Short-track open-wheel ace Kody Swanson will make a much-anticipated debut this weekend in the Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway as he makes his first national stock car appearance.
Swanson, 32, from Kingsburg, California, will drive the No. 22 Ford for Chad Bryant Racing.
Over the last decade, Swanson has become the dominant force in the USAC Silver Crown Series with 29 career wins and five series championships. Swanson earned five victories on his way to the 2019 series title. He’s also a three-time winner of the prestigious Little 500, a 500-lap sprint car race on the tight quarter-mile Anderson Speedway, traditionally held the night before the Indianapolis 500. Swanson has also collected dozens of wins in USAC National Midget and Western States Sprint car divisions as well as numerous wins in other open wheel sanctioning bodies throughout the country.
Swanson recently tested an Indy Pro 2000 car at Lacrosse Speedway in Wisconsin to gain some rear-engine formula car experience in the hopes of competing in the Indianapolis 500. He’s also expressed an interest in stock cars and is pleased the right opportunity finally presented itself to make his first ARCA Menards Series start.
"I am down at the shop now trying to learn as much as I can about the car and contribute as much to the team as I can," Swanson said. "It’s a different type of racing and a different type of car so I am trying to learn as much as I can so I will be up to speed when we get to the track on Saturday."
The Silver Crown series shares several race weekends with the ARCA Menards Series, so Swanson has been a frequent visitor to ARCA races over the past several years. Former ARCA champion and team owner Andy Hillenburg recently served as the Silver Crown series director. He invited Swanson to the track to meet with team owners face to face and get on their radar should an opportunity arise.
"It’s sad he hasn’t had an opportunity in the big time over the last seven or eight years," Hillenburg said. "I think the world of him and his talent. I let him drive one of my cars at the Daytona test four or five years ago. I am really happy he’s got an opportunity in a good car and I hope they find the sponsorship to make more than just this one start."
The Shore Lunch 150 at Iowa Speedway will be televised live on MAVTV on Saturday, July 18, at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT.
-ARCA Menards Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo