The K&N sponsored Swanson brothers and the USAC Pavement Sprint Cars visited Lucas Oil Raceway for the "Thursday Night Thunder." Both Kody and Tanner were rightfully mentioned prior to the event as possible threats to win the 30-lap Sprint Car feature. And true to its billing the Feature manifested into one of the most thrilling of the season, with the Swanson brothers putting on a back and forth show fans won't soon forget.
With time running out Kody made a move the sling-shoted from third to first in less than one lap.
By sweeping the "Thursday Night Thunder" at Lucas Oil Raceway the Swanson brothers go down in the record books as the first to win at the newly renamed track.
With only four laps remaining, Kody finally got to the outside of Tanner in turns three and four, and had a big run on the leader coming down the front-stretch. Kody snatched the lead coming off of turn two, consolidating his move from third to the front spot in less than a lap. Tanner followed his brother and began pushing him from the number two spot. The duo negotiated lapped traffic on the final lap, but the order stayed the same, with Kody taking the Feature win and Tanner in second to complete the Swanson Brothers sweep.
The brothers will also go down in the record books as the first to win at the newly renamed Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (formerly O'Reilly Raceway Park and Indianapolis Raceway Park).
For the last ten laps fans were on their feet cheering on the two brothers to victory.
After becoming the first brothers in history to "sweep" a USAC Silver Crown Feature one-two in August of last year, the Swanson Brothers have now completed one-two Feature event sweeps in each of the USAC Pavement Sprint Car series, USAC Silver Crown series, and USAC Western Sprint Car series. The brothers have also finished a combination of first and third in both USAC National Midget series and USAC Western Midget series events, including last year's "Night before the 500" which Tanner won. After Tanner and Kody each picked up wins in National Midgets and their first career Silver Crown victories last year, both were named USAC's "Most Improved Drivers" in 2010.
It sounds as though you guys put on a crazy show, from your perspective just how much fun did you guys have? Also, Kody give us some insights into your move from third to first in the final laps?
"Yeah it really was a lot of fun. The race went non-stop, so you had to drive every lap knowing that it was going to directly affect your race. The three car battle for the lead was really intense, especially as we moved through some lapped traffic during the final 10-laps. The handling on the leader's car was going away, so it kind of made it a strategy game. Knowing that his car was wearing out, you needed to pick and choose the moves you made, especially with the lapped cars coming up. Personally, my struggle was getting to the outside of Tanner. He was able to pull alongside Jacob on the bottom, and it wasn't until four laps to go that I could get to his outside. From there, I knew I at least would have a chance to get underneath the leader for the win, but I didn't know I would be able to make both moves in the same lap."
"I had such a run on the outside of Tanner off of turn four, that I was actually able to pull alongside the leader in turn one and finish the pass in turn two. As a driver, I was so focused on getting my car to the front that I didn't necessarily realize the kind of show we had put on until afterward. People told us that the fans were on their feet for nearly the last 10-laps, and plenty of fans told us that was the best race they'd ever seen there. To be a part of something like that is really neat, but to be the one who ended up winning it all makes it that much better."
What's Tanner's take on you getting by him, and how hard was he closing on you?
"Tanner got toward the front much earlier than I did, and had been running with Jacob while they passed then-leader Tracy Hines, so he was able to put pressure on Jacob for the lead a few laps before I had even caught up to them. Going into the feature, we made one last adjustment to Tanner's car to make it just a little bit tighter handling. While that made Tanner's car really good at the first part of the race, it had become too tight in the closing laps. Tanner was still able to pull alongside the leader, but his car just wouldn't turn well enough on the bottom to complete the pass."
"He tried a number of times to get the lead before I had been able to get alongside of him, and knowing that my car was a little looser, when I got there he left me a little extra room off of turn four, which is really what allowed me a clear shot at the lead. After we both passed Jacob, Tanner was able to close on me a little bit in the final laps, but wasn't able to get close enough to really force the issue. He definitely played a big role in the two of us finishing one and two."
What are your thoughts on going down in the record books as the first to win at the newly renamed Lucas Oil Raceway?
"I have always been fast at that place, but haven't always had the best of luck. I'm hoping the (track) name change helps turn things around in the luck department, and I think that this has been a great first step. Another aspect that is exciting for us is that USAC currently has five Sprint Car races, three Midget races, and a Silver Crown race remaining on the 2011 Schedule at Lucas Oil Raceway. After winning the first one, I'm definitely excited about our chances there during the rest of the year."
You two were the first to sweep a USAC Silver Crown Feature one-two, and now you've gone one-two in a gang of events, as brothers and racers, what does that mean to you guys?
"That means a lot to us, and to our team. Our family team, TK Motorsports, works very closely with our Silver Crown team, Team 6R Racing, and both teams were involved with both the Silver Crown sweeps and our night at Lucas Oil. Beyond us being brothers, it is really special to finish a race one-two as teammates because of what that does for our crew members, supporters, and sponsors. Finishing first, and second, can really be attributed to the team that we race for, including the people that prepare the equipment, just as well as the companies like K&N that make great products and support us in every aspect of the race car."
Are there any other "firsts" that you guys are looking to accomplish?
"I would definitely say so. The "Night before the 500" is coming up, and with the bonus from Crocky Wright, it pays $20,000 to win this year. We both want to be the first to win a $20,000 Midget race at Lucas Oil, and I'm still looking for my "first" Night before the 500 Victory."
"Another accomplishment we'd like to have is going one-two in all three USAC series, and after this week, we've only got the National Midgets left."
"Tanner and I both have goals of moving our careers beyond the USAC ranks. While the racing is very exciting, places like NASCAR and IndyCar currently remain the premier levels of motorsports. We want to get there, and achieving that would be a great "first" for either of us."
K&N Race News Update:
Upon the completion of this story we got word that Kody Swanson was seriously injured last weekend at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana. Kody was Life-Flighted to the local Saint Mary's Hospital in Evansville. After being in the ICU unit for a day and a half he has now been moved into a regular room.
Tanner told K&N Race News "Kody may look like he has been through a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson, but in the last day he has lost a lot of the swelling around his eyes and a lot of the bruising from his forehead. He is now up and walking around in his room, and is anxious to get home. Not only Kody, but our whole family would like to thank everyone for their countless prayers and well wishes, they are appreciated and are greatly needed during this time of Kody's recovery."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.