Swanson brothers dominate USAC Silver Crown Rich Vogler Classic

Episode 280

September 8, 2019

Swanson Brothers Traveling USAC Silver Crown Show

This article, Rising Stars, August 10, 2005,  began my journey to know more about the Kingsburg, California racer. (HTF Motorsports photo of National Speed Sports News article)

Second column of NSSN August 10, 2005 article where Kody talks about his agriculture/FFA experiences. (photo of NSSN article)

It was no coincidence when I read about the up and coming Kody Swanson in an article in the National Speed Sport News 14 years ago. What caught my eye was he in addition to being a race car driver he was a member of the Kingsburg, California  FFA Chapter serving as President.

I immediately made contact with his father Mike Swanson and eventually arranged to meet Kody in Indianapolis where the National FFA Convention was held. He was getting his FFA  American Degree, the highest honor bestowed on a FFA member. I was immediately impressed with his humble manner. He has that somewhat rare quality of listening to who he conversing which made me remember him.

The NSSN article mentions his brother Tanner got him interested in racing with Junior Sprint cars at age 12 after Tanner had seen them race. Since that time they have had many racing adventures, often in a race against each other.

Tanner now lives in California with his wife Allison and son Levi. He works for Golden State Farm Credit in his hometown of Kingsburg, California. Like his older brother Kody, he too was the president of the local Kingsburg FFA Chapter. He limits his racing to Silver Crown races in the Indianapolis area with an occasional foray in the Little 500 at nearby Anderson Raceway in Anderson, Indiana.

During NASCAR weekend festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctions a Silver Crown race at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway six miles from Indy in Brownsburg, Indiana. When I last reported about the Indy weekend several years ago, the track known as Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) hosted USAC night on Thursday, NASCAR truck races Friday evening, and NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday evening at the.686 mile oval.

Tanner Swanson won the pole position Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR). He was the last to qualify and beat his brother Kody by .059 seconds.“We grew up together, so he knows all my tricks,” Kody said of his younger brother.  “He doesn’t get rattled and everyone knows, when he comes to town, he’s going to be a contender and probably the biggest threat.” Tanner and Mike Bliss held the record for most wins at Lucas Oil Raceway until brother Kody joined them with his fifth victory at the track. (USAC Racing photo)

Though Tanner won the pole, Kody jumped into the lead in turns one and two and never relinquished the lead in the 100 lap race. Tanner held on to second place which, though he was challenged by third place Kyle Hamilton, he finished second. May 24, 2019 LOR winner Hamilton finished third, followed by JIm Anderson in fourth and fifth place James Davison who was making his USAC Silver Crown debut.

The Swanson brothers, Tanner in the #2 and Kody in the #20 push-off for the start of the Rich Vogler Classic 100. Their one-two finish marked the 9th time in USAC Silver Crown Racing history. (Todd Ridgeway photo)

Six days earlier Swanson and his Nolen Racing team could not get the primary or backup cars to run for the USAC Silver Crown race at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, a one mile dirt track in DuQuoin, Illinois. Swanson borrowed the Patrick Lawson #2 race car, started last and worked his way up to 14th in the unfamiliar car. Jacob Wilson won that race for his first Silver Crown victory.

“It’s tough, on top of a short week to do it.  It would’ve been a tough week anyway, let alone when you’re down and trying to get going,” Kody explained.  “You can either wait for something good to happen to you or you can put the work in and try to help.  I haven’t been to my day job since Wednesday morning, gutting it out with the guys in the shop.  Everyone who’s a part of it has continued to give everything they could.” (Thank you to USAC Media Man Richie Murray for his help with this information)

The Nolen Racing Team in Victory Circle at LOR Saturday evening. Unlike the week before everything on the car worked well. This was Nolen Racings first victory at LOR since 1995 when Jim Keeker won. It was Swanson’s 29th Silver Crown victory. (Todd Ridgeway photo)

USAC Silver Crown returns to the dirt for the final two races of the 2019 season, The Bettenhausen 100 on the one-mile Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, Illinois September 22 and the 4-Crown Nationals at the 1/2 mile dirt at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Raceway, Rossburg, Ohio September 28.

Swanson leads second place Justin Grant in the points battle by 63 going into the next race. Grant won the Bettenhausen 100 at the State Fairgrounds in 2017. Swanson last won in 2015.

Maine man kisses the bricks at Indianapolis Brickyard 400

In 2003 I was covering the Brickyard 400 when Kevin Harvick won for the first time at Indy. The burnout he did was a classic, exploding the right rear and tearing much of the sheet metal in that corner to shreds on the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy. Fast forward to September 9, 2019 when the California driver entered Victory Circle once again at Indy.

In 2003, Maine native Michael Morneau was beginning his career as a journeyman pit crew member. He joined Haas CNC in 2004.

Oxford, Maine native Michael Morneau finally gets his chance to “Kiss the Bricks” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway following Kevin Harvick’s third win of the 2019 season Sunday. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Brown Morneau)

Celebrating on the “Yard of Bricks” with the winner’s trophy are Harvick crew members left to right Chris Jackson (filling in for Daniel Smith), Stan Doolittle, Shayne Pipala, Evan Marchal and Michel Morneau. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Brown Morneau)

Martin racing genes passed on

Colby Martin, son of Shawn and Michelle Martin Auburn, displays his trophy for winning at Richmond Karting Speedway, Richmond, Maine. This is his ninth win this season. (Martin Racing photo)

Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) Season Finale

The NMKA will be holding a triple header next Saturday September 14, 2019 at Spud Speedway. With a rain out on September 7th and a scheduled doubleheader, the top division will feature 75 racing laps thus testing drivers and machines.

Races will be Presented by Machias Savings Bank and JRT Customs. Coastal NAPA sponsors the NMKA Summer Kart Racing Series at Spud Speedway. Blacked Out Window Tint sponsors the Kids Karts, Aroostook Trusses the Junior Cage Karts and Aroostook Savings and Loan the Senior Cage Karts.

The pit gates will open at 9:30 am with practice until 11:15 followed by a mandatory driver’s meeting at 11:30. Races will begin around noon. Awards will immediately follow the races. Pit admission is $10 per person and grandstand viewing is free.

Photo of the week

Newlyweds Garrett and Heather Holler after getting married September 4th at DirtFish Racing School in Washington are making their way to North Carolina and visiting some locations on their bucket list. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one such location. The couple’s truck, trailer, and the Corvette they will be restoring for Heather’s Dad pose on some of the most famous salt on the planet. Garrett assured all that he only went 65 mph at Bonneville. (Holler Customs photo)

Let’s Go Racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)



Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine