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Silver Crown
Friday, 1 May 2020


Kody Swanson, 2017 USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson, 2017 USAC Silver Crown champion John Mahoney 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

When one sits and begins to dig into the numbers that Kody Swanson has put up during his four-year tenure with DePalma Motorsports’ USAC Silver Crown program, the figures jump off the page.

Of course, 2017’s series title was his third driver championship, which equaled him with fellow Californians Bud Kaeding and Jimmy Sills as the only drivers to earn three series titles.

His 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th victories moved him past some tall cotton on the way to second place on the series’ all-time win list at the conclusion of the 2017 season: J.J. Yeley, then Dave Steele and, finally, Brian Tyler.

Thirteen drivers have won on both the pavement and dirt in a Silver Crown car during a single season.  One driver has done it twice (Yeley in 1998 & 2003).  But, get this.  Swanson has accomplished this feat in three-straight seasons!

Prior to 2014, only Rickey Hood (1985), Jack Hewitt (1986), Yeley (2003) and Steele (2005) had won four Silver Crown races in a single season, but never more than once.  Since that point, Swanson has won at least that many in three of the last four seasons.

During the 2017 season, he led all drivers in every major statistical category with 241 laps led, 9 top-fives, 10 top-tens in 10 starts and 5 ProSource Fast Qualifying times.

Of all the accolades, numbers, statistics, facts and figures you can conjure up, the most rewarding number to the humble and appreciative Swanson is four.  The four represents the number of car owner titles the DePalma family, with legendary crew chief Bob Hampshire, has earned in Swanson’s four years at the helm of the Radio Hospital-sponsored No. 63.

“I might be more proud and excited to be a part of that record than I am anything else,” Swanson said regarding the team that tied East/Stewart Racing’s four title run from 2002-05.  “I've always taken my role as a driver to help my team succeed.  To have been part of an incredible last four seasons and accomplish what we have together is very special to me.”

It was the latest into the season Swanson had gone without a victory since 2014.  Okay, so it was the third race when he reached victory lane for the first time in 2017.  But there was no inkling of a hitch in his giddy-up as he took control of the points by race two and never lost grip with victories following at Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway, Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway, Salem (Ind.) Speedway and at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.

Throughout Silver Crown’s history, many drivers and teams seem to have spurts of excellence in which they are the dominant force within the series for multiple years before another team, another driver, claims the throne.

Drivers capturing back-to-back titles and never returning to the top of the standings include Hewitt (1986-87), Yeley (2002-03), Steele (04-05), Levi Jones (2010-11) and Bobby East (2012-13).  Previously, only Bud Kaeding was able to garner three in a four-year span from 2006-09 while Sills took three of seven between 1990-96.

After Chris Windom rose to the top in 2016 with a narrow defeat of Swanson by a five-point margin, Swanson and the DePalmas easily could’ve packed it in and settled for the success they had already attained, but that didn’t interest this group who marched on with the same approach and the same laser-sharp focus that was engrained in their approach to every challenge they encountered.

“It was tough on all of us to miss it in 2016, but maybe even more because it was so close,” Swanson admits.  “This year, I don't think we really refocused on any changes.  For the most part, I think our approach was the same.  This team does a great job on preparing for each race as it comes, and I think that helps us to do the best we can at every race on the schedule.”

With a remarkable 16 wins in four seasons, that would be enough to rewrite most of the pages in Silver Crown’s record book.  Yet, Swanson and the DePalmas have gone a step further by merely writing their own book, doing it their own way that has seen them rise to incredible heights with much more lying ahead on the horizon.

“It has been an incredible journey to this point,” Swanson realizes.  “When you think about just what has taken place with our team these past few years, it has been almost hard to believe.  There are times when the magnitude of it all sinks in, but I really try not to think about it too much.  I'm definitely grateful to have made it this far, but I'm planning to keep working hard at it and see what the future holds.”

Columbus, Indiana’s Joss Moffatt, meanwhile was named USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year for 2017 after finishing 8th in the series’ standings.





By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Terre Haute, Indiana………Chris Windom picked up right where he left off in a number of ways Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.

One night after celebrating a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Windom was back in the familiar setting of victory lane at the 17th running of the “Sumar Classic.”

“It’s pretty special getting the win last night and then to come out here with a brand-new team, I really don’t know what to say.  I met a lot of these guys for the first time today.  Gene Kazmark gave me the opportunity and gave me a great racecar to come out here and win tonight.”

Incredibly, this was Kazmark’s first entry into a Silver Crown event as an owner since the “Hoosier Hundred” in September of 2001 with driver Ricky Shelton.  However, the car itself was a familiar commodity to Windom as it was the same car he drove to victory in his most recent series’ win at Eldora Speedway’s “4-Crown Nationals” for the Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise team in September 2016.  But a new team means new surroundings, and Windom and the crew quickly adapted to their new environment.

“I’m pretty familiar with the car,” Windom admits.  “It’s pretty much the same exact car we won Eldora with last year.  That definitely gave us a head start coming in.  The guys working on it busted their tails all winter long to maintain and rebuild it and keep it as good as it was last year.  It’s pretty special to be able to come out here and do this.  I didn’t know exactly what my expectations were coming here since I didn’t know the guys very well, but we jelled right from the first practice session.”

Windom became just the fifth driver in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to follow up a win in the previous season’s final race with a victory in the season opener the next year.  The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Al Unser (1974), Tom Bigelow (1976), Jerry Coons, Jr. (2011) and Kody Swanson (2015).

In fact, dating to the 2016 “Ted Horn 100” at Illinois’ Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Windom has been victorious in three straight Silver Crown events, the 10th driver in the history of the series to do so.

The Canton, Illinois native also became the fourth defending Silver Crown champ to capture the following season’s opening race, joining Al Unser (1974), Dave Steele (2006) and Kody Swanson (2015).

The three most recent “Sumar Classic” winners coming into Sunday, Shane Cockrum (2015), C.J. Leary (2016) and Kody Swanson (2014) owned the lead in the first half of the 100-lap event, but by the midway point, Windom had steadily worked his way to the front from his ninth starting position, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to make his way through the pack.

By the 50th lap, Windom chomped into Swanson’s lead.  The two series champs worked the bottom after Swanson moved his line between turns three and four from the top to the bottom.  Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags.

Windom had opened up a near full-straightaway lead over new second-place runner Leary with two-thirds of the race in the bag, while Swanson occupied third.  With 18 to go, though, Windom’s lead had grown to seven seconds and the insurmountable advantage seemed unattainable for second on back until eighth-running Bill Rose slowed with an apparent driveline issue to bring out the caution.

With the field bunched up, Windom’s lead was now gone, and he would have to contend with defending race winner Leary in the closing laps.  However, Windom was able to get a solid jump with the lapped cars of Johnny Petrozelle and Joe Liguori standing between the front two on the lap 83 restart, thus allowing Windom to break away as Leary fought his way around the two to give chase.

Windom and Leary worked the bottom lap-after-lap as Leary slowly, but surely chipped away at the gap.  By lap 92, Leary had sliced Windom’s advantage to under a half-second and was still closing.

It was at this juncture one year ago when Leary made the race-winning move for the win, but this year’s lap 93 did not work in his favor as he began to lose valuable ground and Windom started to distance himself from Leary once-and-for-all.

Windom had withstood the challenge, taking the victory by just a tad under two seconds over Leary, Swanson, top-rookie finisher Hunter Schuerenberg and Jerry Coons, Jr.

It was Windom’s sixth career Silver Crown victory, which moves him into the top-20 on the series’ career win list.  Meanwhile, he also continued a streak of different “Sumar Classic” winners each year going back to 1999.

“I knew I found something on the bottom,” Windom recalls.  “I couldn’t hit it twice in a row for a while, but I finally hit my marks on entry to where I could hit it on the exit.  That’s where I’d gain on him off the corner.  I didn’t want to show him a nose.  I wanted to be able to pass him cleanly so he couldn’t take my line away.  We got to traffic and it kind of played in my favor.  A low and slow race takes a lot out of you trying to hit your marks like that every single lap.”

“I don’t think our momentum could be much better right,” Windom acknowledges.  “It’s awesome to be able start the year like this.  I’ve never had a year quite this good this early.”

Greenfield, Indiana’s C.J. Leary continued his impressive runs at Terre Haute over the past three seasons by scoring his third-straight top-two result with a second-place finish in his Chuck & Tammi Leary/Leary Construction – Gray Auto/DRC/1Way Toyota.

“I think it’s this DRC Silver Crown Car,” Leary humbly attributes for his recent run of success at Terre Haute.  “Joe (Devin) and I have been working really well together on this deal.  Terre Haute is really not one of my better tracks, but in the Silver Crown car here, two seconds and a win is pretty awesome.  I think we picked the wrong tire tonight, though.  We went with a 25 instead of a 20 thinking it was going to rubber up early, but it never did.”

“Chris (Windom) and I were about the same speed,” Leary explains during the final run to the checkered.  “Every time he’d make a mistake, I seemed to make the same mistake.  I figured I could catch him, but I didn’t know if we could pass him.  It felt kind of like déjà vu from last year.  I thought we might be able to pull off the upset, but that’s racing.  We’ll load up, go back to the shop and try to make it a little bit faster.”

Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California grabbed third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy. 

“You really don’t want to get too far back at Terre Haute behind guys like Shane (Cockrum) and C.J. (Leary), both former Sumar winners,” Swanson said.  “I knew I had to figure out how to get around them early on and the top of (turns) three and four seemed to be holding.  If you’re going to get to the lead doing it, you got to be the first one to try it.  You have to stick your neck out and make something happen.  This crew works hard for me and I was going to work hard for them to make sure I got us back to the lead.  I did everything I could do to put us in a position to win.  I chased it higher and higher; there were so many cars on the bottom throwing the marbles out and, when the moisture went away, you just couldn’t keep doing it anymore and I had to come to the bottom.”

“This team’s a pleasure to race for,” Swanson continued.  “We went in with what we thought was going to happen and it just didn’t tonight.  We never quit.  We gave it everything we had and we’re disappointed because these guys are good and we want to win, but tonight we just missed a little bit. We’ll come back and try again.  There’s no one else I’d rather come back to the races with.”

Contingency award winners Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Dave Darland (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Patrick Bruns (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 2, 2017 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Terre Haute Action Track – Sumar Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-23.599; 2. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-23.794; 3. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-23.881; 4. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-23.925; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-23.990; 6. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-24.063; 7. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-24.119; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-24.382; 9. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-24.809; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-24.857; 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-24.953; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-25.021; 13. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-25.066; 14. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-25.127; 15. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-25.148; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-25.195; 17. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-25.382; 18. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.509; 19. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-25.551; 20. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-25.565; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-25.596; 22. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-25.886; 23. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-25.981; 24. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-26.032; 25. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-26.064; 26. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-26.323; 27. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.486; 28. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-26.707; 29. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-27.284; 30. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-NT; 31. David Shain, 7, Hardy-NT.

QUALIFYING RACE: (15 laps) 1. Mark Smith, 2. Shane Cottle, 3. Damion Gardner, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Bill Rose, 6. Joss Moffatt, 7. Austin Nemire, 8. J.C. Bland, 9. Terry Babb, 10. Jacob Wilson, 11. Korey Weyant, 12. Dave Berkheimer, 13. Chris Fetter, 14. Kenny Gentry. 5:51.67

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (9), 2. C.J. Leary (5), 3. Kody Swanson (1), 4. Hunter Schuerenberg (11), 5. Jerry Coons Jr. (16), 6. Brady Bacon (6), 7. Dave Darland (20), 8. Damion Gardner (19), 9. Dakota Jackson (13), 10. Joss Moffatt (22), 11. Johnny Petrozelle (12), 12. Joe Liguori (14), 13. Patrick Bruns (15), 14. David Byrne (3), 15. Austin Nemire (23), 16. Bill Rose (21), 17. Steve Buckwalter (10), 18. Shane Cockrum (4), 19. Mark Smith (17), 20. Aaron Pierce (8), 21. Shane Cottle (18), 22. Justin Grant (7), 23. J.C. Bland (24), 24. Casey Shuman (2). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Shane Cockrum, Laps 19-25 C.J. Leary, Laps 26-49 Kody Swanson, Laps 50-100 Chris Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Dave Darland (20th to 7th)


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-73, 2-C.J. Leary-67, 3-Kody Swanson-67, 4-Hunter Schuerenberg-61, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-58, 6-Brady Bacon-55, 7-Dave Darland-52, 8-Damion Gardner-49, 9-Dakota Jackson-46, 10-Joss Moffatt-43.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Avondale, Arizona………It had been eight years since the United States Auto Club competed at Phoenix Raceway.  Since then, the track has been slightly reconfigured, repaved and renovated.

On Saturday, to Bobby Santos, it was still the same Phoenix Raceway he knew and loved back in 2009 when he raced to a USAC National Midget victory at the one-mile tri-oval.

In his return, Santos used his experience and bravado to outduel David Byrne in a wild west shootout, racing past Byrne using a massive run off turn four, then fending off his comeback attempt off turn two a lap later to capture his seventh career USAC Silver Crown presented by TRAXXAS victory at the “Phoenix Copper Cup.”

Santos took the pole position for Saturday’s 100-mile event after recording the top speed in Friday’s ProSource Qualifying session.  And, right from the drop of the green flag, Santos put that speed on full display as he sprinted to the lead.

However, sixth-starting Tanner Swanson’s day came to an immediate end as he slowed to a stop just after taking the green.  After the restart, the man on the move was seventh-starting Byrne.  By lap 16, the Shullsburg, Wisconsin native had worked his way to fourth with an outside pass of Damion Gardner off turn four.  It took Byrne just three more laps to grab third, using the high line off four to take third from Justin Grant.

In rapid-fire succession, Byrne disposed of Kody Swanson on lap 20 after switching to the low-line, outpacing the two-time series champ exiting the fourth turn for the second position and, on lap 22, Byrne corralled Santos, beating him to the bottom in turn one to take the lead.

Meanwhile, Swanson and Grant were engaged in a torrid battle for third.  But, by lap 25, Grant, the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader, was grinding the right side of his car into the baby blue-colored SAFER barrier, ending a solid run for the talented Ione, California driver.

