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SAMMY: TIME AWAY PROVIDES LEARNING EXPERIENCE
by Jim Morrison, Hawkeye Racing News Editor
Knoxville, Iowa -- Sammy Swindell stood atop his race car, looking down at the mount and the left rear that had just betrayed him. In a fraction of a second, his world turned upside down, literally.
Leading the 50th Annual Knoxville Nationals -- a 50-lapper for the first time ever -- the racing legend was just three laps away from his first win in sprint car racing’s classic event since 1983, the tire shredded, turned backwards and flipped over.
A grandstand full of excitement sat silent before a spatter of applause began. Sammy stopped, bowed to the main stretch grandstands in acknowledgement before walking on. More applause broke out and then a chant.
What a difference a decade makes.
Ten years ago, Sammy was trapped in his own legend. People expected perfection; and he wasn’t. They expected him to always win, and he didn’t. They expected him to always be cordial and friendly, and, sometimes, he wasn’t.
Silent Sam gained a reputation with some that brought a chorus of boos during driver introductions.
What a difference today.
During the mid part of the 21st century’s first decade, Sammy cutback his racing schedule. His son, Kevin, was starting his professional racing career and he provided a guiding hand. In USAC Midgets and sprints and the stock car ranks, Sammy’s focus was on nurturing his son’s career.
That focus brought a transformation, of sorts. Always focused at the race track, he often was considered rude or uptight. Today, one finds a much more relaxed Sammy Swindell. He’s still focused but clearly something has changed and this summer he’s been relaxed and running well.
Sammy’s team invested several weekends this summer racing at the Knoxville Raceway, always finishing in the top 10. After driving for Tom Rolfe last season, Sammy filled in for the injured Terry McCarl on the Big Tree Game Stand Team and then was named the first of July as the full-time driver.
After winning Thursday night’s A-feature, Sammy said he had one of the best cars he’d ever had for the Knoxville Nationals. They had worked hard trying to overcome areas they felt were lacking.
“It is just all coming together at the right time,” said Sammy on Thursday night.
But, Sammy believed the biggest thing that happened for himself was not driving for a while, and working with other race teams.
“It has made me a lot better on the cars and I have learned things by getting a different perspective of the midget races we did with Kevin and some of the other stuff,” said Sammy.
Among those he worked with were Daimon Gardner in the USAC ranks and Sam Hafertepe Jr.
“It gave me a little different look at things than just being in the seat,” said Sammy. “… I have really learned a lot probably the last year. It just helped me make my cars better. A lot of little things.”
Over a career that started in 1971 at age 15, Sammy gained a reputation of an innovator whose interest in physics and engineering placed him on the cutting edge of sprint car technology. He’s never stopped learning.
Or helping those willing to listen.
When Knoxville regular Brian Brown blew his 410 motor during that division’s feature for the 360 Nationals, Sammy offered one of theirs.
“Sammy gets a bad rap,” said Brian during the Thursday press conference. “Some people think he is not the nicest guy around, but he has taken me under his wing and said ‘Hey, if you listen to me, I will help you with motors and stuff like that.’ He is someone I really idolize and wanted to be like. It is just an honor to sit here today and run second to him.”
Known widely as a sprint car racer, Sammy ventured into other disciplines of the sport. He tried stock cars, raced modifieds, ran the Mini-Indy Series during the 1980s. He raced A.J. Foyt’s Indy Car to a ninth place finish in the 1986 Pocono 500 and drove at Michigan International Speedway in 1985 for Pat Patrick. He qualified for the 1987 Indianapolis 500 in a year old chassis powered by a stock block engine but was bumped from the field the final day of qualifying and served as first alternate.
But, he was always a sprint car racer.
At this year’s Nationals, the tide had turned for Sammy. Donny Schatz, who had won four consecutive Nationals titles, had assumed the role of the sport’s bad boy earning boos and catcalls. The mention of Sammy’s name drew cheers.
And, perhaps what had changed the most during the last decade was his ability to show an appreciation for the respect, admiration and love that many of his fans have for their hero.
After winning the Thursday night A-Main, he climbed atop the back of his car waving to the fans and tipping his hat. The crowd went wild.
When his car rolled to a stop after Saturday night’s run in the 50th annual Knoxville Nationals, 25,000 people watched in silence until he climbed free. Rather that applauding his misfortune with the boos and catcalls, they cheered his performance and that he was what he always wanted to be -- just some guy from Tennessee who drives race cars, and drives them very well.
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SAMMY SWINDELL WINS SECOND STRAIGHT FRONT ROW CHALLENGE!
(Bill W) August 9, 2010 - Sammy Swindell drove to his second straight win in the 14th Annual Musco Lighting Front Row Challenge Monday night at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The veteran had a pass for the lead negated by a caution before he took advantage of leader Tyler Walker's blown left rear tire on the 22nd lap. The win in the Big Game Treestands #1s was worth $10,000 to the Germantown, Tennessee resident.
Vienna, West Virginia's Cale Conley set a new one lap track record on the 1/2 mile oval with a circuit of 15.222 seconds. Swindell, Fred Rahmer and Cap Henry enjoyed contingencies from HRP Wings, Keizer Wheels and Hubs, Sander Wheels and Butlerbuilt for heat race wins. The top eight qualifiers making it through their heat races participated in match races dubbed the "King of the Hill". In the finale, Walker and Joey Saldana raced side by side for two laps with Saldana nipping Walker at the line for the title. Jonathan Allard scored a set of headers from Schoenfeld for his win in the B main.
Saldana was given the choice to go to take the Front Row Challenge, but needed the pot sweetened to do so. McTwo Promotions, Terry McCarl, offered a $5,000 bonus if Saldana went to the back and finished in the top three. Saldana accepted the challenge and a packed house erupted.
Walker and Swindell started in row one, and it was Walker getting the jump at the outset, as he had done in beating Swindell in one of the Match Races. When Daryn Pittman came to a stop with three laps in the books, eyes were on Saldana, who had already worked his way forward to 11th.
Walker continued to lead the next eight laps, but Swindell shot by him on lap twelve. The move was called back when Jonathan Allard spun and the caution was thrown. Saldana had progressed to eighth at that point. On the restart, traffic in front of Saldana did not take off and he made contact with Conley and spun. Saldana took his car and the Front Row Challenge pitside.
Walker led Swindell, David Gravel, Paul McMahan and Brad Sweet back to green flag racing. McMahan moved by Gravel for third on the restart, as Walker continued to set the pace. On lap 21, Walker blew his left rear tire, handing the lead to Swindell. Sammy cruised from there, winning his second Front Row Challenge in a row. Bob Weuve received a KSE Power Steering Pump for winning hard-charger honors in the event.
14th Annual Musco Lighting Front Row Challenge Results
A main (25 laps, started): 1. 1s, Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN (2) 2. 91, Paul McMahan, Nashville, TN (6) 3. 89G, David Gravel, Watertown, CT (4) 4. 49, Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA (5) 5. 98, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (8) 6. 3, Kerry Madsen, St. Mary's, NSW, Aust. (7) 7. 1, Bronson Maeschen, Pleasantville, IA (10) 8. 17, Tyler Walker, Los Angeles, CA (1) 9. 3c, Cale Conley, Vienna, WV (3) 10. 24H, Lee Jacobs, Dalton, OH (15) 11. 19, Bob Weuve, Newton, IA (22) 12. 7K, Robby Wolfgang, Sioux Falls, SD (14) 13. 12AU, Paul Jeffrey, Kellyville, NSW, Aust. (19) 14. 9, Joey Saldana, Brownsburg, IN (24) 15. 83, Tim Shaffer, Aliquippa, PA (17) 16. 0, Jonathan Allard, Chico, CA (11) 17. w20, Greg Wilson, Benton Ridge, OH (16) 18. 51, Fred Rahmer, Salfordville, PA (13) 19. 77AU, Mitchell Dumesny, Nelson, NSW, Aust. (20) 20. 04, Cap Henry, Bellevue, OH (23) 21. 1m, Phillip Mock, Kenosha, WI (21) 22. 13P, Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK (9) 23. 13, Mark Dobmeier, Grand Forks, ND (18) 24. 30c, Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, PA (12). Lap Leaders: Walker 1-21; Swindell 22-25. Hard Charger: Weuve.
Fast time: Cale Conley, 15.222 (New Track Record)
"King of the Hill" Match Race Winner: Joey Saldana
Heat one (8 laps, Top Six to A main): 1. Sammy Swindell (4) 2. Lance Dewease (2) 3. Cale Conley (6) 4. Joey Saldana (5) 5. Brooke Tatnell (3) 6. Tim Shaffer (7) / 7. 2K, Kevin Ingle, Huron, SD (8) 8. Lee Jacobs (1) DNS - 6, Bill Rose, Plainfield, IN, Bob Weuve, 2x, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA
Heat two (8 laps, Top Six to A main): 1. Fred Rahmer (2) 2. Tyler Walker (4) 3. Daryn Pittman (3) 4. Greg Wilson (1) 5. Paul McMahan (6) 6. Mitchell Dumesny (8) / 7. Mark Dobmeier (7) 8. Jonathan Allard (5) DNS - 12, Jared Ridge, Snohomish, WA, 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD
Heat three (8 laps, Top Six to A main): 1. Cap Henry (1) 2. Kerry Madsen (4) 3. Robby Wolfgang (2) 4. Bronson Maeschen (3) 5. Brad Sweet (6) 6. David Gravel (5) / 7. Phillip Mock (8) 8. Paul Jeffrey (7) 9. 23m, Kim Mock, Kenosha, WI (9) DNS - 2, Dale Blaney, Hartford, OH
B main (12 laps, Top Six to A main): 1. Jonathan Allard (1) 2. Mark Dobmeier (3) 3. Paul Jeffrey (4) 4. Lee Jacobs (2) 5. Bob Weuve (5) 6. Phillip Mock (6) / 7. Kevin Ingle (10) 8. Kim Mock (7) 9. Jared Ridge (8) DNS - Bill Rose, Clint Garner, Dale Blaney, Josh Higday
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QUALIFYING: SWINDELL WINS FIRST POLE
Bumps hometown MacDonald off top spot
LEE, N.H. -- Kevin Swindell earned his first career Coors Light Pole Award, taking it away from hometown favorite Eddie MacDonald, Friday at Lee USA Speedway.
