled in close quarters for second.

Cottle’s strong showing came to an end just a handful of laps later when he encountered engine troubles that brought out the yellow, setting up a 15-lap sprint to the finish.

Windom had a more successful restart this time around as he stayed within two car lengths of Swindell as the two entered turn three on lap 86.

One lap later, Windom got a bite off of turn four, drag racing Swindell down the front straight into turn one on the inside where, once again, Swindell closed the lid on the cookie jar, forcing Windom to back out of the throttle to avoid contact.

With less than ten laps to go, Swindell had his first USAC victory since the 1993 “Hoosier Hundred” within his grasp, but Windom was not going to fade away into the distance without putting up a fight. 

On the 94th lap, Windom used another big run to poke his nose underneath Swindell entering turn three just as the caution flew for an Aaron Pierce spin, resetting the table for a restart with five laps to go.

With four laps to go, Windom used yet another big run down the back straight to pull even with Swindell, but this time was able to beat Swindell to the bottom of turn three to grab the lead.  Windom then slid up to the middle of the racetrack, allowing Swindell to counter and slip back underneath Windom to regain the lead by the time they both exited turn four.

One lap later, with three to go, Windom pulled a rabbit out of his hat in this high-speed chess match as Swindell entered turn three low to protect the bottom line in anticipation of Windom’s next move. 

In an impressive moment of sleight of hand, Windom rode the high line instead, blasting around the outside of Swindell to take the lead for good, securing the top spot and driving away from Swindell during the final couple of laps to take the victory by 1.274 seconds over Swindell, Swanson, Casey Shuman and Cockrum.

Jeff Swindell, the savvy racing veteran from Germantown, Tennessee who was making just his second series start of the season, led the most laps (55) during his two stints at the front of the field, reaching into the distant past to nearly pull off his first USAC win in 23 years in his Swanson Racing/Jet Star – Rosewood Machine & Tool/Maxim/Toyota.

“We came in here tonight and everything went smoothly; we were organized, and we did what we needed to do all night,” Swindell explained.  “In hot laps, I sat in the car the whole hour and ten minutes.  We got the car working great.  We got a good start and the Toyota motor ran great until about 25 or 30 (laps) to go when it started sputtering down the straightaways.  As we got off the corner, it just got worse and worse.  I guess that’s how (Windom) got the run on me there because I think we were beating him pretty bad down in (turns) one and two all night.  We came off the corner and it’s popping and farting; that’s when he got the run on me.  I tried to hold him off, but he slid up a little bit and I snuck back by him.  I said ‘this might be ugly;’ we kind of touched earlier going down there into (turn) one.  He kind of surprised me getting under me a little bit as I started in and I saw him get out of the gas and I turned left.  We kind of touched, but hey, that’s what you call good racing!”

Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson led the first 15 laps from the pole position, finishing third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.  Swanson holds a slim 10-point lead over race winner Chris Windom heading into the September 24 Silver Crown season finale at Eldora Speedway’s “4-Crown Nationals” in Rossburg, Ohio as he seeks an unprecedented third series title.

“I was really worried about our tires wearing out and trying to keep pace with the top guys,” Swanson admitted.  “When (Swindell and Windom) went there at the end, I tried to go with them.  Tonight, we were third best.  I am so thankful for the car I’m driving.  These guys never give up.  We don’t quit.  We’ll just keep digging and see what we can do at the finale (at Eldora).”

