Swanson, Leary & Courtney Share Spotlight at 2019 Night of Champions

The 2019 USAC National Champions (left to right): Kody Swanson (Silver Crown), C.J. Leary (Sprint) and Tyler Courtney (Midget).
(Jeremey Rhoades Photo)
SWANSON, LEARY AND COURTNEY
SHARE SPOTLIGHT AT 2019 NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 13, 2019).........USAC National driving champions Kody Swanson, C.J. Leary and Tyler Courtney shared the spotlight along with other 2019 USAC champions and special award recipients at Friday night's 64th USAC Night of Champions celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS:

The record books were rewritten once again by Kingsburg, California's Kody Swanson who, it seems, is able to withstand and thrive in every challenging situation thrown at him.  After joining a new team and fighting through mechanical woes at certain points throughout the season, he won five times and led a staggering 404 laps, just under half of all laps run in the series this year, en route to an unprecedented fifth Silver Crown driving title.

With a combo of pavement specialist Kyle Hamilton and dirt guru Brady Bacon, the white No. 6 of Klatt Enterprises out of Hastings, Neb. was a mainstay at the front of the field on both surfaces with both drivers, each of whom collected their first Silver Crown victories for the team in 2019, with Bacon adding one more in the finale at Eldora to clinch the Silver Crown owner title for longtime entrant Terry Klatt.

After teaming up during last year's offseason, C.J. Leary and Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports immediately found a winning groove during their USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season 2019 on their journey to a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car driver and owner title.  They won their third race out of the box in Ocala, Fla. and took the lead for good in May and held it for the remainder of the season.  The team's first finish outside the top-ten didn't come until August, leading to an extreme knack for consistency that saw them finish in the top-ten 32 times in 34 starts.  Along the way, they captured both the Eastern Storm and Indiana Sprint Week title and the Oval National in Perris, Calif. Their 11 fast qualifying times rank as the third most ever in a single USAC National Sprint Car season.

Becoming a National Sprint Car entrant champion is an incredible achievement that is the ultimate reward for a car owner at the conclusion of a hard-fought year.  This year's award carried an extra special meaning after Richard Hoffman's passing this past April.  Hoffman was the most prolific car owner in USAC National Sprint Car history whose teams have earned more victories and more championships than any other team in the history of the series.  This year, and forever more, the National Sprint Car entrant champion trophy will be named in honor of Richard Hoffman, and its first recipient was Reinbold/Underwood Motorsports.

A banner year in USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition for Tyler Courtney and Clauson/Marshall Racing saw the combo claim their second USAC National title in as many years following a 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car title.  Their eight feature wins in 30 starts were the most victories by any team/driver combo in a single USAC National Midget season since Jeff Gordon and Rollie Helmling in 1990.  In addition, they led the series in all major categories with 175 laps led, 20 top-fives, 26 top-tens, 8 fast qualifying times and 9 heat race wins to win the title by 179 points.