The 21-year-old Swindell, from Germantown, Tenn., went out 21st of 24 qualifiers and turned a lap of 15.562 seconds (86.750 mph) around the .375-mile oval. MacDonald qualified second at 15.589 (86.600). The Rowley, Mass., driver who made his series debut at Lee in 2001, had held the top time for most of the qualifying session.
Max Gresham qualified third at 15.591 (86.588). Darrell Wallace Jr. and DJ Shaw rounded out the top five.
Andrew Rangers, Sergio Pena, Brett Moffitt, Cole Whitt and Ryan Gifford completed the top 10. Whitt, Gifford and Andrew Smith had the same qualifying time and the time was broken by their place in points.
Series points leader Ryan Truex qualified 16th.
The K&N Pro Series 125 is scheduled to take the green flag at 8:30 p.m.
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CUT TIRE ENDS PROMISING RUN FOR UP-AND-COMING SWINDELL
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 25, 2010) – 21-year old Kevin Swindell had one of the fastest cars in the first half of the Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children on Saturday night before his night came to an early end when a cut tire sent his Curb Records/National FFA Organization Ford Fusion into the frontstretch wall. The damage forced Swindell to the garage for the rest of the race and he ended up with a disappointing 33rd-place finish.
“The Curb Records/National FFA Organization Ford Fusion was really fast the first half of the race, unfortunately I made some contact with the 35 car coming off of Turn 4 and cut a tire that sent us both into the wall,” said Swindell. “I’d like to thank Baker Curb Racing for giving me the opportunity to run the race and show everyone what I am capable of behind the wheel in a very competitive series.”
Making just his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series start, the Germantown, Tenn. native started the race from the 18th position. On an O’Reilly Raceway Park track that is tough to make passes on, Swindell began maneuvering his way in and out of competitors and by lap 45 he was in the top 15. As the race progressed the No. 43 Curb Records/National FFA Organization Ford Fusion twice turned the fastest lap of any car on the track and from lap 50 to lap 75 was consistently turning laps as fast as the cars running in the top five. On lap 71, he made quick work of veteran Carl Edwards to move into 13th.
The first caution of the race occurred on lap 76. Trouble in the pits cost Swindell a few spots and he was scored in the 17th position when he returned to the track. The race restarted on lap 83 and the 2007 winner of the “Night Before the 500” USAC race at ORP once again began to march through the field. He had just made his way back into the top 15 when the second caution of the race occurred on lap 119.
Swindell brought his No. 43 Records/National FFA Organization Ford Fusion down pit road for four fresh tires and a trackbar adjustment. He was scored in the 15th position when the race restarted on lap 126. Two laps after the restart, Swindell and Jason Keller were racing side-by-side off of Turn 4 when the two touched causing the right front tire on the No. 43 to cut. Both drivers were sent into the frontstretch wall and ended up spending the rest of the race in the garage.
Swindell will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he ranks 10th in the point standings, for the Pro Series 125 at Lee Speedway USA on Friday. Brad Baker will be back in the No. 43 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday.
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BCR OWNER FINDING IT HARD TO "CURB" HIS ENTHUSIASM ABOUT ORP
By Stephen Rhodes
NASHVILLE, Tenn., (July 21, 2010) – Baker Curb Racing co-owner Mike Curb, a long-time car owner and racing enthusiast, is finding it hard to hold back his excitement about the Kroger 200 benefitting Riley Hospital for Children this Saturday at O’Reilly Raceway Park. Veteran driver Johnny Sauter, who drives the Curb Records truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will be behind the wheel of Baker Curb Racing’s No. 27 while his teammate will be up and coming driver Kevin Swindell, who is sponsored by Curb Records in the NASCAR K&N All Pro East Series. Both of the team’s Ford Fusions will be sponsored by Curb Records as well as The National FFA Organization. Swindell will also have associate sponsors iRacing.com and Envy Wraps adorning his famed No. 43.
“Curb Records is excited that all four of our drivers or cars are in the top ten in four of NASCAR’s major series, Nationwide, Camping World Truck Series, K&N All Pro East and West Series,” said Curb. “We are excited to continue our long relationship with NASCAR through our involvement in these series. It is great to see our family of drivers coming together at ORP in Indianapolis, a city with such a great racing history”
Saturday night Sauter will make his 200th career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. He has three career Nationwide Series wins; including his victory driving the Curb Agajanian No. 43 in the 2003 Funai 300 at Richmond International Raceway. In 2010 as a regular in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, he currently ranks third in the point standings and drove his Curb Records No. 13 Chevrolet to victory in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Sauter, who will also compete in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series AAA Insurance 200, is always a force to be reckoned with at the .686-mile paved oval. In 2004 the Necedah, Wis. native performed double-duty at O’Reilly Raceway Park and nearly came home with two victories. He led the most laps and went on to finish second in the Power Stroke Diesel Truck Series race. He followed that performance up by capturing the pole for the Nationwide Series Kroger 200 and once again led the most laps and ended up with another second-place finish.
Swindell will be making just his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series start on Saturday. In each of his first two starts he has qualified his Baker Curb Racing Ford Fusion in the top 20. The 21-year old is also running his first full-season in the NASCAR K&N All Pro East Series and currently ranks 10th in the point standings. He registered a NASCAR career-best second-place finish driving his Curb Records No. 9 Chevrolet in the New England 125 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 25th.
The Tennessee native has followed in his father Sammy’s footsteps, becoming one of the top driver’s in United States Auto Club Racing (USAC). In January, the second-generation racer became the youngest winner of the prestigious Chili Bowl capturing the coveted Golden Driller trophy at just 20 years of age.
Although he has never driven at O’Reilly Raceway Park in a stock car, Swindell is very familiar with the track. One of the most memorable wins of his young USAC career came at ORP in 2007 when he won the “Night Before the 500” driving the Kahne/Curb Racing USAC Midget.
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BIG GAME MOTORSPORTS; MOVING FORWARD IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER
Effective July 1, 2010 Big Game Motorsports will be making a permanent driver change. Sammy Swindell will drive the Big Game Treestands #1 through the balance of the 2010 season. We feel Sammy can bring a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as continuing to enhance our company representation and professionalism on and off the track. Our customers, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, just to name a few, demand a very positive marketing approach and it’s our job to give it to them. Our motorsports division is a very small segment of our business but it is something we have a great deal of passion for. We feel that we’ve always had the equipment in place to win Outlaw and other big races, but we are now hoping to build on this; moving forward in a positive direction.
The entire staff at Big Game would like to thank Terry McCarl for his past years with us and wish him nothing but the best as he moves forward in his racing career. Terry and I have been great friends and have had a lot of great times and success together through the past 12 years. Terry has a great passion for the sport and is very independent and will do great running his own team again. Sometimes these types of changes work out best for all involved and we think that will be the case here.
A schedule for the Big Game #1 will be out very soon; we are planning on running most of the World of Outlaw schedule, but will be leaving some openings to stray off and run a few additional races throughout the country.
The Big Game® Treestands/Karavan Trailers/Aggressive Hydraulics #7 will stay business as usual. Paul Johnson with Aggressive Hydraulics and Scott Boyd with Karavan Trailers provide a tremendous amount of support to this team and I would like to thank them. The #7 will continue to run the entire World of Outlaw schedule and we look forward to a successful finish to 2010.
Big Game Motorsports, LLC
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SWINDELL SLICES TO WIN AT DODGE CITY
Dodge City, KS — Sammy Swindell remembers his first trip to Dodge City Raceway Park in 2004 very vividly. After crossing the line first, he came up two pounds light at the scales after running out of fuel, thus snatching the victory away from him. He returned to the track for the first time since then last year, picking up a couple of Top-10 finishes as he continued his quest to pick up that elusive win at Dodge City. He was finally able to score that victory on Friday night in thrilling fashion over Joey Saldana before a very large crowd as Boot Hill Casino & Resort presented the opener of the Boot Hill Showdown.
Swindell made up a lot of ground on Saldana in lapped traffic late in the going and was able to dive under him coming off turns three and four on the 28th lap to take the lead. Saldana fought back on the next lap and charged back by Swindell on the high side of turn two, with Swindell again powering off the low side of turn four to be officially scored the leader at the stripe. He ran a smooth line on the last lap to pull away by about a half-second to score his first World of Outlaws win of the season aboard the Big Game Treestands Maxim and his first triumph with the series since 2006.
“We’ve been close in a lot of them this year, so it’s good to finally pick one up,” said Swindell “We definitely had the best car tonight and just had to bide our time. I got a little backed up at the start and had a few guys run into some water down there and I got myself behind some of the lapped cars at the wrong time, but we were still able to run them down pretty easy. I just didn’t want to run out of time and almost did. I guess you could say I played it perfect, but it was a little bit close.”
Swindell started fifth and fell back to seventh early the race before steadily working his way back to the front in lapped traffic. He got around Donny Schatz on the sixth lap to move back into the Top-Five. He worked on Jason Sides for a couple of lap before taking the fourth spot from him. Kerry Madsen was next on the horizon and Swindell passed him on the 13th circuit for third and found himself in second just two laps later charging past Paul McMahan, before setting his sights on Saldana.
