USAC: Swanson “Parks It” at Salem; Wins Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial Race

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Kody Swanson and the DePalma Motorsports crew celebrate their third USAC Silver Crown victory of the season Saturday night at Salem Speedway. (Rich Forman photo)

Kody Swanson and the DePalma Motorsports crew celebrate their third USAC Silver Crown victory of the season Saturday night at Salem Speedway. (Rich Forman photo)

On the restart with just 12 laps to go, no one had an answer for Swanson, who shot away from the field to take an unchallenged victory over Windom, Coons, Santos and Justin Grant.

At the end of a night in which tributes to Bryan Clauson poured in from fans, teams and officials alike, where each car was adorned with a BC “Still Chasing 200” sticker and USAC officials donned green BC shirts in honor of the fallen driver, Swanson did what he has done so often over the past three seasons in the DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Champion Oil/Beast/Hampshire Chevy.

He “parked it” in victory lane.

“This means a lot,” Swanson said. “It’s a pleasure to drive for these DePalma Motorports guys anywhere, but especially at a place like Salem. This is a place where it’s usually the braver you are, the faster you go. That’s not my style. We got a little lucky. Don’t get me wrong; these guys prepare to win, but we were close enough to be able to capitalize on a couple things late in the race.”

“I never have ‘parked it.’ I’ve never felt like I’m worthy enough to use that term, but we ‘parked it’ tonight for BC.”

Windom continued his impressive streak of series results, finishing second to Swanson and tallying his seventh consecutive top-five finish in seven series starts this season in the RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise – Seals-It/Beast/J & D Mopar.

“We were good right out of the box,” Windom said. “Struggles in qualifying set us back, but Evan Avart gave me a good race car and we could drive up through there pretty quick. We got a little snug around halfway through, and then Kody put a pretty bold move on me and I about spun out. That’s kind of what you have to do here, though, to pass somebody – just drive it in there and pray.”

“This place is a little treacherous, but it’s a lot of fun and I’m glad we got to race here. We’ll take a second, though, and keep this momentum up and head to Springfield.”

Coons, a 2005 USAC National Midget feature winner at Salem, took third in his Nolen Racing/KECO – Columbus Container/Beast/Tranter Chevy.

“I need to get to the gym and add about 20 pounds of muscle I think,” Coons joked. “That was harder than any 100-lapper we run anywhere else. Chris (Windom) got tight in (turns) one and two towards the end, but I was better in (turns) three and four, so when I’d make it up, he’d gain it back. We’ve been working on our pavement program and getting it better and better, so we’re happy with a third.”

 

RESULTS: USAC Silver Crown Championship; Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorial; Salem Speedway; Aug 13. 2016

A-Main (75 laps): 1. Kody Swanson, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Bobby Santos, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Aaron Pierce, 7. David Byrne, 8. Joe Liguori, 9. Patrick Lawson, 10. Casey Shuman, 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Jacob Wilson, 13. Austin Nemire.

Time of Race: 27:59.49

CREDIT: USAC Media

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