Given the proper conditions, appropriate parental tutelage, more sunshine than darkness; few bonds on earth are any more powerful than brothers. Check the math - it's one to the second power.
Winning the Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget event at O'Reilly Raceway Park is Tanner Swanson biggest win to date and he won the prestigious event on his first attempt.
The Swanson brothers say they have tempered their early competitiveness, and they've learned how to communicate with how to help each other win.
Some of the biggest names in racing have attempted to win the Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget event at O'Reilly Raceway Park without success. Nineteen year old Tanner Swanson pulled it off on his first attempt. His brother Kody, three years older, had his back, sandwiching the podium with third place.
"Beyond the race itself, it was really special for Tanner to get that first 'big' win in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Memorial Day, the day before the Indy 500 - I couldn't be prouder of him," said Kody.
Although the brothers drove for different teams, with different cars and set-ups, they still managed to win first and third place.
Both brothers began racing ten years ago and for the first year they competed against each other regularly. Then, for the next six years they raced in different divisions and didn't meet on the track again until 2007, when both started competing in the USAC's professional series.
"In that first year back in 2000, we were probably a little too competitive, but by the time we started racing together in USAC, we had become pretty strong teammates," admits Kody.
"In the years that we spent racing in different classes, we really learned how to communicate with each other, and how to help each other win. We really continue that today, whether we are actual teammates on our TK Motorsports team, or racing against each other, we still try to help each other be our best."
For this particular event the brothers drove for different teams. "Neither of us have full-time pavement midget rides on the USAC National circuit, so we both ended up picking up a ride on a single event basis just for this big event," explained Kody.
"The Wilke-Pak team called me to run a few weeks before the event to set something up, and it actually wasn't until the week of the race that Tanner was able to secure his ride with the DMS Racing team."
Typically, for a big event such as this, most teams will go out and test or practice at the track weeks before the race, but the Swanson brothers actually secured their rides so late that neither Tanner, nor Kody tested, and their first laps in their cars were on the day of the event.
"I would still say that it worked out pretty well, considering we finished first and third, driving for two different teams, that use completely different chassis and engine combinations," remarked Tanner.
Tanner drove in a Beast Chassis with a Ford-Esslinger engine, while Kody raced in a Spiked Chassis with Stanton-Toyota engine. One common denominator is that both cars ran K&N air and oil filters.
"I really like that I can always trust K&N filters for their reliability," continued Tanner. "I can always depend that their filters will do their job without having issues. Minimizing the chance for mechanical failures is very important to me."
Tanner and Kody are from Kingsburg, California, and last year both attended California State University, Fresno, as full-time college students while competing in USAC's National & Western series.
Kody graduated this May and Tanner will enter his Sophomore year in the Fall of 2010 at the same University. Both graduated from Kingsburg High School as Valedictorians, with a GPA that exceeded 4.0.
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