SWANSON WINS USAC MIDGET FEATURE AT NOS ENERGY DRINK NIGHT THE 500 PRESENTED BY COMFORT SUITES OF BROWNSBURG INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2010) First time winners were the norm during the NOS Energy Drink Night Before the 500 presented by Comfort...
SWANSON WINS USAC MIDGET FEATURE AT NOS ENERGY DRINK NIGHT THE 500 PRESENTED BY COMFORT SUITES OF BROWNSBURG
INDIANAPOLIS (May 29, 2010) First time winners were the norm during the NOS Energy Drink Night Before the 500 presented by Comfort Suites of Brownsburg on Saturday as all three feature races were won by newcomers to the O'Reilly Raceway Park the oval. Tanner Swanson won the Midget feature, Conor Daly won the Star Mazda race and Patrick McKenna took the USF2000 victory during a busy night of open wheel racing.
19-year old Swanson had never turned a lap at the track prior to today but did use the experience of his brother, Cody who also placed, and he even walked the track this morning to gain knowledge of this tricky facility. In the feature Bryan Clauson led the first 31 laps with Swanson close behind and on the 32 lap Swanson was able to dive to the inside and led the remaining laps to take his first win at O'Reilly Raceway Park.
"It was incredible, second practice the car felt pretty good and qualified seventh," said Swanson after the race. "I kinda let Clauson get out there and have some fun and kind of took my time and took my shot and got around him. I was trying to keep him on his toes and with a long race like that I wanted to make sure he wasn't saving anything for the end of the race."
In the Star Mazda feature it was Daly putting on a show for his hometown friends and family as he raced at the facility for the first time. Daly started the race on the outside of row one but by the first turn he dove into the lead and was able to secure the top position. From there Daly kept the field behind him and went on to win his third consecutive race. Victory lane turned into a mob scene as classmates from nearby Heritage Christian School mobbed Daly after getting out of the car.
"To have everyone here was really, really awesome, lots of friends, lots of families, lots of people I haven't seen in a long time. It was really cool and I don't know how to describe it," said Daly. "This Juncos car is really fantastic and I don't see any reason why it won't be the same in Iowa. O'Reilly Raceway Park has treated me really well in all the days that I have been here and I'm really pleased with this event and can't wait until the next one."
The USF2000 series started the nights racing and a battle between Sage Karam and McKenna kept the fans riveted as they battled wheel to wheel at the start of their feature race. Karam held the lead at the start of the race but knew that McKenna was the car to beat and it was all he could to keep him in his rearview mirrors. Finally after 26-laps, McKenna took the lead and held on to get his first career oval win.
"It was really fun to race around an oval that close and I had to trust him [Karam] to race that close," said McKenna following the win. "Once I got ahead I knew I had a good car and kept the pace up and put a healthy gap and keep consistent times and run off the laps."
USAC returns to the oval on June 10th as the Sprint car series will make the first of two stops in 2010.