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High-5! Swanson Pockets $26,000 Payday with Fifth Hoosier Hundred Win

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana (May 25, 2024)………One year after dominating the first 116 laps of the Hoosier Hundred, Kody Swanson only had to focus on a mere 100 circuits around Brownsburg, Indiana’s Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday morning.

In fact, he seemingly didn’t have to worry about a thing throughout the entire distance as he led from start to finish to score his fifth career Hoosier Hundred victory aboard his Doran-Binks Racing/Mission Foods – Wilke Orthodontics – Glenn Farms/Beast/Lanci Ford.

Swanson’s four previous Hoosier Hundred wins in 2014-15-16-18 all came on the dirt at the now-shuttered Indiana State Fairgrounds mile, but this time around, the win came on the pavement of IRP where it has been held in each of the past two seasons.

“It’s great to have the Hoosier Hundred continue,” Swanson said in praise of the race that has been held regularly since 1953. “I loved it at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, but it’s so great that (IRP promoter) Kasey Coler and his team put it on, and it pays more now for us than it ever did before. That means a lot to the racers, and I appreciate him sticking his neck out on that.”

For the victory, Swanson pocketed a cool $26,000 between his victory and pole position, the richest-paying USAC Silver Crown event of the 2024 season and among the most lucrative in series history. In the process, he also became the new series point leader, by one point, over C.J. Leary as Swanson pursues an unprecedented eighth Silver Crown championship.

Swanson’s handful of Hoosier Hundred triumphs ranks second all-time behind only A.J. Foyt, who won six in his illustrious career. Swanson’s 43rd career USAC Silver Crown victory was also his eighth with the series at IRP’s .686-mile paved oval, tying his brother, Tanner Swanson, for number one all-time.

“However it ends, if it works out like this, you can’t be picky,” Swanson said. “I haven’t won a points race here in three years. My brother has been racking them up and Bobby (Santos) too. I’m just glad to get these guys to victory lane whenever we can. They do such a great job on this car.”

On Friday afternoon, Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) collected his record-extending 50th career pole position. Torrential rain washed away the planned 146-lap, 100-mile feature event, postponing it to a 10:49am local start on Saturday with a new shortened distance of 100 laps, 68.6 miles, which suited Swanson just fine.

Swanson maintained a one second margin lead throughout the first 40 laps when the only accident of the day occurred. On lap 41, Kaylee Bryson (13th) suddenly dropped off the pace on the back straightaway with an engine issue. In trying to avoid contact just behind her, Trey Burke (15th) veered left and ramped over the left rear tire of Jerry Coons Jr. (14th). Burke briefly became airborne before landing on all four wheels and sliding into the path of Bryson, sending both Burke and Bryson into the outside turn three wall. Both drivers walked away, but their machines suffered significant damage.

When the race resumed on the 50th lap, second running Tyler Roahrig’s car experienced a failure to launch, costing him three positions as he dropped back to fifth while Logan Seavey, who stood fourth in line, also suffered an unfortunate fate as he got stuck behind Roahrig and fell back to sixth. Santos, Dakoda Armstrong and Taylor Ferns all took advantage of the situation as they slotted into second, third and fourth, respectively. Within five laps, however, Roahrig had roared past them all to regain the runner-up spot.

Up front, Swanson continued to turn up the wick even further as he extended his dominance to three, four and five seconds over Roahrig. Yet, with five laps remaining, Swanson’s lead on the field soared as Roahrig abruptly dropped off the pace with a fuel issue. Roahrig soldiered on around the bottom line during the final laps, but ultimately, exited to the pits on the white flag lap, dropping him to a highly disappointing 12th in the final running order.

Swanson put the finishing touches on yet another masterpiece, defeating the field by a whopping 17.850 second margin over Logan Seavey, C.J. Leary, Russ Gamester and Bobby Santos. Swanson added 100 more laps led to his Hoosier Hundred resume, moving him from fourth to second on the all-time list. Swanson’s total of 378 laps led in the event, all of which have been guided by his wife/spotter, Jordan Swanson, now trails only A.J. Foyt’s 592.

“She does a great job just keeping me in the loop as to what’s happening,” Swanson said. “Today, this place was tricky. It was hot and greasy, and we really haven’t run a race like this since 2021 when we did this during the day. I hate that Tyler (Roahrig) had misfortune there because I know he was coming on really strong. There are a lot of really great teams and drivers that are part of this series and anytime you can get a win, it’s special.”

Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) worked his way back up from sixth after the mid-race restart to score second at the finish line in his Rice Motorsports-Abacus Racing/DiaEdge Mitsubishi Materials – STIDA – Legacy 40/Beast/Felker Chevy, equaling his best result on the pavement with the USAC Silver Crown series. In three career Hoosier Hundred starts, the 2023 series champion has finished third, second and second.

