Swanson Is Fastest Qualifier and Finishes Fifth
In Doran Binks Racing’s Mission Foods No. 77
At Glen Niebel Classic 500 Sprint Car Tour Season Opener
ANDERSON, Ind., April 10 — Defending series champion Kody Swanson was the fastest qualifier for the 23rd running of the Glen Niebel Classic presented by CB Fabricating Saturday at Anderson Speedway with Doran Binks Racing’s Mission Foods No. 77. After the top six qualifiers were inverted for the start, he finished a solid fifth in the 75-lap race that opened the 2023 season for the 500 Sprint Car Tour presented by Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Parts Stores.
Swanson took just 11.173 seconds to travel over the quarter-mile asphalt oval during qualifications to top the other 26 competitors with the No. 77, which is powered by a Binks-prepared Chevrolet V8 engine. Defending Little 500 winner Tyler Roahrig was second fastest, just 0.015 off Swanson’s time in the very tight field. The top 13 drivers in qualifications were within five-tenths of a second of Swanson’s time.
The inversion of six put the defending race winner, Kyle O’Gara, on the pole for the start. It was difficult to pass, and the only difference in the starting order and the finishing order for the top six drivers was that Swanson passed Roahrig for fifth. He did that before one lap was in the book.
O’Gara led all 75 laps, and Taylor Ferns ran second the whole race. Billy Wease started fourth and got around Dakoda Armstrong for third on the first lap, but Armstrong passed him back on the last lap to regain his starting position and the final podium position. Wease finished fourth. After Swanson passed Roahrig on the first lap he kept him behind him the whole race, which was no easy feat.
Swanson was just 0.157 of a second behind Wease and 0.177 of a second ahead of Roahrig at the checkered.
There were just two cautions, and yellow-flag laps didn’t count. The first yellow waved with 20 laps down when Isaac Chapple spun in Turn 4. The second flew at the halfway point when Jake McElfresh hit the outside wall on the backstretch with 37 laps down. No one was hurt in either incident.
Swanson ran inches between his closest rivals for most of the race. His fastest race lap was lap 13, which he did in 11.468 seconds.
“It was great to set quick time; I have to thank everyone at Doran Binks Racing and Mission Foods for the opportunity,” Swanson said.
"We had a tough time moving forward in the feature tonight," he noted. "The track raced really narrow, and ultimately I just couldn't maneuver my car well enough in traffic. I was able to hang on the outside of Roahrig at the start, and stayed side by side for the first few laps to gain that position at the beginning. After that, I did what I could to move around and try to find opportunities, but unfortunately I wasn't able to capitalize on any of them.
"Still, it was a good debut for the new Doran Binks combination and for our new sponsor, Mission Foods,” he added. “I feel like we did learn a few things, and hopefully that will help us when we return here in May for the Little 500.”
The race was streamed live by MAVTV on Flo Racing.
Doran Binks Racing’s next event is the USAC Silver Crown season opener this Sunday, April 16 at the Terre Haute Action Track in Terre Haute, Ind. That event is the 20th running of the Sumar Classic.
About Mission Foods:
The Gruma Corporation began in 1949 and is today the leading tortilla manufacturer worldwide. Mission Foods is a proud subsidiary of Gruma, and as the #1 tortilla company in the United States, manufactures a wide variety of authentic Mexican products. Five years ago it opened a state-of-the-art plant in Dallas, Texas, with the capacity to produce 30 million tortillas daily. Today Mission Foods is a global company, with special emphasis not only on the United States but also Mexico, Central America, Europe, China, Malaysia, and Australia. Its products include flour and corn tortillas; tostadas; low-carb, whole wheat, organic and gluten-free items; wraps; flatbreads such as naan, pita and roti; tortilla chips and organic chips; chicharrones; salsa, and dips. For more information see missionfoods.com.
For more information on Doran Racing, see DoranRacing.com.
The team also has a Facebook page.