PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Defending Dave Steele World Non-Wing Sprint Car Championship 125 winner Kody Swanson will participate in this weekend’s 125-lap, $5,000-to-win event.
Until Thursday, it was uncertain if Swanson would attempt to defend his event title.
Swanson has been busy lately, to say the least. He competed in super and pro late model events at New Smyrna Speedway as part of its annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. Swanson picked up a pro late model feature victory and captured the Pro Late Model World Series championship.
Swanson wasn’t sure if he would be able to participate in this weekend’s event. He and his Doran Racing team, however, have been thrashing to get the car ready to head to Florida.
“The winter always goes by faster than you’d like,” explained Swanson. “Getting some parts back and things like that, that maybe didn’t fit quite like you planned, or just little things that snowball, set us behind. Hopefully by now we have all that addressed and get down there and have a good weekend.”
With getting a late start on this year’s event, Swanson knows track time for him will be limited until racing begins Friday night.
“It would be great to have more track time, but with the way things unfolded, we didn’t have a chance to get down there like maybe we would have liked to do,” Swanson noted. “What is nice is we have good notes from last year. We have a little bit of experience from last year. It seems like the track down there can fluctuate a little bit. Hopefully, we’ll have a decent starting spot.”
On Monday night, veteran Florida car owner Mac Steele, the late Dave Steele’s father, announced that he and his wife Carol will award a $500 bonus to the fast qualifier for Saturday’s 125-lap finale.
“Dave is somebody obviously I looked up to as a competitor. We were friends and teammates at one point in time. Its great to have support from Mac and Carol for an event like this and speaks volumes about them,” noted Swanson. “They continue to make efforts to give back to the racers. That’s really cool. I’m really looking forward to coming down and being a part of the event.”
Swanson will pilot the potent Doran Racing No. 77 Beast chassis powered by a Bill Tranter built V-6 engine. To date, it marks the only V-6 entered in this year’s event and is the same car Swanson captured last year’s event with.
The event kicks off with a preliminary event Friday night that will include eight-lap heat races and a 30-lap feature.
Showtime Speedway officials have amended one item from last year’s Little 500 rules that this weekend’s event is being governed by.
The current rule of offset on the right side of the car, measured from the cent of the rear end to the outside of the right rear tire, is 43 inches.
Showtime Speedway will give an additional inch, making the rule for the weekend 44 inches of offset.