Surprise! Swanson Conquers Terre Haute
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — After racing in pavement races last year for DePalma Motorsports, Kody Swanson took advantage of his first dirt start with the team in the Silver Crown Series presented by Traxxas by winning Sunday’s “Sumar Classic” at the Terre Haute Action Track.
The California driver took the lead on lap 38 and was untouchable over a long green-flag run to win in the Radio Hospital No. 63 Maxim/Hampshire.
“To be able to run with these guys all year, I don’t know if I can describe how excited I am to run for the championship with this team. I thought, ‘Man, wouldn’t we really surprise some people if we went to Terre Haute, a place that I shouldn’t be any good at, and pull off a win?’” Swanson said. “We’ve put together a dirt sprint car and went to Florida and last night at Lawrenceburg, just trying to get me better, so to reward that the first race out is special. This group works so hard and has so much passion for Silver Crown racing, so I’m really proud to win here for them.”
Swanson led from the outset after qualifying second, but a flurry of early cautions posed restart after restart for him to hold of challenges. Chris Windom vaulted to second, as Bobby East also moved forward to shuffle polesitter Tracy Hines back to fourth. That foursome came to a pivotal restart on lap 35, when Swanson continued to lead on the high side.
Windom hit the bottom to take the lead after the green came out, taking the lead as they completed lap 36. Hines was surging back to the front, as he bolted by Windom to claim the point on lap 37. By then, Swanson had regained his momentum on the top to take the lead as the field completed the 38th lap.
Hines was back to Swanson’s inside, about to take the lead as they finished lap 40, but a caution came out, giving Swanson the lead back. On the restart, he jumped to the bottom and pulled away from the field.
Swanson lapped up to fourth while distancing his lead, facing no challenges as the race went green the remainder of the 100-lap distance. For Swanson, it was his fourth career series win.
“I knew the top was getting awful thin, even early on, as I was leading. I thought I’d have to come down at some point, but it was great to race with those guys and battle my way back to the lead,” Swanson said. “I think changing with the race track, and being able to move around when you need to, is so important to win on dirt and I’m still learning that. To put together a whole race at Terre Haute and win is exciting for all of us.”
Hines finished second in the Lightfoot Racing No. 16 Beast/Chevy, and Jerry Coons, Jr. moved up to finish third in his first race aboard the Fred Gormly – RPM Auto Enterprise No. 98 DRC/Mopar.
Bobby East began his quest for a third-straight Silver Crown title by finishing fourth in the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing – Chevrolet Performance No. 10 Maxim/Chevy, while Zach Daum rounded out the top five.