Under the yellow, race control deemed that Byrne had jumped the previous restart, relegating him back to second in the running order behind Santos for the lap 31 restart.  Byrne wasted absolutely no time getting back to the front, snagging the top spot from Santos on lap 33 where he would remain for the next 60 laps.

Earlier in the afternoon, Chris Windom was announced as the new driver of the No. 2 regularly driven by Patrick Lawson.  Windom made heavy wall contact in Friday’s practice, sidelining his Gene Kazmark Racing No. 92 for the remainder of the weekend.

Windom would start at the tail of the 16-car field, but that didn’t faze the Canton, Illinois driver as he raced from the back to eighth by lap 39, when suddenly, his new ride went up in smoke, sending him to pit road and putting an end to his three-race win streak in the series as well as his run of 13-straight top-five Silver Crown finishes.

Byrne quickly distanced himself from Santos on the ensuing restart, but little-by-little, Santos erased most of the gap, shaving off a half-second of Byrne’s one-plus second lead prior to a yellow for Damion Gardner’s hard hit with the turn four wall caused by a broken right front wheel.

When action resumed with 31 laps remaining, Santos threw his first dart at Byrne.  Santos wrestled the lead away from Byrne with an inside move entering the first turn.  Byrne came right back at Santos, hitting the bottom of turn three to retake the position as a freight-train of Santos, K. Swanson, Aaron Pierce and Davey Hamilton followed.

Yellow flags continued to haunt Santos as yet another caution fell when USAC’s winningest female driver Toni Breidinger, making her Silver Crown debut, stalled in turn two just as Santos had closed on Byrne’s rear bumper.

Byrne took advantage of his newfound breathing room to distance himself from Santos on the restart with 18 laps to go.  But, yet again, all it took was a handful of laps and Santos was back in the game.  With 12 laps remaining, the gap was a mere single car-length as Santos continued to reel him in.

Santos repeatedly looked to the outside, peeking his nose to the right armguard of Byrne on laps 89 and 90 when he veered a little too high, into the marbles, which cost him valuable ground in the race for the win.

As had been the case all afternoon long, Santos struck back, using a high-low crossover off turn four on lap 92 to pull wheel-to-wheel with Byrne down the front straightaway.  Byrne was credited with the lead at the start/finish line, but the lead wasn’t long for this world as Santos outpaced Byrne into the first turn to capture the point.  Byrne fought back with all his might in turn three, but slid up off the bottom, allowing Santos to speed away.

A three-car breakaway of Santos, Byrne and K. Swanson ran nose-to-tail in the final laps with Santos continually using a big run off turn two to ward off all potential challengers.  Swanson relentlessly worked on Byrne for second, finding the outside groove to his liking as he sped around Byrne for second off turn two.

Swanson quickly charged at Santos, but the sand in the proverbial hourglass had run out, as Santos crossed under the double-checkered flags for his first series victory in nearly two years at Iowa Speedway, the last Silver Crown victory on pavement by a driver not named Kody or Tanner Swanson until Saturday at Phoenix.

The victory, though, was a homecoming of sorts for the Franklin, Massachusetts native who scored a victory the last time USAC visited Phoenix.  Despite the changes the track surface has undergone over the past several seasons, the story remained the same for the pavement hot shoe in his DJ Racing/Simpson Race Products/Beast/VDS Chevy.

“This track’s different, but in my opinion, it still races like the old Phoenix, which I think definitely helped,” Santos believes.  “I have some experience here and I knew where I could take advantage and put myself in a position to be there at the end.”

Four separate yellow flag periods seemed to plague Santos throughout the 100-lap event, stalling his charge to the lead.  But, despite the setbacks, the past NASCAR Whelen Modified champion believes his timing was just right on this afternoon.

“I really believe it’s the timing to pass here that’s most important,” Santos said.  “With my experience, (turns) three and four are such important corners.  Making your speed there and getting it done down the front stretch has been my experience and I don’t feel that has changed.  My team put me in position to hold a champion off as well as an excellent racer like David.  I definitely had to work my butt off for this one.  David was wicked fast in the beginning and then Kody challenged us at the end.  There’s no time to sit down in the seat.  All three of us were pushing as hard as we could.”

Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson took second in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire.  Yet, despite taking over the point lead in the latest Silver Crown standings, the 2014 and 2015 series champ was looking for more.

“Because I race for points, people want to look at the points,” Swanson said.  “I feel something I’m good at is surviving long races.  After the (championship) heartbreak last year, my focus has been to win races when we can.  Not that I wasn’t before, but I really want to focus on that.  Today, even with the late yellows, I didn’t think I had anything for these guys.  As the race played out, suddenly I was in the hunt at the end.  We found something a little bit different, but it was too little, too late.  I’m a little disappointed in myself for not figuring it out soon enough.  Being here on the podium is a good day, but I would’ve liked for it to have gone a little longer and I’d have liked to have figured it out a little sooner.”

David Byrne led a race-high 69 laps in his Byrne Racing/Stoops Freightliner Truck Country - Bytec, Inc./Beast/J & D Performance machine.  Byrne was strong all day, but feels that without the late race cautions, the “Copper Cup” was his.

“I wish it would’ve gone green all the way,” lamented Byrne.  “We were real sporty there at the start, but to say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Every time a yellow came out, I’d lose grip in the center off.  They kept saying Bobby was closing there in the end, and the more I pushed, the more the right rear would chatter.  It just kind of slowed me up.  I couldn’t push any harder than I was.  In turns three and four, Bobby was better than me.  I was really good in turns one and two and they were better than me in three and four.  At the end, I just didn’t have it.”

Contingency award winners this weekend at Phoenix Raceway include Bobby Santos (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Jerry Coons, Jr. (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Chris Windom (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: April 28-29, 2017 – Avondale, Arizona – Phoenix Raceway – Phoenix Copper Cup

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-25.362; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-25.499; 3. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-25.607; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-25.609; 5. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-25.666; 6. Tanner Swanson, 201, Nolen-25.682; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-25.768; 8. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.078; 9. Henry Clarke, 75, Rose-26.342; 10. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-26.656; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-26.906; 12. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-27,390; 13. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-27.416; 14. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-28.067; 15. Shane Butler, 15, Thompson-30.978; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-NT; 17. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Bobby Santos (1), 2. Kody Swanson (2), 3. David Byrne (7), 4. Davey Hamilton (3), 5. Jerry Coons Jr. (15), 6. Shane Butler (14), 7. Aaron Pierce (5), 8. Toni Breidinger (13), 9. A.J. Russell (12), 10. Henry Clarke (9), 11. Joe Axsom (11), 12. Damion Gardner (8), 13. Chris Windom (#2) (16), 14. Justin Grant (4), 15. Tanner Swanson (6), 16. Davey Hamilton Jr. (10). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Bobby Santos, Laps 22-30 David Byrne, Laps 31-32 Bobby Santos, Laps 33-92 David Byrne, laps 93-100 Bobby Santos.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jerry Coons Jr. (15th to 5th)


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-134, 2-Jerry Coons Jr.-116, 3-Chris Windom-110, 4-David Byrne-102, 5-Damion Gardner-88, 6-Aaron Pierce-75, 7-Bobby Santos-73, 8-C.J. Leary-67, 9-Hunter Schuerenberg-61, 10-Davey Hamilton-61.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana……… Lately, it seems every victory Kody Swanson captures sets a new standard in the USAC Silver Crown record book.

Friday night’s “Carb Night Classic” at Lucas Oil Raceway was no exception as the Californian led all 100 laps from the pole to surpass J.J. Yeley and join the late, great Dave Steele for third on the all-time series win list with his 16th career triumph.

For a time in the late 1990s, there was no greater dominator in USAC competition at LOR (then known as Indianapolis Raceway Park) than the late Steele, the two-time Silver Crown champion who passed away this past March after a sprint car crash at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.

Currently, we are in the midst of the Swanson era at the .686-mile paved oval located west of Indianapolis where Kody and his younger brother, Tanner, have combined for five-straight, and seven of the past eight, Silver Crown wins.  Though Tanner won the first five of those, Kody had the upper hand in the last two in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire.

Kody appreciates each and every win that he’s fortunate to earn in his career, but Friday’s victory gave him pause in his victory lane speech as the significance of placing his name alongside Steele’s in the record book has deeply personal meaning.

“Dave Steele was someone that I really considered a friend, and someone I looked up to as a driver,” Kody explained.  “I was so saddened by his passing and for his family.  To join him is an honor; he was incredible behind the wheel and in this series.”

Kody started on the pole of the 100-lap event after recording ProSource Fast Qualifying time as the last car to hit the track in time trials.  Right from the outset, it was the three LOR dominators of the decade running one-two-three with Kody Swanson, Tanner Swanson and Bobby Santos – winners of nine of the past 10 at the track – leading the way.

The trifecta was the class of the field as they seceded from the pack, holding a straightaway lead over the fourth-place car of Jerry Coons, Jr. just ten laps into the show.

Lapped traffic came into play early on, but it didn’t do much to slow the pace of the leaders who maintained a torrid transit as they slipped their way around the tail-end of machinery.  By lap 30, Kody found a home in a new zip code a half straightaway ahead of Tanner and Santos.

At halfway, the race’s first yellow flag flew when Troy Thompson, in his series debut, spun backwards into the infield grass at the exit of turn two while battling with Bill Rose.  Thompson’s car made no wall contact and the Florida native was able to restart.

On the ensuing restart, Kody had a pair of lapped cars as a buffer between himself and Tanner.  It only took Tanner a lap-and-a-half to clear both Aaron Pierce, then Justin Grant.  By then, Kody had taken advantage of the situation and stretched his lead out to 1.5 seconds.

With 27 laps remaining, fifth-running Jerry Coons, Jr. slowed with a flat right front tire to bring out second caution of the evening.  The Tucson, Arizona native and USAC Triple Crown champ lost a lap in the pit area as the Gene Nolen Racing crew efficiently went to work on replacing the rubber before sending him back into the fray.

With the field bunched up at the resumption of racing on lap 77, Santos poked a nose under Tanner for the second position in turn one.  The move was made to no avail, but Kody up front couldn’t escape the two chasers who ran nose-to-tail and remained close enough to strike despite their own personal battle for second.

In the late stages, the race for the win wasn’t the only competition at stake; there was also the ongoing race against the imminent storm.  With 10 laps remaining and dark clouds emerging over the springtime Indiana sky, sixth-running Justin Grant slammed the turn three SAFER barrier, eerily similar to the shunt he experienced at Phoenix Raceway a month ago.

After the accident cleanup, that left just two laps and a green-white-checker shootout to the finish.  Kody, Tanner and Santos lined up uninterrupted first through third for the final restart.  Santos repeated his move from the most recent restart, but this time, powered his way past Tanner to snag second.

Santos went to work, gaining on Kody as he laid down his fastest two laps of the race, since lap four, on the 99th and 100th circuit.  The anticipation grew as a David Byrne-esque charge for the win played through the minds of the enthusiastic crowd on-hand.  However, Kody was even quicker than Santos on the final two rounds and muscled the No. 63 to his third overall LOR Silver Crown win by three-tenths over Santos, Tanner, Chris Windom and Aaron Pierce.

It was the third win in four races for Kody in the “black” pavement car that the team purchased after destroying their traditional “white” car in a jarring crash at Gateway Motorsports Park in June of 2016.  Not that the white car was a slouch by any means, but it rarely got over the hump to find victory lane in Kody’s hands since he began his tenure with the team in 2014.  The lone win with Kody at the wheel of the white car came at Toledo (OH) Speedway in May of 2015.

The black car utilized Friday night is a former RFMS Motorsports machine driven by A.J. Fike and has done wonders for the team’s asphalt program.  Since the addition of the black car, Kody and the DePalma Motorsports team have won three of four on the blacktop: LOR (1st), Salem (Ind.) Speedway (1st), Phoenix (2nd) and LOR (1st), including 200 straight laps led at LOR over the past two events.

“I don’t think I fully attributed the trouble we were having to the white car until we got the black one,” Kody admits.  “That white car had been wrecked and straightened before we had it and I don’t think I quite realized what lasting effects that had.  This black car has been solid for us right out of the box and my guys work really hard to keep us near the front.  I’m really thankful that the hard work is paying off.”

Contingency award winners Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway include Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Kevin Studley (KSE Racing Products / Billy Winsemann Racing Hard Charger Award) and Troy Thompson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: May 26, 2017 – Brownsburg, Indiana – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – Carb Night Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.004; 2. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.150; 3. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-21.228; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-21.351; 5. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20, Nolen-21.358; 6. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-21.368; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.465; 8. Davey Hamilton, Jr., 98. RPM/Gormly-21.540; 9. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-21.551; 10. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-21.758; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-22.089; 12. Cody Gerhardt, 60, Gerhardt-22.107; 13. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-22.232; 14. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-22.570; 15. Kevin Studley, 57, Studley-22.692; 16. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-23.101; 17. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-23.284; 18. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-23.402; 19. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.459; 20. Troy Thompson, 15, Thompson-27.532.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Bobby Santos (3), 3. Tanner Swanson (2), 4. Chris Windom (6), 5. Aaron Pierce (9), 6. David Byrne (7), 7. Kevin Studley (15), 8. A.J. Russell (11), 9. Jerry Coons Jr. (5), 10. Patrick Lawson (17), 11. Toni Breidinger (13), 12. Joss Moffatt (14), 13. Troy Thompson (20), 14. Justin Grant (4), 15. Davey Hamilton Jr. (8), 16. Bill Rose (18), 17. Joe Liguori (16), 18. Joe Axsom (10), 19. J.C. Bland (19), 20. Cody Gerhardt (12). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-100 Kody Swanson.



NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-210, 2-Chris Windom-171, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-162, 4-David Byrne-157, 5-Bobby Santos-140, 6-Aaron Pierce-133, 7-Tanner Swanson-97, 8-A.J. Russell-95, 9-Justin Grant-91, 10-Toni Breidinger-90.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania………Kody Swanson has been the master of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS throughout the last three-and-a-half seasons.

No driver owns more victories (14) or championships (2) than the Kingsburg, California driver in that span.