“I was killing guys on the bottom in (turns) three and four and Joey (Saldana) couldn’t stick down there,” noted Swindell. “I don’t think he ever for sure saw the line I was running, and he ran up in there too hard and slid across and I knew if I hit my marks I would go by easy. I had to make the last lap and run well in the line where I wanted to be and I knew there wasn’t anybody as quick.”
Swindell entered this weekend with four Top-Five finishes with the World of Outlaws in 2010 including a podium run last weekend at Knoxville Raceway. He joined the Big Game Motorsports team earlier in the year when Terry McCarl was injured and had been knocking on the door to scoring his first series win of the season.
“We’ve been close,” shared Swindell. “Last year I don’t think we had everything we needed at the right time. Now we have a good car and a good crew and things are going well. They are giving me what I need and it shows. If they give me what I need, we’re going to have a quick car.”
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SWINDELL ATTRACTS THE CROWDS
SCR - BCM posted Monday February 22, 2010.
Last weekend at the Nanovich King of the Wings event you could tell who the crowd had turned up to see, the driver of the SJ Crushing/Oval Express/Goldstar Transport #1 Maxim – Sammy Swindell.
A large throng of people would mill about the transporter for a glimpse of the living legend, hoping to grab a photo or that all important autograph from the man himself, Swindell.
It had been a couple of busy days for Swindell prior to the two nights of racing as he went over the car with a fine tooth comb to make sure all was well with his ride. Making the Wednesday night practice session to do a few laps was just what the doctor ordered and talking to Sammy just before his first race at the Motorplex he seemed quite happy with what the SCR team had provided him with as a racecar for his Western Australian tour.
“It went pretty good (at practice), we did a few little things and tried a few things and got it going what I thought was pretty decent, so we will see how it stacks up tonight. Steve has a nice set up here, he gave me a new car to run so it all should be good, and the venue is a really nice place so it should all be cool” he said quite relaxed in the pits before the first race.
The relaxed mode though changed over the two nights as Swindell had to fight for a good result. His eleventh place time trial on opening night was converted in to a transfer during his heat, but it was in the B-Dash that all the hard work had come undone. Contact from Brooke Tatnell would see the three time World of Outlaws champion upside down and stuck in his car for some time before he could extract himself from the wreckage. He made sure Tatnell knew how he felt about the passing maneuver during the red light stoppage.
With the car repaired he returned for the preliminary night A-Main and battled it out for a ninth place finish. “We were ok it was just unfortunate that Brooke took us out of the night. The guys here fixed the car and we got back out and it wasn’t 100%, but we went out and tried to get the best we could out of it.”
The next night he felt he would have better understanding of what he would be up against both with the track and the competition. “I’m better prepared on how these guys are going to race, how the tracks going to go so we have a lot more information and experience than we had last night so we should be better. We had a good shot of a top five but at one of the restarts we got pushed out of the way again, but like I said I know what’s going on a little more now so I know what to do and where to be and how these guys are going to race so we will be better.”
“Maybe I’m a target you know, or some of these guys have something to prove. Who knows because it doesn’t matter they’ve gotta live with it and I’m gonna do the best that I can do.”
And that he did, using all his experience to use multiple lines and take everything the rest of the field could throw at him, he once again made the transfer and would start from row three in the main event.
He faced some fierce competition during the thirty lap final and had to adapt to a car that had driveline and brake problems. He fell back a handful of positions early but fought back brilliantly using all his experience to work his way past a number of cars and take out a sixth place finish.
Swindell may not have won the evening but he did make it an event, showing the prowess that has made him one of the most sought after drivers to tour Australia. He had the crowd captured from the start and performed for the fans both on and off. He still has a fire and a passion in his belly to win and that was evident over the two nights. He will head to Bunbury this weekend for the Krikke Boys Shootout with a better understanding of what is needed to compete here in W.A. and will be trying to do what he does best, to finish on top of the podium this Sunday night.
For more on Steve Caunt & the MJ Rowles team visit www.stevecaunt.com
Steve Caunt Racing & the Sammy Swindell Tour of 2010 is proudly supported by SJ Crushing, Oval Express Magazine, Goldstar Transport, Fire Service Plus, MJ Rowles & Sons, Stallard Australia, JP signs, Steve Caunt Racing, , Duren Transport, West Vic Sheds, BCM Motorsports Marketing & Promotions, Swindell Motorsports, Senter Farms Osceola USA, Krikke Boys Shootout, Perth Motorplex, Motorworld and Simpson Race Wear USA.
Release from the office of BCM Motorsports Marketing - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0419 199 125
Info by "FRMS"
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RED TAPE ALMOST DERAILS SWINDELL'S TITLE DEFENCE AT AVALON RACEWAY
Gavin White posted Tuesday February 16, 2010
With the tension mounting as the 69th Australian Speedcar Championship at Avalon Raceway quickly approach’s you could be forgiven for thinking that Kevin Swindell’s title defence would be stressful enough. Spare a thought for car owner Steven Graham who has been battling red tape and bureaucratic bungling at its finest as he tried unsuccessfully to freight Swindell’s title winning Speedcar back from New Zealand following a recent tour.
Believe it or not almost four weeks after leaving New Zealand shores the pride of the Graham family remains locked away in a shipping container in Sydney as it awaits the required permit to be released. Graham has exhausted all avenues available and has been forced to prepare the spare car for defending champion Swindell as he begins the drive for back to back Australian Speedcar Championships.
Dealing directly with the transport minister Anthony Albanese and the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS) you could have expected that help would not have been far way. An obviously frustrated Steven Graham still remains unclear about exactly who is responsible for one of his most frustrating experiences.
“Well it depends who you talk to as everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else but basically the freight forwarders are responsible I believe,” said Steven in disbelief.
“By the way they did the paperwork when the car has come back into the country, customs are now asking for a DOTARS car importing permit from Canberra.”
“The freight forwarders are only telling me now that customs never used to enforce the permit for cars that have been shipped out and are coming back in but they are starting to enforce it now.”
“I have tried absolutely everything to get this car back but nothing has worked.”
The immaculately prepared Speedcar was freighted to New Zealand in December in preparation for a whistle stop tour by one of the sports biggest drawcards. Meanwhile Swindell raced for the Graham’s at Avalon in December at the Beasley Memorial. Although the car used at Avalon was brand new it was built as a spare and with the New Zealand tour pending the car was basically stripped with parts taken with Steven when he met Swindell in New Zealand on Boxing Day.
“When we came down for the Beasley Memorial that was a brand new car because the car that Kevin won last years title in had already left for New Zealand. The New Zealand car is the one that we wanted to run this weekend because we know it so well and it has been so successful for us,” Graham lamented.
“Last week I really got the New Zealand car out of my head and started to get this car how it needs to be so hopefully we will be right.”
“We had an engine problem at Geelong in December so when we got back from the Beasley race we pulled the engine out and pulled that apart and when I went to New Zealand I pulled all the shocks off and took them with me for spares. We basically just pulled a lot of things off this particular car.”
“That was the other big problem that all my spares went to New Zealand and all my tools and everything that I needed to go to an Australian Title was locked in this container. I have since got all that stuff cleared and we got that back last week. So now it’s just the car sitting there.”
“That’s where its stupidity really isn’t it, this import permit that they’re asking for is just for the car. Everything else is just parts. What we did was unload the container and we could take all our parts and the car was put in a separate container and locked back up again.”
“My argument is that I am not importing a car. My car is returning and I just want back what is mine. It’s not a new car but you just bang your head against a brick wall.”
Initially Steven was informed that the DOTARS permit takes 17 days to process and with 25 days now elapsed there is still no sign of the championship winning Speedcar.
“DOTARS actually comes under the umbrella of the transport minister Anthony Albanese. So I contacted his office and asked if we could hurry this permit through because I need this car for the Australian Championship. I told him it’s an International event and there has been advertising for it as we have an American driver coming out who is the defending champion, everything is booked and paid for but I don’t have a race car.”
“His response was, ‘leave it with me and I will look into it.”
“Guess what? I still haven’t heard back from the transport minister or anyone from his office to this day.”
“You can’t even talk to these people, they don’t want to know you. Basically they said that I was in the queue and don’t call us again or you will be on the bottom of the pile.”
“It has been a setback but we have overcome it. I have worked late nights here for the last week because I have wasted so much time and effort trying to get this car back and get it out.”
“You have no idea how many phone calls I have made trying to get this sorted out, its very disappointing.”
Despite the setback Steven is confident that the package Swindell will have at his disposal is more than capable of winning back to back national Speedcar championships.
Swindell’s recent form has been outstanding with his performance in New Zealand capped by a back to front drive around the outside of what was generally speaking a single groove track at Auckland during the 50 Lap World Speedcar Championship.
“Yeah that was great, it was like a win really. Starting out of 17 I thought we will be lucky to go anywhere with the way the track was in the heat races. There wasn’t a lot of passing going on and it was a bit of a one lane track until he found a groove on the outside and made it work.”
Following the New Zealand tour Swindell returned to Oklahoma to contest the prestigious Chili Bowl Indoor Speedcar event that attracted over 265 entries from the world’s best drivers. Following a week long series of qualifying events that saw Swindell win his preliminary night he then scored the biggest win of his career when he won the 50 lap Chili Bowl Championship on the final night.
“That was huge for him to win that. He is a very good driver and very talented. It’s great for the Speedcars to have the Chili Bowl champion here, it couldn’t have worked out better.”
For more info contact Jeff Drew 0418 160 985 / Gavin White email email@example.com
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SWINDELL SET TO CONQUER WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Bartlett, Tennessee (January 28, 2010) - Sammy Swindell is headed west, western Australia that is. You would think a driver that has won hundreds of feature events in his driving career would have seen it all by now. However, that is not the case when he heads “Down Under” and visits Perth for a four-race schedule in February.
