ROSSBURG, OH - In most forms of professional sports, experience is one of the most important elements for success. The story is the same with the World of Outlaws. Since the Outlaws were established in 1978, Sammy Swindell has been one of the ...
ROSSBURG, OH - In most forms of professional sports, experience is one of the most important elements for success. The story is the same with the World of Outlaws. Since the Outlaws were established in 1978, Sammy Swindell has been one of the toughest competitors in the series. Even with some recent distractions, the Channellock driver is proving in his 28th season of racing sprint cars, that he's still got the desire to be the best.
"I've always hated losing," said Swindell, who put his Channellock #1 in victory lane on Saturday night in Fargo claiming his 248th career WoO "A" Feature. "There have been times when our luck was down, but right now we're trying to get our fourth championship. I'm really enjoying myself right now and this Channellock team has been getting more consistent."
With Saturday’s victory Swindell temporarily moved into second place in the WoO point standings. He fell back to third behind Mark Kinser following a 23rd at Cedar Lake Speedway on Monday night. Ten consecutive top-ten finishes have helped Swindell close in on series points leader Steve Kinser, and Swindell remains optimistic about his title chances. "The last couple of weeks the other guys have had problems and that equaled out some the misfortune that we had earlier this year," said Swindell. Unfortunately, the racing gremlins reappeared for Sammy on Monday's race at Cedar Lake where he crashed out of the lead with a broken axle. "I know we've been getting stronger and more consistent as the season has went on. Our goal now is to keep doing that the rest of the year."
After spending most of the last four months learning what works well on his Channellock Stealth, Swindell and the rest of the Outlaws now begin what has been labeled "the month of money". On Saturday, Swindell will defend his King's Royal title from last year at Eldora Speedway. The $50,000 first place check would certainly help make up for missing out on Monday's win. "We've had a lot of good runs in the King's Royal," said Swindell, who hopes to join Steve Kinser and Jac Haudenschild as a three-time Royal winner. "It seems like we've come up short a few more times than we've won it. We've always been in the hunt there."
Swindell has 12 Eldora WoO "A" Feature wins to go along with his 1992 and 1999 King's Royal crowns. Swindell also has finished in the top-five in nine of the 15 King's Royal races that he has entered. Eldora is famous for being the fastest half-mile dirt oval and Swindell has always been successful on high-speed tracks. His victory in the Channellock Challenge at Bristol last month along with wins in the past on the Syracuse Mile and Springfield Mile prove he's always a threat at fast racetracks.
"I really like the high speed tracks and Eldora can be really fast," said Swindell. "A lot of times when a track is super fast it really works to our favor. I'm happy that we get two nights to prepare for the King's Royal. That really helped us last year. We tried some things on Thursday and Friday, and by Saturday, we really had the car going well."
In last year's victory, Swindell drove the Channellock #1 well enough to lap up to sixth place in the 40-lap event. The Channellock Team, like most other on the WoO circuit, will begin to replace used parts on their cars with new ones for high-profile events. The four big races (King's Royal, Silver Cup, Historical Big One and Amoco Knoxville Nationals) are the highest paying events of the year, and all the teams want to be at their best.
"We've been saving a lot of stuff and learning a lot with this car throughout the season," said Swindell. "We'll try to bring out some of the equipment that we've been holding back and hopefully, we'll be even better."
The competitive juices are alive and well inside the Tennessee driver. If he can continue his recent consistency and be successful during "the month of money", a fourth championship might not be out of his reach.