However, the master still attests that he remains a student of the sport.  That has seeded him with the motivation to continually adjust and seek to find deficiencies in all areas of his racing craft that he feels he has to improve to make him a better driver.

In Friday night’s “Horn-Schindler Memorial” at Williams Grove Speedway, the humble, soft-spoken Swanson transformed into a stone-cold assassin when it comes to Silver Crown racing by running down the dominant Damion Gardner with 17 laps remaining to record his 17th career series victory, moving him up to second on the all-time list alongside Brian Tyler with now just one past legend of the series standing in front of him, the one who made the white No. 63 wrenched by Bob Hampshire the car to beat in its era, just like it is today.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more storied racer than Jack Hewitt,” Swanson said.  “Also, I was a teammate to Brian Tyler for a little while at the beginning of my Silver Crown career.  I feel pretty well connected to those two guys.  It’s a pretty special territory to be in.  I don’t know if I feel like we belong, but I’m thankful to be a part of it.  Brian and Jack had so many huge Silver Crown wins.  I guess we’re racking up our own little list here.”

In Friday’s race, however, Damion Gardner held a commanding lead from his pole starting position.  The five-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champ was making just his fourth-career Silver Crown start in only his second visit to the Grove of any kind after a Non-Wing World Championship triumph in 2002.

For much of the 100-lapper, Concord, California’s Gardner led by at least a half-straightaway and sometimes as much as a full-straightway.  Yet, to many long-time observers, with Swanson still lurking in the field, the outcome had yet to be decided.

On lap 62, seventh-starting Swanson worked his way past Justin Grant for the second position.  Though, just behind Gardner in the pecking order, Swanson remained a country-mile behind the leader until a yellow shortly thereafter bunched up the field for a restart with 31 laps to go.

As opposed to one year ago, the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 of Gardner was the chasee instead of the chaser such as it was in the 2016 “Horn-Schindler” when Bryan Clauson, in the 6, nearly ran down Chris Windom in the final laps for the win.

Gardner was initially able to gap Swanson on the lap 69 restart, but Swanson surely, and steadily, knocked off tenths of a second per lap as the two frontrunners occupied the middle groove on both ends of the racetrack.

Yet, with 17 to go, Swanson hit the topside of turns one and two, cut off the second corner and ducked underneath Gardner for the race lead, but wasn’t quite able to out-drag race Gardner into turn three before he wisely tucked back into line.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again is the creed that Swanson would adhere to a lap later, following Gardner and repeating the same exact maneuver on the same piece of real estate.  This time, Swanson had enough pull to push himself into the lead. 

“I knew Damion was running a similar line as me,” Swanson explains.  “I knew from tracking Justin (Grant) down that, once they move to the same spot, it’s so hard to get a run and get beside him without jeopardizing our race and wrecking us both.  When tracking him down, I knew there was less than 20 to go and it was time to get creative.  I tried the same line I used to get to the lead three times.  Once, earlier, I botched it so badly, but I didn’t lose much ground.  I thought ‘hey, if I actually do that right, that could be it.’  The second time, I got close, but I really chocked it up hard because I didn’t have enough room to do it without getting into him.  But I didn’t want to show him anything either, so I followed him in line and tried to do it right and had a really good head of steam on the next one.”

From there on, Swanson would remain in control for the balance of the race, even surviving a restart with nine to go, to win his second Silver Crown event in a row and become the first driver since himself in early 2015 to win back-to-back series races on the dirt and the pavement in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy over Gardner, Jerry Coons Jr., Chris Windom and Brady Bacon.

At first glance, it might appear to be another in a long line of patented late-race success stories for Swanson in which he bides his team before he inflicts his competitors with a venomous strike in the final quarter of the race on his way to victory.  Instead, Swanson feels this was one of those classic ‘get-up-on-the-wheel’ type of deals for all 100 laps.

“On the miles, we know we’ve been strong late,” Swanson pinpoints.  “Tonight, I didn’t qualify well.  I told the guys I felt like I blew the second lap and that put us deep.  I felt like I drove all 100 laps as hard as I could.  There were certain times where I had to take care of it, but it wasn’t a traditional ‘take-care-of-your-equipment’ type night for me.  I was hustling really hard to try to get by guys.  I had to get by Jerry (Coons, Jr.) and he doesn’t make mistakes.  And Justin doesn’t either.  You just have to find a way around.  Maybe I got by him because I know he had some brake problems and I thought we could pressure him into it a little bit.  I know we were forcing everyone to pick It up a little bit.  Damion was so good; it was going to take everything I had to run him down.”

“I’d like to say I was saving, and it worked according to plan, but I was scrambling,” Swanson admits.  “I typically don’t blister tires or wear out brakes, but I did both tonight.  These guys I’m racing against, they’re so good at the half-miles and also in a dirt sprint car, I feel like you have to go hard for 100 laps when you come to a place like this.  It’s something I’ve struggled to do.  Maybe I was just doing my best impersonation of a real dirt guy tonight.”

Of Swanson’s 17 career victories, eight have come on one-mile dirt ovals.  Though he hasn’t been uncompetitive by any means on the half-mile dirt tracks, he hadn’t recorded a victory on one since the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2014, Swanson admits the halves have been a bit of a struggle for him at times.

“They’re just different,” Swanson feels.  “I feel like I’m as in as good of shape as anybody in these longer races.  But you kind of race them different.  The miles have certain factors that aren’t as critical on the half-miles, like tire management.  There’s a lot of things on the half-miles that other drivers have been better than me at.  I’ve tried to identify those, and I’ve been working on them to do what I can to up my game like those other guys have on the half-miles to do a good job for my team.  They just race differently.  The miles have such a uniqueness to them, and, on the half-miles, many people say these cars look like bigger sprint cars and they kind of act like it.  Guys that have been so dominant in USAC Sprint Cars have been really good in USAC Silver Crown cars on the half-miles lately. That was an area I struggled with and have gone to work trying to get better.  I know I’ve still got more to go, but tonight we were good enough.”

In addition to his move up the ranks of all-time Silver Crown winners, Swanson has now recorded victories on many of the country’s most legendary dirt tracks: the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, the defunct New York State Fairgrounds, the Terre Haute Action Track and now Williams Grove Speedway.  It’s something that, at one point, seemed impossible not only to fans of the sport, but also to himself.  Not too bad for a guy once considered a pavement specialist.

“There was a time in my career, a lot of folks said I’d never be good enough on the dirt,” Swanson recalls.  “I still don’t feel like I am.  I’m still learning and working really hard.  These guys (DePalma Motorsports) give me a really good car.  They work really hard, so I’m going to work hard for them and try to get better.  To be second all-time is incredible.  For me being a guy who’s not supposed to be winning at Williams Grove, it’s pretty cool to be able to figure it out and beat some of the best dirt guys in the nation and to get it done at such a historic track.”

Like last year, the Klatt Enterprises/Beast – Klatt Enterprises/Beast/Ford experienced a similar, yet opposite fate on its Williams Grove run.  Last year, the car was the “chaser” with driver Bryan Clauson at the wheel as the No. 6 came on strong toward the end to nearly pull off the victory.  On Friday, the same car, driven by Damion Gardner, was the “chasee,” leading the first 83 laps before being overtaken by Swanson.  Nonetheless, it was a solid second-place run for the team in just Gardner’s fourth-career Silver Crown start.

“I ran as hard as I could early,” Gardner said.  “I just wanted to get to the lappers and put them all down, then ride the middle.  I knew Swanson would be coming at the end, the track would get slower and there’d be yellows.  I had two choices: if I slowed down, I wouldn’t be as good, and he would catch me.  Then, if I ran hard, it was going to hurt my tires.  We went fast.  Yeah, I hurt my tire, but there were other scenarios that played in there.  On that track there, you should be able do 100 laps wide open.  They told me to lay off for a while and I did, but maybe not enough.”

Fifteen years after his first and only visit to Williams Grove, Gardner is still in awe of the place and holds a true appreciation of one of the capstone dirt tracks on the American racing scene.

“Bad dudes come from PA and the Grove and fast joints like this,” Gardner praised.  “This place is historical.  It’s legendary.  Every time you come here, you want to win.  You pay attention to places like this.  The fans love us when we come out here; they show us a lot of respect and appreciation.  I like to put on a show and these fans really appreciate it.”

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. took a steady, solid third-place finish in his Gene Nolen Racing/KECO – Indy Race Parts/Maxim/Tranter Chevy, but it didn’t come without its trials and tribulations.

“I started to feel the steering wheel getting slippery with about 40 to go,” Coons remembers.  “It was pretty early on.  It was mainly on my left hand.  I kept wiping my hand on my suit down the straightaway.  With about 15 to go, the car started to get stiff.  Then, we had a yellow come out.  Without being on the throttle, it was getting pretty hard to steer, so I knew it was getting pretty low on fluid.  With about 10 to go, it was getting to where it didn’t like to turn left very well.”

“Here, you kind of roll into the corner and get the car sideways to where it’s turning to the right,” Coons continued.  “I could get it into a set and hold it there.  I got myself into a rhythm.  A couple times down in turns three and four, if I bobbled at all, lost the front end and had to turn it to the left, it took me a lot to get it back down.  Overall, the car was good.  We had an ignition box not running right in the first hot lap session.  Then, we went through the fuel system and changed the ignition box.  After those problems, a third-place is looking pretty good!”

Contingency award winners Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway include Damion Gardner (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Bryan Clauson Bad Fast Award Winner), Steve Buckwalter (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Austin Nemire (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: June 16, 2017 – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania – Williams Grove Speedway – Horn-Schindler Memorial

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-20.430; 2. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-20.527; 3. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-20.552; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-20.641; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-20.652; 6. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen20.662; 7. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-20.666; 8. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-20.717; 9. Mark Smith, 54, Lane20.823; 10. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-20.831; 11. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-20.984; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-21.037; 13. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-21.104; 14. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-21.206; 15. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-21.429; 16. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.503; 17. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-21.657; 18. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-21.923; 19. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-23.207; 20. Tyler Courtney, 97, Lein-NT; 21. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (7), 2. Damion Gardner (1), 3. Jerry Coons Jr. (6), 4. Chris Windom (2), 5. Brady Bacon (11), 6. Joe Liguori (10), 7. Patrick Bruns (14), 8. Austin Nemire (15), 9. Justin Grant (4), 10. Shane Cockrum (3), 11. Mark Smith (9), 12. C.J. Leary (5), 13. Steve Buckwalter (17), 14. Dave Darland (13), 15. Dakota Jackson (18), 16. David Byrne (16), 17. Hunter Schuerenberg (8), 18. Dave Berkheimer (19), 19. Johnny Petrozelle (12). NT

**Joss Moffatt flipped over the guardrail in turn 1 during practice. Johnny Petrozelle flipped during qualifying.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-83 Damion Gardner, Laps 84-100 Kody Swanson.




NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-280, 2-Chris Windom-232, 3-Jerry Coons Jr. 226, 4-David Byrne-188, 5-Damion Gardner-161, 6-Bobby Santos-140, 7-Justin Grant-137, 8-Aaron Pierce-133, 9-Joe Liguori-123, 10-Brady Bacon-113.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana………From 2006 through the early part of the 2010s, Lucas Oil Raceway was Bobby Santos’ jam.  It was a place that had become special to the Franklin, Massachusetts driver, for it was there that he scored his first career USAC Silver Crown and National Sprint Car victories.  Along the way, he tallied enough of them at LOR to place him within the top-five on the track’s all-time USAC win list.

Yet, after 2012, the win column at the .686-mile paved oval was void of Santos as the Swanson brothers (Tanner and Kody) began their era of domination, notching wins in seven of the eight Silver Crown races held at the place since Santos’ last triumph in 2012.

Thursday night, the Santos era was reborn at LOR as he outdueled Tanner Swanson early in the going, then held the point for the remainder of the 100-lapper despite having to withstand constant heavy pressure from Swanson for the majority of the event to earn his eighth overall victory at LOR, tying him with the event’s namesake Rich Vogler on the track’s all-time win list after capturing the “Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic.”

Ever since he was a child, Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park) was a special place for Santos, even long before he ever first set foot on the property.

“I grew up always hearing about it as a kid in Massachusetts,” Santos recalls.  “Then, I got the opportunity to come here and race against guys like Dave Steele, J.J. Yeley and Tracy Hines.  From the first time I came here 13 years ago, I’ve always loved this place.  It just took to my driving style right away.  I won some races here, but since then I’ve been off.  For a couple of those years, I fell out of love with it, but now I’m back in love with it.”

The perception of USAC Silver Crown (presented by TRAXXAS) racing is that the 100-lap races are marathons and not sprints.  Drivers will settle into a groove until about halfway before making their move.  The opening laps of Thursday’s race were anything but as pole sitter Tanner Swanson and third-starting Bobby Santos waged war in a wheel-to-wheel, side-by-side fistfight for the first three circuits, each taking their turn at the front: Santos (lap 1), Swanson (lap 2) and Santos once again on the third lap where he would finally secure the spot.

“They’re long races and it’s important to pace yourself, but at the same time, sometimes you have to make things happen early,” Santos explains.  “I got by Tanner, then pinned him down on the bottom and made him work harder than I was working those first five laps.  As crazy as it sounds, I think that pinning him down on those first five laps made a difference in my car versus his at the end.”

Tanner acknowledges the importance of track position, especially at a place like LOR where it may take multiple laps to set up and complete a pass.

“It’s tough here because it’s so narrow on entry,” Tanner details.  “You’ve got spotters, so you know if a guy’s going to try do something to you.  They can kind of protect their line if they need to, which we all do.  When you’re racing guys as good as Bobby Santos, my brother Kody and Aaron Pierce, they know where to put their car so it’s hard to get around them.  If you’ve got two cars going the same speed, that makes it tough on you.”

By the 15th lap, Santos led a four-car breakaway with Tanner Swanson, Kody Swanson and Aaron Pierce in hot pursuit as the frontrunners finally settled in.  At that point, and through much of the first half, Santos admits that when he distanced himself from Tanner for a bit, he thought he had it “nice and smooth.”  However, following a lap 42 restart, the sprint began.

