SWANSON, COURTNEY, SEAVEY SHARE SPOTLIGHT AT FRIDAY’S 63RD NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS CELEBRATION
Story By: Richie Murray/USAC
Photos By: Jeremy Rhoades & Dan DeMarco/RacersGuide.com
Indianapolis, Indiana (December 7, 2018)………USAC National driving champions Kody Swanson, Tyler Courtney and Logan Seavey shared the spotlight along with other 2018 USAC champions and special award recipients at Friday night’s 63rd USAC “Night of Champions” celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind.
Swanson, of Kingsburg, Calif., Courtney, of Indianapolis, IN and Seavey, of Sutter, Calif., earned National championships. Swanson is a four-time Silver Crown titlist, Courtney a first-time AMSOIL Sprint Car king and Seavey a first-time P1 Insurance National Midget champ.
Courtney secured the $5,000 Mike Curb “Super License” in memory of Bryan Clauson. The award was presented for scoring the most National points combined in the three series.
Car owner National champions for 2018 included DePalma Motorsports of Lima, Ohio (Silver Crown), Clauson/Marshall/Newman Racing of Fishers, Ind. (Sprint) and Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports of Columbus, Ind. (Midget).
Emcees Pat Sullivan, Dillon Welch and Butch Lamb orchestrated the presentations, which included driver and car entrant champions, Rookies of the Year, Most Improved Drivers and special award recipients.
Among items presented to the 2018 champions were championship rings from Jostens, trophies, plaques, Hoosier Tire jackets, medallions, distinctive sound art canvases and OGIO Sonic Sling Packs from Elliott’s Custom Trailers.
Sprint Car driving champions in addition to the aforementioned included Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. (AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprints); Austin Liggett of Tracy, Calif. (West Coast Sprints), Charles Davis, Jr. of Buckeye, Ariz. (Sands Chevrolet Southwest Sprints), Steven Drevicki of Reading, Pa. (East Coast Sprints) and Brett Wilson of Sapulpa, Okla. (Wingless Oklahoma Sprints).
Other 2018 champions included Michael Faccinto of Hanford, Calif. (Light up the World Beverages Western States Midgets); Alex Bright of Collegeville, Pa. (USAC Eastern Midgets), Jason Goff of Preston Hollow, NY (Laquerre’s Sports DMA Speed2 Midget); Aaron Leffel of Springfield, Ohio (Midwest Thunder Speed2 Midget); Andy Baugh of Mason City, Ill. (Engler IMRA Speed2 Midget), Adam Lemke of Hollister, Calif. (Western Speed2 Midget Overall and Pavement), Tyler Slay of Watsonville, Calif. (Western Speed2 Midget Dirt) and Jessica Bean of Farmland, Ind. (Eastern Speed2 Midget).
Jarrett Kramer of Spring Valley, Calif. earned the USAC National Lightning Sprint title.
Also honored for their 2018 championships at Kutztown, Pa.’s Action Track USA were Billy Pauch, Jr. of Frenchtown, NJ (All Pro SpeedSTRs and Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints); Jared Silfee of Saylorsburg, Pa. (Speedway Entertainment All Star Slingshots) and Tyler Ulsh of Shade Gap, Pa. (Speedway Entertainment Junior Slingshots).
Honored as USAC .25 Midget National Champions as a result of their accomplishments were drivers Steven Snyder (Heavy 160 Dirt and Heavy World Formula Pavement), Paul Hartwig (Junior Honda Dirt), Dylan Kontra (Senior Honda Dirt), Kenny Beinhower (Heavy Honda Dirt), Jacob Denney (Light 160 and Light World Formula Dirt), Tyler Driscoll (Junior Animal Dirt), Preston Lattomus (Senior Animal and Light Formula Mod Dirt), Jayden Wolf (Unrestricted Animal and Heavy World Formula Dirt), Ethan Burdett (Junior Honda and Junior Animal Pavement), Hunter Wise (Light 160 and Light World Formula Pavement), Ryan Wilson (Heavy 160 Pavement), Nick Loden (Senior Honda Pavement), Chase Spicola (Senior Animal Pavement), Daytona Spicola (Unrestricted Animal Pavement), Justis Sokol (Heavy Formula Mod Pavement) and Taylor Watson (Heavy Honda Pavement).
USAC President Kevin Miller presented USAC Special Appreciation Awards to Scott Petry and Reece O’Connor, acknowledging their contributions to the BC39 Midget race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Roger McCluskey Award to Phil Grove for his outstanding support of and contributions to the BC39 Midget race. Race organizer Doug Boles also was awarded the Race Organizer of the Year award for the September Midget spectacular at IMS.
Kyle Robbins of New Castle, Ind. earned the 2018 USAC Silver Crown “Rookie of the Year” honor. Timmy Buckwalter of Douglassville, Pa. and Logan Seavey of Sutter, Calif. shared the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Rookie honors and Seavey was also presented the Bob Stroud Memorial Rookie of the Year award for the P1 Insurance National Midget Series.
Isaac Chapple of Willow Branch, Ind. was named USAC’s Most Improved National Driver of 2018.
USAC’s 2018 Chief Mechanic of the Year award went to Tyler Ransbottom, who orchestrated Courtney’s drive to the AMSOIL National Sprint Car title.
In a special ceremony, the #63 Silver Crown car was proclaimed a “lifetime registration” for DePalma Motorsports, the Silver Crown Car Owner champions who announced their retirement at the end of 2018.
Dick Jordan, who is celebrating his 50th year at USAC, was honored for his contributions to the series with an award named after him. Recipients of the award will have to meet the criteria of one who has dedicated his or her life to the betterment of USAC racing.
Two driving championships concluded in virtual ties in 2018, with Tyler Courtney and Michael Faccinto benefitting from their total feature wins in claiming their respective titles. The only previous tie in USAC history resulted in 1977 when Herm Johnson and Tom Bagley shared the Mini-Indy crown.
Second and third-place drivers and car entrants in USAC’s National racing series also received their year-end recognition and awards.
All USAC driving champions were also presented one-year memberships by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.
Floral decorations were provided by Jockish Flowers of Indianapolis.