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USAC Silver Crown

Bobby Santos Wins Hoosier Hundred, Big Prize at IRP

He is the 42nd driver to win this race but the first on pavement, scoring $25,000 in the process

There wasn’t a universe in which Bobby Santos III was going to race the Hoosier Hundred, much less win it, until this universe.

This is the universe in which the Hoosier Hundred was moved from the Indiana State Fairgrounds dirt mile to the paved Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The legendary event moved from a track that he was likely to never race to one that he had dominated in several classes of competition over the past decade.

But if he was going to win the Hoosier Hundred, Santos was going to have to outlast his decade long rival in Kody Swanson, the latest in a series of epic battles in lapped traffic between the two pavement open wheel aces.

Swanson once again dominated, as he so often does, leading the first 114 laps of the 146-lap event but he suddenly broke. From there, Santos led the rest of the way and won a major that just wasn’t realistic until it was revived by Raceway Park as a pavement race.

“This is a dirt race and it belongs at the Indy Mile, but fortunately right now it’s here and us pavement racers are fortunate to get a chance to race for these,” Santos said.

Literally the first person to congratulate Santos upon climbing out of the car was Swanson, notable because they have a respect forged over several hard battles here in all things related to the AJ Foyt Championship.

Cam drive that drives the fuel pump and the power steering pump, so anyway,” Swanson said.

And that was that, but what did he say to Santos?

“Cogratulations, right,” Swanson said. “It’s the Hoosier Hundred, right? We’ve run it on dirt and it’s a big deal, and it’s a big deal to him, but he wasn’t likely going to have that chance if it wasn’t move here. He did a good job, always does a good job and I just wanted to congratulate him.”

In finishing second, Logan Seavey both had a increasingly less rare pavement success story, but also a good points day with Swanson’s mechanical failure. He has a 24-point lead after two races.

“You got to be close to Kody on pavement and then beat him on the dirt to win this championship,” Seavey said. “It was a big break for him to have an issue and for us to run well. It was a good step towards our goal.”

But then:

“I’m still not sure I’m a pavement guy!”

But what goes into a good day like this where he drove from 15th to second?

“This race was so slow, the pace, when you’re sitting 10th here for a 100 lapper, the leader is long gone,” Seavey said. “But the pace was so slow and helped me this race being longer. I’m still learning how to set the pace in these pavement races and then, this being a longer race, it changes that pace and I’m learning that but this really worked out for me. The car was good and we just hung in there throughout the race and really ran a really good race.”

The USAC Silver Crown season continues on June 17 at Port Royal Speedway.

FEATURE: (146 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Bobby Santos (1), 2. Logan Seavey (15), 3. Tyler Roahrig (10), 4. Derek Bischak (6), 5. Taylor Ferns (13), 6. Nathan Byrd (8), 7. Tanner Swanson (3), 8. Justin Grant (4), 9. Mario Clouser (18), 10. Mike McVetta (20), 11. Bryan Gossel (27), 12. Jerry Coons Jr. (23), 13. Casey Buckman (19), 14. Wayne Johnson (24), 15. Kaylee Bryson (30), 16. Travis Welpott (26), 17. Gregg Cory (28), 18. Russ Gamester (9), 19. Kody Swanson (2), 20. Kyle Steffens (22), 21. Trey Burke (21), 22. Patrick Lawson (11), 23. Matt Westfall (25), 24. C.J. Leary (5), 25. Kyle O’Gara (16), 26. Brent Yarnal (29), 27. Dave Berkheimer (32), 28. Emerson Axsom (7), 29. Billy Wease (14), 30. Kyle Robbins (17), 31. Davey Hamilton Jr. (12), 32. Tom Paterson (31). 1:13:53.60 (New Track Record)

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-115 Kody Swanson, Laps 116-146 Bobby Santos.

USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-125, 2-Kody Swanson-101, 3-Taylor Ferns-101, 4-Tyler Roahrig-91, 5-Kaylee Bryson-82, 6-Justin Grant-78, 7-Bryan Gossel-74, 8-Bobby Santos-73, 9-Matt Westfall-72, 10-Brady Bacon-70.

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Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

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