“King of the Wings” at Perth Motorplex and Krikke Boys Shootout at Coates Hire Bunbury City Speedway will host the 3 time World of Outlaw Champion as he sets his sites on winning the events for car owner Steve Caunt.
“If it wasn’t for Steve, none of this would have come together for me,” said Sammy. “ I have always wanted to race in that part of Australia, but it just never worked out before. I am looking forward to racing there and seeing the country. It will be a new adventure, and I can’t wait to race against the best in Western Australia.”
“They have a lot of activities planned for me which I am excited about. Besides racing, I love to fish and be out on the ocean. Also, I will be staying with Rob & Jan Brown while I’m there. I want to thank them in advance for their hospitality. Steve has worked very hard putting all this together. We definitely plan on coming into the races with strong equipment and ready to win the races,” explained Sammy.
Driving the USA #1 will be a special treat. Having heard that the Western Australia fans are some of the best in the world when it comes to motorsports, it should make for a very special couple of weeks!
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KEVIN SWINDELL CAPTURES GOLDEN DRILLER AT LUCAS OIL CHILI BOWL NATIONALS!
Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 16, 2010) – Another one of those coveted Golden Driller trophies is going back to Tennessee. This time though, it’s not in Sammy’s hands as Kevin Swindell topped Saturday night’s 50-lap Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals main event that wrapped up a full slate of Rockstar Energy Drink championship feature events atop the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway.
The 20-year-old from Germantown, TN, led the final 26 rounds to become the youngest winner in Chili Bowl Nationals history, adding a sixth Golden Driller from the prestigious Midget racing event to the Swindell family collection that already includes hardware from his father’s unmatched five wins.
After pole starter Darren Hagen and Cory Kruseman both enjoyed stints at the front of the field, Kevin Swindell took command just prior to the midway point and then survived a late caution in the hotly-contested affair that gave both Cole Whitt and a rallying Sammy Swindell one last opportunity.
“I felt like the best laps I ran all night were on the restarts, so I was somewhat confident but I knew I had to go,” the younger Swindell explained.
Swindell went on successfully to Roger Slack’s checkered flag to take the win in the Esslinger-powered John Christner Trucking No. 39 Spike in front of Whitt and his father Sammy, who rallied from the tail on several occasions after using a defending race winner’s provisional to start the main event.
“This year he (Kevin) had a race that didn’t tear up anything, this year I tore up a lot,” the five-time Chili Bowl champion explained. “But we salvaged a first and a third, so we’ll have to come back next year and try to make it a one-two like it probably could have been last year.”
After winning Wednesday night’s River Spirit Casino Qualifier, Kevin Swindell started the main event outside the front row only to fall back as far as sixth as pole starter Darren Hagen paced the early rounds.
“I wish I would of have been too tight at the beginning, but I was way too free and that really worried me and I kinda felt that I wasn’t gonna be good enough at the end,” Kevin Swindell explained.
But after Sammy Swindell was involved in tangles on laps eleven and 18 that Sammy said, “…shortened my race up too much,” Kevin made the adjustments he needed.
“The yellows at the beginning helped,” Kevin explained. “I got to work with the shocks a whole lot and just keep getting tighter and tighter. It was good enough.”
While Friday’s E3 Spark Plugs Qualifier winner Cory Kruseman had taken the lead away from Hagen on the ninth round, Cole Whitt and then Kevin Swindell set sail on the high side and began moving to the front.
Whitt battled past Hagen for second on the 20th round while Kevin Swindell moved past Jerry Coons, Jr., and Michael Pickens for fourth by the time the caution flew for a seven-car scramble in turn three in which Brad Loyet got upside down.
A lap later, Hagen’s Chili Bowl victory hopes were doused when he got turned around in turn one, handing third to Swindell.
Swindell blasted past Whitt on the restart and then took the lead away from Kruseman on the 24th lap as Whitt got shuffled back a pair of positions after an exchange with Michael Pickens on a track conducive to extreme slide job activity.
Whitt worked his way back up to second by the 31st lap and tailed the leader the rest of the way, trying to mount a charge on several occasions including after the race’s final caution set up a green-white-checkered run to the stripe.
Swindell proved too strong, with Whitt settling for second in the Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota-powered Red Bull No. 71 Bullet.
“I was trying everything I could and I couldn’t really keep up with Kevin,” Whitt explained. “We were close, if Kevin made a few mistakes I could kinda get close to him but he made only a few.”
The final restart didn’t necessarily work to Whitt’s advantage either, with the 18-year-old explaining that, “We were real good on long runs, we could build up a little air pressure in the right rear. On the restarts we’d be real, real tight on the cushion so I couldn’t really throw it in there as hard as I wanted. Running second here is huge, there’s just so many cars.”
In a bid to become the first back-to-back winner in Chili Bowl history, Sammy Swindell’s odds were long after being collected in a crash while leading Thursday night’s Bully Dog Qualifying feature event.
Rather than risk damage by racing from a “C” Main, the veteran shoe opted to utilize the defending race winner’s provisional for the main event. And by the end of the 50-lapper, Sammy had the capacity crowd on its feet as he had the lead duo in his crosshairs.
Starting from 25th, the opening rounds were rough with Sammy involved in a pair of incidents that prompted Kevin to say, “At the beginning it was easy to keep track of him because he was sittin’ there on the yellows.”
That changed soon after though. And, after dodging the seven-car scrum on lap 20, he was back in the hunt.
Sammy mixed it up among the top ten over the last 20 circuits, ultimately working his way up to third by the time the race’s final caution flew after 48 laps.
Kevin had tracked his father’s progress as good as possible, noting that, “With ten to go I saw he was sixth, and then on the green-white-checkered I could just tell by the crowd he was coming.”
Sammy’s charge for a sixth Golden Driller and second in a row came up short as he followed the young duo across the line to take the show position in the Esslinger-powered John Christner Trucking No. 1 Spike.
Jerry Coons, Jr., finished fourth in the finale for the second year in a row aboard the Wilke Pak Motorsports Toyota-powered Speedway Motors No. 4 Spike, with two-time Chili Bowl Hard Charger Award winner Chris Windom racing from 20th to a career-best event finish of fifth aboard the Keith Kunz Motorsports Esslinger-powered No. 17 Bullet.
Shane Cottle raced from 15th to sixth, with Mike Hess charging from 22nd to seventh. After leading from laps nine through 23, Kruseman was shuffled back to eighth at the finish, with Brad Sweet gaining eight positions to finish ninth in his first career Chili Bowl championship feature start. Sweet bested car owner and teammate Kasey Kahne, who finished 18th after winning the first “B” Main.
After winning the night’s second “B” Main, Kyle Larson completed the top ten in one of two Cory Tucker Racing/BCI entries to crack the feature field.
New Zealand car owner Simon Longdill matched Kasey Kahne Racing, Keith Kunz Motorsports, Swindell Motorsports and Corey Tucker Racing/BCI by placing two entries in the championship finale with Michael Pickens finishing eleventh and 20th-runner Brad Mosen the event’s top finishing Chili Bowl rookie contender.
Saturday’s Rockstar Energy Drink Championship Feature Events from the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals
A Main (50 Laps) : 1. #39 Kevin Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, CA; 3. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 4. #5 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, AZ; 5. #17 Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 6. #1ST Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 7. #51 Mike Hess, Springfield, IL; 8. #21K Cory Kruseman, Ventura, CA; 9. #49 Brad Sweet, Grass Valley, CA; 10. #39I Kyle Larson, Elk Grove, CA; 11. #88NZ Michael Pickens, Auckland, NZ; 12. #17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 13. #75B Brent Beauchamp, Fairland, IN; 14. #1T Tony Roney, Herculaneum, MO; 15. #401 Daniel Adler, East Carondolet, IL; 16. #3 Darren Hagen, Riverside, CA; 17. #4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 18. #91X Kasey Kahne, Enumclaw, WA; 19. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 20. 19NZ Brad Mosen, Auckland, NZ; 21. #2T Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA; 22. #39C Shane Golobic, Fremont, CA; 23. #5D Zach Daum, Pocahontas, IL; 24. #13 Danny Stratton, Indianapolis, IN; 25. #30 Chad Boat, Phoenix, AZ
SWINDELL TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA, NOW BECOMES A REALITY
It's finally happening, American Sprintcar legend Sammy Swindell is to race in Western Australia during February 2010.
Thanks to Steve Caunt Racing, Fire Service Plus, MJ Rowles and Sons Landscaping Supplies & Steve Crabbe of SJ Crushing, Swindell is making his way to the west for the "King of the Wings" at the Perth Motorplex & Krikke Boys Shootout at Coates Hire Bunbury City Speedway.
In a deal that had Swindell jumping at the chance to head west, Caunt has decided to step aside from his ACT #9 to give Swindell the best gear available for these two races. Swindell will run the familiar USA1 livery with support from SCR Sponsors, Steve Caunt racing will be helped by regular crew chief Garry Laneryrie and spanner man Matt Brown, and Swindell will be hosted for the 2 weeks by Rob and Jan Brown at their Byford property in Perth’s southern suburbs.
Gavin Migro was very happy with the deal for Swindell to visit WA & had this to say “The Perth Motorplex is proud to announce that Western Australian Speedway fans will finally get the opportunity to witness living Sprintcar Legend Sammy Swindell in action on the high banks of the Kwinana Beach venue for the 28th Annual Sprintcar King of Wings over two huge nights on the 19th and 20th February 2010. Thanks to Fire Service Plus Racing’s Steve Caunt for his effort in putting together the deal that see’s Swindell doing battle in the west which is a major coup for WA Speedway fans. Long time supporter of WA Sprintcar Racing Team, and American drivers in particular, Sean Carren from Gold Star Transport has thrown his weight behind having “Slamin” Sammy in his home town with some sponsorship assistance of the USA #1 car”.
