By Richie Murray
Brownsburg, Indiana (May 29, 2021)………A magical afternoon for Kody Swanson was made complete with a completely dominating performance in Saturday’s USAC Midget special event feature at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind., which came on the heels of winning the USAC Silver Crown race earlier in the morning.
Swanson’s Carb Night Classic sweep marked the first time any driver had won multiple USAC features on the same day at Lucas Oil Raceway’s .686-mile paved oval since Dave Steele captured both ends of the Twin 25 midget features in 2002.
Kody, however, is the first driver to accomplish the feat in different types of racecars since the track’s construction 60 years ago in 1961.
The Kingsburg, California native’s Silver Crown win just hours prior came in his first start for the Doran Enterprises team. Although Kody did technically have one prior USAC Western States Midget start in 2011 for Rodela at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway, his first appearance in Rodela’s immaculate pavement midget on this day produced a familiar winning feeling aboard the Jerome Rodela/Rodela Fabrication – Trench Shoring Company/Gerhardt/Ed Pink Toyota.
“I can’t say enough about (this team),” Swanson exclaimed. “Everyone puts in a ton of effort, and this has got to be the nicest midget there ever was, and it deserves to win races. Jerome (Rodela) has done nothing but be ahead of the game on his end. I’m thankful that he let me be a part of this.”
Swanson dominated from start to finish in the nearly caution-free feature which saw only one incident, a turn four spin by Bob Guess in turn four on the fifth lap.
The lead steadily increased as the race marched on, leading by 4.125 with 10 laps remaining, then upped the ante even further in the final laps, closing with a curb-stomping 8.604 second margin at the finish line over Thomas Meseraull, Bobby Santos, younger brother Tanner Swanson and Justin Grant.
For Kody, it was his 10th overall USAC triumph at Lucas Oil Raceway and his second ever midget win at the track. His first came all the way back during the 2010 season.
In Friday’s midget practice/qualifying, Ryan Shilkuski tagged the turn four wall, flipping him onto his roll cage and sending him sliding on his cage down the front straightaway. He was uninjured.
USAC MIDGET SPECIAL EVENT RACE RESULTS: May 28-29, 2021 – Lucas Oil Raceway – Brownsburg, Indiana – .686-Mile Paved Oval – Carb Night Classic
QUALIFYING: (Held on May 28) 1. Kody Swanson, 25, Rodela-21.023; 2. Justin Grant, 3, Bohanon-21.217; 3. Thomas Meseraull, 7x, RMS-21.234; 4. Bobby Santos, 29, Seymour/West-21.248; 5. Kyle Hamilton, 4, Klatt-21.358; 6. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C & A-21.564; 7. Jake Trainor, 8, Trainor-21.596; 8. Todd Bertrand, 47, Bertrand-21.638; 9. Tanner Swanson, 7K, Irwin/Petry-21.647; 10. Josh Wise, 55, Bowman-21.649; 11. Nick Hamilton, 7KR, Irwin/Petry-21.653; 12. Kyle O’Gara, 1BR, SFHR-21.807; 13. Trey Burke, 63, Dooling-21.939; 14. Annie Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-21.954; 15. Mario Clouser, 99, Guess-22.016; 16. Johnny Zych, 9, Zych-22.210; 17. Jesse Love, 5, Van Dyne-22.318; 18. Cole Carter, 7, Bertrand-22.383; 19. Cody Gerhardt, 60, Western Speed-22.398; 20. Blake Brannon, 40, Western Speed-22.448; 21. Nathan Byrd, 33, RayPro-22.802; 22. John Sluss, 14AJ, RayPro-23.043; 23. Kevin Studley, 57K, Studley-23.248; 24. Taylor Ferns, 55F, Ferns-23.646; 25. Ryan Shilkuski, 75, Shilkuski-24.632; 26. Brandon Maurer, 14, Maurer-25.728.
FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Thomas Meseraull (3), 3. Bobby Santos (4), 4. Tanner Swanson (6), 5. Justin Grant (2), 6. Jake Trainor (5), 7. Josh Wise (7), 8. Kyle O’Gara (9), 9. Cole Carter (15), 10. Nick Hamilton (8), 11. Cody Gerhardt (16), 12. Blake Brannon (17), 13. Johnny Zych (13), 14. Trey Burke (10), 15. Taylor Ferns (20), 16. Jesse Love (14), 17. John Sluss (19), 18. Todd Bertrand (12), 19. Annie Breidinger (11), 20. Nathan Byrd (18), 21. Bob Guess (22), 22. Ryan Shilkuski (21). NT
**Ryan Shilkuski flipped during practice/qualifying.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Kody Swanson.
NEXT USAC MIDGET SPECIAL EVENT: June 17, 2021 – Lucas Oil Raceway – Brownsburg, Indiana – .686-Mile Paved Track – Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming