Kody Swanson’s quest for a fifth victory in the Hoosier Hundred will have to wait until 2024, but he led 115 laps of the 146-lap USAC Silver Crown race Friday night at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Doran Binks Racing’s Mission Foods No. 77.
After qualifying second, just 0.269 of a second off Bobby Santos III’s pole-winning effort, Swanson took the lead from Santos in Turn 2 on the initial lap and then led the first 115 laps of the race. At one point he had built up over a 3-second margin over Santos with the No. 77, which is also sponsored by Glenn Farms and is powered by a Lanci Ford V8.
However, working lap 116 the car rolled to a stop with mechanical difficulties, which later proved to be a broken cam drive that turns the fuel pump.
Swanson ended up 19th in the unofficial rundown for the race, which attracted the largest car count for a pavement USAC Silver Crown race in 18 years with 35 entries.
Swanson posted a two-lap qualifying time of 41.995 seconds on the 0.686-mile oval to Santos’s 41.726. Swanson set the fastest lap of anyone in the race when he took only 21.772 seconds to circle the track on lap 50.
He was able to march away from Santos not only at the start but also during four restarts, and he picked his way carefully through lapped traffic.
He had a 1.019-second lead by lap 39 before a yellow waved to erase his advantage, but he had built it up to over a second again by lap 60. By lap 70 he was nearly 2 seconds ahead of Santos, and by lap 77 he had a 2.259-second lead. He stretched that to 3.024 seconds on lap 79 and 3.792 seconds by lap 81. His advantage was 3.651 seconds when C.J. Leary brought out a yellow on lap 89 when he stopped in Turn 3.
Santos drew right behind Swanson for the restart on lap 102, but three laps later Swanson already had a 0.976-second lead. His advantage was 1.840 seconds on lap 114 until he slowed to a stop to bring out the fifth caution on lap 116.
Santos went on to win over Logan Seavey, Tyler Roahrig, Derek Bischak and Taylor Ferns.
“There was no warning; the power steering went out and then it shut off,” Swanson said afterwards. “I was being careful and the car was working well; we were just trying to be there at the end. I was trying to save my tires because I knew Bobby would have a big challenge near the end of the race. It’s a bummer we didn’t get to race it out at the finish for the fans, but we’ll try again next time.”
Next time is tomorrow night, Saturday, May 27 when Swanson will start on the pole for the Lucas Oil Little 500 Presented by UAW at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. It is the biggest asphalt sprint car race in the world, and a non-points special event sanctioned by the 500 Sprint Car Tour.
The Hoosier Hundred was streamed live by Flo Racing. The Little 500 will be streamed live by MAVTV for Flo Racing.
For more information see DoranRacing.com.
Doran Racing PR