Doran Binks’ Swanson Leads Point Standings With One-Third of the Season Complete

Kody Swanson Paul Arch Photo

By Linda Mansfield
PORT ROYAL, Pa., June 17 — Thanks to a solid top-five finish in Saturday night’s USAC Silver Crown race at Port Royal Speedway, Kody Swanson and Doran Binks Racing remain in the lead in the series’ driver and entrant point standings with a third of the season complete.

Driving Doran Binks Racing’s dirt Silver Crown car, which is a Maxim chassis powered by a Hampshire Chevrolet engine, Swanson qualified third for the 50-lap race for sponsors that include Mission Foods, Glenn Farms, and Wilke Orthodontics. He was only 0.127 of a second off the new track record of 19.816 seconds that Brady Bacon set to better the mark Mitchel Moles established here last year and earn the pole. Daison Pursley, who ended up winning the race on the last lap, qualified second.

Logan Seavey, who won the two previous USAC Silver Crown races on Port Royal’s half-mile dirt oval, and Justin Grant managed to pass Swanson on the first lap before the first of two caution flags waved with one lap down for C.J. Leary and Nathan Moore, who crashed low in Turn 4.

For most of the race Swanson had his hands full defending his position from Matt Westfall, who hounded him almost constantly. Swanson tried both the high and the low grooves to spurt away from Westfall, who preferred the low groove.

Westfall made a pass stick working lap 13 to push Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif., who now lives in Indianapolis, to sixth. However, seconds later Seavey, who had been third behind Bacon and Pursley, went into the infield with a mechanical issue that caused his car to lose fuel. After a stop in the work area he reported to the tail and went on to finish tenth, but his issue put Swanson back in fifth place for the restart. Caution flag laps didn’t count on Saturday.

Moles threatened to pass Swanson around lap 18, but Swanson hung tough in fifth place. At the halfway point he was 1.134 seconds behind Westfall and 1.174 ahead of Moles, and three laps later he set his fastest lap of the race.

Grant passed Bacon for the lead on lap 30 in Turn 1 and two laps later Swanson got by Westfall for fourth place. Westfall stuck to him like glue, however, and he passed Swanson on lap 40 to push Swanson, who is the winningest driver in series history, back to fifth.

Pursley passed Bacon for second on lap 33 and then he drove around the outside of Grant in Turn 4 on the last lap for his first career USAC Silver Crown victory. Grant finished second and Bacon placed third for the third year in a row. Westfall was fourth and Swanson finished fifth for the second year in a row.

Chase Dietz passed Moles for sixth on lap 49. Alex Bright, Briggs Danner, and Seavey rounded out the top 10.

The time of the race was 28:53.852, so Pursley broke Seavey’s 50-lap USAC Silver Crown record of 29.32.10 for this track.

“Last year we were loose here and this time we were too tight,” Swanson said afterwards. “I need to get better at helping to figure out how to be more in the middle next year set-up wise. The drivers and teams in this series are so good. It’s hard just trying to figure out the best set-up and how the track will change as the race progresses.

“But I’m grateful for all the work the Doran Binks guys do to keep us in the hunt and give us a chance,” he added. “And we’re all grateful for the support of our sponsors like Mission Foods, Glenn Farms, and Wilke Orthodontics.

“I moved around and tried all the lines trying to find out where we could be faster,” he added. “Sometimes when I was high on the cushion in Turn 3 I only had one wheel on the ground, but then the others came back down so that was all good. We’ll just try again another day.”

The 50-lap race was the finale of an open-wheel show called the Eastern Blast Presented by Bobby Rahal Toyota of Lewistown, as the non-wing USAC AMSOIL sprint cars and the track’s Weikert Livestock 410 winged sprint cars shared the card.

The event was streamed live by Flo Racing.

The next USAC Silver Crown race is June 21 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wis. Swanson has won three of the four USAC Silver Crown races ever held at that half-mile paved oval, including last year’s race.

There are two USAC Silver Crown events in July: July 4 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, and a two-day show July 19-20 at Salt City Speedway in Hutchinson, Kan. The series returns to Pennsylvania for a race at Jennerstown on Aug. 10. The complete schedule can be found at

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About Mission Foods:

The Gruma Corporation began in 1949 and is today the leading tortilla manufacturer worldwide. Mission Foods is a proud subsidiary of Gruma, and as the #1 tortilla company in the United States, manufactures a wide variety of authentic Mexican products. Five years ago it opened a state-of-the-art plant in Dallas, Texas, with the capacity to produce 30 million tortillas daily. Today Mission Foods is a global company, with special emphasis not only on the United States but also Mexico, Central America, Europe, China, Malaysia, and Australia. Its products include flour and corn tortillas; tostadas; low-carb, whole wheat, organic and gluten-free items; wraps; flatbreads such as naan, pita and roti; tortilla chips and organic chips; chicharrones; salsa, and dips. For more information see