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Du Quoin include Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier) and Bill Rose (KSE Racing Products/Martens Machine Shop Hard Charger & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 3, 2016 – Du Quoin, Illinois – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Ted Horn 100 Presented by Casey's General Stores

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-31.932; 2. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-32.048; 3. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/Six-R-32.142; 4. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson-32.411; 5. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-32.414; 6. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-32.427; 7. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-32.428; 8. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-32.455; 9. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-32.482; 10. Davey Ray, 25, Sachs-32.689; 11. Brian Tyler, 12, Galas-32.736; 12. Joey Moughan, 29, Moughan-32.804; 13. Joe Liguori, 58, Liguori-32.843; 14. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-32.864; 15. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-32.925; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-32.952; 17. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-32.956; 18. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-33.101; 19. Terry Babb, 00, Babb-33.137; 20. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-33.152; 21. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-33.207; 22. Chris Fetter, 88, Fetter-33.248; 23. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-33.256; 24. Zach Daum, 14, McQuinn-33.346; 25. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-33.438; 26. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-33.529; 27. Matt Goodnight, 27, Phillips-33.564; 28. Jackie Burke, 86, Burke-33.612; 29. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-33.698; 30. Terry James, 23, Satterthwaite-34.034; 31. Danny Long, 44, Long-35.348; 32. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-35.712; 33. Bill Rose, 66, Rose-NT; 34. Tad Roach, 84, Spivey-NT; 35. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (9), 2. Jeff Swindell (4), 3. Kody Swanson (1), 4. Casey Shuman (21), 5. Shane Cockrum (5), 6. Brady Bacon (15), 7. Jerry Coons Jr. (16), 8. Brian Tyler (11), 9. Joe Liguori (13), 10. David Byrne (8), 11. Zach Daum (24), 12. Chris Urish (28), 13. Bill Rose (33), 14. J.C. Bland (20), 15. Patrick Lawson (25), 16. A.J. Fike (7), 17. Matt Goodnight (26), 18. Terry James (29), 19. Justin Grant (2), 20. Steve Buckwalter (23), 21. Davey Ray (10), 22. Austin Nemire (18), 23. Danny Long (30), 24. Aaron Pierce (14), 25. Shane Cottle (6), 26. Jacob Wilson (17), 27. C.J. Leary (3), 28. Terry Babb (19), 29. Joey Moughan (12), 30. Kenny Gentry (31), 31. Jackie Burke (27), 32. Chris Fetter (22), 33. Tad Roach (32). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Kody Swanson, Laps 16-36 Jeff Swindell, Laps 37-63 Chris Windom, Laps 64-97 Jeff Swindell, laps 98-100 Chris Windom.


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-525, 2-Chris Windom-515, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-416, 4-Justin Grant-407, 5-David Byrne-369, 6-Casey Shuman-366, 7-Shane Cottle-335, 8-Austin Nemire-309, 9-Joe Liguori-281, 10-Shane Cockrum-241.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Rossburg, Ohio………Chris Windom left no doubt that he came to Eldora Speedway Saturday night in championship mode.

The Canton, Illinois driver arrived at Eldora’s “4-Crown Nationals” with a ten-point deficit to two-time and defending USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson. 

By the time Windom pulled into victory lane after a dominating, soul-crushing performance on the half-mile dirt oval, he was the USAC Silver Crown division’s newest champion.

Earlier in the night, it appeared that Windom’s fortunes would not play in his favor after teammate Tyler Courtney knocked him off the pole with a great qualifying run late in the session, thus denying Windom the three bonus points that go along with being ProSource Fast Qualifier in the Silver Crown Series.

Despite that, Windom still had a seat on the outside of the front row for the series’ season finale with Courtney on the inside of the front row.  Swanson started fourth.

The objective for Swanson was clear: finish 3rd or better and the Silver Crown title was his.  And that’s where Swanson intended to get to as soon as possible.

At the drop of the green flag, a four-car scramble for the lead ensued with Jeff Swindell ducking underneath polesitter Courtney while Swanson split between the cars of Courtney and Windom as he shot into turn one.  Windom utilized the high side and the momentum to zip to the point off turn two on the opening lap with Swanson occupying second.

By lap ten, Windom had already built up a half-lap advantage and had already begun to enter heavy lapped traffic.  Windom continued to put the hurt on the field, but, unfortunately for him, there are no style points for the margin of lead a driver has.  Though Swanson was on the opposite side of the track as Windom, if Swanson maintained that position in the top-three, he would retain the point lead.

