Doran Racing’s Swanson Shows Muscle Early; Finishes Seventh After Becoming Involved In Lapped Driver’s Issue During Little 500 While Running in Second Place
ANDERSON, Ind., May 29, 2022
Doran Racing’s Kody Swanson was knocked out of contention for his fourth Lucas Oil Pay Less Little 500 victory Saturday night at Anderson Speedway while running second on lap 198 due to another driver’s mechanical difficulties. Swanson didn’t give up though, and he was able to restart and finished seventh in the Henry Repeating Arms No. 44 in the 74th edition of the most prestigious asphalt sprint car race in the world.
With the exception of three laps, Swanson ran in second place for the first 198 laps until the freak accident occurred. He was third for those other laps, and seemed to be poised for at least a podium finish if not a victory.
He was third for the three-wide start of the 500-lap contest on the quarter-mile track, but he took second from polesitter and eventual winner Tyler Roahrig by passing him to the outside in Turn 1 on the first lap. Swanson then ran in second, just inches behind early leader Brian Gerster, for the first 106 laps. He showed Gerster his car’s nose several times, both to the inside and to the outside, running just inches apart as the top runners threaded their way through lapped traffic.
Roahrig passed him on lap 107 on the outside in Turn 1 to push Swanson to third, and Roahrig passed Gerster two laps later to take the lead. Swanson passed Gerster on lap 110 to regain second, and then ran behind Roahrig in second place until the accident occurred.
While he was lapping Shane Butler, Butler’s car experienced a sudden loss of power, reportedly from an ignition issue. The pair touched wheels and Swanson went flying through the turn and onto the frontstretch, coming to a stop sprawled in the middle of the track. The accident cost him five laps, and he restarted in 22nd position.
He then tried to salvage what he could by both passing cars and through attrition with his No. 44, which is powered by a Chevy V8 engine prepped by Dan Binks.
At the halfway point Swanson was 20th, but by lap 317 he was 15th. He was back in the top 10 on lap 348, and he was ninth when he made his second pit stop under yellow on lap 394. That put him back to 11th, but he was back in the top 10 on lap 424. He got ninth when Scott Hampton pitted under a yellow flag on lap 429 after a spin, and eighth when Shane Hollingsworth pitted on lap 464. He moved up to seventh five laps from the end when the driver who had been seventh, NASCAR star Ryan Newman, crashed in Turns 1-2 after his car suffered a flat right-rear tire.
Swanson took the checkered flag in seventh place, four laps down. His fellow front-row starter and the early leader, Gerster, was just ahead of him in sixth place in the final rundown.
Roahrig won over Dakoda Armstrong, C.J. Leary, Kyle O’Gara, Caleb Armstrong, Gerster, Swanson, Hollingsworth, Dalton Armstrong and Emerson Axsom. Only the top two finishers completed all 500 laps. Leary and O’Gara completed 499 laps, and Caleb Armstrong and Gerster completed 498. Swanson made up one lap after the accident and completed 496 laps. He finished a lap ahead of the eighth-place finisher, Hollingsworth.
Swanson set the second-fastest lap of the race on lap 408 when he ran a lap in 11.578 seconds. That was just 0.129 off the fastest lap of the race, which Roahrig turned on lap 402 in 11.449.
Swanson qualified third on Thursday for the event, which is presented by United Auto Workers, with a four-lap time of 44.333, just a tick off Roahrig’s new track record of 43.477. It was Swanson’s seventh front-row start in eight appearances in this race. Track conditions changed a great deal on Thursday due to rain, but there was no rain on Saturday night and the action was fast and furious on the high-banked, quarter-mile oval with 17-degree banking.
The race was broadcast by MAVTV Plus.
KODY SWANSON: “I was working underneath Shane Butler, and we touched tires. It picked me up into the air, and I spun off of Turn 4 on to the frontstretch. He just came down a bit ago and said his car had a mechanical issue and lost power to start it all; something with his car’s ignition he thought. It was an unfortunate part of our race, but in racing things happen. It was nice of Shane to come down and see us afterward, and I appreciate racing with him.
“Before that I was second to Gerster and Roahrig; I was just following them to our first pit stop. I thought we were in OK shape to fight for the lead; we were close enough to race for it, anyway.
“After the contact I was able to make it back up from 22nd to seventh. When you’re laps down it’s all risk and no reward, so we just took what we could get and finished.
“It was a good effort by everyone on the Doran Racing team, and I appreciate all their hard work and the support of Henry Repeating Arms and Glenn Farms.”
Doran Racing’s next events are 500 Sprint Car Tour races at Plymouth Motor Speedway in Plymouth, Ind., on June 10 and Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., on June 11. Those races will be broadcast on MAVTV Plus too.
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.