A night after older brother Kody added to his list of achievements it was Tanner Swanson standing in victory lane. The 25-year-old tied Mike Bliss for the record of most wins at the Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis following the Carb Night Classic triumph.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Bobby Santos III qualified fastest among the USAC Silver Crown Series cars, and would maintain the advantage despite a few bids for the lead from Tanner Swanson. That was until less than 20 circuits remaining in the 100-lap distance when Santos suddenly slowed out of the lead. Tanner Swanson would go unchallenged the remainder of the way.
“I hate to see him go out like that, but glad we were able to capitalize,” the Californian told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’ve just been so fortunate ever since I got hooked up with this Banjo Bowman racing team we’ve been able to click off five for six. The car has just been good. We’ve been fortunate and able to put ourselves in the right place, like tonight, and things just fall right for us.”
If it was not for the sudden departure of Santos from the race, Tanner Swanson remained optimistic that he could have captured the top spot. At the same time, some circumstances may have needed to fall into place.
“I think if we could get a long green run I was going to have a chance at him,” Tanner Swanson mentioned. “We ran that first 25 green and I got to him and was playing with him. I saw him having to make a couple adjustments in the car, but after a restart we were just terrible for some reason.”
The issues for Santos were motor related, but the Massachusetts native was confident in being able to outrun the multi-time winner to the checkered flag on the .686-mile if not for the problem that sidelined him.
“I really think we could have held him back,” Santos stated. “I think he would have had to do something crazy, I felt, to pass me. He showed me his nose a couple times, but I’m pretty confident we had a solid car.”
A night after winning a third straight Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Kody Swanson could only do as good as second best on this evening. He was in the mix for much of the race, but a hurdle presented itself as the race neared the closing stages.
“I thought we played our cards right and with 30 to go we were there, but with 35 to go we started having the power steering give up,” Kody Swanson noted. “I’m not a really big guy to be able to combat that, and by the time we got to 25 to go I gave it a couple hard laps behind them. It locked up into three we would’ve ran out of real estate and I would have given up a good finish.”
With his sights on the big picture, the two-time defending series champion regrouped and settled for the runner-up position.
“Luckily we were able to get it turned in the right direction and there was just too much to risk to go with that much time left.”
Chris Windom returned to his No. 98 machine a night after racing a borrowed ride and finished third. Robert Stout finished fourth in his series debut, while Aaron Pierce rounded out the top five.
The USAC Silver Crown Series travels next to William Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania for a Friday night show in June.
Many of the drivers competing over the last few nights will be back in action at Anderson Speedway (IN) on Saturday night for the running of the 68th Little 500.
Speed51 TV will be offering a live single-camera video stream broadcast beginning with pre-race festivities at 7 p.m. ET leading up to the green flag shortly after 8 p.m. ET.
Race fans can purchase their live video tickets today for just $29.99. For more information and to order click here.
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Central NY & PA Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
-Photo credit: Speed51.com