Jeff Swindell Sets Big Goals For 2014
TULSA, Okla. — Jeff Swindell has set some big goals for this season.
“Win every race.” Answers don’t get much simpler when talking with Jeff Swindell about his goals for the 2014 Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real National Tour.
Swindell, who returned to full-time competition last season after taking the 2012 season off, will bring the Hammers family-owned Heartland Catfish No. 94 back in hopes of bettering his third-place in the ASCS National Tour standings last year.
Swindell set the season record for consecutive podium finish in 2013 and in doing so made the largest points jump of any driver from eighth to third. Asked how often he has been able to put together a run like that, Swindell replied, “That just don’t hardly ever happen, and I think that just shows what a good group we have.”
Pointing out that the run didn’t happen until later in the season, Swindell was still pleased with the team’s performance.
“We were in the learning stages last year with these guys, being the first full season with the team, the car, the motors, and everything. I think it just took us a little while to get everything figured out,” Swindell said.
Entering this season, Swindell has made very few changes to the team.
“We’ve got all the same people together, and all the same sponsors,” Swindell said. “We added Heartland Catfish at the end of the year as an associate sponsor, and now they wanted to come on board as the main sponsor so we’re really pleased with that. I plan on doing a lot of promotions with them.”
Planning on racing as much as possible, Swindell has put together a schedule of roughly 80-90 shows for this season to take advantage of downtime on the ASCS National schedule that includes 410, 360, and 305cid competition.
With the Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Ariz., kicking off the 2014 schedule, Swindell will have an uphill climb.
“I think one of the biggest assets I’ve got, is I can lean on my brother Sammy a little bit,” said Swindell when asked about setting up the car and the assets at his disposal.
Asked specifically about the Cocopah Speedway, where the Tennessee driver has had some good runs taken away from him by mechanical issues, Swindell replied, “I feel like I haven’t been really good at Cocopah come feature time every night out, we weren’t bad the first of the year, but broke a torsion arm bolt in half, so that killed us running third or fourth; then we had mechanical issues the next night. Then, at the end of the year, we were good all night until the feature. I just don’t feel like I’ve had the car underneath me, so Sammy’s given me a few little pointers on something to try, so we’re going to go at it a little different and try to knock Jason Johnson off that podium.”
Looking for a clean year of racing, Swindell is clear that he will race anyone the way he is raced. Asked about an incident during the 2013 season that resulted in damage to the No. 94, Jeff replied, “There’s no reason to drive guys like that. As long as I know how I’m going to be driven, that’s how I’m going to drive.”
Swindell’s overall season in 2013 consisted of 42 A-Feature starts. His five wins in 2013 came at the Lawton (Okla.) Speedway on June 19, Creek County Speedway, Sapulpa, Okla., on June 20, Willamette Speedway, Lebanon, Ore., on July 26, Salina (Okla.) Highbanks Speedway on Aug. 17, and Jackson (Minn.) Speedway on Aug. 30.