Kingsburg’s Swanson brothers had a Memorial Day weekend to remember in Indiana.
On May 27 at the one-mile state fairgrounds dirt track in Indianapolis, two-time defending U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown sprint car champion Kody Swanson became only the third driver in series history to win three straight Hoosier Hundreds.
The next night, younger brother Tanner Swanson led a 1-2 family finish in the Race Before the 500 on the paved, 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg.
Today’s IndyCar series evolved from the Silver Crown series, and Indianapolis 500 winners Jimmy Bryan (1954-56) and Al Unser (1970-73) are the only other drivers to win three straight times on the Indiana state fairgrounds track in the 62-year history of the race.
Kody Swanson started third and bided his time before taking the lead on Lap 67 of the 100-lap race. It’s his 13th career victory, putting him seventh on the all-time list.
Tanner Swanson, at 25 three years younger than Kody, doesn’t race as often as he used to. But he won at Lucas Oil Raceway for the third time in four years. In his only defeat, he was edged on the final lap of the annual 100-lap race.
Kody Swanson’s second place gave him a commanding 24-point series lead (204-180) after three of 10 races.
King of the West Series
Kyle Hirst made a last-lap pass Saturday night to win the sprint car race in Chico.
It was the second KWS win in four starts for the Paradise driver wheeling the Easton-based Tarlton Racing car.
He had to work for the win on the Silver Dollar Speedway quarter-mile clay oval, starting eighth after finishing last in the eight-car trophy dash that sets the first four rows of the main event field.
He was up to fourth by lap 19 of the 35-lap race and passed Chico’s Michael Ing on the last lap for the win. Roseville’s Sean Becker, the pole setter who led much of the race, was third.
Mitchell Faccinto of Hanford was sixth, Bud Kaeding of Campbell in the Oakhurst-based Williams Motorsports car seventh, D.J. Netto of Hanford ninth and Cory Eliason of Kingsburg 10th.
Eliason was coming off a victory in the California Civil War sprint car series May 29 at Chico.
Faccinto wins in Bakersfield – Michael Faccinto of Hanford led all 40 laps to halt Ronnie Gardner’s undefeated streak in USAC Western States Midget competition Saturday night at Bakersfield Speedway. Faccinto now trails Gardner by just 30 points in the standings entering a June 25 race at Hanford.
Scelzi, Macedo on the road – Fresno sprint car driver Dominic Scelzi, embarking on a summer of racing in the Midwest, started 10th and finished seventh Saturday night in a National Sprint League feature in Knoxville, Iowa.
And Lemoore’s Carson Macedo, last year’s KWS champion in the Tarlton car, continues to barnstorm the Midwest racing midgets, winged sprints and nonwing sprints. Most recently, he scored two sixth-place finishes in the USAC National Midget series’ swing through Indiana. And he found time for a trip to watch the Indy 500 from the infield.
Madera Speedway – Matt Erickson of La Grange won his third Open Late Model main May 28, dominating the last 73 of 100 laps. Bryan Herzog of Clovis was second. Erickson is 5-0 in stock car main events at Madera in 2016.
Austin Herzog won his second Jr. Late Model (for drivers ages 10-16) feature in three tries as that series continues to attract racers from throughout the West.
Madera is back in action June 11 featuring a 75-lap Modifieds race.
Kings Fair racing – Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds returns to action June 10 during the county fair with a show featuring the Kings Winged 360s.