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Kody Swanson in victory lane at Winchester Speedway. (Randy Crist photo)

Swanson Looks To Score Vegas Midget Loot

With the Risk On 360 Open Wheel Showdown just less than two weeks away, there is plenty of storylines building behind closed doors.

The December 1-2, event at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will feature a 100-lap winged pavement sprint car race that will pay $50,000 to win national midgets and supermodifieds will also share the weekends racing card.

The event will be livestreamed on SPEED SPORT.tv

It has been 13 years since national pavement midgets last raced at the Bullring. But they return for the Open Wheel Showdown in a big way. Drivers will be battling for the $10,000 first place prize money. The midget portion of the event has certainly generated its own buzz and has attracted some big names.

One of the biggest names already entered is also the most recent midget winner at the Bullring. Kody Swanson claimed a USAC Western States Midget Series event at the Bullring in 2010.

“With the Open Wheel Showdown paying $10,000 to win, I think it’s going to be pretty neat,” explains Swanson. “It’s a big event and it made me wanna do it. Plus, it’s a chance to race in December. It’s always fun to make your season last a little longer. That’s something I’m excited about. I’m also excited to race with Tim and the entire Bertrand family. It’s been fun to race with them the last couple years, and to work on getting better.

“We got a really fast car too. I’m looking forward to going to Las Vegas.”

If Las Vegas odds makers were setting odds of who will win the midget portion of Open Wheel Showdown, Swanson would most certainly be among the best odds. He won the most recent midget event at the Bullring and may have more laps around the track than those already entered.

“It was a USAC Western States race they had that year (2010). It was right before Turkey Night because it was at the end of October. I don’t know if it’s a huge advantage, but I’m looking forward to it because I enjoyed racing there before,” Swanson said.

“I was driving for Chris Wilke that day, Its given me a chance to talk with him a little bit about he remembered, and what I remembered. Some of those things have little advantages. I just know I’ll be a little more familiar than starting from scratch. That makes it nice. Hopefully we put on a great show with the midgets and have some fun.”

Swanson had originally hoped to do double duty and compete in the sprint car portion of the event. His Doran Racing Team was thrashing to get a new Diablo Chassis car done in time for the event. After the team’s gallant effort to get the car ready, they ran out of time. The Open Wheel Showdown wasn’t announced until late July and the timeliness of the event gave them a very short window to work with.

Even though the race is less than two weeks away, he indicated he would listen to offers from teams looking for a driver in the supermodified and sprint car portions of the event.

“I would be happy to hear what anybody has to say,” Swanson said. “If it worked out, great, if not, it would still be great to just see what someone’s interest would be. I’m already gonna be there, so it would be nice to do a little extra racing.”

Swanson did admit it would be slightly disappointing to miss a chance to compete in the $50,000 winged sprint car portion of Open Wheel Showdown.

“You hate to miss opportunities to drive things you like, while trying to make a living as a short track racer, in an event that pays well,” Swanson said. “It would be disappointing, but I’ve raced long enough that things happen that are out of our control.

“I’d like to find something, but if not, I’m looking forward to the chance to race midgets and watch the sprint cars. It’s gonna be fun.”