Doran Binks Racing’s Kody Swanson kept the Mission Foods/Glenn Farms No. 77 in fourth place from start to finish in the Tony Elliott Classic Saturday at Anderson Speedway to retain second place in the 2023 point standings of the 500 Sprint Car Tour Presented by Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Parts Stores with one event remaining.
Dakoda Armstrong passed Taylor Ferns on lap 46 and went on to post his first series victory by 4.426 seconds over Ferns, who led the first 45 laps of the 100-lap race on the quarter-mile asphalt oval. They were the only drivers to lead. Point leader Tyler Roahrig won the pole and finished third, followed by Swanson and Caleb Armstrong. Billy Wease, Kyle O’Gara, Bobby Santos III, Brian Vaughn, and Trey Burke rounded out the top 10.
Unofficially Roahrig still leads the point standings going into the season finale this coming Saturday, Oct. 14, at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) in Brownsburg, Ind. He has a 13-point lead over Swanson, 1,598 points to 1,585 points. There are 220 points up for grabs at the season finale, so mathematically the title is up for grabs between the top five drivers, which includes Armstrong in third (1,521 points), O’Gara in fourth (1,520 points), and Santos (1,420 points). The different scenarios of possible point totals at IRP are too numerous to spell out since bonus points are awarded to the driver who wins the pole, leads a lap, and leads the most laps in addition to the points earned by finishing positions.
On Saturday at Anderson the top 10 ran mostly unchanged for the first 40 laps. The leader, Ferns, got loose between Turns 1 and 2 working lap 46. Roahrig, who was running second, checked up to avoid her but there was still light contact between them as they exited Turn 2. Armstrong capitalized on the situation and made the winning move by ducking under them both on the backstretch, vaulting from third to the lead while Ferns and Roahrig regrouped.
Swanson, whose car is powered by a Dan Binks-prepped Chevy engine, chased Roahrig for the remainder of the race. He had to fight off Caleb Armstrong in the second half of the event, but he was able to stay in fourth place until the checkered.
Swanson also set the fourth-fastest lap of the race with a 11.404 on lap eight, which was the same lap that Ferns set the fastest lap of the race with a 11.277.
Swanson topped the first of two practice sessions earlier in the day, which was sunny but cold with a steady wind.
“I’m thankful we finished fourth,” he said after the race. “I thought we had a good car in practice. We didn’t stray too far from that setup, but the handling just kept going away from us in the feature. Everything was mechanically sound with the car; we were just a little off what the track required in the feature.”
After a false start when Tim Creech spun in Turn 4, the pace only slowed three times. A yellow flew with four laps down when Brady Allum stopped on the backstretch due to a flat right-rear tire. Another yellow came out with 25 laps down when the 10th place driver, Tony Main, spun in Turn 2 as the leaders were about to lap him. A red flew with 52 laps down when Donnie Adams Jr. (10th) and Jackson Macenko (11th) collided on the backstretch at the opening to the pits. The back of Macenko’s car landed on the front of Adams’ car. Removing them caused a lengthy delay, but neither driver was hurt.
Yellow-flag laps didn’t count.
The race was streamed live on MAVTV for Flo Racing.
Doran Binks Racing also fields cars for Swanson in the USAC Silver Crown series, where the team and Swanson are also second in the current entrant and driver point standings, just 16 points out of first. That series’ season finale is also at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park this coming Saturday, Oct. 14.
Swanson and Doran Racing are the defending champions of both series.
For more information see DoranRacing.com.
Doran Racing PR