CLERMONT, Ind. — Kody Swanson is now a five-time USAC Silver Crown winner in nine starts this season, after the defending series champion led every lap Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Swanson blistered the pavement by pacing all 100 laps in his Gene Nolen-owned No. 20 ride, capturing the annual Rich Vogler Classic at the famed Indiana oval.
The front row of the 25-car field featured brothers Kody and Tanner Swanson, with Tanner on the pole. When the green flag waved, Kody Swanson muscled his way to the front followed by Tanner Swanson and Kyle Hamilton.
Three yellow flags would fall during the 100-lap event with the first coming on lap nine when a car hit the backstretch wall. Back green and off went Kody Swanson. By lap 29 Kody was five car lengths to the good and slicing through heavy lapped traffic.
This would allow Tanner Swanson and Hamilton to make up some ground but still chasing at best. Another yellow on lap 43 saw Annie Breidinger spin to a stop in turn two just to see Ryan Newman ram her tail tank severely damaging the NASCAR stars car and effectively ending his night.
Swanson led on the restart, but Breidinger spun on lap 65 to put the yellow out and give Kody Swanson a clean track with no dirty air in sight.
Swanson romped to a 6.165-second victory over his brother, Tanner.
Hamilton, Jim Anderson and Indy car driver James Davison completed the top five.
“I felt pretty good early, but sometimes it’s hard to tell,” said Kody Swanson. “The car was good early, but then it started getting tight on the long runs. Then we would get a yellow and the car would come back to me. I love these race tracks that have character to them. It’s the driver’s job to move around out there and find what’s good.
“I was just moving around to try and find what was good and help the lap times,” he added. “I moved around all night tonight, try to just make speed where I could using the banking, and use the good things my car could do. I picked up a pretty good vibration there the last thirty, but just keep going and digging. I am thankful to winning it, always grateful for everyone’s effort, a driver does not do it alone. The team, my family, I am grateful to win a race for them tonight.”
Ironically, the Swanson brothers have finished one-two nine times in USAC Silver Crown competition, eight times at the Lucas Oil speed plant. Tanner won the first six of the Swanson one-two sweeps, while Kody has owned the upper hand in the last three.
The victory also moved Kody into a three-way tie with Mike Bliss and Tanner Swanson for the most wins in series history at the track.
“What a part of history in USAC this track has played, let alone to tie someone like Mike Bliss, who had the ultimate stranglehold on this place for so long and Tanner did too for a number of years,” Kody Swanson said. “I had to get better or Tanner was just going to continue to beat me all the time. I’m thankful to pick off a few whenever we could to make it up. To tie them with five is pretty special.”
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