Kody and Tanner Swanson recently pulled into Clermont, Indiana with anticipations of what lie in store. The brothers were both geared up and eager to compete in the USAC Silver Crown at the Lucas Oil Raceway.
Although racing on opposing teams, Kody and Tanner Swanson are very close and actually enjoy the competition.
Having been raised in a racing family, the Swanson brothers share a lot of common interests and have a great relationship. However, the drivers entered the event representing opposing teams. Kody would be manning the #63 car owned by DePalma Motorsports, while his brother would be driving Bowman/Canine Racing's #11 car.
Cody and Tanner Swanson recently set a new record in the world of racing, being the first two brothers to sweep a USAC Silver Crown with first and second places.
In reference to competing against his brother, Kody said, "I don't know that we talk much smack between one another, but we do have fun giving each other a hard time once in a while. It's fun to race with him, because I know he races hard and clean."
Recalling the Lucas Oil Raceway event at Clermont, Kody continued, We had a good battle for the lead for a few laps. But he was just too strong to really challenge much in this one."
Both Kody and Tanner proved their worth during the qualifying round. Hitting the track first, Tanner Swanson logged a 21.169-second lap, deeming him the fourth quickest. The last car to qualify, Kody set the bar with a 21.047-second lap, earning his second consecutive pole position.
Kody Swanson recently finished second in a USAC Silver Crown race behind his brother, Tanner.
When the waving of the green flag deemed the 100-lap race underway, Kody Swanson wasted no time taking the lead. But as could be expected, other drivers would challenge him as the race continued. In fact, 2008 series champion, Jerry Coons Jr. began to pressure Kody, and by lap 10 four cars were battling for the front position.
Tanner Swanson eventually battled his way into the second place spot, while Kody was still managing to hold the lead. This was turning out to be a show that the spectators wouldn't soon forget - two brothers going neck to neck for the top of the podium.
Kody managed to hold Tanner off during his first two attempts to pass. But in lap 15 the younger of the two drivers took one more shot at earning the first position. Driving low in turn three, Tanner managed to maneuver around Kody and never looked back.
Nearly one-half lap in front of the field by lap 50, Tanner continued to pursue the finish line. And after the race's only yellow caution, Kody muscled himself behind his brother for one more go at the lead. However, Tanner wouldn't have it and once again began distancing himself from the field. And at the waving of the checkered flag, the Swanson brothers had managed to secure the first and second place positions, setting a new record. They were the first brothers in history to "Sweep a USAC Silver Crown Race first and second."
When asked what separates the Swanson brothers from their competitors, Kody said, "Tanner and I have really done well in the Silver Crown series. They are the heaviest open-wheeled cars that USAC runs, and they run the longest races. So fuel loads change and tires wear out, making them the hardest to manage and adapt to throughout the course of the race. I think Tanner and I have been really fortunate at grasping what it takes to be competitive at the end of those longer races."
The Swanson Brothers are also acutely aware that there are elements of success, other than good driving skills, as well. In reference to the importance of the team, Kody explained, "You simply can't have success without a team behind you. I've been plenty fast driving for a lot of teams, but you won't have real success by just being fast. If your team's not able to match a commitment to success, all you're left with are DNFs and thoughts of what could have been. This year, I've really been fortunate to have met great new teams to work with, and it's been a great experience. They all want to win as bad as I do, and it shows in the way they've all prepared cars to compete."
Having been around the sport of racing since childhood, Kody and Tanner Swanson are also strong advocates of proper maintenance. That in mind, they wouldn't settle for anything but the best for their filtering needs.
"In my experience, K&N products have been the best at doing what we need them to, and we've been using them for as long as I can remember," shared Kody. "They have been the best in air filtration, and now oil. They've been something that we can rely on to help us protect our valuable investment. They are the kind of products you trust to do their job from the drop of the green flag all the way to victory lane."
As the USAC season nears its end, Kody and Tanner are already looking forward to the future. "Things will be slowing down in the midwest by the end of September, but there are more races out in California and Arizona all through November," explained Kody. "While I don't have finalized plans to race out there yet, I'm looking for a ride and hoping to make the trip."
In reference to Tanner's plans, he continued, "He will be busy on the west coast, continuing to compete in USAC's Western Midget series and the Bay Cities Racing Association Midgets." In closing, Kody said, "Tanner has had a great season out there and looks to finish strong."