Bunbury Speedway promoter Andrew Roberts was just as elated to have Swindell attend the 2010 Krikke Boys Shootout saying "We have had some great drivers over the years, with some very exciting Americans attending, but to have one of the world's best in Swindell attend one of Australia's greatest events is just the icing on the cake. He may be the first American to win the Krikke Boys Race and would like to thank Phil & Michelle Jordison from Oval Express Magazine whom are our Wing Sponsor for this event, for helping us make this deal come together as without their support this may not have happened"
Headlining the deal for Caunt & Swindell was the generous support of Steve and Janette Crabbe of SJ Crushing in Mandurah Western Australia. When Crabbe first got wind of this tour coming together he was very quick to put his hand up to be a part of the experience. Steve was quoted recently saying to Brian Chalmers of BCM Motorsports Marketing "Sammy Swindell is one of the best in the world and for us at SJ Crushing to be a part of this was exciting. We considered all options that Steve Caunt & BCM presented to us and decided on the best outcome that suited us. I can’t wait for all this to get going"
SJ Crushing was established in 2005 as a designer, constructor and operator to Aztec Resources Koolan Island Iron Ore Crushing Plant. Since the practical completion of the Koolan Iron Ore project in July of 2007 on the remote Koolan Island over 4,000,000 tons of high grade ore has been shipped. SJ Crushing have the experience and expertise in both mine and infrastructure development to ensure client satisfaction. They have extensive experience in crushing services, beneficiation plants, combustible and flammable goods storage, project management and facility operations.
When Steve Caunt first suggested this idea to me he was without a doubt pumped about the prospect of pulling this idea off. Caunt is fast becoming a recognized name in Australian speedway as a driver and ca owner as well. He has previously had American Travis Senter drive for him as well as locals Max Dumesny, Ian Loudoun, Matt Brown and Ryan Farrell just to name a few. He is a man that pours his heart and soul into the sport and this Swindell deal has to be one of his biggest wins off the track.
Thanks goes out to the Perth Motorplex & Bunbury Speedway for allowing Sammy Swindell the opportunity to display his talents as one of the world’s best Sprintcar drivers to all WA race fans.
Sammy Swindell arrives in Sydney just prior to the first event at the Perth Motorplex and will be available for a press conference at Sydney Airport at a date and time to be confirmed.
There will be limited edition Sammy Swindell Western Australian Tour 2010 T-shirts for sale at both events courtesy of Arizona Tee Shirt Co from Indianapolis Usa.
All Sammy Swindell appearance and sponsorship enquires should be directed to team owner Steve Caunt by telephone on 0418 612 300 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org while all PR and media enquiries are to be directed to BCM Motorsport Marketing by e-mail email@example.com or telephone 0419 199 125
Steve Caunt Racing & the Sammy Swindell Tour of 2010 is proudly supported by SJ Crushing, Fire Service Plus, MJ Rowles & Sons, Stallard Australia , JP signs, Steve Caunt Racing, Oval Express Magazine, Duren Transport, West Vic Sheds, BCM Motorsports Marketing & Promotions, Swindell Motorsports, Senter Farms Osceola USA, Krikke Boys Shootout, Perth Motorplex, Goldstar Transport Motorworld and Simpson Race Wear USA.
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KEVIN SWINDELL WINS WEDNESDAY NIGHT CHILI BOWL QUALIFIER
Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 13, 2010) - Kevin Swindell snared his first taste of Chili Bowl glory by wiring the field in Wednesday night's 25-lap River Spirit Casino Qualifying Showdown main event at the QuikTrip Center's Tulsa Expo Raceway.
Swindell, the son of five-time and defending Chili Bowl champion Sammy Swindell, outdueled Cole Whitt for the lead in the opening rounds and led all the way to the checkered flag with Whitt in tow, as tenth-starter Brad Kuhn nipped Tim McCreadie at the stripe for the third and final lock-in position to Saturday night’s 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals 50-lap championship main event.
Eighteen-year-old Whitt earned the pole position for the feature event by racing from eighth to win his heat race with a last corner pass and then charging from sixth to win his qualifying race.
However, it was front row outside starter Swindell taking advantage of the topside to take command before the caution flew on consecutive occasions with two laps in the books that sent contenders Josh Ford and Bryan Clauson to the tail of the field.
The 20-year-old Swindell weathered another pair of cautions after laps five and 14 before racing to the checkered flag aboard the Esslinger-powered John Christner Trucking No. 39 Spike.
“Every time we got to traffic and I would of had to start moving around, the yellow came out,” Swindell explained. “Everything kinda worked out and I managed to limit the mistakes on the cushion.”
Whitt kept Swindell in his sights throughout but was never able to mount a serious challenge in the Toyota-powered Keith Kunz Motorsports No. 71 Red Bull Bullet.
“I wanted to get into traffic,” Whitt commented. “But, then again, being at the Chili Bowl second is still great. Getting in the A Main was our goal tonight.”
Behind the lead duo, the battle for the third and final lock-in position to Saturday night’s 50-lap finale was fierce. While 2006 Chili Bowl champion Tim McCreadie held the third position much of the way, 2009 USAC National Midget champion Brad Kuhn worked his way past Daniel Adler and A.J. Fike for fourth soon after the lap 14 caution and went to work on McCreadie.
Late Model and DIRT Modified ace McCreadie and midgeteer Kuhn traded sliders over the final handful of laps with Kuhn nipping the New Yorker for the show position at the stripe by mere inches.
“I knew I had him at the line,” Kuhn commented.
McCreadie settled for fourth in the Wilke Pak Motorsports No. 11w, with Brad Sweet rounding out the top five in the Kasey Kahne Racing No. 49.
Adler and Fike crossed the stripe sixth and seventh, respectively, with Jonathan Beason charging from 17th to eighth. National Midget Driver of the Year Bryan Clauson rebounded from his early incident to claim ninth, with Brandon Waelti completing the top ten.
McCreadie, Whitt, Fike, Sweet, Clauson, Swindell, Davey Ray and Kuhn topped Wednesday’s heat race action that included 62 competitors, with Whitt, McCreadie, Clauson and Kevin Bayer winning the qualifying races.
Mike Spencer and Gary Taylor won the twin “C” Mains, with Beason and Casey Shuman topping the twin “B” Mains.
Shane Cockrum and Taylor both got upside down in the second heat race, Nick O’Neal flipped in “C” Main action and Brian Carter turned over as the checkered flag flew on the first “B” Main. There were no injuries.
Four Chili Bowl rookie contenders cracked the feature field, including Tyler Edwards, Cockrum, Dusty Zomer and Australia’s Brad Cox. Cockrum fared the best in the feature with a 13th place showing after Edwards battled amongst the top five much of the way before losing power and coming to a stop on the track to bring out the lap 14 caution.
Action at the 24th Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals resumes with Thursday night’s Bully Dog Qualifier, with racing action set to go green at 6:00 p.m.
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COONS JR WINS 50 LAPPER AND SERIES
American Jerry Coons Jr won his first 50-Lap World Midget Championship on Saturday night at Western Springs Speedway, and in the process also won the 2010 Samsung International World Midget Series. To complete the trifecta, he was also the top individual points scorer in the Ampro Midget Test Series on Wednesday night, picking up the prestigious Herman Tros Memorial Shield for the first time as well.
USAC Triple Crown winner Coons also won another 50 lap World Championship for car owner Danny Lendich, who provided cars for nine-time 50 lap winner Sleep Tripp for so many years at Western Springs. Coons dominated this years World Series with two wins, the first coming on the first night on December 26.
The first caution amazingly came out for this years 50 lapper on lap 41 of 50, with Coons Jr controlling the lead after passing polesitter Michael Pickens and Michael Kendall. Pickens retired with a broken differential. Kevin Swindell was the big mover in a quality field, having started from grid seventeen. He worked the highline on a flat Western Springs surface and worked his way into second behind his compatriot at the chequered flag. Reigning Champ Brad Mosen was running fourth into the final lap and cruely suffered a flat right rear tyre that dropped him back, not only in the results for the 50 in thirteenth, but it also cost him second in the World Series as well.
Coons won from Swindell, with first Kiwi home Michael Kendall in third. Shaun Insley finished fourth, followed by Tony Elliott, Shane Alach, Michael Brunt, Scott Hatton, Bill Clarkson Jr, and Lance Beale completing the top ten.
Michael Pickens was the top qualifer in the time trials setting a best lap of 14.311 seconds. Lance Beale won the semi-main, while Tony Elliott won the 'B' Dash, and Pickens won the 'A' Dash to start the 50 lapper from pole.
Samsung Midget World Series Points (Top 6): (1) 3USA Jerry Coons Jnr - 127 Points (2) 1USA Kevin Swindell - 83 points (3) 13 Brad Mosen - 78 points (4) 77 Shaun Insley - 70 points (5) 17K Michael Brunt - 69 points (6) 75 Bill Clarkson Jnr - 56 points
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ROUND 1 OF INTERNATIONAL MIDGET WORLD SERIES AUDIO WEBCAST NOW AVAILABLE ON THE DIRT TRACK CHANNEL.COM
Bonus webcast for the International 410 Sprint Car Series feature
Contact: Shawn T. Wood firstname.lastname@example.org
SELINSGROVE, PA – The opening round audio webcast for the 2009-2010 International Midget World Series and International Sprint Car Series from Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand are now available for fans to listen to.
The webcast can be found at http://www.thedirttrackchannel.com/Webcast.html .
All broadcast are free of charge and registration.
The next broadcast airs on December 30.
