PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – When details of the Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125 were announced, it was assumed Kody Swanson would eventually throw his name in the hat with those wanting to compete.
Swanson, originally from Kingsburg, Calif., but now calls Zionsville, Ind., home, has feasted on non-winged asphalt sprint car racing during his career. He captured his first Little 500 in 2016 for the legendary Hoffman Auto Racing team. Since then he has found victory lane an additional two times including his past season.
In 2019 Swanson found victory lane with the Auto Value Super Sprints in Marne, Mich., on July 20 and captured another non-winged asphalt sprint car victory in Anderson, Ind., a couple of weeks later.
Swanson has found most of his success the past two seasons behind the wheel of the potent Gene Nolen owned, yellow Beast chassis No. 20, with Bill Tranter V-6 engines.
However, Swanson finds himself behind the wheel of an unfamiliar machine to close out Florida Speedweeks with two non-winged pavement sprint car events at Showtime Speedway on Feb. 19-20.
With only a few days left until the fast approaching events, Swanson has become the latest driver to confirm participation in the inaugural Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125. Swanson will behind the wheel of the Doran Enterprises No. 77 for these events. This car has most recently been wheeled by Eric Gordon.
Swanson was very interested in the event when he learned details of the event.
“I like pavement sprint cars,” Swanson explained. ”I’m glad to see them having a resurgence, especially without the wings. And it’s a chance to race in the month of February when there’s snow on the ground here in the Midwest, which piques my interest anyway. It’s a 125-lap race and a chance to honor a friend (Dave Steele) is something I’m excited to be a part of.”
The three-time Little 500 champion will be in an unfamiliar car for this event, but he is already familiar with the team as he competed for them at Daytona Int’l Speedway this past November.
”I was fortunate enough to run for the Doran Racing team at the Historic 24 Hours of Daytona last fall,” Swanson explained. “I stayed in contact with them and I’m looking forward to racing sprint cars with them. Through a discussion, they asked me if I had any interest in going. I didn’t have anyone that was planning on going yet. It was nice reconnecting and hopefully we’ll have some fun racing together again.”
Interestingly, the Doran Racing team car is a Beast chassis with a Bill Tranter V-6, much like the Nolen Racing car he typically drives.
“I’ve never been to Showtime before but I’m trying to do my homework on the place,” Swanson said. “I’m looking forward to seeing it in person and giving it a shot. I’m really looking forward to racing for the Doran Racing team again and giving it our best shot.”
The event, scheduled for Feb. 19-20, will air live thanks to SPEED SPORT Network broadcast partner Low Budget TV. Click here for viewing options and Low Budget TV subscription details.