However, on lap 15, disaster dashed Swanson’s championship dream.

As Swanson ducked low into turn one, he came upon the lapped car of Dakota Jackson.  The two made contact, causing both Swanson and Jackson to spin to a stop.

Swanson would return to the work area in the pits where the DePalma Motorsports crew assessed the extent of the damage.  The front bumper was broken off and the steering was seriously hindered with the front wheels not angled in their intended direction.

Yet, Swanson and his crew refused to throw in the towel and sent him back out onto the racetrack where he would restart eighth on the lap 15 restart.  But, as soon he entered turn one, Swanson promptly looped it on his own to bring out another yellow.

On the ensuing restart, Windom was gone, where he’d eventually build an insurmountable 16.9 second lead around the half-mile as he set a torrid pace in which he lapped all the way up to third place!

Just as Windom was setting up to put a lap on his teammate Courtney, who was running third, with 14 laps to go, Davey Ray completed a 360 spin at the bottom of turn four to bring out the night’s final caution.

Meanwhile, Swanson had amazingly carried his car to the end of the 50-lap race in which he had worked his way up to fifth in the final laps. If a couple of cars in front of him in the running order encountered trouble of some sort, causing them to drop out, Swanson would be right back in championship contention.

However, none of these scenarios would play out as Windom continued to absolutely hammer the field in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise/Maxim/Wallace on his way to his third Silver Crown victory of the season over Justin Grant, Tyler Courtney, Brady Bacon and Kody Swanson.

“I’m at a loss for words,” a thrilled Windom said.  “I knew it was going to be a big feat coming in.  It was tough to see Kody (Swanson) go out with hardships like that early in the race.  We fought all year and we’ve earned every bit of this championship.  From Rob Hart at the start of the year to bringing on Evan Avart, he’s been spot on for me.  This car drove itself around here.  It was amazing!  (The car) was perfect.  It couldn’t have been any better.  I got to thank Fred and Gloria (Gormly).  I’m so happy to get them a championship.  We’re going to celebrate now!”

With the points accumulated by a trio of victories at Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois and Eldora as well as a top-five finish in all nine series races this season, Windom defeated Swanson in the final Silver Crown standings by a mere five points, making it one of the closest point races in the history of the United States Auto Club. 

It’s the first time since 1992 that an Eldora Silver Crown season finale featured a point change at the top.  Furthermore, Windom’s victory marked the 12th time in the 46-year history of the series that the winner of the season finale race was also the season champion.

Though Swanson was unable to win a third consecutive crown, his team - DePalma Motorsports - became just the second entrant in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to win a third straight owner championship.  Bob East/Tony Stewart Racing won four straight from 2002-2005.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Eldora Speedway included Tyler Courtney (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Shane Cottle (KSE Racing Products/Martens Machine Shop/Larry Rice High Performance Hard Charger) and Joe Liguori (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Feature Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 24, 2016 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 35th 4-Crown Nationals

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tyler Courtney, 99, RPM/Gormly-18.099; 2. Chris Windom, 98, RPM/Gormly-18.099; 3. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson-18.187; 4. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-18.248; 5. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-18.273; 6. Dave Darland, 6, Klatt-18.592; 7. Justin Grant, 8, Carli-18.595; 8. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-18.796; 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen18.823; 10. Davey Ray, 25, Sachs-18.999; 11. Bill Rose, 66, Rose-19.003; 12. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-19.159.13. Austin Nemire, 91, Hemelgarn-19.225; 14. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-19.227; 15. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-19.265; 16. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary/Six-R-19.281; 17. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-19.311; 18. Joe Liguori, 58, Liguori-19.392; 19. Dakota Jackson, 120, Nolen-19.464; 20. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 27, Phillips-19.471; 21. Mitch Wissmiller, 0, Barker/Thackery-19.559; 22. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-20.154; 23. Brian Tyler, 12, Galas-NT; 24. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-NT (Time of 19.717 disallowed).

