The USAC Silver Crown National Championship, featuring a field of 28 entries Dave Olson Photo

By Richie Murray

Brownsburg, Indiana (May 26, 2022)………An offseason switch to a new team proved to be no issue whatsoever for Kody Swanson during the 2021 Carb Night Classic USAC Silver Crown season opener at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) stormed right out of the gates last May in his new Dyson Racing machine at LOR’s .686-mile paved oval, trailing early leader Bobby Santos for the first 63 circuits of the 100-lapper before taking advantage of a logjam in traffic on the bottom of turn three to go on to record his third Carb Night Classic Silver Crown victory.

The six-time series champ and record-holding seven-time IRP Silver Crown winner has a new “offseason switch” this season by sporting the number 1 on the newly-rechristened Doran-Dyson Racing ride when the Silver Crown series, featuring a field of 28 entries, visits the .686-mile paved oval of Indianapolis Raceway Park this Friday night, May 27, for the $10,000-to-win Carb Night Classic.

Swanson has finished inside the top-two at the Carb Night Classic in four of its six editions. Victories came in 2017-18-21 while also grabbing a 2nd in the inaugural running back in 2016. He’s taken the pole position for the race three times, in 2017-19-20.

Kody’s younger brother, Tanner Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.), has been no slouch at “Carb Night,” recording a podium finish in all six of his starts in the event, with a pair of victories coming in both 2016 and 2020, while taking 2nd in 2018-19 and 3rd in 2017. He’s also won the pole for the event on two occasions, in 2018 and again in 2021, and won six times overall in Silver Crown action at IRP.

Bobby Santos (Franklin, Mass.) has been a constant frontrunner of pavement events for a long, long time, and that has been no exception at IRP during the Carb Night Classic. He won the pole for the first one in 2016, then has reeled off five consecutive top-four finishes between 2017-2021, with a 2nd in 2017 and 2021, a 3rd in 2019 and a 4th in 2018 and 2020. He also led a race-high 63 laps of the 2021 event.

Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) is one of four drivers to have started all six Carb Night Classic main events thus far along with Kody and Tanner Swanson as well as Santos. Grant captured a victory in the Silver Crown season opener on May 1 on the dirt at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track and is the early point leader of the series. The 2020 Silver Crown champ has finished inside the top-five in his past three Carb Night Classic starts with a 4th in 2019 and 2021 to go along with a 5th in 2020.

Veterans Ryan Newman, Brian Tyler, Russ Gamester and Eric Gordon have all previously won USAC features at IRP in their career. Newman (South Bend, Ind.), the 1999 USAC Silver Crown champion, returns to the ranks and the track where he scored his first career series win in May of 1999. He and Brian Tyler (Parma, Mich.) are among those making their Carb Night Classic debuts. Tyler, who recently set the all-time Silver Crown record with 202 career starts, nailed down a Silver Crown triumph at IRP in 2006.

Gamester (Peru, Ind.), a veteran of 201 series starts, finished 8th in the 2020 Carb Night Classic and was the victor of a Silver Crown feature at IRP back in 2000. Gordon (Greenfield, Ind.) has added three USAC National Sprint Car feature wins to the column in 1990-91-92. He’s finished inside the top-10 at the Carb Night Classic Silver Crown race with a 5th in 2019, a 6th in 2020 and a 9th in 2018.

Carb Night Classic vets in this Friday night’s lineup include Shelby Township, Michigan’s Taylor Ferns (5th in 2021), Sutter, California’s Logan Seavey (7th in 2021), Edwardsville, Illinois’ Patrick Lawson (7th in 2020, 9th in 2021 & 10th in 2017), Sylvania, Ohio’s Austin Nemire (9th in 2019 & 10th in 21), Pendleton, Indiana’s Travis Welpott (11th in 2018), New Castle, Indiana’s Kyle Robbins (11th in 2019 & 11th in 2021), Beech Grove, Indiana’s Kyle O’Gara (12th 2021), Levittown, Pennsylvania’s Mike Haggenbottom (13th in 2019), Fort Collins, Colorado’s Bryan Gossel (13th in 2021), Boise, Idaho’s Davey Hamilton Jr. (15th in 2017), Angola, Indiana’s Derek Bischak (15th in 2019), Abilene, Texas’ Jake Day (18th in 2021), Goodyear, Arizona’s Nathan Byrd (21st in 2020) and Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Dave Berkheimer (22nd in 2021).

