Five-time USAC Silver Crown champion and three-time Little 500 winner Kody Swanson will drive a super late model and a pro late model fielded by Team Platinum in the 55th annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Feb. 4-13 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
The event is one of the premier short-track events held during Speedweeks. New Smyrna Speedway is a half-mile, 23-degree banked track located less than 15 miles south of Daytona International Speedway. Many of the current and former top names of NASCAR have competed in the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, and it continually draws top talent from around the United States and Canada. Some of its drivers, like Ryan Newman and Geoff Bodine, have gone on to win the Daytona 500.
The primary sponsor of Swanson’s cars will be Fatheadz Eyewear, the leader in oversized eyewear for men and women, both in prescription glasses and sunglasses.
Team Platinum, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is owned by Myna Burba and led by veteran crew chief Marc Metz. Among the team’s many accomplishments are winning the championship in the JEGS/All-Star CRA series in 2015; the Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 2016, and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. in 2019. It primarily competes in the ARCA/CRA Super Series and the JEGS All-Star Series, as well as other high-profile late model events.
Swanson’s participation is a direct result of his desire to expand into forms of racing that are new to him.
He has proven to be a quick learner. In 2020 Swanson, the winningest driver in the history of USAC’s top series, USAC Silver Crown, won in his first start ever in the Indy Pro 2000 formula-car series. The latter is part of IndyCar’s Road to Indy program. He also made his ARCA Menards stock car series debut, and finished eighth at Iowa Speedway. He also debuted in late model stock cars at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and finished second in only his second event. He has also won and finished on the podium in vintage sports car events at Daytona.
"This year my focus is to continue working further into more forms of racing,” said Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif., who currently resides in the Indianapolis area. “I'm looking forward to competing with Doran Racing in the asphalt USAC Silver Crown events and large asphalt sprint car events, and Kevin [Doran] is actually who really helped get this conversation started. His relationship with Marc [Metz, Team Platinum’s crew chief] helped introduce the idea. After meeting with him and Myna [Burba, team owner], we were able to move forward and get this all set up.
“I'm very excited to work with everyone on Team Platinum,” Swanson continued. “They have proven to be a great team, with fast cars and many talented people all pulling in the same direction. I'm excited to run at New Smyrna at the World Series too. With so many races it is a great opportunity to gain a lot of experience in a short period of time, and all before the rest of the season starts in the Midwest. I haven’t run at New Smyrna before, nor driven either of these cars. From a suspension standpoint they are very different than even the late model I ran last year at Hickory, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“Fatheadz Eyewear, owned by Rico Elmore, has been so supportive of me moving into new opportunities, and I'm thankful that they're willing to continue building that relationship and direction,” Swanson continued. “In addition I'm thankful to have support from our friends at Radio Hospital and Rosewood Machine and Tool, along with our other partners.”
"Kody is a great ambassador on and off the track, and we are proud to have him on Team Fatheadz,” said Elmore. “I have full faith in his talent behind the wheel as he expands his racing experience, and I can’t wait to see him carry the Fatheadz colors in Florida."
Associate sponsors will include Radio Hospital, Rosewood Machine and Tool, Brands Truck Insurance, Platinum Express, McGunegill Engine Performance, Duncan Oil, Alt & Witzig Engineering, Eibach Springs, Allstar Performance, FK Rod Ends, K&N Filters, Image Express and Roof Co.
Team Platinum is also looking forward to working with a driver who has rewritten USAC’s record books.
“I’m excited to work with Kody,” said Metz, its crew chief. “I’ve watched several of his races since this deal started to come together. There is no doubt in his ability to get the job done behind the wheel. I’m sure his learning curve will be short. Communication and feedback will be a big part of the puzzle, but I have a good feeling about that as well. All the guys here at Team Platinum are excited to get to Florida and turn some laps.”
After a practice day on Feb. 4, the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing is held on the following nine days. Swanson’s two divisions are scheduled to be featured on eight of them, with the only exception being on Monday, Feb. 8. His biggest race in the series will be the Orange Blossom Super Late Model 100 on Saturday, Feb. 13. Four-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion Ty Majeski, who won the Snowball Derby last month and has driven in NASCAR Xfinity and Truck series races, is the defending winner.
The cars Swanson will drive in Florida will be number 26. The team’s engines are prepared by McGunegill Engine Performance (MEP) of Muncie, Ind.
Live streaming of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing will be available through a network that will be announced soon by New Smyrna Speedway officials.
Team Platinum PR