FEATURE: (50 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (2), 2. Justin Grant (7), 3. Tyler Courtney (1), 4. Brady Bacon (5), 5. Kody Swanson (4), 6. Jeff Swindell (3), 7. Dave Darland (6), 8. Jerry Coons Jr. (9), 9. Shane Cottle (22), 10. Bill Rose (11), 11. Chris Fetter (12), 12. Aaron Pierce (17), 13. Steve Buckwalter (8), 14. Joe Liguori (18), 15. Dakota Jackson (19), 16. Austin Nemire (13), 17. David Byrne (15), 18. Davey Ray (10), 19. Mitch Wissmiller (21), 20. Billy Puterbaugh Jr. (20), 21. Dave Berkheimer (23), 22. C.J. Leary (16), 23. Casey Shuman (14). NT

**Brian Tyler flipped during qualifying.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Chris Windom.






1. (588) Chris Windom, Canton, Ill.

2. (583) Kody Swanson, Kingsburg, Calif.

3. (474) Justin Grant, Ione, Calif.

4. (465) Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

5. (398) David Byrne, Shullsburg, Wisc.

6. (386) Casey Shuman, Tempe, Ariz.

7. (381) Shane Cottle, Kansas, Ill.

8. (340) Austin Nemire, Sylvania, Ohio

9. (316) Joe Liguori, Tampa, Fla.

10. (268) Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Okla.

11. (241) Shane Cockrum, Benton, Ill.

12. (213) Tanner Swanson, Kingsburg, Calif.

13. (195) Aaron Pierce, Muncie, Ind.

14. (188) C.J. Leary, Greenfield, Ind.

15. (181) Jacob Wilson, Crawfordsville, Ind.

16. (180) Patrick Lawson, Edwardsville, Ill.

17. (177) Bryan Clauson, Noblesville, Ind.

18. (173) Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

19. (161) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass.

20. (154) Jeff Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

21. (151) Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, Pa.

22. (130) Billy Puterbaugh Jr., Brownsburg, Ind.

23. (101) Mark Smith, Sunbury, Pa.

24. (98) Davey Ray, Davenport, Iowa

25. (95) Joe Axsom, Franklin, Ind.

26. (95) Chris Fetter, Troy, Mo.

27. (93) Terry James, St. Louis, Mo.

28. (80) Bill Rose, Plainfield, Ind.

29. (71) J.C. Bland, Springfield, Ill.

30. (70) Tad Roach, Granite City, Ill.

31. (67) Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, Ind.

32. (65) Neil Shepherd, Warsaw, Ind.

33. (61) Robert Stout, Brownsburg, Ind.

33. (61) Terry Babb, Decatur, Ill.

35. (59) Brian Tyler, Parma, Mich.

36. (59) Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo.

37. (55) Ryan Newman, South Bend, Ind.

38. (51) Dave Berkheimer, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

39. (47) A.J. Fike, Galesburg, Ill.

40. (43) Dakota Jackson, Elizabethtown, Ind.

41. (41) Zach Daum, Pocahontas, Ill.

42. (41) Robert Ballou, Rocklin, Calif.

43. (39) Mitch Wissmiller, Saybrook, Ill.

44. (39) Chris Urish, Elkhart, Ill.

45. (37) Kevin Studley, Plainfield, Ind.

46. (35) Danny Long, Bonne Terre, Mo.

47. (32) Joey Moughan, Springfield, Ill.

48. (29) Matt Goodnight, Winchester, Ind.

49. (27) John Heydenreich, Bloomsburg, PA

50. (25) Russ Gamester, Peru, Ind.

51. (22) Billy Pauch Jr., Milford, N.J.

52. (13) Jackie Burke, Houston, Texas

53. (13) Kenny Gentry, Henderson, Ky.



