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Cody Swanson Most Improved Driver for the 2009 USAC Ford Focus California Dirt Series

Tres Van Dyne and Cody Swanson
Tres Van Dyne and Cody Swanson
The simple goal for the Swanson Motorsports team last year was to improve over the previous year; finishing in the top five would have been an acceptable goal. They exceeded their expectations big time, finishing second in points, with a realistic shot at first, going into the last race of the season.
Cody Swanson chewing up the dirt in his USAC Ford Focus California Dirt Series car
Cody Swanson chewing up the dirt in his USAC Ford Focus California Dirt Series car

"I am honored to be named the most improved driver for our efforts in the 2009 season, we worked very hard this year," says Anaheim, California resident Cody Swanson. "All of this would not have been possible without some awesome help and support from our great sponsors and friends," adds Swanson. We use K&N air filters, breather filters and oil filters on our racecar, family cars, and tow vehicles. They work great and are very easy to service."

"I was really excited about our past season and how well we did in the championship. It was a complete surprise when they announced my name as the "Most Improved Driver." We really weren't expecting that. I think titles such as this one are very important to have throughout your driving career, so I was pretty happy to get it. Getting the second place in the championship was also very cool for me, because it was only my second year driving this type of car. The Ford Focus Series was very competitive this year, so a second place in points is an accomplishment for me, and something to build on."

Given the ideal set of circumstances, Swanson would like to be able to move back east within the next few years, and drive for one of the major USAC National Sprint and Midget teams. "I think that would put me in a good position to help me succeed to the next level of professional racing someday," reflects Swanson.
Testing his new ride the Beast Pavement Midget
Testing his new ride the Beast Pavement Midget

The Swanson family has their roots in Minnesota. Swanson Motorsports was in fact inspired by Grandpa (Chuck) Swanson, who spent many summer evenings racing his '30 Model "A" jalopy on the dirt track of Princeton Speedway. In the late ‘70's, after moving the family to Southern California, Cody's father Kirk, and his two brothers, Chris and Danny, began racing dirt bikes across the desert southwest, ultimately passing the racing bug, and genes, to the newest generation of Swanson boys, Cody and his younger brother Jake.

Kirk works for K&N, in the R&D department and we wondered if having your father work for one of your key sponsors presented any unique challenges. "I think it comes in both handy and it can create a little pressure at times," says Swanson. "It comes in handy because having my dad working for K&N is how I originally received the sponsorship. And it also helps that my dad has all the knowledge of the K&N filters, ensuring that our motor always stays clean and runs properly. But, it creates a little pressure sometimes, because I always want to do my very best and represent K&N well."

Swanson is extremely excited about the coming race season, he is moving up and out of the USAC Ford Focus Series, into the USAC Western States Midget Series. He will be driving for Tres Van Dyne, of Van Dyne Engineering, at all of the pavement races, driving their Beast Pavement Midget, powered by a Van Dyne Chevy engine.

"Then, we will be running our own K&N sponsored car powered by a Van Dyne Chevy on the dirt," say Swanson. "We have teamed up with the Van Dynes' (Tres and Stewart) and will be making an attempt at Rookie of the Year Honors, and hopefully win a few races. It is going to be a fun year and we will be starting it at Perris Auto Speedway for the National and Western States Midget race on February 27th."

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