Third-running Kody Swanson lost two spots on the front-straightaway as the green flag waved, dropping him to fifth as Pierce and Jerry Coons, Jr. scooted by for third and fourth, respectively.  Meanwhile, Tanner hung right with Santos and was ready to pounce if the opportunity arose.

On lap 58, Tanner took a chance on Santos as they came up to lap Tyler Courtney who was making his pavement Silver Crown debut.  Santos, the master craftsman that he is, executed the first of several lapped cars without a flinch, denying Tanner a golden opportunity.  Though lapped cars can be disruptive to the leaders at times, often they can prove to be just as beneficial.  Either way, they have, and always will be, a part of the deal.

“Lapped cars are tough,” Santos plainly states.  “Everyone did a good job holding their line.  Some of them were on the top and some of them were on the bottom, so we had to go inside and out.  I think a handful of us are pretty fast here and you’re going to deal with lapped cars.  It’s part of the race and, sometimes, being the guy out front is actually a disadvantage with lapped cars.  I just had to work hard to not allow that to hurt us.”

Santos and Tanner remained tied together in this high-speed dance, separated by no more than, at most, two car lengths at any point.  Each time, it appeared Santos had won another battleground by overtaking another lapped car.  Yet, each time, there was Tanner, mimicking Santos’ every move and losing absolutely no ground.

Lap after lap, Tanner was Tom and Santos was Jerry in this game of cat-and-mouse when they were finally able to clear the bulk of lapped traffic with 25 to go, leaving no traffic ahead of them for half a track.  The breathing room would quickly subside as the two re-entered rush hour with 15 remaining, but if Tanner was waiting for a mistake by Santos down the stretch, he wasn’t seeing it as Santos was picture perfect after both dove under Coons with 11 to go.

Tanner was waiting, watching and thinking where he could make his move.  An opportunity appeared to be on the horizon as a four-car group battled two and three-wide a half-straightaway ahead.  Tanner knew this was the spot he’d been anxiously waiting for.

“I ended up getting Kody in lapped traffic here in the July race a couple years ago,” Tanner remembers.  “That’s your best chance to make a move.  I tried to get up on the horse and run him down before we got to them.  It’s tough to tell where lapped cars are going which makes it tough to make a play on a guy.”

Approaching the gaggle with cautious optimism, that opportunity nearly blew up in front of both Santos and Tanner with eight laps to go as Annie Breidinger, having a solid top-ten run in her series debut, got sideways and tagged the turn three SAFER barrier before continuing on in front of the leaders.  That brought out the yellow, thus sending the lapped cars to the tail and presenting a clear track ahead for Santos and Tanner on the green-white-checkered restart.

Though disappointed by the yellow, a chance still existed.  After all, during a green-white-checkered run to end May’s event, it was Santos who beat Tanner for second.

“I was going to try and make it exciting,” Tanner admits.  “But we just didn’t get that good of a restart.  The motor stumbled a little bit and that was all she wrote.  You just can’t give a guy like Bobby Santos two car-lengths with two laps to go.  He knows how to finish off these races.”

That, he did.  Santos picked up the throttle and, as he did, for 400 consecutive turns, did not turn a wheel wrong and finished off a Hall of Fame-worthy performance on a night honoring the 12 newest inductees to the USAC Hall of Fame, defeating Tanner Swanson, Aaron Pierce, Kody Swanson and Chris Windom to the line for his eighth career Silver Crown victory, moving him into sole possession of 13th on the all-time Silver Crown win list.

It's been a storybook beginning to Santos’s season in his DJ Racing/Simpson Race Products/Beast/VDS Chevy, following a win at Phoenix in April, a second at LOR in May and now another victory at LOR heading into next Friday’s Hemelgarn Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway.

Speaking of fitness, that is something that Santos took to heart in the offseason as he aimed to get back on top of his game.

“I never thought it was important when I was young,” the 31-year-old Santos admits.  “But the last couple years, it’s come into play for me.  This year is the best I’ve felt in a long time.  As you get older, you’ve got to do it.  I just learned that the hard way the last couple years.”

Just as important, though, is the dedication he and the DJ Racing crew had on getting their racecar better.  It’s a racecar that Santos admits was a solid car the last couple years, but not a winning racecar until this year.

“We were disappointed with the way we’ve ran the last couple years,” Santos said point blank.  “We were good, but we were a third to fifth-place car.  Winning races is what it’s all about.  It keeps making you work harder when you win.  But when you’re on a losing streak, it gets depressing and it’s hard to get out of.  This winter, we really went to work on getting our engine better, our car better and myself better.  To this point, it’s paying off.”

Of course, continuously working on the car to get it more competitive is the ultimate goal of all who race, but when you have to deal with the likes of Kody and Tanner Swanson each time you compete, you are going to have your work cut out for you.  It’s something Santos realizes is not an easy task.

“We had to work our butt off for the last 70-plus laps,” Santos stated.  “Kody and Tanner are awesome.  It’s an honor to be able to beat those guys.  They’re two of the best and to beat them it means a lot.  The last race here in May, we learned something, and we finally got on the same page as those two guys.  It feels great to retake the throne after this one, but I’m sure they’ll be back strong the next time.”

Kingsburg, California’s Tanner Swanson’s plans for this year called for competing in only three Silver Crown events and, the majority of the time, he makes the most of each opportunity as evidenced by a third and second in his two LOR runs this season.  Tanner feels he didn’t leave much on the table in his final event of 2017 but thinks he could’ve been more aggressive at certain times, in hindsight, in his Bowman Racing/Brickers Pub – Bowman Properties/Beast/Kistler Chevy.

“Santos had the car to beat all night,” Tanner credits.  “There at the beginning, I kind of played with him and didn’t want to wear myself out.  I probably should’ve been a little more aggressive and tried to get the lead there and set my own pace.  He was moving at the start and when we got to about lap 50 or 60, I realized I was going to have to pressure him if I was going to do anything.  We ran him down but couldn’t do much once we got there.  I think last year we would’ve been able to lap the field like that.  Everybody else has gotten their stuff figured out.  We’re just going to have to step up our game a little bit more.”

Back in May’s “Carb Night Classic,” Muncie, Indiana’s Aaron Pierce was a lapped car.  This time around, he was a contender from the moment he first hit the track, finishing third in his Sam Pierce/Sam Pierce Chevrolet – G & G Racing Fuel/Beast/Chevy.

“We’ve been coming here for the last few years,” Pierce begins.  “We’ve qualified fifth and we’ve run fifth.  We had fast time a couple years ago and had a good car that night, but we just couldn’t get our car to race well.  I think we learned a little bit tonight.  In May, they lapped us, so at least we’re on the same straightaway with them now.  Maybe if we can pick it up, learn a little more from them and use what we learned, we can be up here again next time.  I kick myself a lot of times for not running hard enough at the beginning.  I told myself tonight that I wasn’t going to take it easy at the beginning.  I was going to try to run as fast as I could run the whole race.”

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Lucas Oil Raceway include Tanner Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Annie Breidinger (KSE Hard Charger) and Joss Moffatt (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: July 20, 2017 – Brownsburg, Indiana - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – Rich Vogler USAC Hall of Fame Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.038; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.045; 3. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-21.085; 4. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-21.319; 5. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-21.386; 6. Ryan Newman, 2v, Vance-21.498; 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-21.555; 8. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.616; 9. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-21.618; 10. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-21.764; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-21.915; 12. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-22.127; 13. Kevin Studley, 57, Studley-22.209; 14. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-22.728; 15. Bill Rose, 75, Rose22.751; 16. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-22.891; 17. Tyler Courtney, 99, RPM/Gormly-23.145; 18. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-23.236; 19. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-23.420; 20. Annie Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-24.053; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Bobby Santos (3), 2. Tanner Swanson (1), 3. Aaron Pierce (4), 4. Kody Swanson (2), 5. Chris Windom (10), 6. Justin Grant (5), 7. Jerry Coons Jr. (7), 8. David Byrne (8), 9. Davey Hamilton Jr. (12), 10. Annie Breidinger (18), 11. Kevin Studley (13), 12. Tyler Courtney (17), 13. Joss Moffatt (16), 14. Matt Goodnight (21), 15. Patrick Lawson (14), 16. Joe Liguori (20), 17. Joe Axsom (11), 18. Ryan Newman (6), 19. Bill Rose (15), 20. Damion Gardner (9), 21. Shane Cottle (19). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Bobby Santos, Lap 2 Tanner Swanson, Laps 3-100 Bobby Santos.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER AWARD: Annie Breidinger (18th to 10th)


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-341, 2-Chris Windom-290, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-278, 4-David Byrne-237, 5-Bobby Santos-213, 6-Aaron Pierce-197, 7-Justin Grant-192, 8-Damion Gardner-184, 9-Tanner Swanson-167, 10-Joe Liguori-154.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Toledo, Ohio………Bobby Santos’ golden reputation as a racer has been well-established and well-earned.

From open wheel cars, to full-bodied stock cars to modifieds, the Franklin, Massachusetts native has driven them all and tamed them all at one point or another in his masterful career.

In Friday night’s Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness “Rollie Beale Classic,” the 31-year-old driver had a single pin left standing in his lane on the way to cementing his diverse capabilities behind the wheel, if you ever doubted him for any reason.

After notching previous USAC National victories at Toledo Speedway in a Sprint Car (2006) and a Midget (2009), Santos completed the triple threat by winning his first Silver Crown event at the half-mile paved oval, thus becoming the 20th driver ever to win features in all of USAC’s three current national series at a single track.

Even more striking is that he had already accomplished the feat once before at Brownsburg, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Raceway, casting him into an even more exclusive club of individuals who’ve done the deed at multiple venues such as Dave Darland, Jack Hewitt, Tracy Hines and Dave Steele.

To get there, though, Santos had to do something that isn’t a regular occurrence at Toledo, let alone anywhere for that matter.  He had to pass two-time USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS champion Kody Swanson.  No small chore considering the two previous instances Swanson started from the pole in a Silver Crown car at Toledo, in 2011 and 2015, he led every single lap, all 250 of them, on his way to a pair of commanding wins.

Santos would start this year’s edition alongside Swanson from the outside of the front row.  Swanson set the tone early, emerging with the lead by a half-car length at the line following a first lap that went entirely wheel-to-wheel for a full revolution.

Lapped traffic would prove to play a pivotal role throughout the 100-lap stretch and, by lap nine, the leaders had already encroached the tail end of the field.  Swanson’s breakaway would be stifled early on when he encountered a nest of cars that slowed his roll, allowing Santos and Chris Windom to shred the interval and close to within a heartbeat of the two-time champ as the top-three runners separated themselves as the main contenders.

A third of the way through, the top-three bobbed and weaved inside and outside the lappers with Swanson assuming the role of maestro and orchestrating his own destiny by attacking the pack with authority as Santos and Windom trailed in hot pursuit.

Just prior to the halfway mark, on lap 45, Swanson got hung up while lapping David Byrne, leaving him with a split-second decision to make.  Which lane to choose?

“We were pretty good in the first third of it,” Swanson remembered.  “About 15 laps in, I was starting to hang sideways a little off the corner and I felt like I was in trouble.  I survived a few of the lapped cars just by choosing the right lane.  Byrne was just fast enough to make it a tough choice.  I turned to go down under him, and it hung sideways off turn two.  I knew I was a sitting duck after that.  He had the momentum and was able to clear me for the lead.”

Meanwhile, Santos saw the opportunity he had been anticipating and this was a chance he wasn’t going to pass up as he charged to the outside of Byrne in the gray midway down the back straightaway while Swanson simultaneously weed whacked the edge of the infield grass underneath Byrne.

“It was just circumstance,” Santos assured.  “We had a good car on the run, and I felt we were making progress the longer it went.  We just got to the point where we were going to work him over and pass him.  The opportunity just kind of popped up when we needed it and that’s what it’s all about.  You must put yourself in the right position when opportunities arise.”

Santos then kicked it up another notch and left Swanson and Windom to battle amongst themselves for second as he constructed a two-second lead over the next 25-plus laps.  Windom’s engine began to leave a trail of smoke, but his speed was unhampered as he applied constant pressure to Swanson.

With 13 laps remaining, Santos maintained a healthy advantage, yet what lie ahead had him sweating a bit when RPM/Gormly teammates Joe Liguori and Davey Hamilton battled side-by-side for the fifth position with the leaders on their heels.  Santos was forced to check up as he deciphered which avenue to make his escape, which played into the favor of Swanson and Windom who both caught up to Santos as the three ran nose-to-tail inside 10 laps to go.

That left Santos with one thought as he studied his next move, but he’s experienced enough in this sport to know that racing can giveth, yet it can taketh away just as easily.

“Get out of the way,” Santos said with a laugh.  “Lapped traffic made it hard on us, but that’s part of racing.  That’s the way it goes.  The lapped traffic gave us an opportunity when we took the lead from Kody just as it did at the end of the race for Kody.”

It took half a race for Santos to build up a two second lead and just three laps for it all to evaporate, but Santos remained unfazed and, in a two-lap succession, disposed of both Hamilton and Liguori for a little separation and relative comfort.

The rapid pace would be dialed down when the first and only caution of the night fell on lap 97 for series rookie Troy Thompson who slid sideways to a stop on the front straightaway, necessitating a green-white-checkered finish.  The caution certainly benefitted Santos more than it did Swanson, and though Santos felt he had Swanson covered at that point regardless, he wasn’t too unpleased about the timing of it.

“At that point, I had finally cleared the lapped cars and it, at least, gave us a chance to catch our breath and get ready for the last two laps,” Santos recalls.  “Usually, the guy in second has the advantage in lapped traffic, but after the yellow, we had a clear track from there on out. I knew if I hit my marks, /we had a good shot at it.”

Santos was on his marks and set for victory when the green flag flew for the final two-lap sprint, gaining a few car lengths to his advantage right off the bat.  Swanson tried with all his might to set himself up to make a move to no avail as Santos peeled away for his third Silver Crown of the season, and second in a span of nine days, over Swanson, Windom, Jerry Coons, Jr. and Joe Liguori.  It was Santos’ ninth career Silver Crown victory, tying him with Tracy Hines for 12th on the all-time list.

Series point leader Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California took second in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire despite fighting an ill-handling car that the crew continued to tweak and adjust all throughout the night.