1. (583) DePalma Motorsports, Lima, Ohio (#63)

2. (540) RPM/Fred Gormly, Brownsburg, Ind. (#98)

3. (474) Chris Carli, Elk Grove, Calif. (#8)

4. (465) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#20)

5. (398) Byrne Racing, Shullsburg, Wisc. (#40)

6. (386) Patty Bateman, Murphysboro, Ill. (#55)

7. (381) Curtis Williams, Springfield, Ill. (#81)

8. (361) RPM/Fred Gormly, Brownsburg, Ind. (#99)

9. (340) Hemelgarn Enterprises, Indianapolis, Ind. (#91)

10. (268) Paul Martens, Fairview, Okla. (#48)

11. (241) Hardy Boys Motorsports, Benton, Ill. (#71)

12. (229) Klatt Enterprises, Hastings, Neb. (#6)

13. (213) Bowman Racing, Brownsburg, Ind. (#02)

14. (195) Sam Pierce, Daleville, Ind. (#26)

15. (188) Leary/Six-R Racing, Greenfield, Ind. (#30)

16. (187) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#120)

17. (181) Wilson Brothers Racing, Crawfordsville, Ind. (#07)

18. (180) Patrick Lawson, Edwardsville, Ill. (#2)

19. (161) DJ Racing, Jamestown, Ind. (#122)

20. (159) Carla & Steve Phillips, Avon, Ind. (#27)

21. (154) Swanson Racing, Des Moines, Iowa (#21)

22. (151) SET Racing, Joliet, Ill. (#53)

23. (140) Dennis & Dave McQuinn, Springfield, Ill. (#14)

24. (123) Ralph Liguori, Tampa, Fla. (#58)

25. (121) Michael Dutcher Motorsports, Cicero, Ind. (#17)

26. (116) Bowman-Armstrong Racing, Brownsburg, Ind. (#121)

27. (98) Eddie Sachs Racing, Mt. Clemens, Mich. (#25)

28. (93) Todd Satterthwaite, St. Louis, Mo. (#23)

29. (80) Bill Rose, Plainfield, Ind. (#66)

30. (72) Fetter Tile, Troy, Mo. (#89)

31. (71) Bland Brothers Enterprises, Springfield, Ill. (#5)

32. (65) Neil Shepherd, Rochester, Ind. (#107)

33. (61) Terry Babb, Decatur, Ill. (#00)

34. (59) Galas Motorsports, O’Fallon, Ill. (#12)

35. (51) Berkheimer Racing, Mechanicsburg, Pa. (#31)

36. (47) RFMS Racing, Galesburg, Ill. (#3)

37. (39) Matt Barker-Ruthe Thackeray, Colfax, Ill. (#0)

38. (39) Chris Urish, Elkhart, Ill. (#77)

39. (37) Dr. Jim Logan, St. Louis, Mo. (#16)

40. (37) Kevin Studley, Brownsburg, Ind. (#157)

41. (35) Danny Long, Bonne Terre, Mo. (#44)

42. (33) Scott Spivey, Ontario, Calif. (#84)

43. (32) Joey Moughan, Springfield, Ill. (#29)

44. (27) BBH Motorsports, Aliquippa, Pa. (#90)

45. (25) Gamester Racing, Peru, Ind. (#51)

46. (23) Fetter Tile, Troy, Mo. (#88)

47. (22) Bob Lesko, Wayne, N.J. (#52)

48. (13) Kenny Gentry, Henderson, Ky. (#18)

49. (13) Jackie Burke, Houston, Texas (#86)

50. (10) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#201)







(3) Kody Swanson (Indiana State Fairgrounds on May 26, Lucas Oil Raceway on July 21 & Salem Speedway on Aug. 13)

(3) Chris Windom (Williams Grove Speedway on June 10, Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on Sept. 3 & Eldora Speedway on Sept. 24)

(2) Tanner Swanson (Lucas Oil Raceway on May 27 & Gateway Motorsports Park on June 25)

(1) C.J. Leary (Terre Haute Action Track on April 3)



(174) Kody Swanson

(168) Chris Windom

(101) Justin Grant

(80) Bobby Santos

(55) Tanner Swanson & Jeff Swindell

(50) Aaron Pierce

(36) C.J. Leary

(32) Jerry Coons, Jr.

