Doran Racing’s Swanson Earns
Podium Finish Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway
BROWNSBURG, Ind., June 18 — Kody Swanson recorded a podium finish of second in the special “Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming” sprint car feature Thursday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in the Doran Racing No. 77 sponsored by Glenn Farms.
The event paid homage to the “Thursday Night Thunder” TV shows of years past and also to one of the stars of those shows, four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon.
Swanson, of Indianapolis, started third in the 40-lap feature in the Doran Racing Beast, which is based in Lebanon, Ohio and is powered by a Binks-prepped Chevy V8. He got under Derek Bischak, who started second beside polesitter Bobby Santos III, before they reached Turn 1 on the first lap to take over second place. Then he chased Santos, the eventual winner, the rest of the race.
Swanson cut the gap to Santos by 0.521 of a second from laps 20 through 24, as he was 0.967 behind on lap 20 but only 0.446 behind on lap 24. At that point there was a yellow flag that turned into a red flag due to a crash between Turns 1 and 2 involving the driver who was running fourth at the time, Taylor Ferns, and Don Hamilton. Luckily neither was hurt. On the restart Santos was able to pad his lead again, however.
Swanson was 0.952 of a second behind Santos at the checkered, and 0.909 of a second ahead of the third-place finisher, Billy Wease. Bischak and Dakoda Armstrong rounded out the top five in the 16-car field.
Like Swanson, Ferns and Wease passed Bischak on the first lap too. Ferns held third for seven laps. Bischak got fourth from Wease on lap six, and passed Ferns for third on lap eight. Wease passed Bischak for third on lap 35, but none of them ever posed a serious threat to Swanson in second.
Swanson set the second-fastest lap of the race with a 21.150 to Santos’s 20.977 as they sped around the 0.686-mile asphalt oval. The top-two finishers both set their fastest race lap on lap four.
The race was broadcast live on FloRacing.com.
"You know, it's tough to come up short when I know how badly we all wanted to win,” Swanson said. “But it wasn't for a lack of effort, and I want to thank everyone on the Doran Racing team for all of their hard work, and our sponsors for their support.
“We've got a great team, and they continued to work on the car all day. We made improvements with each change, but ultimately didn’t end up where we wanted.
“Early in the race I knew it was going to be tough to keep up, and started trying to move around the track to find a faster line. On that longer run through the middle of the race I had started to wonder if I was at least matching pace better, and then that red came out.
“I don't think that time we sat under the red flag necessarily helped us any, but that's just part of how races play out sometimes. I really don't know if I'd have been able to close on Bobby if we'd have stayed green, but after that red we lost some of what we had working on the run before, and he was really able to pull away from us to the end.
“Congratulations to Bobby and his team; they did a great job.
“Thanks to Lucas Oil Raceway for bringing an event like this back, and to all of the fans who came out to see us or watched it on Flo. I'm looking forward to our next chance to try again!"
Qualifying was based on each car’s combined time over two laps. After the field was given the opportunity to compete in the first round, the teams were given the option to scrub that run and try again. The Doran Racing squad decided to go for it and moved up one position, from fourth to third, in the starting lineup for their efforts.
Doran Racing’s next event will be the USAC Silver Crown race at Madison International Raceway in Oregon, Wis., on Friday, June 25.
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com.
The team also has a Facebook page.