The Rookie class for this weekend’s Carb Night Classic is an veteran-oriented group in a myriad of ways. C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), the 2019 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Champion, made his Silver Crown debut at IRP in 2014. He ran 9th at IRP in May of 2015.

Mike McVetta (Grafton, Ohio) has won at IRP in his career, capturing a dominating Midwest Supermodified Series Supermodified victory at the track in June of 2020. Friday night will mark the 2018 and 2019 MSS champion’s first Silver Crown appearance at IRP.

Nick Hamilton (Danville, Ind.) will be making his Silver Crown debut at IRP. He was a 3rd place midget finisher at IRP last July. Same goes for Mario Clouser (Auburn, Ill.) who steps into his first Silver Crown ride this weekend at IRP. Clouser took a 4th after leading the first four laps during an August 2021 midget main event at IRP.

Gregg Cory and Tom Paterson are also eying first career Silver Crown starts. Cory (Shelbyville, Ind.) who missed the final transfer spot by one position in his debut at Terre Haute earlier this month, is a past frequent frontrunner with the UMRA TQ Midgets and a 2006 Paragon (Ind.) Speedway sprint car track champion. Paterson (Argos, Ind.) is a longtime competitor in winged pavement sprint car competition in the northern Indiana and Michigan area as well as veteran of four Little 500 starts at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway and will be making his first foray into the “big cars” on Friday.

More than 50 combined USAC Silver Crown and Brown’s Oil Service Midget drivers are expected to compete in the Carb Night Classic, set for Friday night, May 27, at IRP.

The seventh running of the Carb Night Classic features a rare quadruple header of open wheel racing on the Friday before the Indianapolis 500, and it’s sure to be a night to remember.

The 2022 edition of the Carb Night Classic will feature Road to Indy’s Cooper Tire Indy Pro 2000 (90 laps) and USF2000 (75 laps) Championships, as well as a 30-lap non-points USAC Special Event National Pavement Midget Championship feature paying $5,000 to win and a 100-lap points-paying USAC Silver Crown National Championship race which pays $10,000 to win.

In fact, the USF2000 event will be the milestone 300th USAC sanctioned event on the IRP oval since its construction in 1961.

Spectator gates open at 3pm Eastern with practice also beginning a 3pm. Qualifying is set to begin at 5:50pm. Opening ceremonies are slated for 6:55pm with the USF2000 Freedom 75 race at 7:05pm, the Indy Pro 2000 Freedom 90 race at 8:05pm, the midget race at 9:05pm and the USAC Silver Crown race at 9:35pm.

Tickets for the Carb Night Classic are on sale now at

The USAC Silver Crown and Midget portions of the Carb Night Classic can be watched live and on-demand on FloRacing at Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 coverage can be found on



02 TANNER SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Bowman)

06 BRYAN GOSSEL/Fort Collins, CO (Gossel)

1 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA (Doran-Dyson)

2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL (Lawson)

2v RYAN NEWMAN/South Bend, IN (Vance)

6 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN (Klatt)

7 KYLE ROBBINS/New Castle, IN (KR)

11 NATHAN BYRD/Goodyear, AZ (Hamilton-Byrd)

14 DAVEY HAMILTON JR./Boise, ID (Hamilton-Puglio)

16 AUSTIN NEMIRE/Sylvania, OH (Nemire-Lesko)

18 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN (Welpott)

