Cody Swanson, the 2010 USAC Western States Midgets Rookie of the Year, spent the last two Saturdays at Ventura Speedway in Ventura, California, competing in the Ventura Racing Association (VRA) Midget Series. And, although Swanson had some unforeseeable mishaps, the misfortunes were bracketed by illuminating glimmers of what's possible when Cody and his new car get to know each other a bit better. Despite the period of adjustment with his new ride, Swanson still managed two top-ten finishes (a tenth and seventh place). K&N Race News started the conversation with the lower radius rod that took him out of serious contention in the second round of the VRA series.
Because of the mutual respect Cody has with his cousin and teammate Jake, racing together is always enjoyable.
K&N sponsored Cody Swanson hopes to have all the bugs worked out of his new car in time for round four of the VRA series.
Why do you figure the front tire rubbed the lower radius rod during this race, did you just turn more than normal, or was it the track, and has that happened before?
"The right front tire rubbing the radius rod is a problem that has just come up this year. We built a new car this season with Jeff Wahl at Edmunds Autoresearch, and we used some components off of last year's Ellis Race car. The Wheels were among those components. The Edmunds Chassis is significantly wider than our old Ellis and so as a result the tires come closer to the suspension components when crossed up in a corner."
"On that restart that I referred to, I did get in the corner harder than normal. The field was bunched together and I saw this as a good opportunity to pass some of the guys in front of me, so I drove the car into the corner a little harder and when that happened the tire rubbed the radius rod and it actually rubbed so much that it locked up the tire. I was able to save it and keep it running by driving it up into the infield, but as you can imagine, I lost a whole lot of spots."
"During the week in between races we were able to come up with a quick fix to get us by for the next race. It will be a very easy fix though, all we need to do is buy a different offset right front wheel and the problem will be gone. It was just one little thing we overlooked while building the new car that came back to bite us. The reason why it didn't affect us at all until just now is because our two races before these were on a track surface that had much more traction."
You mention having a lot of fun moving up through the pack with your cousin and Swanson Motorsports teammate Jake Swanson, Tell us a bit about Jake, how long has he been with the team?
"This is Jakes third season running in the Midget series. We have a lot of fun whenever we are around each other mainly because we know we can trust each other out on the track. Some racers you really have to be carefully about passing, there's some dirty racing that takes place, but with Jake, I know that I can race him close and hard, because there's that mutual respect, and that's when racing is the most fun."
Round three of the VRA series went even better, including a win in the B-Main over Kory Kruseman on his home track how did that feel?
"That B main was a blast! We had a great set-up in the car and I knew it was going to be tough. Josh Ford, Josh Lakatos, Chris Ennis, and Kruseman are a few of the names that were in that race. All of them finished in the top 5 in the previous race. I knew It was gonna be tough. I got the jump on the start and got out to an early lead but I knew Cory would be coming fast. I believe he started fourth. He was charging hard, but only really caught me in the last three laps when I caught up in lapped traffic, but I was able to hold him off and took the win."
Talk about your round three move in the A-Main in turns one and two, why do you believe that move didn't work as planned?
"I didn't adjust the car as much as I needed to under the caution. We have adjustable shocks all the way around on the car, so I am able to do quick adjustments as needed on the track."
"Turn one and two was a lot drier than three and four at the end of the race, so in order to be fast on the top, I needed to free up the front shocks to get the weight back to the rear end. This tightens the car up and would give me more forward drive. Problem was I only went about half as much as I needed."
"It is a fine line because it is easy to adjust too far, and that would just make things worse, so I tried to play it safe. Next time I'll know better, especially at the point in the race."
Cody Swanson Motorsports returns to Ventura Speedway May, 14 for round four of the VRA series.
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