ARCA Menards Series

Kody Swanson to Make ARCA Debut at Iowa

By: Mitchell Breuer

The name Kody Swanson may not be familiar with some casual NASCAR fans, but it is no stranger to success.

The 32-year-old has quite the legacy, winning the Little 500 at Anderson Speedway, and is the only driver to capture five championships in the USAC Silver Crown Series, along with being the all-time wins leader in the series too.

However, this weekend he will take on a new challenge, the ARCA Menards Series, as he makes his debut driving the No. 22 Ford for Chad Bryant Racing.

“This is something I have been working towards. and trying to branch into new things and racing,” Swanson said in a Zoom press conference Wednesday. “So, really excited, really thankful that I have a chance to do that, but also very nervous about the things I don’t know yet. Been fortunate to race in Iowa Speedway before, so at least that’ll be a little familiar, but obviously the type of racing, even just down to the car and the format and the procedure, is all different.”

While this deal was just announced this week, Swanson says it is something he and Bryant have been in discussion about for a few years.

“So, I met Chad Bryant at Iowa Raceway in 2017. It was the year after Chase Briscoe had won the title,” Swanson said. “Chase was there with the sprint cars in the sprint week, and I wasn’t even driving that night, I was just helping a buddy, and talk to him a little bit and he said, ‘Hey, you need to get in touch with these guys,’ and we were there with Silver Crown and ARCA cars the following week and I got in touch with him then, and I have stayed in contact.”

Swanson also noted he had plans to get in one Bryant’s ARCA cars before, scheduled to practice at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, with rain ultimately canceling those plans.

Looking ahead at this weekend, while hoping for a win, Swanson is trying to remain realistic about his goals in his first start.

“I mean, it’s another one of the things I guess I really don’t know yet, and I’ll maybe have a better gauge after we get started with practice, but any race car driver or any team, your ideal is that somehow you’re in position to contend for a win,” Swanson said. “I know that I’ve got so much to learn that I don’t know where the reality bar is and if it’s just making all the laps and getting good experience.”

One of the biggest parts of the weekend will be the lone one-hour practice session before the race, where Swanson says he hope can learn a lot in the short amount of time.

“At our practice, something I’m really nervous about to make that first lap and hope that some of the things click naturally for me, because there’s not a lot of time to sit down and dissect it and just learn it from scratch,” Swanson said. “I am thankful to be going to Iowa Speedway, even though I haven’t been there since 2015, at least it’s somewhere that I’ve been and familiar with the sensation of speed there, at least in an open wheel car. And I hope that some of those things, maybe a little familiarity with the racetrack, can help me make the transition between the two types of cars.”

In what is currently his only scheduled start, Swanson will look to build off a season where the No. 22 team has captured two top-10’s with Derek Griffith.

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