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Cody Swanson Goes Wire-to-Wire at Bakersfield Speedway

Sunday March 31, 2013


Cody Swanson led from the drop of the rag at Bakersfield.
Photo by Lance Jennings

by Lance Jennings

Norco’s Cody Swanson added his name to the record books by leading all thirty laps at Bakersfield Speedway. The Saturday night feature victory was Swanson’s first career USAC Western Midget Series triumph as the group heads to Ventura on April 6th. Ronnie Gardner, Ryan Bernal, Jake Swanson and David Prickett rounded out the top-five drivers.

While the stat sheet may read as an easy victory for Swanson, that was hardly the case. At the drop of the green flag, Cody powered ahead of pole-sitter Bernal to take command. As Ryan looked to regroup, fourth starting Gardner slipped into second and set after the leader. With the majority of the drivers preferring the bottom groove of the Bakersfield clay, Gardner chased down Swanson and looked for an opening. Third, fourth, and fifth place became a torrid battle between Jake Swanson, Bernal and Prickett.

Despite several cautions, Cody Swanson remained unfazed and continued to hit his marks. Ronnie challenged throughout the event and a late yellow flag for a tangled Robby Josett and Kyle Edwards gave him one last shot. With a three-lap dash to the finish remaining, Swanson had an excellent restart and sped away to the checkered flag. Gardner took second and the intense battle for third went to Ryan.

Piloting the family owned #71 Edmunds Auto Research / K&N Filters machine, Kody Swanson was seventh fast out of the twenty-six cars in the pit area. The VRA Midget Champion was also victorious in the night’s first 8-lap heat race. In the post-race interview, Swanson explained that his car had lost the front sway bar and this problem was not going to stop his drive to victory.

Ronnie Gardner of Norco challenged for the lead, but had to settle for second on this night. Racing Mitchell Johnson’s #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Gardner qualified third and ran fourth in his heat race. The young driver left Bakersfield tied for the Dirt Series lead and second in the overall standings.

Ryan Bernal of Hollister came home third in the Bakersfield feature. Piloting Keith Ford’s #72 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine Spike, Bernal was eighth fast and placed second in his heat race. As this writing goes to press, Bernal will miss Ventura to compete in Saturday’s USAC/CRA Sprint Car race at Perris Auto Speedway.

Anaheim’s Jake Swanson battled hard with Prickett and Bernal before taking fourth at the checkered flag. Racing the Swanson Motorsports’ #05 Honda Racing / Goodwine Glass Stealth, Swanson qualified second and won the night’s second heat race. Last year’s USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year is currently tied with Gardner for the dirt standings lead and third in the overall points.

Fresno’s David Prickett started seventh in the main event and wrestled his way forward to claim fifth. Driving the Neverlift Motorsports’ #15 Crysalli Water / Mt. Rose Cocktail Mixes Spike, Prickett was fifth quick and claimed seventh in his heat after an early flip. Rebounding to win the 12-lap semi-main, last year’s Dirt Series Champion sits eighth in the overall standings and seventh in the dirt points.

Greg Edenholm of Monterey earned the night’s “Hard Charger / Best Passing Job” honors with a fifteenth place run from twenty-second. Driving Keith Ford’s #73 King Racing Products / A&A Precision Machine TCR, Edenholm was twenty-fifth quick and seventh in his heat race. The veteran driver claimed seventh in the semi-main to earn his transfer to the main event.

Tehachapi’s Shannon McQueen earned her first fast time award of the campaign. Piloting the McQueen Racing #7 Lucas Oil / Simpson Race Products Spike, the defending champion ran third in her heat race and scored tenth in the feature. McQueen is among the drivers scheduled to compete at Ventura’s “Battle at the Beach” this Saturday night.

Scott Pierovich of Alamo won the night’s third 8-lap heat race. Racing the family owned #35 Mid-Coast Trans / Good Guys Spike, Pierovich was fifteenth in qualifications. The veteran driver raced to eighth in the Bakersfield main event after starting thirteenth.

The USAC Western Midget Series will be back in action on Saturday, April 6th at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway. The first round of the co-sanctioned “Battle at the Beach” with the VRA Midget Series will also feature Dwarf Cars, IMCA Modifieds, Mod Lites, Focus Midgets, Go Karts, and Quads. For more event and ticket information, visit www.venturaraceway.com or call 805.648.RACE.

The USAC Western Midget Series would like to thank Amsoil, Hoosier Tire, and Western Performance Parts for their support. For more information on the series, visit www.usacracing.com, or follow the series on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usacwsmidgets).