(25) Brady Bacon

(9) Shane Cottle



(9) Chris Windom

(8) Kody Swanson

(4) Justin Grant

(3) Brady Bacon, Jerry Coons, Jr. & Tanner Swanson

(2) Bryan Clauson & Bobby Santos

(1) David Byrne, Shane Cockrum, Shane Cottle, Tyler Courtney, C.J. Leary, Joe Liguori, Austin Nemire, Aaron Pierce, Casey Shuman, Robert Stout & Jeff Swindell



(9) Chris Windom

(8) Jerry Coons, Jr. & Kody Swanson

(7) Justin Grant

(5) David Byrne, Shane Cottle & Joe Liguori

(4) Brady Bacon & Casey Shuman

(3) Bryan Clauson, Shane Cockrum, Dave Darland & Tanner Swanson

(2) Joe Axsom, C.J. Leary, Aaron Pierce, Bobby Santos, Mark Smith & Jeff Swindell

(1) Steve Buckwalter, Tyler Courtney, Patrick Lawson, Austin Nemire, Ryan Newman, Davey Ray, Bill Rose, Hunter Schuerenberg, Robert Stout, Brian Tyler & Jacob Wilson



(3) Kody Swanson

(1) Brady Bacon, Tyler Courtney, Justin Grant, C.J. Leary, Bobby Santos & Tanner Swanson



(9) David Byrne, Jerry Coons, Jr., Shane Cottle, Justin Grant, Austin Nemire, Casey Shuman, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

(8) Joe Liguori

(6) Shane Cockrum

(5) Brady Bacon, Steve Buckwalter, Patrick Lawson, C.J. Leary, Aaron Pierce & Jacob Wilson

(4) Dave Darland & Billy Puterbaugh, Jr.

(3) Terry Babb, J.C. Bland, Bryan Clauson, Chris Fetter, Terry James, Davey Ray, Bobby Santos, Tanner Swanson & Jeff Swindell

(2) Joe Axsom, Dave Berkheimer, A.J. Fike, Danny Long, Joey Moughan, Tad Roach, Bill Rose, Neil Shepherd, Mark Smith & Mitch Wissmiller

(1) Robert Ballou, Jackie Burke, Tyler Courtney, Zach Daum, Russ Gamester, Kenny Gentry, Matt Goodnight, John Heydenreich, Dakota Jackson, Ryan Newman, Billy Pauch, Jr., Hunter Schuerenberg, Robert Stout, Kevin Studley, Brian Tyler, Chris Urish



Apr. 3: Terre Haute Action Track – Casey Shuman (12th)

May 26: Indiana State Fairgrounds – Mark Smith (9th)

May 27: Lucas Oil Raceway – Robert Stout (4th)

June 10: Williams Grove Speedway – Mark Smith (6th)

June 25: Gateway Motorsports Park – Joe Liguori (5th)

July 21: Lucas Oil Raceway – Joe Axsom (9th)

Aug. 13: Salem Speedway – Joe Liguori (8th)

Sept. 3: Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Casey Shuman (4th)

Sept. 24: Eldora Speedway – Tyler Courtney (3rd)



Apr. 3: Terre Haute Action Track – Bryan Clauson (6 positions)

May 26: Indiana State Fairgrounds – Terry James (13 positions)

May 27: Lucas Oil Raceway – Shane Cockrum (7 positions)

June 10: Williams Grove Speedway – Bryan Clauson (14 positions)

June 25: Gateway Motorsports Park – Joe Liguori (4 positions)

July 21: Lucas Oil Raceway – Casey Shuman (4 positions)

Aug. 13: Salem Speedway – Chris Windom (4 positions)

Sept. 3: Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Bill Rose (20 positions)

Sept. 24: Eldora Speedway – Shane Cottle (12 positions)