C.J. Leary’s weekend started in tumultuous fashion with the engine in his regular Klatt Enterprises No. 6 giving fits to the team. In stepped driver/owner Bryan Gossel, who graciously offered to step out of the car and offer Leary the ride in his BG Automotive – BG Products – Simpson Race Products/Beast/Parker Chevy. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) made the best of the situation by achieving the biggest charge at the track in two decades. As it turned out, Leary’s 22nd to 3rd run on Saturday was the biggest advancement by a USAC Silver Crown driver at IRP since Chet Fillip went 26th to 6th in 2004. For his efforts, Leary earned a $1,000 hard charger bonus.

In fact, several $1,000 bonuses and incentives were added to the Hoosier Hundred festivities. Along with Swanson’s pole and Leary’s hard charger, sixth place finisher Dakoda Armstrong was rewarded as the Rookie of the Race. Bobby Santos’ DJ Racing crew was voted as the “best appearing.” Finally, Brent Yarnal made the long haul to central Indiana from his Phoenix, Arizona home, around 1700 miles away, which earned him the “Longest Tow” award.

Russ Gamester (Peru, Ind.) experienced a substantially significant race on two different fronts aboard his Gamester Racing/Gamester’s Green Gable Village – Gamester Racing Products/Eagle/Kercher Chevy. His 29th career Hoosier Hundred start on Saturday tied him with Johnny Parsons for number one on the all-time list. Furthermore, his fourth-place run was his best USAC Silver Crown finish of any kind since 2012 at the Terre Haute Action Track. Even better, it's his best Silver Crown result on pavement since a second-place finish at IRP 22 years ago in 2002.

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USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: May 24-25, 2024 – Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park – Brownsburg, Indiana – .686-Mile Paved Oval – 67th Hoosier Hundred / Carb Night Classic

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: (2-lap combined time) 1. Kody Swanson, 77, Doran/Binks-42.316; 2. Logan Seavey, 22, Rice/Abacus-42.731; 3. Bobby Santos, 98, DJ-42.754; 4. Dakoda Armstrong, 5, C & A-42.939; 5. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn-43.005; 6. Taylor Ferns, 555, Ferns-43.215; 7. Tyler Roahrig, 41, Newman-43.255; 8. Russ Gamester, 51, Gamester-43.411; 9. Trey Osborne, 81, BCR-43.694; 10. Jerry Coons Jr., 24, Haggenbottom-43.784; 11. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-43.786; 12. Nathan Byrd, 40, Legacy/Wilson-43.821; 13. Trey Burke, 60, Legacy/Wilson-44.062; 14. Kaylee Bryson, 26, Pierce-44.098; 15. Casey Buckman, 25, C-Buck/Sachs-44.131; 16. Bryan Gossel, 06, Gossel-44.357; 17. Tanner Berryhill, 14, Hamilton-44.586; 18. Gregg Cory, 32, Williams/Cory-45.082; 19. Brent Yarnal, 29, Yarnal-46.861; 20. Nathan Moore, 48, Thomas/Moore-48.920; 21. C.J. Leary, 6, Klatt-NT; 22. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-NT; 23. Kyle Steffens, 08, Steffens-NT; 24. Mario Clouser, 92, Kazmark-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Logan Seavey (2), 3. C.J. Leary (#06) (22), 4. Russ Gamester (8), 5. Bobby Santos (3), 6. Dakoda Armstrong (4), 7. Taylor Ferns (6), 8. Nathan Byrd (12), 9. Trey Osborne (9), 10. Kyle Steffens (20), 11. Justin Grant (5), 12. Tyler Roahrig (7), 13. Patrick Lawson (11), 14. Jerry Coons Jr. (10), 15. Tanner Berryhill (16), 16. Gregg Cory (17), 17. Casey Buckman (15), 18. Trey Burke (13), 19. Kaylee Bryson (14), 20. Brent Yarnal (18), 21. Nathan Moore (19), 22. Dave Berkheimer (21). 42:34.898

USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Kody Swanson-263, 2-C.J. Leary-262, 3-Justin Grant-224, 4-Logan Seavey-205, 5-Taylor Ferns-196, 6-Bobby Santos-183, 7-Kaylee Bryson-178, 8-Mario Clouser-158, 9-Jerry Coons Jr.-136, 10-Gregg Cory-134.

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-C.J. Leary-81, 2-Logan Seavey-69, 3-Robert Ballou-69, 4-Daison Pursley-65, 5-Joey Amantea-54, 6-Brady Bacon-44, 7-Matt Westfall-41, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-38, 9-Chase Stockon-38, 10-Carson Garrett-38.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: June 15, 2024 – Port Royal Speedway – Port Royal, Pennsylvania – 1/2-Mile Dirt Oval