“We were fastest in practice and fastest in qualifying, but we were really only good for the first lap,” Swanson explains.  “I knew we were in trouble the longer it was going to go, which isn’t our normal style, but that was just the way it was handling today.  We don’t do this often, but even though we won the pole, we made changes before the feature and were able to make it better.”

“The longer it went, I tell you what, we just didn’t quit,” Swanson continued.  “That’s why I like these 100-lap races.  Maybe something will come to you.  We caught that caution with three to go.  I was setting up and really thought we had a shot to return the favor.  When you’re the second guy into traffic, you have the benefit that the leader has to pick a lane and you can choose the other one and see if it works out.  I was really hoping we’d have that chance at the end, but a caution kind of spoiled that.  I sat up in the seat and gave it two hard laps to see if we could at least make him earn it.”

Defending series champion Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois captured his best finish on the hardtop in 2017, finishing third in his Kazmark Racing/Project Healing Waters – Remin Kart-A-Bag/Beast/Ford.

Contingency awards Friday night at Toledo Speedway included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Joe Axsom (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Joss Moffatt (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: July 28, 2017 – Toledo, Ohio – Toledo Speedway – Hemelgarn Racing-Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-15.084; 2. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-15.187; 3. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-15.306; 4. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-15.335; 5. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-15.338; 6. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-15.368; 7. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-15.420; 8. Joe Liguori, 98, RPM/Gormly-15.520; 9. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-15.638; 10. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-15.736; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-15.773; 12. Annie Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-16.191; 13. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-16.595; 14. Troy Thompson, 15, Thompson-16.598; 15. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-17.038; 16. Cody Gallogly, 81, Williams-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Bobby Santos (2), 2. Kody Swanson (1), 3. Chris Windom (4), 4. Jerry Coons Jr. (6), 5. Joe Liguori (8), 6. Davey Hamilton (9), 7. Joe Axsom (11), 8. David Byrne (5), 9. Annie Breidinger (12), 10. Justin Grant (7), 11. Troy Thompson (14), 12. Aaron Pierce (3), 13. Joss Moffatt (15), 14. Damion Gardner (10), 15. Matt Goodnight (13). 28:48.16

**Cody Gallogly crashed into the outside barrier and flipped in turn three during practice.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-44 Kody Swanson, Laps 45-100 Bobby Santos.



NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-411, 2-Chris Windom-354, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-339, 4-Bobby Santos-286, 5-David Byrne-286, 6-Aaron Pierce-236, 7-Justin Grant-235, 8-Damion Gardner-219, 9-Joe Liguori-212. 10-Tanner Swanson-167.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Salem, Indiana………After a two-race “winless” streak, Kody Swanson admits it’s hard to say that he and the DePalma Motorsports team were struggling.

Yet, for a team so accustomed to winning over the past four seasons, the results were bound to change soon as he, chief wrench Bob Hampshire and the crew went back to the books and did their homework over the last two weeks to return to victory lane for the second consecutive year in the “Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial” Saturday night at Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery.

Swanson’s 18th career victory in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS has him walking in high cotton as he moved into sole possession of second-place on the all-time series win list while his second-straight “James/O’Connor” triumph made him the fourth to accomplish the feat, joining Parnelli Jones (1960-61), Pancho Carter (1974-75-76-77) and Brian Gerster (2014-15).

To put his name on a list with those individuals and reach that kind of comfort level on Salem’s 33-degree banks was something Swanson never imagined to be in the cards when he made his first visit years ago.

“Those guys live for tracks like this to show how they great they are and were,” Swanson said.  “That hadn’t always been my style.  Last year, I felt I had to do my best impression of those guys to stay in the title hunt.  The first time I came here, I never thought I’d get comfortable.  As time’s gone on, I’ve embraced the challenge and gotten more accustomed to what it takes to run the banks.”

Swanson laid down the gauntlet in ProSource Qualifying, breaking his one-year-old track record by five-hundredths of a second and more than three-tenths faster than second-fastest.  However, as was the case in last year’s event, Aaron Pierce would grab the advantage early on from Swanson.

With the spectacular sight of sparks trailing from the tails of the front-running cars lighting up the nighttime sky, the pace of the top-three was astounding with Pierce, Swanson and Chris Windom jockeying for position, separating themselves from fourth and fifth-running David Byrne and Justin Grant through the first-quarter of the 75-lap sprint.

On lap 19, Grant attempted an inside pass on Byrne for fourth between turns three and four but lost the back end and looped it down the backing without contact.  He would restart and recover to finish a solid seventh.

On the lap 24 restart, once again, Pierce was able to get away from Swanson, immediately opening up a ten-car-length lead.  But it didn’t long for the two-time champ to reel him back in just seven circuits later on the 31st lap.

“I got a run up to the top of the hill right by the fence in turn three,” Swanson recalls.  “I turned it down and had just enough of a run off four to outrace him into turn one.  Once we got to the lead, we could control the pace a little bit, but from there, it was no easy task.”

On lap 41, Windom was all over the rear bumper of Pierce for second and the two even made slight nose-to-tail contact in turn two.  After relentlessly trying to work the lower line on Pierce for several laps, Windom out-drag-raced Pierce into turn one to take second and set the forward the motion of tracking down Swanson.

“Once Chris got clear, I knew he’d be coming,” Swanson said.  “Chris was strong early, he was pressing me hard and showing me a nose all the time that reminded me that if I ever screwed up, he was out of there.  I knew if I slowed up at all, Chris was going by us both.”

Windom closed the gap and hounded Santos for the ensuing ten laps before he began to fade ever so slightly and Swanson continued to run consistent laps in the low 17-second range that rarely wavered a tenth or two in either direction throughout the duration, something to do that Swanson made appear relatively easy, but is certainly not.

“This place is incredibly difficult,” Swanson said.  “It’s so high-banked and physically demanding just on the load and the force that you go through.  With an open wheel car, you carry so much speed and you don’t have a lot of grip.  That makes it hard to drive.  On top of that, Salem has some character on both ends.   I used to fear coming here because it was a track that made me feel uncomfortable.  I always felt like I was behind.  I was just trying to react.  I wasn’t able to race because I was just trying to survive each lap.  Running this car last year and running with these guys made It fun.  Today, when I came through the gates, instead of thinking ‘oh my gosh, I’m at Salem,’ I was excited for the challenge.  No one’s going to have a perfect handling racecar here, so it’s time to get up in the seat and do your job.”

A handful of lapped cars were all that Swanson needed to stream by in the final laps, and did so without much hesitation to win his third series race of the year by 1.606 seconds over Windom, Bobby Santos, Pierce and Davey Hamilton, Jr.

A 75-lapper at Salem can be physically and mentally wearing on any driver.  There’s no time to breathe due to the pure speed and the closeness of the racing.  Despite the obstacles, as the race went on, the more comfortable Swanson became.

“My wife spots for me.  I trust her with everything,” Swanson said.  When you hear the ‘clear by 3’ go up to ‘clear by 5,’ you have a little reassurance.  It was tough in lapped traffic.  We seemed to catch them at the wrong time, and it allowed them to close.  The longer the race went, the better I felt.  In the last 20, we were able to click off pretty smooth and consistent laps.  With bumps, it’s fun as a driver because you can always move around and you’re constantly trying to figure out, ‘can I use it better or can I dodge it better?’  As your car wears out, if you can figure it out, it will pay dividends.”  

Contingency awards Saturday night at Salem Speedway included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Joss Moffatt (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Joss Moffatt (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES presented by TRAXXAS RACE RESULTS: August 12, 2017 - Salem, Indiana - Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery - Joe James-Pat O'Connor Memorial

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-15.923 (New Track Record); 2. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-16.249; 3. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-16.345; 4. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-16.354; 5. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ-16.481; 6. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-16.530; 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-16.568; 8. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-16.637; 9. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-16.664; 10. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-16.674; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-16.950; 12. Shane Butler, 15, Thompson-17.137; 13. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-17.661; 14. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-18.147.

FEATURE: (75 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Chris Windom (3), 3. Bobby Santos (5), 4. Aaron Pierce (2), 5. Davey Hamilton Jr. (8), 6. Jerry Coons Jr. (7), 7. Justin Grant (6), 8. Davey Hamilton (10), 9. Shane Butler (12), 10. Joss Moffatt (14), 11. Matt Goodnight (13), 12. Joe Axsom (11), 13. David Byrne (4), 14. Jacob Wilson (9). 25:59.00 (New Track Record)

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Aaron Pierce, Laps 31-75 Kody Swanson.



NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-487, 2-Chris Windom-421, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-394, 4-Bobby Santos-350, 5-David Byrne-323, 6-Aaron Pierce-297, 7-Justin Grant-287, 8-Damion Gardner-219, 9-Joe Liguori-212, 10-Joss Moffatt-209.



By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Springfield, Illinois………Justin Grant was fully aware of the situation at hand on the final restart of Saturday’s “Bettenhausen 100” at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

The Ione, California native had the nose of the white No. 63 driven by the two-time USAC Silver Crown champ and winner of the last two “Bettenhausen 100” races right on his tail for the final 25 laps after Swanson had put on one of his patented late-race clinics down the stretch.

Intimidation was not in Grant’s vocabulary on this day as he was able to stave off Swanson’s charges in the final laps, including a green-white-checkered finish to capture his first career USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS victory in his Carli-Hemelgarn Racing/Carli Motorsports - Hemelgarn Enterprises/DRC/Speedway Ford.  In the process, he became the first driver to get his first series win at the Springfield Mile since fellow Californian Cole Whitt in 2009.

“With Kody behind you, you want to start running the thing harder because you know he’s so good,” Grant explained.  “At the same time, that’s what he’s so good at.  He gets you to run your car harder, miss your marks and burn your stuff up.  I just knew we had to keep doing what we were doing without making a mistake.  I couldn’t leave anything out there.  I had to run it hard, but I still had to hit my marks.  The guys on the radio were telling me to just keep doing what I was doing, and I’d be fine.”

Grant began his race from the outside of the front row, using a big run on the outside to snare the lead from ProSource pole winner Jerry Coons, Jr. on the opening lap heading into turn one, instantly building a four-car-length lead by the time the field hit the back straight.

Meanwhile, four-time “Bettenhausen 100” winner Brian Tyler had clicked his way from 10th to 5th by the opening lap.  Notorious for his steadfast movement through the field throughout his career, Tyler’s three Springfield wins had come from starting positions of 21st, 16th and 14th!

On the lap 20 restart, third-running Chris Windom’s car didn’t get up to speed when the green flag fell.  As the rest of the field scrambled to avoid him, Keith Burch, making his Silver Crown debut, made hard contact with the outside turn one wall.  He was able to climb out of the car under his own power but was done for the day.

By lap 36, Tyler had climbed to second and sized up Grant to make his move for the lead to the outside entering turn three where he took charge and instantly pulled away to a 10-car-length advantage.

Grant had settled into his groove in second and used the strategy of following Tyler instead of engaging in a cat and mouse game that could wear out his tires.  Even though that was the plan and he was going to stick to it, Grant admits his relative lack of experience in Silver Crown compared to Tyler (most starts in series history at 192) didn’t give him complete confidence until he saw the condition of the right rear rubber on Tyler’s car past the halfway mark.

“I haven’t done this long enough to say there’s no question that I’d get back by him,” Grant said.  “That was the thought.  It’s a long race and my crew said Tyler was running pretty hard to get by us.  We just had to let him do his thing.  From my view, it looked like his tire was flapping around like it was blistered.  That made me a little more confident and I knew I just had to keep the thing straight and not try to catch him.  I just needed to run behind him and let him use his stuff up.”

Opportunities to gain positions are abundant on restarts, and on the lap 57 edition, a scramble assumed in the middle of the pack, sending Zach Daum helicoptering down the front straightaway upside down before coming to a rest up against the turn one wall.  He would walk away from the frightening accident unscathed.

Under the open red flag, several teams made adjustments to their cars, but not Grant’s crew.  However, it gave the team a chance to inspect their car, mainly the tires, where they determined that changes were unnecessary.  They liked what they saw and had full intentions to ride it out to the finish.

“We didn’t make any changes during the red.  We just left it alone,” Grant said.  “It was nice for confidence because our guys got to look at the tires and saw we had a ton of tire left.  Starting up front sure helps that a lot because you don’t have to race your way through.  You can go into conservation mode earlier and keep the tires under it.  The plan for the last 44 laps was to keep conserving.  At around 40 laps, it’s basically a sprint car race – a long, abrasive sprint car race.”

On the lap 57 restart (part deux), it was déjà vu for Grant who mimicked the same move used on the original start to blast around the outside of Tyler to take the lead.  Lurking in the shadows, though, was Swanson after methodically picking his way from ninth.

Swanson peered around the outside of Coons for third entering turn one on lap 69.  A lap later, he used a run down the front straight, swapping to the inside of Coons to beat him to the inner rail for the position in turn one with 30 to go.  Five laps later, Tyler was within Swanson’s range.  Swanson pulled the trigger and fired off around the outside of the two-time USAC National Sprint Car champ in turn one for second with only a quarter of the race remaining.

From there, Swanson gnashed the loudpedal with his right foot, erasing three-tenths of a second per lap as he put the chase on Grant for the lead.  By lap 80, though, Grant gapped Swanson slightly, rebuilding his lead to just a tick over a second with just 20 laps remaining, almost as if it were by design.

“Once we get inside 20 to go, that’s when we turn it loose,” Grant explained.  “That’s about the same time Swanson started to turn his loose too.  Once we get inside 10 to go, you got to hustle it for all she’s worth.”

With 17 laps to go, third-running Tyler’s magnificent run came to an end as he slowed to a stop on the high side of turn four to bring out the yellow, ending his bid for a fourth “Bettenhausen” win.  He finished 21st.

On the restart with 14 laps to go, it became a two-horse race as the two jockeys – Grant and Swanson – separated themselves from the rest of the pack by a half-straightaway.  Grant maintained a three to four-car length lead over Swanson when Leary’s day came to end while running fourth, slowing to a stop at the entrance of turn one, thus necessitating a yellow.  That set up a green-white-checkered finish, providing Swanson one last shot at Grant.

