MSR Sprints Set For Unique Season Opener At LOR

MSR Sprints Set
Kody Swanson is among the invaders in Saturday's Indy Summer Nationals field. (Tanner Watkins photo)

CLERMONT, Ind. — Saturday’s Indy Summer Nationals for the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series presented by Engine Pro will mark a unique start for the asphalt sprint car tour — in more ways than one.

It will be the first time that the series has kicked off its campaign with a non-points event, as well as the first time the series will contest a full event without wings aside from the Pay Less Little 500.

But if anyone thinks that means the pressure is off for Must See Racing’s finest, think again.

The addition of several non-winged specialists to the regular roster for the tour will make the field at Lucas Oil Raceway, perhaps, the toughest that will hit the track all season long.

Multi-time Little 500 champion Kody Swanson will lead the charge for those who regularly run in non-winged action, piloting the famed Nolen Racing No. 20 in memory of the late Gene Nolen, who died earlier this year.

Brothers Caleb and Dakoda Armstrong — the latter of whom spent time in NASCAR’s national series in years past — are expected to defend their home-state track. The pair hails from New Castle, Ind., and has raced in select marquee non-winged sprint car races before.

And though he’s a semi-regular with the wing as well, past NASCAR modified champion Bobby Santos III is one of the more potent drivers in the field in non-winged competition, regularly contending for wins in the Little 500 and with other non-winged sprint car sanctions as well as with Must See Racing.

Those four and others will go head to head with five-time defending Must See Racing champion Jimmy McCune, who is the headliner among the series regulars that are taking the top wings off on Saturday.

McCune will be joined by two-time champion Brian Gerster, veterans Tom Jewell and Joe Speakman, reigning Must See Racing rookie-of-the-year Rick Holley and more when it comes to defending Must See Racing supremacy from the likes of the invading “ringers.”

One driver in the field will be among the many firsts on Saturday as well, with sophomore Must See Racing driver Bobby Komisarski getting a last-minute call to compete in the Indy Summer Nationals.

Komisarski will wheel the iconic orange-and-gold No. 81 for veteran team owner Mike Blake, the first time the duo has teamed up as Blake kicks off his 51st year in racing.

“I didn’t know for sure this was going to happen until about 9 p.m. last night (Thursday),” Komisarski admitted. “But it’s really cool to be able to drive for Mike; he’s done so much and been such a big part of this sport for a long time … particularly Must See for the last few years. I know he’s done some work to the car over the pandemic break to get it tuned up and I’m really excited to get to Lucas Oil and see how we do. This weekend is going to be a huge race and I’m grateful to have a chance to be part of it.”

Pit gates on Saturday at Lucas Oil Raceway open at 9 a.m., with the drivers’ meeting taking place at 1 p.m., practice beginning at 2 p.m., qualifying rolling at 5 p.m. and racing firing off at 7 p.m.

The Midwest Supermodified Series and Midwest Compact Touring Series will join the Must See Racing non-winged sprint cars as support divisions for the blockbuster show.

A limited number of grandstand tickets will be available for the event, but for fans unable to attend in person, the action will stream live via pay-per-view for the first time in Must See Racing history outside of the Little 500 — courtesy of SPEED SPORT Network affiliate Must See Racing TV.

Pay-per-view passes can be purchased through MustSeeRacing.TV for just $25.