Saturday at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park
BROWNSBURG, Ind., Oct. 23 — Mission accomplished.
“Championship Saturday” was just that for Lebanon, Ohio-based Doran Racing and its driver, Kody Swanson, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP).
Doran-Dyson Racing won the entrant championship in the top division of USAC, Silver Crown, when Swanson finished fourth in that series’ 100-lap season finale and earned an unprecedented seventh driver championship in the series. Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif., who now lives in Indianapolis, is the winningest driver in the series’ history.
Doran Racing fielded Swanson’s cars for the USAC Silver Crown series’ six asphalt-track events in 2022 like the one Saturday at IRP, while Dyson Racing fielded his car for the series’ five dirt-track races. Swanson had three victories, all on asphalt tracks, enroute to the title. He also won an additional non-points Silver Crown special event at IRP this year.
Doran Racing and Swanson also won the inaugural championship of the 500 Sprint Car Tour with a second-place finish in that series’ 40-lap season finale earlier Saturday night on IRP’s same 0.686-mile asphalt oval. Swanson had two wins and eight top-five finishes in all during that series’ nine-event season.
Doran Racing’s championships came with two different cars and two different engines, as its Silver Crown car, No. 1, is powered by a Lanci-prepped Ford and its 500 Sprint Car Tour car, No. 44, uses a Binks-prepped Chevrolet.
Both cars are sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms, Glenn Farms, and Duncan Oil.
USAC Silver Crown
Swanson was three points behind Logan Seavey for the USAC Silver Crown championship going into Saturday’s event (601 to 604), but Swanson tied that up before the race started by earning three bonus points for winning the Fatheadz Eyewear pole. His combined two-lap qualifying time was 41.773 seconds. His brother, Tanner Swanson, qualified second with a time of 41.906, and Seavey was third with a 42.273.
It was Kody Swanson’s 41st series pole and his tenth one for a USAC Silver Crown race at this particular track, which are both records.
Kody Swanson got a terrific start, and was about seven lengths ahead of his brother by Turn 1 on the first lap. Tanner Swanson quickly closed the gap, however, and settled in behind his brother. By lap seven they were about a half-straightaway ahead of Seavey, who was running third.
Seavey’s race and his championship hopes disintegrated when his car suffered a blown engine with 11 laps complete and he retired from the race, placing 20th.
The Swanson brothers’ train continued unabated. By lap 25 Kody Swanson was only 0.160 of a second ahead of his brother, but more than three seconds separated Tanner Swanson from the third-place driver, Bobby Santos III.
They threaded their way through lapped cars carefully. By lap 40 Kody Swanson was only 0.185 ahead of Tanner Swanson, but Santos was more than 5 seconds behind second place.
On lap 47 C.J. Leary passed Santos for third. At the halfway point Kody Swanson’s lead was 0.090 of a second, and Leary was 5.155 seconds behind Tanner Swanson. When Kody Swanson led lap 51 he officially moved into the point lead, as he earned three more bonus points for being the driver to lead the most laps of the race.
A few laps later, on lap 63, Tyler Roahrig passed Santos for fourth.
The turning point of the race came on laps 66 and 67.
On lap 66 Tanner Swanson finally got around his brother in Turns 1 and 2 for the lead. His pass had some assistance in setting up, as Kody Swanson had to lift in Turn 4 when he became sandwiched between two drivers he was lapping, Nathan Byrd and Brian Tyler.
Seconds later, on lap 67, the event’s only yellow flew for a two-car accident coming out of Turn 4 and onto the frontstretch. Kyle Robbins spun in Turn 4 to trigger it, and Jake Day got into the inside wall on the frontstretch after he clipped him.
With the yellow the Swansons’ lead disappeared, and the drivers behind them breathed new life with their second chance. They took full advantage of it when the green waved again on lap 74.
Leary was able to pass Kody Swanson for second in Turn 1 on lap 75, which put Kody Swanson directly ahead of Roahrig. They engaged in a battle royale, as Roahrig tried both inside and outside to get by lap after lap.
On lap 80, with 20 laps remaining in the race, Tanner Swanson had a 1.083-second lead over Leary, but Roahrig was still right behind Kody Swanson in fourth.
