DUQUOIN, Ill. — Point leader Kody Swanson picked up his fourth USAC Silver Crown Series presented by TRAXXAS victory of the season in Sunday evening’s Ted Horn 100 at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
“To have a chance to win any Silver Crown race is a neat opportunity. To drive this car and win for this team is special no matter where it is. We’ve been fast here a number of times, but just couldn’t catch the breaks,” Swanson said. “There’s a lot that can happen that can take you out of a Silver Crown race. That’s why they’re so special when you do get them. Tonight, it was a battle. There’s so many good cars nowadays, you don’t get to rest or ride to save your tires.”
Among those good cars running up front early on was C.J. Leary, who led the opening seven laps from the outside of the front row before Swanson ripped the top spot away briefly on lap eight with an inside pass coming out of turn four. Leary immediately responded by snatching the lead back away from Swanson on the outside into turn one where he would lead through the 22nd circuit.
As opposed to starting 28th such as he did at Springfield, Jeff Swindell didn’t have as much traffic to wade his way through this time around following a solid sixth-place qualifying effort. Just shy of a quarter-way through the 100-miler, Swindell rode the inner rail inside turn two past Leary to capture the lead and, by lap 30, had built up a half-straightaway cushion.
After halfway, Swanson put a charge on Leary just as Swindell did earlier, getting underneath in turn two to grab the second spot where he would remain until the final restart brought out by the slowing car of Robert Ballou in turn three, which bunched up the field and erased Swindell’s sizable advantage.
On the lap 77 restart, Swindell shot away just as he had done time-and-time again, slamming the screen door shut behind him before his followers even had a chance to react. Third-running Chris Windom did react though when Swanson stumbled in second. Windom dove inside on the front straightaway to take second and began his pursuit on Swindell for the race lead.
A repeat of last year’s epic duel between Swindell and Windom commenced, but a bid for a second consecutive Windom victory at the “Magic Mile” ended abruptly just four laps later, on lap 81, when he began to slow coming off turn four before pulling into the infield, sidelining him for the night. Swanson inherited second with 19 laps remaining, but had a half-straightaway of ground to erase to catch up with Swindell, plus the issue he encountered on the restart that he couldn’t immediately identify.
“I didn’t know if we had a bleeder stick or what,” Swanson said. “As we were coming to green, I came over the radio and said ‘hey, you got to keep an eye out because something’s wrong.’ I don’t know what happened to the car, but it felt like it was down on the left side. I didn’t know if we had a torsion bar stop or something going funny. With us being so loose with the tire situation we had, I didn’t think we were ever going to see Windom again. I still don’t know if we would’ve if he hadn’t had that trouble.
“After the race, I saw the left rear go flat,” Swanson added. “We were loose, way worse than we had been all race long. The longer we ran, the better we got, but we were still not the same as we had been throughout the middle of the race. I just had my fingers crossed that we wouldn’t have another caution.”
Shane Cockrum came home second, followed by Swindell, Leary and Jerry Coons Jr.
Swanson has a 105-point lead over Coons with one race remaining.
USAC Silver Crown Championship (presented by TRAXXAS), DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, DuQuoin, Ill, Sept. 3, 2017
Prosource Qualifying: 1. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-31.216; 2. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-31.514; 3. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-31.670; 4. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-31.722; 5. Joey Moughan, 29, Moughan-31.808; 6. Jeff Swindell, 21, Swanson-31.836; 7. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-31.935; 8. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-31.962; 9. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-32.024; 10. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-32.077; 11. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-32.207; 12. Dave Darland, 97, Lein-32.238; 13. Brian Tyler, 12, Galas-32.283; 14. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-32.392; 15. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-32.405; 16. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-32.423; 17. David Shain, 7, Hardy-32.436; 18. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-32.511; 19. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-32.841; 20. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams & Wright-33.198; 21. Ken Schrader, 14, McQuinn-33.282; 22. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-33.286; 23. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-33.309; 24. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-33.341; 25. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-33.547; 26. Chris Urish, 77, Urish-33.644; 27. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-33.871; 28. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-34.235; 29. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-34.261; 30. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-34.328; 31. Keith Burch, 24, Burch-34.629; 32. Danny Long, 44, Long-35.368; 33. Robert Ballou, 6, Klatt-NT; 34. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-NT; 35. Chris Fetter, 88, Fetter-NT.
Feature (100 laps): 1. Kody Swanson, 2. Shane Cockrum, 3. Jeff Swindell, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Jerry Coons, Jr. 6. Justin Grant, 7. Shane Cottle, 8. Brian Tyler, 9. Mark Smith, 10. Casey Shuman, 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 12. Dave Darland, 13. Dakota Jackson, 14. David Shain, 15. Joey Moughan, 16. Aaron Pierce, 17. Chris Urish, 18. Joss Moffatt, 19. Ken Schrader, 20. J.C. Bland, 21. Matt Goodnight, 22. Austin Nemire, 23. Danny Long, 24. Chris Windom, 25. Patrick Bruns, 26. Robert Ballou, 27. Terry Babb, 28. David Byrne, 29. Keith Burch, 30. Johnny Petrozelle, 31. Steve Buckwalter, 32. Patrick Lawson.