410 sprint car drivers from the US are Jonathan Allard, Sammy Swindell and Ricky Logan.
Representing the US in the midgets are Scott Hatton, Jerry Coons, Jr., Tony Elliott and Kevin Swindell
Websites:The Dirt Track Channel: http://www.thedirttrackchannel.com
Webcast page: http://thedirttrackchannel.com/Webcast.html
Springs Speedway: http://www.springsspeedway.com/
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MARK BROWN WINS BEASLEY AT AVALON RACEWAY
By Gavin White
December 20, 2009 - Sydney Speedcar supremo Mark Brown captured victory in the 23rd running of the prestigious Beasley Speedcar Memorial on Saturday night, December 19th at Geelong's Avalon Raceway when he outrun a strong field. Brown didn't have it all his own way however as young American and reigning Austrailian Speedcar champion Kevin Swindell was the race long leader before engine woes eliminated him from the event.
Apart from the racing action Santa was also flown onto the infield by helicopter highlighting a huge night at Avalon Raceway with a special appearance also by Swindell in what was a whistle stop tour before heading to New Zealand to compete.
Swindell was simply awesome in the pair of heat races as he won both working his way methodically to the front on each occasion. Starting the final from the front row with Darren Power alongside, Swindell shot to the lead and looked as though he was on his way to a commanding performance. Brown, Peter Ghent and South Australian Tim Crouch were all working their way toward the minor placings while Mike Rinkin, Harley Bishop and Andy Pearce were also in the mix. It didn't take the 20-year-old American long to settle into a rhythm before he slowed and went infield mid race before a stunned audience.
Brown was left at the front and showed once again how masterful he is around Avalon Raceway as he cruised to the impressive win over Ghent, Pearce, Crouch and Rinkin. Brown's performance ensured he improved from a recent run of minor podium finishes while he also secured his fourth win in the Beasley Memorial in race record time.
Right from hot laps all eyes were on young Swindell with fans given a glimpse of his talents throughout the night. Barry and Steven Graham prepared a brand new Spike for Swindell this weekend while the team is now keen to rebound in February with their Australian title defence on the line.
Greg Milthorpe was celebrating his 60th Birthday on Friday while his son Steve drove an excellent race to win the V8 Dirt Modified feature. Milthorpe backed up his earlier feature win this season with another awesome display following a win and a fourth in his heat races. With the race shortened by 3 laps, fans were disappointed due to the fact that Daryl Hickson was running the extreme outside of the venue closing quickly on the leader. Hickson would in fact have to settle for second behind Milthorpe while Aaron Trotter moved up to third ahead of Lloyd Hobson. Matt Giffen was the only other heat race winner. Local Modified Production Sedan hero Justin Drew subbed in the Murray Atkin owned #16 and acquitted himself well while Trevor Perry was also exciting to watch with his highline antics also entertaining to watch.
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SWINDELL SCHEDULES AUSTRALIAN RETURN!
December 1, 2009- Graham Racing Developments has today proudly announced the scheduled return of reigning Australian Speedcar Champion Kevin Swindell from the United States, having booked to run the Victorian Beasley Memorial at Avalon Raceway on December 19th.
Once again stepping behind the wheel of the immaculate AU1 Spike/Barry Graham Hawk out of NSW, Swindell will compete at the Beasley event before flying to New Zealand for the International Midget series.
"Kevin could potentially be flying the flag for both his native United States and Australia in New Zeland this season as we'll be proudly running the AU1 on the car throughout his NZ tour," said an enthusiastic Steven Graham, an ex-Australian Speedcar Champion himself.
Swindell's previous visit to Australia in April, provided Sydney race fans with one of the best Speedcar races seen, having twice come from the tail of the field in the Gleeman Truck Parts 50 Lap Speedcar Classic! Unfortunately a shredded right rear tyre took the Aussie Champion of contention in the closing laps, so he will no doubt be ready to correct that outcome by taking on the Victorians in their blue ribbon event.
Competing in the Beasley Memorial will also notch in the final qualifying run for the American star, allowing him to return to Avalon in February to defend his Australian Champion crown.
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A HELUVA GOOD! FINISH FOR KEVIN SWINDELL
June 26, 2009 - Kevin Swindell, one of the top young talents in Nascar, finished third after a classic battle at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Friday, in the Heluva Good! Summer 125.
In only his third career start in the Nascar Camping World East Series, the 20-year-old who makes his home in Mooresville, North Carolina, drove the Curb Records, Dave Davis Motorsports Dodge, to an impressive third place finish.
After qualifying third, Kevin dropped back a few spots in the early stages of the race, waiting on the first pit stop to make needed adjustments. A fuel-only stop brought him out in second place and on the restart on lap 69, passed race leader Eddie McDonald and paced the field for 10 laps. With many teams stopping on the next caution and taking tires, Kevin’s crew decided to wait and have an advantage in the later stages of the race. With track position being so important, they chose to gamble and go all the way on the same set of tires. It paid off, as he was able to hold on and bring home a third place finish.
“It started off way out of the racetrack, so we stopped early. We thought if we waited to get tires, we would have an advantage, but we saw we would get buried in the field so we made our bed when everyone else stopped. We tried to hang on,” said Kevin in the post-race interview. “I felt like I was better that the 18 car, he was about even with us with 30 to go. I’m still learning about restarts, I finally got the last one perfect. They, Truex and Dibenedetto, were definitely the better cars at the end; we were just out of tires.”
For the complete finish of the race, videos, and post race interviews, please go to www.Nascarhometracks.com.
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KEVIN SWINDELL TAKES 8th ANNUAL USAC KNOXVILLE MIDGET NATIONALS
"It was a great night", Swindell said. "I looked up with 5 to go, and told myself to just keep pushing. I saw he was having trouble on the bottom, but couldn't believe how fast I caught him. I've always wanted to win here. Thanks to all my guys at Keith Kunz Motorsports."
Kevin's next races in the USAC National Midget will be June 10-14 for Midget week in Indiana.
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SAMMY SWINDELL MASTERS KNOXVILLE RACEWAY CLASSIC
By Bob Wilson
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (May 29) Sammy Swindell of Bartlett Tennessee captured the 17th annual Masters Classic at Knoxville Raceway Friday night. The Classic is the annual National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Musuem’s race for those drivers who are 50 years of age or older and has become an integral part of their Induction weekend activities.
Swindell, who started in the front row, jumped to the immediate lead when he roared out of turn two on the first lap. He was chased early on by Gary Wright who started right behind him. Swindell moved into lap traffic on the fifth circuit, thus allowing Wright to close in on his rear nerf bar.
Both drivers put on exciting performances dicing through traffic in this 24-car field as neither driver seemed to falter in this early going. It was lap 10 that saw Wright make his move on Swindell as he roared into turn three beside the bottom-hugging leader. As they headed toward turn four, Swindell was slowed by a lap car and Wright took the lead.
At this point, the race had become a two-car battle. Though both cars were still in lap traffic, third place Kenny Jacobs was unable to stay with them. Then, just as Wright headed for the flag stand at the end of lap 14, he slowed allowing Swindell to take the lead. The yellow was displayed as Wright stopped in turn two the victim of a broken fuel pump.
When the race resumed, Swindell was chased by Jacobs who soon faltered. By lap 20 Swindell could claim a full straightaway lead, but he nearly lost it when he became sideways in turn four as he headed to the white flag. After he corrected the move he continued on around the half-mile oval to take the $3,000 first place prize money. Jacobs claimed second and $2,000 and Chuck Swenson was third for $1,500. Fourth went to the defending champion Randy Smith($1,200) and claiming fifth was Joe McCarthy ($1,000). Completing the top ten finishers were Judy Bates, Greg Rilat, Ed Neumeister, Terry Alexander and Allen Unruh.
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PICKENS LEADS THE CHARGE IN ANZAC DAY 50 LAP CLASSIC
Posted Sunday, 26 April 2009 by TPCR PR
In front of a huge crowd New Zealand’s Michael Pickens fought off all challengers to take victory in the Gleeman Truck Parts 50 lap Classic from compatriots Shaun Insley and Brad Mosen. The racing on track left the crowd spellbound as the leading competitors threw caution to the wind on a trying track that produced the most spectacular racing seen at the venue for some time.
Pickens led for thirty nine of the fifty laps but the victory did not come easy as he had to fight off numerous challengers including a very determined current Australian Champion, USA’s Kevin Swindell. Swindell whom flew into Australia especially for the event thrilled the crowd as he chased Pickens with dogged determination before succumbing to a deflating left rear late in the race.
At the start it was Queensland’s Sean Burrows who took the early lead from Mick Harders (QLD) and Darren Jenkins.
Mark Brown who started from position sixteen was the big mover in the first few laps, by the second lap he had moved his way into second position passing the majority of the field on the top edge of the track. Unfortunately Brown succumbed to mechanical failure on lap three and pulled off the back straight and returned to the pits.
While Brown returned to the pits Pickens took over second position after carving his way through the field from his seventeenth starting position. Anthony Brien was showing great car speed once again and sat in behind Swindell in third position.
Meanwhile Swindell was moving forward at a rapid rate whilst Shaun Insley and Brad Mosen were having their own battle back in the pack.
On lap nine Neville Lance brought on the yellows after spinning to a stop in turn 3.
At the restart Swindell made a spectacular move around the outside of Pickens before the yellows came on negating the move.
On the next restart Pickens moved to the top of the track in turn one blocking Swindell from making an outside pass.
The two maintained their positions until lap seventeen when Pickens slid over the top of turn one allowing Swindell to make the pass. One lap later Pickens moved back by Swindell as they began to open a gap between them and their nearest competitors.
On lap twenty-three the red lights came on after Mick harders took a heavy roll in turn one. He emerged from the car with sore knees, but otherwise ok.