With just eight laps remaining, Roahrig finally got by Kody Swanson for third on lap 92 with an outside pass as they traveled through Turns 3 and 4.
Tanner Swanson had a 4.883-second margin of victory over Leary, while Roahrig was 1.569 seconds ahead of Kody Swanson at the checkered. Davey Hamilton Jr. rounded out the top five.
Tanner Swanson set the fastest lap of the race on lap three with a 21.331, while Kody Swanson was second-fastest with a 21.393 on lap two.
Kody Swanson won the championship with 668 points to Seavey’s 627. Leary, Brian Tyler and Justin Grant rounded out the top five in the point standings.
“We just missed the setup a little bit, but these championships are hard to come by and I’m thankful to be surrounded by great people who never give up,” Kody Swanson said. “We were here until midnight last night trying to get the thing fixed to make it 100 laps, and it did. We still came home fourth and had a solid finish. To cap it off with a championship is a little bit of a silver lining.”
500 Sprint Car Tour
Doran Racing and Kody Swanson also earned the inaugural championships of the 500 Sprint Car Tour Presented by Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Part Stores Saturday at IRP.
The team and driver championships were finalized with a second-place finish in the series’ 40-lap season finale.
Driving the Henry Repeating Arms No. 44, Swanson qualified fifth for the race and started in that position, as the invert was a zero. Leary won the pole over Roahrig and the driver who was second in the point standings to Swanson going into the season finale, Dakoda Armstrong.
Leary led the first two laps, but Swanson had a fabulous start behind him. Swanson was third going into Turn 1 on the first lap, and second on the backstretch.
He took the lead on lap three in Turn 3 by passing Leary to the outside, and by lap five he already had a 1.032-second advantage. He had extended his advantage to 1.591 seconds by lap 15 and 2.412 seconds by lap 20.
Roahrig had steadily been advancing behind him, however, and Roahrig passed Leary for second on lap 22.
Swanson had a 1.870-second lead over Roahrig on lap 25, but lapped traffic was challenging and it allowed Roahrig to gain on the blue No. 44. Swanson’s lead was only 0.329 of a second on lap 30, and the top pair ran nose to tail for the next three laps. They were side by side at the start-finish line on lap 34, and on lap 35 Roahrig took the lead as the pair headed out of Turn 4 and onto the frontstretch with just five laps remaining.
The entire race went non-stop, and Roahrig had a 1.542-second margin of victory over Swanson at the checkered. Kyle O’Gara finished third and Santos placed fourth. Armstrong finished fifth to Swanson’s second, and the championship was in the books for both Doran Racing and Swanson.
Swanson set the fastest lap of the race on lap four with a time of 20.755 seconds. He qualified fifth with a two-lap time of 41.475 seconds and a fastest lap of 20.765.
“This Doran Racing team puts in a lot of effort, and I’m thankful to be a part of it,” Swanson said afterwards. “We just came up a little short in this race, but we’re pleased to get the championship in this series. It is full of great drivers and great cars, and we’re thankful to be the series’ inaugural champions.”
According to a series press release, Swanson earned 1,737 points to win the 2022 title by 35 points over Armstrong. O’Gara was third in the championship followed by Santos and Billy Wease.
Swanson had two wins and eight top-five finishes in all during the nine-event season.
Both of Saturday’s races were streamed live on Flo Racing.
About Doran Racing:
Doran Racing has prepared and fielded race cars in a wide variety of series
for many years, from Indy cars to NASCAR trucks. It is legendary for the many
championships and events it has won in IMSA sports car racing. Team owner Kevin Doran has won the prestigious Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona at Daytona International Speedway overall as a crew chief, a team owner, and even as a car manufacturer. Under his direction the Doran Racing-prepared MOMO Ferrari was the first team in U.S. history to win the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, and the Watkins Glen Six-Hour race in the same year. In recent years the team has focused on asphalt sprint car racing, the asphalt portion of the USAC Silver Crown series, and historic sports car events, continuing its tradition of excellence on and off the track. For more information see DoranRacing.com and follow the team on Facebook.