Sammy Swindell returns to USAC for 3 Silver Crown races. Sammy Swindell, winner of more than 250 World of Outlaws feature events and three WOO championships in his legendary Sprint car racing career, will return to the USAC Weld Racing Silver ...
Sammy Swindell returns to USAC for 3 Silver Crown races.
Sammy Swindell, winner of more than 250 World of Outlaws feature events and three WOO championships in his legendary Sprint car racing career, will return to the USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series for three races in April, June and August.
The Germantown, Tenn. racing superstar has secured a ride with Roger Johnson's RE Technologies team for races at Nazareth, Pa. April 21, Richmond, Va. June 29 and Indianapolis Raceway Park August 1. Johnson has been an associate sponsor of Sammy's for a number of years.
"I'm really looking forward to this opportunity," says Swindell. "I like challenges and this will certainly be a challenge. I'd like to some different things before I retire and it's nice to team up with Roger, since our race shops are less than a mile apart. He actually wanted me to run for him several years ago but the circumstances never seemed to permit it." Swindell's team for the 2002 USAC Weld Racing Silver Crown Series posted its first "pole" last year with driver Jerry Coons, Jr. at DuQuoin and looks forward to posting its initial series feature victory this season.
Sammy's six previous Silver Crown starts resulted in disappointing finishes. He was 24th at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 1978, 17th at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds in 1980, 14th at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and 15th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield in 1982 and 20th at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa in 1985. His last Silver Crown appearance, at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1996, resulted in a 16th-place finish for car owner Ralph Potter. Brother Jeff was a four-time winner in his 26-race USAC Silver Crown Series career between 1982 and 1993. "It's tough to come into a series on a one-off basis and be competitive," Sammy adds.
In 1982 in the "USAC vs. The Outlaws" 100-miler at Springfield, Sammy had his best Silver Crown run, coming from 15th starting spot to challenge eventual winner Larry Dickson until running out of fuel eight laps from the checkered flag! "We had a smaller tank than most and we didn't quite get to the end," he admits.
The Nazareth race will be Sammy's first on pavement since the mid-1990s when he raced NASCAR Trucks but he has an extensive pavement background. He's competed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Indy cars at Pocono and Michigan and run a few road races. He also served as a test driver for the Patrick Racing Indy-Car Team.
In the early 1990s he dominated the paved Sprint car events sanctioned by the World of Outlaws, winning nearly every race. In the 1970s he remembers starting dead last in a pavement race at Orlando, Fla.'s SpeedWorld and winning the feature!
Although he's been to Nazareth, he's never competed on the 1-mile oval. He raced at Richmond in NASCAR's Winston Cup and Truck Series. "Nazareth looks like a tough track," he admits. "Every corner looks different."
Sammy likens the Silver Crown cars to his experience in stock cars and trucks. "The lap times are slower and there's more time to react and adjust. It's been a few years, though, since I ran a 100-mile race, so that'll be a challenge."
He recognizes that at age 46 he faces a tough field of youthful talent in the Silver Crown Series. "I didn't start racing until I was 15. Back then it was possible to engineer your car to a big advantage. Today's equipment is so equal it's hard to get that kind of advantage, so the kids have a better chance to be competitive."
At age 46 he says a Silver Crown win would be big. He won USAC Sprint car races at Knoxville, Iowa in 1988 and Granite City, Ill. in 1990 (beating brother Jeff), but he'd sure like to add a Silver Crown victory to his career accomplishments.