At the restart it was Pickens from Swindell, Insley and Mosen.
Insley made a sensational move at the restart passing both Swindell and Pickens to take the lead.
One lap later Swindell recovered the lead and began to open a gap on his rivals. On lap twenty eight Brien and Burrows came together and spun on turn three right in front of the leader. Unfortunately Swindell had nowhere to go and had to spin to a stop to avoid crashing into the two stationary cars.
Swindell had to go to the rear of the field courtesy of the stoppage.
Within four laps Swindell had fought his way back into third position behind Pickens and Mosen. Swindell thrilled the crowd making passing manoeuvres’ that had to be seen to believed.
Meanwhile Neville Lance, Anthony Brien and Tim Evans were having a battle of their own.
Pickens, Swindell, Mosen and Insley continued to trade positions before Pickens opened up a slight gap on Swindell.
With eight laps to go Swindell began to slow with a deflating left rear tyre and one lap later came to a stop on the back straight. He returned to the pits but not before given a rousing round of applause from an appreciative crowd.
Pickens held sway over the final laps from fellow New Zealander’s Insley and Mosen. Anthony Brien was the first aussie home in fourth position followed by Tim Evans, Brock Dean, Peter Bourke and Troy Jordan rounding out the finishers.
Earlier in the night Kevin Swindell took victory in the International challenge event.
Heat race victories went to Brien, Pickens, Insley, Troy Jenkins and Dene McAllen.
Rod Bright took the honours in the B Main.
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KEVIN SWINDELL; AUSTRALIA NUMBER ONE BACK IN OZ FOR 50 LAPPER!
Posted Wednesday, 15 April 2009 by NSW Speedcar Committee
He’s BACK! America’s own young gun throttle-stomper and reigning Australian Speedcar Champion, Kevin Swindell; has today nominated for the Gleeman Truck Parts 50 Lap Speedcar Classic at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway!
Heading back Down Under after smashing the competition at the Australian Title held in Murray Bridge in January; Swindell will once again step behind the wheel of the immaculate Steven Graham Spike/Barry Graham Hawk machinery, but this time as AU1!
No rookie when it comes to racing at TPCR, Kevin became the youngest driver in the history of the World of Outlaws Sprintcar series to score a top 10 finish in a feature event, after finishing 6th during WoO Down Under at TPCR in 2005 at the age of 15!
“I’m really looking forward to racing the Midget in Sydney as Australia number one” said the Tennessee hard-charger. “I’m proud to be carrying the #1 and understand its significance in Australia”.
Thanks to the coalition effort of Steven Graham, Speedcars Australia, Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway and superb Speedcar sponsor Cyril Robinson; Swindell makes his return to Australian shores for the one night of fastest to the rear Speedcar action on Saturday April 25th.
“Having Kevin come back to Australia to race at TPCR is a massive coup for the 50 Lapper event” said TPCR Promoter Steve Green. “With Kevin, the number of top New Zealanders and the amount of talented local drivers from across Australia, this event is going to be the best Speedcar show of the season”.
To date, 39 competitors have nominated for the Gleeman Truck Parts 50 Lap Speedcar Classic including USA’s Swindell, five New Zealander’s, eleven interstaters and twenty-two local heroes; all set to hit the track on ANZAC day, Saturday 25th April.
Watch this space as more news comes to hand!
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SWINDELL, A MASTER AT 19
By Murray Bridge PR
Forty Six Speedcars including four of America's best worked the Moore Engineering, Murray Bridge Speedway over the long weekend, and not a sole would have left the venue unimpressed!
In the end, it was the amicable American Youngster, Kevin Swindell who took out the top honours and is the 2009 Australian Speedcar Champion. Swindell, son of Sammy Swindell, the recent Chilli Bowl winner, holds the record for being the youngest ever WOO's Feature winner at 17 yrs of age, and the youngest ever to score a top 10 finish in WOO's at Parramatta Speedway, at the age of 15.
Going into the 40 lap final race, the 19 year old sat on 95 out of a possible 100 points, and from the minute a "shot was fired in anger" for the first round of heats on Saturday night, Swindell never looked like he was going to faulter. A "busy" driver by any standards, Swindell drives his midget by the absolute seat of his pants, and I don't think I have seen a world class competitor so busy behind the steering wheel.
It can be said that motor racing can come down to luck, which it does at times, but the Graham Team and Kevin Swindell made their own luck all weekend, by simply being very good.
A large crowd supported the event on both racing nights, and visitors came from every state in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, to witness the running of the 67th Australian Speedcar Title, and none were disappointed.
Following Kevin Swindell home was fellow American, Brad Kuhn, and legendary Aussie competitor "Big Rev Nev", Neville Lance. Fourth place went to another American in Jerry Coon's Jr. Mark "Browndog" Brown managed to salvage 5th spot, after being as high as 3rd at 3/4 race distance. The top Kiwi competitor home was Jimi Quinn in 12th position.
Defending Australian National Midget Champion, Davey Ray (USA SA/71) went into the "A" Main in his lonely position of 21st, (due to the fact that he (Ray) had recorded zero points,and was given the option to run off the back as defending champion), after a weekend I believe he would rather forget. Ray told me on the infield, after his car refused to take part in the 3rd round of heats.."I am really p....d over this. I came here for success and I don't go anywhere to make up numbers!".
Both Ray and Coon's Jr. commented on the track "not being like they had been told it would be", and both wanted to see more racing lines made available. Immediately prior to the "A" Main, drivers were invited to the pit gate by the chief steward and asked the question.."What do you want done with the track"? It was Todd Wanless that stated.." Nothing, leave it as it is, it will come on". And come on it did. The final race saw Swindell and Kuhns, Lance, Brown and Coon's Jr, "up-stairs and down-stairs" as they went through lapped traffic, almost totally unhindered.
Davey Ray, after coming out of position 21, made it to 5th by using the outside of the 390 mtr clay way, until he unceremoniously smacked the wall in turn 4.
Many patrons probably had no idea that the Murray Bridge venue was being used as a stage for some of the worlds best "Midget" drivers, and it wouldn't have taken them too long to realise that they were about to witness two nights of some of the best dirt track racing seen in Australia for a long time!
Fresh from the worlds most renowned speedcar event, The Chilli Bowl, a 1/4 mile, indoor event, held in Tulsa Oklahoma in the USA, where over 280 speedcar competitors were fighting it out, these likeable Americans showed our local and interstate drivers what being at a 'new level' was all about.
Local driver, Tim Crouch managed a win in the heats, then got caught up in a scuffle and rolled his car in heat 2. After missing heat 3, Crouch managed to claw his way into the "A" main by winning the "B" main. Sadly for Crouch, he took a shunt in the rear during the "A" main, and spun. Being a gentleman and not wanting to "get in their way", Crouch made the decision to withdraw.
All the "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi oi" in the world was not going to stop the American Invasion, although Neville Lance did his best to keep the title here in Oz.
The Americans were very complimentary towards the venue and its management, the fan's and the facilities, and after coming out of snowy conditions in the US, all enjoyed the "warmth" of Murray Bridge.
"Midget Racing" is certainly alive and well in Oz, and it would be great to have the calibre of Swindell and Co here more often!
Congratulations got to the Murray Bridge Club, SASA, Murray Bridge Glass,Bridge Motors, the officials and volunteers, and of course the supportive fans, who together, made this Australia Day Long Weekend, one to remember for a long time.
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KEVIN SWINDELL CAPTURES AUSTRALIAN SPEEDCAR CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
January 26, 2009 - Making his Australian debut at Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia, American Kevin Swindell not only captured the Speedcar National Title race, but also did so in convincing fashion.
Driving for Barry and Steven Graham, and sponsored by Richard Petty Driving Experience, Supershox, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, and Valvoline, with Hawk power, Swindell absolutely put on a driving clinic.
With a tough format of four qualifying races to run, Kevin finished an amazing first, second, first, and first, plus won two pole scramble events to earn the front row starting position. At the drop of the green flag in the Title race, it was all Swindell, leading the entire distance, lapping cars and getting an impressive victory over the top Australian and American drivers.
“We were so excited to have Kevin come to Australia,” said Graham. “It’s hard to imagine there could be a more perfect two days of racing than Kevin had. This is such an important race for us, rich in the history of Australian Motorsports. To be only 19, he was just incredible.”
“I was honored to be asked to drive for the Graham’s and Richard Petty Driving Experience. Steven won this race in 2005, and I am so happy to be able to bring the car owner championship back to them. The car was perfect each time we went out, and it let me drive wherever I needed to pass cars. It was an awesome event,” said Kevin.
Australian press called him “fast”, “patient”, and “perfect”. With the song “Born in the USA” blasting in the background, Swindell was crowned the 2009 Australian Speedcar Champion!
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SAMMY SWINDELL GETS ONE FOR THE THUMB WITH 5TH CHILI BOWL WIN!
Lonnie Wheatley, TULSA, Okla. (January 17, 2009) – Sammy Swindell put the finishing touches on a perfect week by racing to victory lane in Saturday night's 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals presented by General Tire 50-lap championship feature event, besting an event record of 281 competitors.
After slipping back as far as fifth for a brief moment at the race's midway point, the Tennessee shoe took to the upper reaches of the QuikTrip Center's ¼-mile Tulsa Expo Raceway clay oval and blitzed to the head of the pack in short order, taking the lead away from Tracy Hines on the 34th circuit.
"To pull this off the way we did, to be undefeated here in every race, it was fun," Swindell commented afterward. "We had a great car and a lot of good fortune that we didn't get in trouble, and didn't tear up anything or get banged around."
Swindell survived a set of cautions in the final handful of circuits along with a foray or two above the turns one and two cushion to capture an unprecedented fifth Chili Bowl title and the coveted Golden Driller trophy that goes along with it.