March 30, 2013 – Bakersfield, California – Bakersfield Speedway


1. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-13.393; 2. Jake Swanson, 05, Swanson-13.617; 3. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Johnson-13.617; 4. Jace Vander Weerd, 8V, Vander Weerd-13.664; 5. David Prickett, 15, Neverlift-13.670; 6. Troy Rutherford, 11, Martens-13.680; 7. Cody Swanson, 71, Swanson-13.702; 8. Ryan Bernal, 72, Ford-13.715; 9. Markus Niemela, 81, Watt-13.751; 10. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-13.767; 11. Kody Swanson, 55, Neverlift-13.801; 12. Richard Vander Weerd, 19S, Sala-13.815; 13. Johnathon Henry, 88, Graunstadt-13.854; 14. Alex Schutte, 9E, Dodenhof-13.889; 15. Scott Pierovich, 35, Pierovich-13.914; 16. Trey Marcham, 37, McQueen-13.943; 17. Kyle Edwards, 39, Edwards-13.952; 18. Tanner Swanson, 27B, Blackwell-14.015; 19. Britton Bock, 67, Bock-14.080; 20. Rick Shuman, 22A, Shuman-14.178; 21. Robby Josett, 02, Josett-14.191; 22. Nick Chivello, 27, Chivello-14.192; 23. Sean Dodenhof, 9D, Dodenhof-14.194; 24. Terry Nichols, 45, Neverlift-14.222; 25. Greg Edenholm, 73, Ford-14.341; 26. Jimmy Voitel, 21, Voitel-14.405.

FIRST HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Cody Swanson, 2. Randi Pankratz, 3. Shannon McQueen, 4. Trey Marcham, 5. Jace Vander Weerd, 6. Nick Chivello, 7. Greg Edenholm, 8. Britton Bock, 9. Johnathon Henry. NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Jake Swanson, 2. Ryan Bernal, 3. Kody Swanson, 4. Kyle Edwards, 5. Rick Shuman, 6. Sean Dodenhof, 7. David Prickett, 8. Jimmy Voitel. NT

THIRD HEAT: (8 laps)
1. Scott Pierovich, 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 3. Tanner Swanson, 4. Ronnie Gardner, 5. Markus Niemela, 6. Robby Josett, 7. Troy Rutherford, 8. Terry Nichols. NT

SEMI: (12 laps)
1. David Prickett, 2. Alex Schutte, 3. Sean Dodenhof, 4. Robby Josett, 5. Jimmy Voitel, 6. Terry Nichols, 7. Greg Edenholm, 8. Johnathon Henry, 9. Troy Rutherford, 10. Britton Bock, 11. Nick Chivello. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps- With Starting Positions)
1. Cody Swanson (2nd), 2. Ronnie Gardner (4th), 3. Ryan Bernal (1st), 4. Jake Swanson (5th), 5. David Prickett (7th), 6. Richard Vander Weerd (11th), 7. Jace Vander Weerd (3rd), 8. Scott Pierovich (13th), 9. Markus Niemela (8th), 10. Shannon McQueen (6th), 11. Trey Marcham (14th), 12. Alex Schutte (12th), 13. Tanner Swanson (16th), 14. Jimmy Voitel (20th), 15. Greg Edenholm (22nd), 16. Randi Pankratz (9th), 17. Kyle Edwards (15th), 18. Robby Josett (19th), 19. Terry Nichols (21st), 20. Kody Swanson (10th), 21. Sean Dodenhof (18th), 22. Rick Shuman (17th). NT

**David Prickett flipped in the second heat race. **Troy Rutherford flipped in the semi-main,

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Cody Swanson.
HARD CHARGER: Greg Edenholm (22nd to 15th)

1-Ronnie Gardner-150, 2-Jake Swanson-150, 3-Bryan Clauson-143, 4-Scott Pierovich-138, 5-Rico Abreu-128, 6-Christopher Bell-125, 7-David Prickett-118, 8-Trey Marcham-90, 9-Kody Swanson-85, 10-Tanner Thorson-72.

1-Kody Swanson-157, 2-Ronnie Gardner-150, 3-Jake Swanson-150, 4-Bryan Clauson-143, 5-Scott Pierovich-138, 6-Rico Abreu-128, 7-Christopher Bell-125, 8-David Prickett-118, 9-Trey Marcham-90, 10-Tanner Thorson-72.


April 6: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle At The Beach)
May 4: **Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Vukovich Classic)
May 11: Santa Maria Speedway – Santa Maria, CA
May 18: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle At The Beach)
June 1: **Placerville Speedway – Placerville, CA
June 8: **Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Al Pombo Classic)
June 15: **Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA
June 22: Thunderbowl Speedway – Tulare, CA
June 29: Plaza Park Raceway – Visalia, CA
July 12: Ocean Speedway – Watsonville, CA (Howard Kaeding Classic)
July 13: **Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Gerhardt Classic)
July 20: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle At The Beach)
August 1: ***Belleville High Banks – Belleville, KS (Belleville Midget Nationals / Non-Points)
August 3: ***Belleville High Banks – Belleville, KS (Belleville Midget Nationals / Non-Points)
August 10: Madera Speedway – Madera, CA
August 31: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 1: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic)
September 5: **Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 14: **Madera Speedway – Madera, CA (Harvest Classic)
September 21: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
September 28: *Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Battle At The Beach)
October 5: **Petaluma Speedway – Petaluma, CA (Soares Classic)
November 14: ***Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 15: ***Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 16: ***Canyon Speedway Park – Peoria, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 22: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
November 23: Cocopah Speedway – Yuma, AZ
November 28: ***Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)

  • = Co-Sanctioned Event With VRA Midget Series.
    • = Co-Sanctioned Event With BCRA Midget Series.
      • = Co-Sanctioned Event With USAC National Midget Series.
        This schedule is subject to change.

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This report was provided by an outside PR source and posted by Mike Neff.


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