Doran Racing’s Kody Swanson qualified second, advanced three positions from where he started, came out on top of a rousing battle with Bobby Santos III, and finished fourth in the 500 Sprint Car Tour race Saturday night at Berlin Raceway.
The “Great Lakes Challenge” race presented by Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Part Stores was the track’s 2022 season finale.
Swanson, a native of Kingsburg, Calif., who now lives in Indianapolis, qualified second, just 0.132 off the 15.624-second lap set by Tyler Roahrig, the fastest qualifier and eventual race winner. The invert was an eight, so Swanson started seventh in the 19-car field for the 40-lap test on Berlin’s 7/16-mile asphalt oval.
Swanson was never out of the top five. Driving the Doran Racing No. 44 sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms, Glenn Farms and Duncan Oil and powered by a Binks-prepped Chevy engine, he got off to a great start and passed both Billy Wease, who started sixth, and Tony Main, who started fourth, on the first lap.
On lap three he moved into fourth by passing Taylor Ferns, who had started fifth.
He kept Roahrig behind him for a quarter of the race.
With 15 laps down the race’s only yellow flew after an accident involving Ferns, Wease and the lapped car of Jim Sheets in Turn 3. None of them were hurt but they were all done for the night. Swanson was right in front of the crash, but luckily he avoided involvement and restarted in fifth place, right behind Santos.
The battle between Santos and Swanson was one of the highlights of the event. Swanson passed Santos on lap 33 to regain fourth, but Santos passed him back on the next lap. On lap 37 Swanson once again powered by Santos, and he not only stayed in front of him until the checkered dropped, he was nearly 2 seconds ahead of him at the checkered. Swanson almost got third too, as he was only 0.206 behind Dakoda Armstrong when time ran out.
Roahrig had a 2.260-second lead over runner-up Kyle O’Gara at the finish. Armstrong was third, and Swanson and Santos rounded out the top five.
Swanson was second in the point standings going into Saturday’s event. Coming out of it he is still second to Armstrong, with 1,342 points to Armstrong’s 1,346.
Only two more races remain in the series’ inaugural season: Thursday, Oct. 6 at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind., and Saturday, Oct. 22 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg, Ind.
All of the series’ races are streamed live by MAVTV on Flo Racing.
For more information on Doran Racing see DoranRacing.com and follow the team on Facebook.
Doran Racing PR