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WARRNAMBOOL, Victoria, Australia (Jan. 29, 2014) – Kevin Swindell returned to the Land Down Under last week for four premier winged sprint car races in Australia piloting a car for David Dickson of Essendon Ford.
“Last year we ran into a bunch of issues and cut some tires so I don’t think we made it to a feature,” Swindell said. “At least this year we made a couple of features.”
The busy week kicked off last Wednesday at Avalon Raceway in Lara, Victoria, for the Essendon Ford President’s Cup.
“We were the last car to qualify,” he said. “It wasn’t too bad. I think we ended up 23rd quick. And then at the start of the first heat race the guy that was next to me made a hard left on the start and knocked the right front tire off the bead. There are no work areas over there so that killed that.”
Swindell then advanced from eighth to seventh place in his second heat race.
“If you drop a heat you get zero points,” he said. “So I didn’t even have enough points to make the B Main.”
On Thursday, Swindell put together a solid performance at Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier, South Australia, during the 19th annual Kings Challenge.
After qualifying third quickest, Swindell finished second in his first heat race and he then advanced from 12th to seventh in his second heat to lock himself into the feature. After starting on the outside of the sixth row for the main event, Swindell ended with a 13th-place result.
“It wasn’t bad,” he said. “We fought with having the soft tires and wings. It threw our balance off horrible for some reason. (The track) laid rubber five or six laps in and then we just rode around.”
Swindell’s third race in a row marked his preliminary night at the 42nd annual Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic on Friday at Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria.
“We went out pretty late to qualify,” he said. “I think three or four cars from the end. It wasn’t a bad lap for where we went out.”
Swindell timed in 13th quickest and then finished where he started – third – in his first heat race. Swindell rallied from 10th to place fifth in his second heat race, which started him on the outside of the sixth row in the main event for the second straight night.
“It laid rubber like five laps in and we just rode around again,” he said.
Swindell picked up a pair of positions to notch a 10th-place finish.
His Australian trip wrapped up on Sunday during the finale of the 42nd annual Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.
“In the heat race I had a good start the first time and they called it back,” he said. “The second start the whole outside row jumped. I came out of that seventh. I tried to get out of line and get by a guy and ended up giving a spot back.”
Swindell placed eight in his heat race, which relegated him to a B Main.
“We struggled with the car all week and it got rough a little bit and we didn’t really have the balance where it was exactly right,” he said. “I just never really got going and it was about impossible to pass.”
Swindell ended up finishing 10th in the consolation race to conclude his visit to Australia.
“I can’t thank David and his team enough for the opportunity,” he said. “Hopefully next year we can partner up again and continue to improve the results.”
Swindell is in the process of determining a tentative schedule for the 2014 season, including several NASCAR events.
QUICK RESULTS –
Jan. 22 – Avalon Raceway in Lara, Victoria, Australia – Qualifying: 23; Heat race #1: DNF (3); Heat race #2: 7 (8).
Jan. 23 – Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier, South Australia, Australia – Qualifying: 3; Heat race #1: 2 (1); Heat race #2: 7 (12); Feature: 13 (12).
Jan. 24 – Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia – Qualifying: 13; Heat race #1: 3 (3); Heat race #2: 5 (10); Feature: 10 (12).
Jan. 26 – Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia – Heat race: 6 (8); B Main: 10 (6).
SEASON STATS –
7 races, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 3 top 10s, 5 top 15s, 5 top 20s
UP NEXT –
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SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Essendon Ford
Essendon Ford is a leading car dealership in Essendon Fields, Australia. For more information, visit http://www.EssendonFord.com.au
“I just want to thank David Dickson and the Essendon Ford guys for having me in Australia and taking care of me,” Swindell said.
Swindell would also like to thank Biagi-DenBeste Racing, Mike Curb and Curb Records, Big Game Treestands, Aggressive Hydraulics, Rossie Feed & Grain, South Bay Partners, John Christner Trucking and all of the various sponsors for their continued support.