22 BOBBY SANTOS/Franklin, MA (DJ)

24 MIKE HAGGENBOTTOM/Levittown, PA (Haggenbottom)

31 DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA (Berkheimer)

32 GREGG CORY/Shelbyville, IN (Williams)

42 JAKE DAY/Abilene, TX (Day)

51 RUSS GAMESTER/Peru, IN (Gamester)

55 TAYLOR FERNS/Shelby Township, MI (Ferns)

67 KYLE O’GARA/Beech Grove, IN (SFHR)

80 NICK HAMILTON/Danville, IN (Breidinger)


91 JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA (Hemelgarn)

92 MARIO CLOUSER/Auburn, IL (Kazmark)

94 MIKE McVETTA/Grafton, OH (Myers)

99 ERIC GORDON/Greenfield, IN (Armstrong)

111 TOM PATERSON/Argos, IN (Paterson)

131 DEREK BISCHAK/Angola, IN (Bischak)

222 LOGAN SEAVEY/Sutter, CA (Rice)


3-Kody Swanson

2-Tanner Swanson

1-Kyle Hamilton


2016: Tanner Swanson (5/27)

2017: Kody Swanson (5/26)

2018: Kody Swanson (5/25)

2019: Kyle Hamilton (5/24)

2020: Tanner Swanson (8/21)

2021: Kody Swanson (5/29)


7-Kody Swanson

6-Tanner Swanson

5-Mike Bliss

4-Bobby Santos

3-Bobby East

2-Kenny Irwin Jr., Jim Keeker, Jason Leffler & Ken Schrader

1-Pat Abold, Jeff Bloom, David Byrne, Bob Cicconi, Jay Drake, Bruce Field, Russ Gamester, Kyle Hamilton, Tracy Hines, Rick Hood, Kasey Kahne, Jason McCord, Ryan Newman, Johnny Parsons, George Snider, Dave Steele, Tony Stewart, Brian Tyler & J.J. Yeley


1985: Rick Hood (7/13)

1986: Ken Schrader (7/13)

1987: Jeff Bloom (7/11)

1988: Bruce Field (7/9)

1989: Bob Cicconi (7/8) & Ken Schrader (7/8)

1990: George Snider (6/30)

1991: Johnny Parsons (6/29)

1992: Jim Keeker (6/27)

1993: Mike Bliss (6/26)

1994: Mike Bliss (8/4)

1995: Jim Keeker (8/2)

1996: Mike Bliss (5/18) & Kenny Irwin Jr. (7/31)

1997: Pat Abold (5/17) & Kenny Irwin Jr. (7/30)

1998: Tony Stewart (5/16) & Jason Leffler (7/29)

1999: Ryan Newman (5/22) & Dave Steele (8/4)

2000: Jason Leffler (5/20) & Russ Gamester (8/6)

2001: Mike Bliss (5/12) & Kasey Kahne (8/2)

2002: Mike Bliss (8/1)

2003: J.J. Yeley (5/22) & Jason McCord (7/31)

2004: Jay Drake (8/5)

2005: Bobby East (8/4)

2006: Brian Tyler (8/3)

2007: Bobby East (7/26)

2008: Bobby East (7/24)

2009: Bobby Santos (7/23)

2010: Tracy Hines (7/22)

2011: Kody Swanson (7/28)

2012: Bobby Santos (5/19) & Bobby Santos (7/26)

2013: Tanner Swanson (7/27)

2014: Tanner Swanson (5/17) & David Byrne (7/24)

2015: Tanner Swanson (5/23) & Tanner Swanson (7/23)

2016: Tanner Swanson (5/27) & Kody Swanson (7/21)

2017: Kody Swanson (5/26) & Bobby Santos (7/20)

2018: Kody Swanson (5/25)

2019: Kyle Hamilton (5/24) & Kody Swanson (9/7)

2020: Tanner Swanson (8/21)

2021: Kody Swanson (5/29) & Kody Swanson (8/14)