Swindell was chased to the line by Hines, with Brad Kuhn making a last-corner move around Jerry Coons, Jr., to snare the show position. J.J. Yeley rounded out the top five.
The triumph, his first since reeling off four wins over the stretch from 1989 to 1998, capped an undefeated week of competition for "Slammin' Sammy" aboard the unique Esslinger-powered Venture Racing/ARIENCO/John Christner Trucking No. 1 Spike that sported an old-school appearing super modified tail tank.
Swindell opened the week with a Race of Champions victory on Tuesday and then swept Wednesday night's card with wins in heat race, qualifying race and main event competition to establish himself as a strong favorite in Saturday night's finale.
"Sometimes you can really get in trouble when you have a car that's really good," Swindell explained. "This place here is a little bit of momentum and rhythm, if I can get in that one little zone there I don't make many mistakes."
For the first half of Saturday's finale, third-starter Swindell was chasing front row starters Hines and Coons, who paced the initial 26 circuits that ran off in rapid fire fashion with the only interruption a lap 19 spin in turn four by Josh Ford.
While Coons led from the outset, Hines persistently pressured for the lead with Swindell, Kuhn and Levi Jones in pursuit. A Hines bobble exiting turn two on the tenth round briefly moved Swindell into second, only to have Hines battle back by two laps later as the leaders worked the tail of the field.
The pace continued after the lap 19 caution, with Hines taking quick advantage to take the lead by ducking underneath a Coons' push exiting turn four on the 27th lap.
Meanwhile, Swindell turned up the jets after slipping behind Kuhn and then Jones. "I tried to slow down a time or two and slowed down too much."
Stepping up the pace, Swindell quickly negated Jones' move and took to the top side of the track, blasting by Kuhn, then Coons and then Hines on successive laps to take command on the 34th circuit.
"I wanted to have a car that was good the second half, I was just waiting for everyone to get comfortable on the bottom and it left me the top open," Swindell explained. "I just caught it right at the right time, I played my cards good."
Despite narrowly missing a Donnie Ray Crawford spin on the 37th lap, surviving a perilous trip into the cushion on the 47th lap and three late cautions, Swindell raced to Roger Slack's checkered flag without challenge over the final 17 rounds.
Hines and Coons battled for runner-up honors behind the lapped cars separating them from Swindell in the final rounds, with 2005 Chili Bowl king Hines finally taking runner-up honors in Tony Stewart's Kistler-powered Chevy/Bass Pro Shops No. 21 Spike.
"Basically, we just didn't tighten the race car up enough," Hines explained afterward. "We did exactly what we wanted to do, it just wasn't enough."
Salt was added to the Coons wound when Brad Kuhn battled by in the final corner to take the show position in the Toyota-powered RW Motorsports No. 17b Beast, bettering his previous best Chili Bowl finish of fourth in 2006.
Coons settled for fourth in the Toyota-powered Wilke-PAK Motorports Speedway Motors No. 11 Spike, his best career Chili Bowl finish in a dozen tries.
J.J. Yeley rounded out the top five in Cruz Pedregon's Toyota-powered Odyssey Batteries No. 1J Spike by nipping Dave Darland at the line by inches. Darland settled for sixth, with Chris Windom charging from 23rd to seventh in his second Chili Bowl championship feature start.
Cole Whitt climbed from 17th to eighth, with Steve Buckwalter edging Brad Loyet at the line for ninth.
Loyet's tenth-place showing aboard one of three Loyet Motorsports entries in the finale was the best of a handful of drivers that made the cut for their first career Chili Bowl championship feature event including Gary Taylor (12th), Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (14th), Thomas Meseraull (16th) and Chad Kemenah (25th).
Saturday's 23rd Annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire Championship Feature Results
Main (50 laps) 1. #1 Sammy Swindell, Germantown, TN; 2. #21 Tracy Hines, Greenfield, IN; 3. #17B Brad Kuhn, Avon, IN; 4. #11 Jerry Coons Jr., Tucson, AZ; 5. #1J J.J. Yeley, Phoenix, AZ; 6. #5 Dave Darland, Lincoln, IN; 7. #17 Chris Windom, Canton, IL; 8. #71 Cole Whitt, Alpine, CA; 9. #25 Steve Buckwalter, Royersford, PA; 10. #05 Brad Loyet, Sunset Hills, MO; 11. #37X Casey Shuman, Tempe, AZ; 12. #5* Gary Taylor, Sapulpa, OK; 13. #05S Jon Stanbrough, Avon, IN; 14. #132 Ricky Stenhouse, Olive Branch, MS; 15. #4 Bobby East, Brownsburg, IN; 16. #2A Thomas Meseraull, San Jose, CA; 17. #55 Donnie Ray Crawford, Tulsa, OK; 18. #05H Jesse Hockett, Warsaw, MO; 19. #2S Damion Gardner, Pittsboro, IN; 20. #21P Daryn Pittman, Owasso, OK; 21. #86 Justin Allgaier, Cornelius, NC; 22. #73 Josh Ford, Oxnard, CA; 23. #1S Shane Cottle, Kokomo, IN; 24. #20 Levi Jones, Olney, IL; 25. #8K Chad Kemenah, Alvada, OH
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SWINDELL ON THE MOVE AS HE TRIES TO GET A FIRM FOOTHOLD
Future Star: Future uncertain for GEM development driver
By Raygan Swan, NASCAR.COM
September 30, 2008 - Twice, Kevin Swindell's racing career has taken him away from his family's house in Germantown, Tenn., but the sport he loves has yet to provide a permanent home.
Swindell, a 19-year-old development driver for Gillett Evernham Motorsports, moved to North Carolina in January to be close to NASCAR's hub in Mooresville, near rows and rows of top-notch race shops.
The year prior, Swindell moved to Indiana to be close to the Kasey Kahne Racing shop in Brownsburg as he competed in the USAC Series as part of his development program with GEM.
Racing go-karts and Quarter Midgets since he was 5, Swindell is accustomed to life on the road but admits a home base would be nice. However, the teenager is uncertain if he will find a permanent address as his racing plans for the 2009 season have yet to be established.
"It's not great, I don't have a lot of control over my future right now," Swindell said. "You can go out, do all you can do when you get the opportunities, but when they are few and far between it doesn't make you sleep better at night. You're waiting to decide if someone thinks you're good enough to move forward."
Signed by GEM in 2006, Swindell said setbacks have occurred in his program, a program that seemingly has dwindled to one last race: NASCAR's Camping World East race Oct. 12 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Swindell made his Camping World Series debut in August at Mansfield Motorsports Park in the No. 9 Evernham/Gillette Motorsports Dodge. He qualified seventh and finished 13th.
"The finish didn't show as good as we were ... we ran in the top five all day. The race was different, I expected a lot more patience," Swindell said. "The pace was a lot faster and rougher than I thought. I'm just looking forward to Stafford. I'll be a lot more prepared."
Preparation is something this driver has never lacked; he's the son of well-known World of Outlaws racer Sammy Swindell, a three-time National Sprint Car champion. The father-son team has raced together before Kevin Swindell could even ride a bike -- the youngster went straight to a go-kart instead.
"A lot of the things I've learned have come from my dad," Swindell said. "He knows about racecars, setups, tracks, as much as anyone I know and he has good answers for anything I can come up with."
In 2006, Swindell, then 17, became the youngest driver in World of Outlaws history to win a feature event. The win came at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition, Swindell finished 14th in his first ARCA Series race at Salem Speedway.
Racing for his father's World of Outlaws team during Speedweeks 2006 at Daytona was where Swindell first met Ray Evernham, who intended on creating a stock-car program around the young driver. Struggles with GEM's Cup car program and driver changes prevented that from happening, Swindell said.
"If stuff doesn't work out I'm not sure where I'd go," Swindell said. "Hopefully, something in USAC or Outlaw cars, but I enjoy the stock-car stuff a lot because it's a different challenge. I like to challenge myself and not get into a rut. It takes effort to be better at different types of racing, but I think the strategies of stock-car racing suit me the best."
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EVERNHAM ADDS SWINDELL TO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Evernham Motorsports has named Kevin Swindell as the newest member of its Driver Development Program.
The 17-year-old from Germantown, Tenn., is the son of legendary three-time National Sprint Car champion Sammy Swindell.
Kevin is quickly making a name for himself on the track. He has enjoyed 65 wins over the course of his 12-year career.
Swindell spent the last two years racing in the United Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaw Series, where he has accumulated two distinct records. In 2006, at the age of 16, he became the youngest driver to win a World of Outlaws feature event. A year prior, he became the youngest driver to finish in the top 10 in a World of Outlaws feature event.
"As our organization evolves, we are constantly scouting and researching young drivers," said Ray Evernham, team owner and CEO of Evernham Motorsports. "Kevin has displayed a tremendous amount of talent in the years he has been racing. Evernham Motorsports will offer the resources and mentoring to assist him in further developing his already impressive driving skills."
Swindell has piloted over five different types of racecars including sprints, karts, midgets and stock cars. In 2005, Swindell blasted his way to nine track records in the USCS Asphalt Thunder Series en route to rookie of the year honors in both the 360 and 410 National Sprint Car poll.
"Becoming a part of Evernham Motorsports is a dream come true for me," said Swindell. "I have seen the type of talent that Ray has been able to groom, and for him to select me into the Driver Development Program is an absolute honor. So far in my career, I have had some great mentors. My dad taught me early to learn about each race car and then go out and drive it to the best of my ability. At Evernham Motorsports, I will benefit from having even more people to learn from. I'm looking forward to this next step in my career."
Swindell's 2007 schedule has not been released at this time, but he will be running a number of races under the Evernham banner for Kasey Kahne Racing.
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