“You have to use the racetrack to make your car better if you’re going to try to win,” Swanson said.  “I found something with the racetrack to try to help put us up there.  I felt like we gained on him a lot in those two laps before the caution from where I had been.  When the caution came out, I thought, if I do it right, I have a chance.  I can’t say I thought I was going to win.  The best I could hope for was a chance.  These restarts in Silver Crown are tough.  If you’re struggling taking off, you’re a sitting duck.  That’s something that’s been tough for us at times.”

And, that’s exactly what happened.  When the green flag fell, Grant scooted away while Swanson’s car didn’t get up to speed right away.  That gave fourth-running Jeff Swindell exactly what he needed, and he jumped at the chance, roaring to the outside of both Swanson and Coons to move from fourth to second.  Swanson maintained his composure and used a drive on the bottom of turn two to get back by Swindell for the runner-up spot.

However, Grant was too far gone at that point as he flashed out front to an eight-car-length lead where he’d finish off his masterful drive to win by just under seven tenths of a second over Swanson, Swindell, Coons and Dave Darland.

After an arduous season that began with high expectations, Grant’s team has been plagued with a myriad of issues that produced zero top-five finishes in seven series starts this season.  It’s enough to shake one’s confidence, but the effort and the speed were there.  Lady luck just needed to fall on their side.

“For a while, I thought this win was coming,” Grant believed.  “Then, I started wondering if I was ever going to win one.  This year has been tough.  We’ve had a lot of gremlins through nobody’s fault.  I’ve made some mistakes and we’ve just had some weird things going on with the car, just stuff that you wouldn’t expect to go wrong.  We had speed all year.  It just felt like everything was working against us.  To finally get a win for (car owners) Chris Carli and Ron Hemelgarn means a lot.  Those guys have put a lot of effort and money into this deal and it feels great to get them one.”

After two-straight “Bettenhausen 100” wins in 2014 and 2015, Kingsburg, California’s Swanson had to settle for second in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.  With that said, it was a hard-fought, honorable effort.  It was a day that began with one issue after another on the car, but the team stuck with it and, as they do more often than not, they ended up in a position to win at the end of a 100-mile race.

“The only thing I could do is drive in harder and make sure Justin had to earn it,” Swanson said.  “I couldn’t roll the center or get off the corner as good as he could.  I pressured him to make a mistake and he didn’t.  He earned it today.”

“I knew early our only chance to win was if we could save better than everyone,” Swanson explains.  “A lot of good cars were starting in front of us.  We had issues in practice and qualifying.  Afterward, we changed the steering gear and the pump hoping to help it.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t it.  But, that’s why I love these 100-mile races.  It gives you time to figure it out.  I was trying to save my tires as best as I could and when it came time to go, we had to make some pretty bold moves to get up through there.  We did everything we could to put us in a position to win.  We don’t quit.  That’s what makes us strong in these long races. 

Swanson makes due with what he has and what he has is a great combination that has worked highly-successfully over the past four years and, this year, has allowed him to extend his series point lead to 96 heading into the “Ted Horn 100” at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds on Sept. 3.

“A lot of guys will have cockpit adjustable shocks, weight jackers and all of that,” Swanson begins.  “Of all the races I’ve driven the No. 63 dirt car, all I’ve had is a brake, a throttle and a steering wheel.  You drive it, you use the racetrack and figure it out.  The track will change.  Maybe the rubber will lay a little differently.  Maybe you use the brake a little differently.  Maybe you do something with your steering and your timing with how you use the pedals to make the car work for you.  They set it up and I drive it to try to get the most I can out of it.  Sometimes you have to drive smarter than those guys to put yourself in a position to win.  Sometimes you just want it more.  You just drive it into the corner harder than the other guy.  We made up a lot of ground that way today.”

“I feel like racing’s a relay,” Swanson continued.  “It’s a team sport.  Everyone on the crew does a great job, but then the baton is handed to the driver last.  When the green drops, it’s up to me to figure it out, good bad or indifferent.  Whether it’s minimizing mistakes or trying to make something happen, it’s your job to go out there and give everything you have to win for your team. today.  Today, we just came up one short.”

Another Swanson who had a solid day is car owner Mark Swanson whose driver, Jeff Swindell of Germantown, Tennessee, drove to his second-straight podium finish with the Silver Crown Series after finishing runner-up at Du Quoin in September of 2016 in his Swanson Racing/Jet Star – Rosewood Machine & Tool – Jeff Freel/Maxim/Toyota.  Swindell, the longtime, versatile racing veteran, has Indiana State Fairgrounds and Du Quoin State Fairgrounds victories on his great resume, but will have to wait another year to pick up a first Springfield victory following an incredible charge from 28th to 3rd to pick up KSE Racing Products Hard Charger honors for the afternoon.  Swindell explains the process of running a successful 100lap on a dirt mile.

“Here at Springfield, it’s really a tire burner,” Swindell said.  “You have to pace yourself for the first half of the thing and just put yourself in a position to take a spot when somebody messes up in front of you.  You try to get a feel on the starts before falling into line and waiting on somebody to give you the spot.  You don’t want to press it too much.  When you see a hole open, you got to jump in it.  You just don’t want to lean on the power too much because you have to make it last.  I kind of overdid it and that made the tire worse than what I wanted it to be at the end.  It went down on us a little bit.  I think it had a little hole in it, which had some effect on it.

“On the restarts, the little Toyota took off pretty good,” Swindell credits.  “It stutters for about 30 feet, then it cleans up and really drives on.  We passed cars on the restarts all day.  I really didn’t think we’d be able to do that once we got into fourth.  I thought all those guys would take off on me.  That thing jumped up and took off every time.  I thought we were going to have a shot at them on the last laps.  I ran up close to him going into three, made up a little ground and figured what the hell, I jumped into a podium.  I can give it away or try going for the win.  I drove it in a little too hard, but it was a good comeback from 28th to 3rd.”

Contingency awards Saturday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds included Jerry Coons, Jr. (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Jeff Swindell (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and David Shain (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: August 19, 2017 – Springfield, Illinois - Illinois State Fairgrounds – Bettenhausen 100

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-29.988; 2. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-30.220; 3. J.C. Bland, 5, BBE-30.375; 4. Keith Burch, 24, Burch-30.464; 5. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-30.501; 6. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-30.539; 7. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-30.540; 8. Joey Moughan, 29, Moughan-30.542; 9. David Shain, 7, Hardy-30.619; 10. Tyler Courtney, 97, Lein-30.704; 11. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-30.706; 12. Brian Tyler, 12, Galas-30.789; 13. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-30.824; 14. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-30.846; 15. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-30.849; 16. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-30.911; 17. Zach Daum, 14, McQuinn-30.975; 18. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-31.004; 19. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle31.010; 20. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-31.064; 21. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-31.141; 22. Russ Gamester, 51, Gamester-31.148; 23. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-31.311; 24. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-31.489; 25. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-31.503; 26. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-31.530; 27. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-31.575; 28. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson-31.771; 29. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-31.852; 30. Danny Long, 44, Long-31.976; 31. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-31.991; 32. Chris Fetter, 88, Fetter-32.659; 33. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-33.510; 34. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-NT; 35. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-NT; 36. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-NT; 37. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-NT; 38. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-NT; 39. A.J. Fike, 3, RFMS-NT; 40. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. Kody Swanson (9), 3. Jeff Swindell (28), 4. Jerry Coons Jr. (1), 5. Dave Darland (12), 6. Shane Cottle (13), 7. Aaron Pierce (11), 8. David Byrne (33), 9. Joe Liguori (29), 10. Steve Buckwalter (14), 11. Jacob Wilson (31), 12. Patrick Lawson (24), 13. David Shain (17), 14. Matt Goodnight (26), 15. Joss Moffatt (23), 16. Chris Fetter (32), 17. Damion Gardner (18), 18. Chris Urish (27), 19. C.J. Leary (5), 20. Tyler Courtney (8), 21. Brian Tyler (10), 22. Korey Weyant (25), 23. Casey Shuman (20), 24. J.C. Bland (3), 25. Chris Windom (4), 26. Zach Daum (15), 27. Austin Nemire (34), 28. Joey Moughan (7), 29. Keith Burch (16), 30. Dakota Jackson (6), 31. Terry Babb (21), 32. Patrick Bruns (19), 33. Russ Gamester (22), 34. Danny Long (30). NT

**Zach Daum flipped on lap 57 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-35 Justin Grant, Laps 36-56 Brian Tyler, Laps 57-100 Justin Grant.



NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-554, 2-Jerry Coons Jr.-458, 3-Chris Windom-439, 4-David Byrne-372, 5-Justin Grant-360, 6-Bobby Santos-350, 7-Aaron Pierce-349, 8-Joe Liguori-258, 9-Damion Gardner-248, 10-Joss Moffatt-242.



By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Du Quoin, Illinois………Over the past eight seasons, Kody Swanson has steadily climbed the ranks to become the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car presented by TRAXXAS division’s second winningest driver.  The foundation for the Kingsburg, California native’s remarkable run of success in the decade of the 2010s was laid at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds where he notched victory number one back in 2010.

Since then, Swanson had picked up 17 additional series victories, including seven more on one-mile dirt ovals.  Yet, another win at Du Quoin had eluded him until Sunday night when the two-time series champ flipped on the figurative switch in his patented style with less than ten laps remaining, passing Jeff Swindell in traffic to win his second career “Ted Horn 100” in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.

“To have a chance to win any Silver Crown race is a neat opportunity.  To drive this car and win for this team is special no matter where it is.  We’ve been fast here a number of times, but just couldn’t catch the breaks,” Swanson recalls.  “There’s a lot that can happen that can take you out of a Silver Crown race.  That’s why they’re so special when you do get them.  Tonight, it was a battle.  There’s so many good cars nowadays, you don’t get to rest or ride to save your tires.”

Among those good cars running up front early on was C.J. Leary who led the opening seven laps from the outside of the front row before Swanson ripped the top spot away briefly on lap eight with an inside pass coming out of turn four.  Leary immediately responded by snatching the lead back away from Swanson on the outside into turn one where he would lead through the 22nd circuit.

As opposed to starting 28th such as he did at Springfield, Swindell didn’t have as much traffic to wade his way through this time around following a solid sixth-place qualifying effort.  Just shy of a quarter-way through the 100-miler, Swindell rode the inner rail inside turn two past Leary to capture the lead and, by lap 30, had built up a half-straightaway cushion.

After halfway, Swanson put a charge on Leary just as Swindell did earlier, getting underneath in turn two to grab the second spot where he would remain until the final restart brought out by the slowing car of Robert Ballou in turn three, which bunched up the field and erased Swindell’s sizable advantage.

On the lap 77 restart, Swindell shot away just as he had done time-and-time again, slamming the screen door shut behind him before his followers even had a chance to react.  Third-running Chris Windom did react though when Swanson stumbled in second.  Windom dove inside on the front straightaway to take second and began his pursuit on Swindell for the race lead.

A repeat of last year’s epic duel between Swindell and Windom commenced, but a bid for a second consecutive Windom victory at the “Magic Mile” ended abruptly just four laps later, on lap 81, when he began to slow coming off turn four before pulling into the infield, sidelining him for the night.  Swanson inherited second with 19 laps remaining but had a half-straightaway of ground to erase to catch up with Swindell, plus the issue he encountered on the restart that he couldn’t immediately identify.

“I didn’t know if we had a bleeder stick or what,” Swanson explains.  “As we were coming to green, I came over the radio and said ‘hey, you got to keep an eye out because something’s wrong.’  I don’t know what happened to the car, but it felt like it was down on the left side.  I didn’t know if we had a torsion bar stop or something going funny.  With us being so loose with the tire situation we had, I didn’t think we were ever going to see Windom again.  I still don’t know if we would’ve if he hadn’t had that trouble.”

“After the race, I saw the left rear go flat,” Swanson added.  “We were loose, way worse than we had been all race long.  The longer we ran, the better we got, but we were still not the same as we had been throughout the middle of the race.  I just had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have another caution.”

Swanson’s wish would be granted as the race would continue without a yellow, but it did force he and Swindell to maneuver through the throes of heavy lapped traffic in the final ten-lap run which was to Swanson’s advantage and Swindell’s disadvantage.

On the 91st lap, Swindell had trouble negotiating the lapped car of Aaron Pierce in turn three.  As he stepped to the outside of Pierce, that opened the door for Swanson to capitalize on the bottom to snare the lead away with nine laps remaining.  Swindell didn’t go away lightly as he came back a lap later to avenge his turn three defeat to no avail.

“It was tough trying to track down Jeff,” Swanson said.  “Those guys were really good all day.  Yeah, we run for the championship, but I want to win races.  I said ‘it’s time to lay it down.  I don’t know if the tires are going to last or not, but I want to try to win.’  It took everything we had to try to catch up.  As we got loose, I had to keep moving, keep changing my line a little bit and try to figure how you can help your racecar.  We got a little better just in time.  I got a little bit of a run on him and closed enough to where if something happened, hopefully we could capitalize, and we did.”

A lap later, Swanson knew if he didn’t get through the lappers in a timely manner, he could envision Swindell doing the same thing that just occurred to him.  Swanson went on the aggressive heading into turn three, splitting through the middle between David Shain and Joey Moughan to escape Swindell who saw access to the opening close in a hurry.

“Lapped traffic is so tough on these miles,” Swanson said.  “The way the racetrack is, as narrow as it gets, makes it hard to predict.  We were able to capitalize on a moment there in lapped traffic and get to the lead.  I got stuck a few laps later and was worried if I didn’t make the right decisions, Jeff would return the favor.  I had to make a pretty big move down the backstretch by splitting between two lapped cars.  I don’t know if that was a good idea or not, but tonight, it worked out.  Maybe that was what sealed the deal.”

That move and the clearing of J.C. Bland - the final car in the pack - provided Swanson a road paved in gold toward the finish line where he finished off his fourth win of the season by five seconds over Shane Cockrum, who got by Swindell for second with four laps remaining.  Swindell took third ahead of C.J. Leary and ProSource pole winner Jerry Coons, Jr.