2016 FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Tanner Swanson, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Robert Stout, 5. Aaron Pierce, 6. Justin Grant, 7. David Byrne, 8. Joe Axsom, 9. Shane Cockrum, 10. Joe Liguori, 11. Austin Nemire, 12. Casey Shuman, 13. Shane Cottle, 14. Jacob Wilson, 15. Bobby Santos, 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 17. Patrick Lawson. NT

2017 FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Kody Swanson, 2. Bobby Santos, 3. Tanner Swanson, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Aaron Pierce, 6. David Byrne, 7. Kevin Studley, 8. A.J. Russell, 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10. Patrick Lawson, 11. Toni Breidinger, 12. Joss Moffatt, 13. Troy Thompson, 14. Justin Grant, 15. Davey Hamilton Jr., 16. Bill Rose, 17. Joe Liguori, 18. Joe Axsom, 19. J.C. Bland, 20. Cody Gerhardt. NT

2018 FEATURE: (100 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Tanner Swanson (22), 3. Aaron Pierce (6), 4. Bobby Santos (2), 5. Chris Windom (4), 6. Justin Grant (5), 7. David Byrne (3), 8. Jim Anderson (8), 9. Eric Gordon (9), 10. Kyle Hamilton (21), 11. Travis Welpott (17), 12. Patrick Lawson (16), 13. Cody Gerhardt (14), 14. Dave Darland (13), 15. Kyle Robbins (11), 16. Toni Breidinger (15), 17. Matt Goodnight (12), 18. Bill Rose (18), 19. Jerry Coons Jr. (7), 20. Derek Bischak (20), 21. Austin Blair (10), 22. Mike Haggenbottom (19).

2019 FEATURE: (100 laps, starting position in parentheses) 1. Kyle Hamilton (2), 2. Tanner Swanson (17), 3. Bobby Santos (4), 4. Justin Grant (3), 5. Eric Gordon (16), 6. David Byrne (6), 7. Brian Gerster (9), 8. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (10), 9. Austin Nemire (12), 10. Cody Gallogly (8), 11. Kyle Robbins (11), 12. John Heydenreich (15), 13. Mike Haggenbottom (14), 14. Chris Windom (5), 15. Derek Bischak (7), 16. Kody Swanson (1), 17. Matt Goodnight (13). NT

2020 FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Swanson (2), 2. Aaron Pierce (7), 3. Kyle Hamilton (4), 4. Bobby Santos (5), 5. Justin Grant (3), 6. Eric Gordon (6), 7. Patrick Lawson (21), 8. Russ Gamester (8), 9. Chris Windom (10), 10. Kody Swanson (1), 11. Shane Cottle (13), 12. Austin Nemire (14), 13. Matt Goodnight (15), 14. Travis Welpott (18), 15. Mike Haggenbottom (20), 16. Toni Breidinger (17), 17. Kyle Robbins (19), 18. Derek Bischak (11), 19. Kyle O’Gara (12), 20. John Heydenreich (9), 21. Bryan Gossel (22), 22. Jim Anderson (16), 23. Dave Berkheimer (24), 24. Brent Yarnal (23). 50:44.343

2021 FEATURE: (100 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kody Swanson (1), 2. Bobby Santos (2), 3. David Byrne (3), 4. Justin Grant (4), 5. Taylor Ferns (8), 6. Jim Anderson (5), 7. Logan Seavey (12), 8. Shane Cottle (6), 9. Patrick Lawson (17), 10. Austin Nemire (13), 11. Kyle Robbins (10), 12. Kyle O’Gara (14), 13. Bryan Gossel (16), 14. Mike Haggenbottom (19), 15. Eric Gordon (11), 16. Matt Goodnight (15), 17. Annie Breidinger (18), 18. Jake Day (21), 19. Tanner Swanson (23), 20. Travis Welpott (9), 21. Nathan Byrd (7), 22. Dave Berkheimer (22), 23. Brent Yarnal (20). NT