MARION, Ohio – Quite possibly the most overlooked and underrated driver in the open-wheel world, Kody Swanson continues to impress and turn heads.
Dirt, pavement or indoors, it doesn’t make a difference. If he is not at the front, rest assured, he is headed to the front. He doesn’t shy away from new ventures or learning curves either.
Just one week after winning the most prestigious pavement sprint car race in the world at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, the Little 500, for the third time, Swanson bolted on a wing and traveled to Mansfield Motor Speedway for the Sprint Car World Championship.
“This is a huge transition, not just from the style of racing, but even the tracks themselves,” noted Swanson. “This is a unique track I think even for winged dirt short track regulars with the characteristics it has in it. It has a lot of speed in it, it has some spots with some chop in it. It’s a challenge. I embrace the challenge, because I want to be the first guy to figure it out. I have been struggling to keep up here, but even the guys that do really well here are having a tough time. So it makes that transition for me even tougher.”
The Friday portion of the Sprint Car World Championship went well for Swanson, as he was able to make the preliminary feature and finish 14th.
“We made the preliminary feature last night, got some good laps,” Swanson said. “I had some issues I thought with the steering, but I am thinking it was just the race track. Trying to get the experience, and hopefully get better each time out on the track.”
Unfortunately Swanson never got the chance to tackle the $100,000-to-win main event, as Mother Nature forced the cancellation of the finale. Despite that, Swanson was able to make some strides.
“In the heat race, I don’t know that I was really as fast as I needed to be,” Swanson said. “Some guys were making mistakes on the race track. But, luckily, with my experience I was able to recognize when I might be in trouble and not push it any further.
“You have to make it to the finish to get through, and we were able to make it to the finish.”