Local favorite Shane Cockrum of Benton, Illinois, finished a season-best second in his Hardy Boys Motorsports/Financial Transportation Services – Infinity Shocks/Maxim/Claxton Chevy.  Top-tier finishes have become commonplace for Cockrum at Du Quoin in recent years, but the two-time “Ted Horn 100” winner’s bid to even compete on Sunday was up in the air until recently after brake and engine issues at Springfield gave the team a major setback.  The team loaned an engine from Carli Motorsports that had previously been used by Justin Grant to sit on the pole at Syracuse and Springfield in recent years and was the powerplant of choice for Tracy Hines’ final Silver Crown on the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2013.

“I want to thank the Carli bunch again,” Cockrum praised.  “To loan a motor out that may potentially outrun them, hats off to them.  If it wouldn’t have been for them, we wouldn’t even be out here.”

Annually, there is no louder cheer for anyone than there is for Cockrum at Du Quoin as a large throng of fans certainly had something to cheer about this night with a runner-up finish.

“I go to all the miles and I don’t think there’s anybody that cheers any louder for anybody at any track than they do here for me.  We’re pretty tickled,” Cockrum beamed.  “I want to get half my hometown here.  We’re 15 minutes away and I think we keep getting a few more every year, which is really cool.”

A number of records and milestones were on the line Sunday night if Germantown, Tennessee’s Jeff Swindell could’ve brought home his Swanson Racing/Jet Star – Rosewood Machine & Tool – Jeff Freel/Maxim/Toyota to victory lane at Du Quoin, such as he did in 1990.  It’s been 24 years since his most recent series victory, and he would’ve become the series’ oldest ever race winner.  Yet, after borrowing a pair of shoes from Kody Swanson (that were too small for his feet), leading 68 laps and earning his third-straight podium finish with a third-place run, Swindell came up just short of getting the only record he wanted on this night: 2017 “Ted Horn 100” winner.

“We gave it away,” Swindell point blanked.  “We had the dominant car the whole feature.  We kept pulling away on all the restarts and my crew kept giving me the ‘wide open’ hand signals.  We lost the radio about 25 laps in and, once we got to lapped traffic, I couldn’t tell where we were.  I didn’t know (Kody) was that close.  I tried to sneak around one of those lapped cars going into (turn) three.  When I did, he slid out and about sent me out to the wall.  That cost me dearly and left a hole open for Kody to come through.  If I had known he was that close behind, I probably would’ve just sat behind the guy and waited.  We got back around Kody on the outside there, then he split two lap cars going into three, but they closed up on me and that was the end of it.  He got a good lead after that.  It’s really sad because I think we definitely had the car to win.”

Contingency award winners Sunday night at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds include Jerry Coons, Jr. (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Casey Shuman (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Dakota Jackson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: September 3, 2017 – Du Quoin, Illinois – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Ted Horn 100

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-31.216; 2. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-31.514; 3. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-31.670; 4. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-31.722; 5. Joey Moughan, 29, Moughan-31.808; 6. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson-31.836; 7. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-31.935; 8. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-31.962; 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-32.024; 10. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-32.077; 11. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-32.207; 12. Dave Darland, 97, Lein-32.238; 13. Brian Tyler, 12, Galas-32.283; 14. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-32.392; 15. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-32.405; 16. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-32.423; 17. David Shain, 7, Hardy-32.436; 18. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-32.511; 19. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-32.841; 20. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-33.198; 21. Ken Schrader, 14, McQuinn-33.282; 22. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-33.286; 23. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-33.309; 24. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-33.341; 25. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-33.547; 26. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-33.644; 27. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-33.871; 28. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-34.235; 29. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-34.261; 30. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-34.328; 31. Keith Burch, 24, Burch-34.629; 32. Danny Long, 44, Long-35.368; 33. Robert Ballou, 6, Klatt-NT; 34. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-NT; 35. Chris Fetter, 88, Fetter-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (8), 2. Shane Cockrum (7), 3. Jeff Swindell (6), 4. C.J. Leary (2), 5. Jerry Coons Jr. (1), 6. Justin Grant (10), 7. Shane Cottle (15), 8. Brian Tyler (13), 9. Mark Smith (11), 10. Casey Shuman (24), 11. Hunter Schuerenberg (9), 12. Dave Darland (12), 13. Dakota Jackson (18), 14. David Shain (17), 15. Joey Moughan (5), 16. Aaron Pierce (3), 17. Chris Urish (26), 18. Joss Moffatt (20), 19. Ken Schrader (21), 20. J.C. Bland (23), 21. Matt Goodnight (28), 22. Austin Nemire (14), 23. Danny Long (31), 24. Chris Windom (4), 25. Patrick Bruns (19), 26. Robert Ballou (32), 27. Terry Babb (29), 28. David Byrne (16), 29. Keith Burch (30), 30. Johnny Petrozelle (27), 31. Steve Buckwalter (22), 32. Patrick Lawson (25). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 C.J. Leary, Lap 8 Kody Swanson, Laps 9-22 C.J. Leary, Laps 23-90 Jeff Swindell, Laps 91-100 Kody Swanson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Casey Shuman (24th to 10th)


NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-624, 2-Jerry Coons Jr.-519, 3-Chris Windom-458, 4-Justin Grant-415, 5-David Byrne-387, 6-Aaron Pierce-380, 7-Bobby Santos-350, 8-Joss Moffatt-269, 9-Joe Liguori-258, 10-Damion Gardner-248.




By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Rossburg, Ohio………In a year of firsts for Tyler Courtney, the pickings continue to get sweeter as the Indianapolis, Indiana driver led all 50 laps to win his first career USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS main event in Saturday night’s 36th “4-Crown Nationals” at Eldora Speedway.

Earlier this season, Courtney won his first USAC National Midget feature at Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway.  In August, he won his first ever Sprint Car feature at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway and backed it up a night later with a big payday victory at Kokomo again in “Sprint Car Smackdown VI.”

This time around, it was in the Silver Crown car where, by the letter of the law, he was still considered a series rookie this season.  But a “4-Crown” Silver Crown rookie he was not.  In 2016, he set ProSource quick time and finished 3rd.  In 2017, he returned as a true contender despite not having seen the results he and car owner Hans Lein had anticipated when the team made its initial foray into the series this season.

“Hans called me in May and said he’s putting a Crown car together,” Courtney recalls.  “We got rained out at the ‘Hoosier Hundred,’ then went to Williams Grove and had some mechanical problems there, then went to Springfield and was going to have a top-three finish and had something else go wrong.  We finally had everything go our way tonight.  (Crew Chief) Greg Nelson really had this thing on point all night.”

On the start, Courtney ripped the top around pole sitter Kody Swanson to snare the lead as the 50-lap race got underway with the night’s USAC Sprint Car feature winner C.J. Leary and Dave Darland fighting for second just behind.

Courtney led a five-car breakaway that separated itself from the rest of the field by the tenth lap.  By lap 20, Courtney himself had created his own separation as he navigated through the lap traffic.

Meanwhile, third-running Leary saw a chance to take second back away from Darland on lap 23 when Darland found himself hung up behind the lapped car of Aaron Pierce entering turn three.  Like a bulldog on a porkchop, Leary saw an opportunity and went on the attack.  As Leary tried to slide both Darland and Pierce in one fell swoop, contact was made between he and Pierce.  The end result was Pierce tagging the outside wall hard while Darland and Leary continued on.

The lineup on the next restart had multiple lapped cars between leader Courtney and second-running Darland, allowing Courtney a clean getaway.

On lap 32, Swanson tagged the turn two wall while running sixth, sending him into a wild series of flips through turn one – a sight not usually seen by the three-time series champion whose feats were celebrated earlier in the night on a front straightaway presentation for clinching the 2017 title.

Once again on the restart, Courtney scooted away from defending race winner and series champ Chris Windom who took second from Darland and now had only Courtney in his sights as Cottle disposed of Darland for third off turn four.

Soon after, with 15 laps remaining, Leary entered turn three running fourth when his right rear tire went flat, sending him hard into the outside wall.  Leary was okay but would not return to action.

Down the stretch, Courtney maintained about an eight car-length lead, but with a couple to go, Windom began to close rapidly to present a challenge for the lead as Cottle blanketed Windom just behind.

On the final lap, Courtney got a bit sideways at the exit of turn two, resulting in Windom’s rapid charge that saw him close to within just a couple car lengths entering turn three and four with Cottle in tow.  Courtney gathered it up, put all four wheels back in the groove to finish off a wire-to-wire performance to join Justin Grant as the second driver to win USAC National features in all three divisions in 2017.  Windom was second ahead of Cottle, Darland and Brady Bacon, who finished in the top-five of all four “4-Crown” features Saturday night.

Courtney rewarded car owner Hans Lein with his first USAC National win since a 2007 Midget event at Angell Park Speedway, won by Michael Pickens.  It was also Lein’s second career “4-Crown” triumph following a 2005 Midget win with Danny Stratton.

“The tires started going away a little bit at the end,” Courtney admits.  “I knew if I could gap myself on the starts and restarts and give myself a little cushion to be able to run hard on the start, then save a little bit, we’d have something at the end there.  It held together.  I could see Chris (Windom) there behind me on the (video board) screen.  I’m just trying to hit my marks, but it was pretty tricky down in (turns) one and two to hit the same spot on the wall twice to get you going down the back straight.  But everything went our way tonight.”

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Eldora Speedway included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Brady Bacon (KSE Racing Products/Larry Rice High Performance Hard Charger) and Joe Liguori (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).


USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS Presented by TRAXXAS: September 23, 2017 – Rossburg, Ohio – Eldora Speedway – 36th 4-Crown Nationals – Presented by NKT.TV

PROSOURCE QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-19.570; 2. Tyler Courtney, 97, Lein-19.611; 3. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-19.816; 4. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-19.876; 5. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-19.903; 6. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-19.955; 7. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-19.985; 8. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-19.985; 9. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-20.109; 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-20.118; 11. Robert Ballou, 6, Klatt-20.257; 12. Mark Smith, 54, Lane20.283; 13. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-20.302; 14. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-20.434; 15. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-20.495; 16. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-20.678; 17. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-20.712; 18. Brady Bacon, 199, RPM/Gormly-20.891; 19. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-21.116; 20. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-21.452; 21. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-NT; 22. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-NT; 23. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-NT.

FEATURE: (50 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (2), 2. Chris Windom (6), 3. Shane Cottle (8), 4. Dave Darland (7), 5. Brady Bacon (18), 6. Justin Grant (9), 7. Hunter Schuerenberg (5), 8. David Byrne (4), 9. Robert Ballou (11), 10. Jerry Coons Jr. (10), 11. Matt Goodnight (17), 12. Steve Buckwalter (16), 13. Joe Liguori (13), 14. Dakota Jackson (14), 15. Joss Moffatt (21), 16. Austin Nemire (22), 17. Mark Smith (12), 18. Chris Fetter (20), 19. C.J. Leary (3), 20. Kody Swanson (1), 21. Aaron Pierce (15), 22. Johnny Petrozelle (19). NT

**Patrick Bruns flipped during qualifying. Kody Swanson flipped on lap 32 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Tyler Courtney.







1. (650) Kody Swanson, Kingsburg, Calif.

2. (562) Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, Ariz.

3. (525) Chris Windom, Canton, Ill.

4. (470) Justin Grant, Ione, Calif.

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

6. (402) Aaron Pierce, Muncie, Ind.

7. (350) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass.

8. (302) Joss Moffatt, Columbus, Ind.

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

10. (248) Damion Gardner, Concord, Calif.

11. (245) Dave Darland, Lincoln, Ind.

12. (217) C.J. Leary, Greenfield, Ind.

13. (215) Shane Cottle, Kansas, Ill.

14. (207) Matt Goodnight, Winchester, Ind,

15. (193) Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, Mo.

16. (188) Joe Axsom, Franklin, Ind.

17. (181) Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Okla.

18. (168) Davey Hamilton Jr., Boise, Idaho

19. (167) Tanner Swanson, Kingsburg, Calif.

20. (165) Davey Hamilton, Boise, Idaho

21. (164) Dakota Jackson, Elizabethtown, Ind.

22. (161) Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, Pa.

23. (150) Austin Nemire, Sylvania, Ohio

24. (147) Shane Cockrum, Benton, Ill.

25. (145) Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, Ind.

26. (141) Mark Smith, Sunbury, Pa.

27. (138) Patrick Lawson, Edwardsville, Ill.

28. (131) Jeff Swindell, Germantown, Tenn.

29. (130) Patrick Bruns, Champaign, Ill.

30. (101) Shane Butler, Bushnell, Fla.

31. (100) Johnny Petrozelle, Denton, N.C.

32. (97) Bill Rose, Plainfield, Ind.

33. (95) A.J. Russell, Clovis, Calif.

34. (93) Kevin Studley, Plainfield, Ind.

35. (90) Toni Breidinger, Hillsborough, Calif.

36. (89) Annie Breidinger, Hillsborough, Calif.

37. (87) J.C. Bland, Springfield, Ill.

38. (86) Jacob Wilson, Crawfordsville, Ind.

39. (82) David Shain, Sullivan, Ill.

40. (82) Casey Shuman, Tempe, Ariz.

41. (78) Chris Fetter, Troy, Mo.

42. (78) Troy Thompson, Brooksville, Fla.

43. (71) Brian Tyler, Parma, Mich.

44. (63) Robert Ballou, Rocklin, Calif.

45. (56) Chris Urish, Elkhart, Ill.

46. (48) Joey Moughan, Springfield, Ill.

47. (47) Dave Berkheimer, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

48. (43) Henry Clarke, Villa Park, Calif.

49. (41) Korey Weyant, Springfield, Ill.

50. (39) Terry Babb, Decatur, Ill.

51. (33) Danny Long, Bonne Terre, Mo.

52. (28) Keith Burch, Farmington, Mo.

53. (27) Ryan Newman, South Bend, Ind.

54. (25) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo.

55. (23) Cody Gerhardt, Fresno, Calif.

56. (20) Kenny Gentry, Henderson, Ky.

57. (17) Zach Daum, Pocahontas, Ill.

58. (13) Russ Gamester, Peru, Ind.

59. (10) A.J. Fike, Galesburg, Ill.

60. (10) Cody Gallogly, Pataskala, Ohio



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

2. (562) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#20)

3. (498) Gene Kazmark, Joliet, Ill. (#92)

4. (470) Carli-Hemelgarn Racing, Elk Grove, Calif. (#91)

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

6. (402) Sam Pierce, Daleville, Ind. (#26)

7. (381) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#120)

8. (350) DJ Racing, Jamestown, Ind. (#22)

9. (311) Klatt Enterprises, Hastings, Neb. (#6)

10. (302) Williams & Wright Racing, St. Paul, Ind. (#32)

11. (262) RPM-Fred Gormly, Brownsburg, Ind. (#199)

12. (237) Liguori Racing, Tampa, Fla. (#4)

13. (226) RPM-Fred Gormly, Brownsburg, Ind. (#98)

14. (225) Curtis Williams, Springfield, Ohio (#81)

15. (217) Chuck & Tammi Leary, Greenfield, Ind. (#30)

16. (207) Goodnight Racing, Hartford City, Ind. (#39)

17. (206) Carla & Steve Phillips, Avon, Ind. (#27)

18. (197) Nolen Racing, Greenwood, Ind. (#201)

19. (179) Breidinger Motorsports, Hillsborough, Calif. (#80)

20. (179) Troy Thompson, Brooksville, Fla. (#15)

21. (165) Patrick Lawson, Edwardsville, Ill. (#2)

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

23. (150) Bob Lesko, Wayne, N.J. (#16)

24. (147) Hardy Boys Motorsports, Benton, Ill. (#71)

25. (145) Hans Lein, Edgerton, Wisc. (#97)

26. (141) Mal Lane, Dundee, N.Y. (#54)

27. (140) Bill Rose, Plainfield, Ind. (#75)

28. (134) Bowman Racing, Brownsburg, Ind. (#02)

29. (131) Swanson Racing, Des Moines, Iowa (#21)

30. (130) Full Throttle Racing, Champaign, Ill. (#95)

31. (123) Paul Martens, Fairview, Okla. (#48)

32. (100) Cornell-Petrozelle Racing, Denton, N.C. (#08)

33. (95) Ted Finkenbinder, Fairfield, Calif. (#03)

34. (93) Kevin Studley, Brownsburg, Ind. (#57)

35. (87) Bland Brothers Enterprises, Springfield, Ill. (#5)

36. (86) Wilson Brothers Racing, Crawfordsville, Ind. (#07)

37. (82) Hardy Boys Motorsports, Benton, Ill. (#7)

38. (82) Patty Bateman, Murphysboro, Ill. (#55)

39. (71) Galas Motorsports, O’Fallon, Ill. (#12)

40. (56) Chris Urish, Elkhart, Ill. (#77)

41. (48) Joey Moughan, Springfield, Ill. (#29)

42. (47) Dave Berkheimer, Mechanicsburg, Pa. (#31)

43. (42) Dennis & Dave McQuinn, Springfield, Ill. (#14)

44. (41) Fetter Tile, Troy, Mo. (#88)

45. (41) Scott Weyant, Springfield, Ill. (#99)

46. (39) Terry Babb, Decatur, Ill. (#42)

47. (37) Fetter Tile, Troy, Mo. (#89)

48. (33) Danny Long, Bonne Terre, Mo. (#44)

49. (28) Keith Burch, Farmington, Mo. (#24)

50. (27) Johnny Vance Racing Team, Dayton, Ohio (#2v)

51. (23) Cody Gerhardt, Madera, Calif. (#60)

52. (20) Kenny Gentry, Henderson, Ky. (#18)

53. (13) Gamester Racing, Peru, Ind. (#51)

54. (10) RFMS Racing, Galesburg, Ill. (#3)






OWNER CHAMPION: DePalma Motorsports




Apr 2: Terre Haute, IN – Terre Haute Action Track – WINNER: Chris Windom (Gene Kazmark #92)

Apr 29: Avondale, AZ – Phoenix International Raceway – WINNER: Bobby Santos (DJ Racing #22)

May 25: Indianapolis, IN – Indiana State Fairgrounds – WINNER: Rained Out

May 26: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – WINNER: Kody Swanson (DePalma Motorsports #63)

Jun 16: Mechanicsburg, PA – Williams Grove Speedway – WINNER: Kody Swanson (DePalma Motorsports #63)

Jul 20: Brownsburg, IN – Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis – WINNER: Bobby Santos (DJ Racing #22)

Jul 28: Toledo, OH – Toledo Speedway – WINNER: Bobby Santos (DJ Racing #22)

Aug 12: Salem, IN - Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery – WINNER: Kody Swanson (DePalma Motorsports #63)

Aug 19: Springfield, IL – Illinois State Fairgrounds – WINNER: Justin Grant (Carli/Hemelgarn Racing #91)

Sep 3: Du Quoin, IL – Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – WINNER: Kody Swanson (DePalma Motorsports #63)

Sep 23: Rossburg, OH - Eldora Speedway – WINNER: Tyler Courtney (Hans Lein #97)



(4) Kody Swanson (May 26 at Lucas Oil Raceway, Jun. 16 at Williams Grove Speedway, Aug. 12 at Salem Speedway & Sept. 3 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds)

(3) Bobby Santos (Apr. 29 at Phoenix Raceway, Jul. 20 at Lucas Oil Raceway & Jul. 28 at Toledo Speedway)

(1) Tyler Courtney (Sep. 23 at Eldora Speedway)

(1) Justin Grant (Aug. 19 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds)

(1) Chris Windom (Apr. 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track)



(241) Kody Swanson

(186) Bobby Santos

(83) Damion Gardner

(79) Justin Grant

(69) David Byrne

(68) Jeff Swindell

(51) Chris Windom

(50) Tyler Courtney

(30) Aaron Pierce

(28) C.J. Leary

(21) Brian Tyler

(18) Shane Cockrum

(1) Tanner Swanson



(9) Kody Swanson

(7) Chris Windom

(6) Jerry Coons, Jr.

(5) Bobby Santos

(3) Aaron Pierce

(2) Brady Bacon, Dave Darland, C.J. Leary, Tanner Swanson & Jeff Swindell

(1) David Byrne, Shane Cockrum, Shane Cottle, Tyler Courtney, Damion Gardner, Justin Grant, Davey Hamilton, Davey Hamilton, Jr., Joe Liguori & Hunter Schuerenberg



(10) Jerry Coons, Jr.

(9) Kody Swanson

(7) Justin Grant & Chris Windom

(6) David Byrne

(5) Aaron Pierce & Bobby Santos

(3) Brady Bacon, Shane Cottle, Dave Darland, Davey Hamilton & Joe Liguori

(2) Annie Breidinger, Shane Butler, Shane Cockrum, Damion Gardner, Davey Hamilton, Jr., C.J. Leary, Joss Moffatt, A.J. Russell, Hunter Schuerenberg, Tanner Swanson & Jeff Swindell

(1) Joe Axsom, Robert Ballou, Toni Breidinger, Patrick Bruns, Steve Buckwalter, Henry Clarke, Tyler Courtney, Dakota Jackson, Patrick Lawson, Austin Nemire, Casey Shuman, Mark Smith, Kevin Studley & Brian Tyler



(10) David Byrne, Jerry Coons, Jr., Justin Grant, Kody Swanson & Chris Windom

(9) Aaron Pierce

(8) Joss Moffatt

(7) Joe Liguori

(6) Damion Gardner & Matt Goodnight

(5) Joe Axsom, Steve Buckwalter, Shane Cottle, Dave Darland, Dakota Jackson, C.J. Leary, Austin Nemire & Bobby Santos

(4) J.C. Bland, Patrick Bruns, Davey Hamilton, Jr., Patrick Lawson, Johnny Petrozelle, Hunter Schuerenberg & Mark Smith

(3) Brady Bacon, Shane Cockrum, Tyler Courtney, Davey Hamilton, Bill Rose, Casey Shuman & Tanner Swanson

(2) Terry Babb, Robert Ballou, Annie Breidinger, Toni Breidinger, Keith Burch, Shane Butler, Chris Fetter, Danny Long, Joey Moughan, A.J. Russell, David Shain, Kevin Studley, Jeff Swindell, Troy Thompson, Brian Tyler, Chris Urish & Jacob Wilson

(1) Dave Berkheimer, Henry Clarke, Cody Gerhardt, Zach Daum, Russ Gamester, Ryan Newman, Ken Schrader & Korey Weyant



Apr. 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Hunter Schuerenberg (4th)

Apr. 29: Phoenix Raceway – Shane Butler (6th)

May 26: Lucas Oil Raceway – Kevin Studley (7th)

Jun. 16: Williams Grove Speedway – Damion Gardner (2nd)

Jul. 20: Lucas Oil Raceway – Davey Hamilton, Jr. (9th)

Jul. 28: Toledo Speedway – Joe Axsom (7th)

Aug. 12: Salem Speedway – Davey Hamilton, Jr. (5th)

Aug. 19: Illinois State Fairgrounds – David Shain (13th)

Sep. 3: Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Mark Smith (9th)

Sep. 23: Eldora Speedway – Tyler Courtney (1st)



Apr 2: Terre Haute Action Track – Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

Apr 29: Phoenix Raceway – Jerry Coons, Jr. (15th to 5th)

May 26: Lucas Oil Raceway – Kevin Studley (15th to 7th)

Jun. 16: Williams Grove Speedway – Austin Nemire (15th to 7th)

Jul. 20: Lucas Oil Raceway – Annie Breidinger (18th to 10th)

Jul. 28: Toledo Speedway – Joe Axsom (11th to 7th)

Aug. 12: Salem Speedway – Joss Moffatt (14th to 10th)

Aug. 19: Illinois State Fairgrounds – Jeff Swindell (28th to 3rd)

Sep. 3: Du Quoin State Fairgrounds – Casey Shuman (24th to 10th)

Sep. 23: Eldora Speedway – Brady Bacon (18th to 5th)



(5) Kody Swanson

(2) Jerry Coons, Jr.

(1) Damion Gardner, Bobby Santos & Tanner Swanson



1. (1) Mark Smith



JOE AXSOM/Franklin, IN (Nolen Racing 120)

TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL (Terry Babb 42)

BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK (Paul Martens 48 & RPM/Fred Gormly 199)

ROBERT BALLOU/Rocklin, CA (Klatt Enterprises 6)

DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Dave Berkheimer 31)

J.C. BLAND/Springfield, IL (Bland Brothers Enterprises 5)

ANNIE BREIDINGER/Hillsborough, CA (Breidinger Motorsports 80)

TONI BREIDINGER/Hillsborough, CA (Breidinger Motorsports 80)

PATRICK BRUNS/Champaign, IL (Full Throttle Racing 95)

STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA (SET Racing 53)

KEITH BURCH/Farmington, MO (Keith Burch 24)

SHANE BUTLER/Bushnell, FL (Troy Thompson 15)

DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI (Byrne Racing 40)

HENRY CLARKE/Villa Park, CA (Bill Rose Racing 75)

SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL (Hardy Boys Motorsports 71)

JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ (Nolen Racing 20)

SHANE COTTLE/Kokomo, IN (Curtis Williams 81)

TYLER COURTNEY/Indianapolis, IN (Hans Lein 97 & RPM-Fred Gormly 99)

DAVE DARLAND/Lincoln, IN (Carla/Steve Phillips 27 & Hans Lein 97)

ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL (Dennis & Dave McQuinn 14)

CHRIS FETTER/Troy, MO (Fetter Tile) 88 & Fetter Tile 89)

A.J. FIKE/Galesburg, IL (RFMS Racing 3)

CODY GALLOGLY/Pataskala, OH (Curtis Williams 81)

RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester Racing 51)

DAMION GARDNER/Concord, CA (Klatt Enterprises 6)

KENNY GENTRY/Henderson, KY (Kenny Gentry 18)

CODY GERHARDT/Fresno, CA (Cody Gerhardt 60)

MATT GOODNIGHT/Winchester, IN (Goodnight Racing 39)

JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Carli-Hemelgarn Racing 91)

DAVEY HAMILTON/Boise, ID (RPM-Fred Gormly 99)

DAVEY HAMILTON, JR. (RPM-Fred Gormly 98)

DAKOTA JACKSON/Elizabethtown, IN (Nolen Racing 201)

PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL (Patrick Lawson 2)

C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Chuck & Tammi Leary 30)

JOE LIGUORI/Tampa, FL (Liguori Racing 4)

DANNY LONG/Bonne Terre, MO (Danny Long 44)

JOSS MOFFATT/Columbus, IN (Williams & Wright Racing 32)

JOEY MOUGHAN/Springfield, IL (Joey Moughan 29)

AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Bob Lesko 16)

RYAN NEWMAN/South Bend, IN (Johnny Vance Racing Team 2v)

JOHNNY PETROZELLE/Denton, NC (Cornell-Petrozelle Racing 08)

AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN (Sam Pierce 26)

BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN (Bill Rose Racing 75)

A.J. RUSSELL/Clovis, CA (Ted Finkenbinder 03)

BOBBY SANTOS/Franklin, MA (DJ Racing 22)

KEN SCHRADER/Fenton, MO (Dennis & Dave McQuinn 14)

HUNTER SCHUERENBERG/Sikeston, MO (Nolen Racing 120)

DAVID SHAIN/Sullivan, IL (Hardy Boys Motorsports 7)

CASEY SHUMAN/Tempe, AZ (Patty Bateman 55)

MARK SMITH/Sunbury, PA (Mal Lane 54)

KEVIN STUDLEY/Plainfield, IN (Kevin Studley 57)

KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (DePalma Motorsports 63)

TANNER SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Bowman Racing 02 & Nolen Racing 201)

JEFF SWINDELL/Germantown, TN (Swanson Racing 21)

TROY THOMPSON/Brooksville, FL (Troy Thompson 15)

BRIAN TYLER/Parma, MI (Galas Motorsports 12)

CHRIS URISH/Elkhart, IL (Chris Urish 77)

KOREY WEYANT/Springfield, IL (Scott Weyant 99)

JACOB WILSON/Crawfordsville, IN (Wilson Brothers Racing 07)

CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL (Patrick Lawson 2 & Gene Kazmark 92)