Monday, May 28, 2012

4th at Ventura

5/26/12 Ventura Raceway VRA Race

    Happy Memorial Day everybody! This Memorial Day weekend was spent at Ventura Raceway where 11 midgets showed up to compete for the trophy. The car count is still very low, but fortunately the car quality is respectable. According to the top 9 cars were running 13.5's during the main. That made for some good close racing throughout the field.
    Before I get to the racing, I'd like to say thanks to our good friend Gordy Edwards. Thanks to him we were able to race this weekend. Our rig broke down and we had no way of getting to the track. Gordy came by the morning of the race. We loaded up everything onto his open trailer and headed to the track! It was a fun day.
    The heat race wasn't a good one. I started last because of my pill pick. The track was one-laned dusty-dry and tough to pass on. I only moved up to 4th by the checkers.
    This put me starting near last in the feature. I gained a few positions on the start and before I knew it was battling up towards the front with Prickett. He and I had a fun battle going on. We had a yellow with only a few laps to go, and I was sitting in 3rd spot. Under yellow the RR bleeder let the tire go down a little too far. When we went back to green I tossed the front end once and the 15 of Prickett got back by me. I ended up 4th.
    It was a fun race, we just need to have some better luck on starting spots. It seems like we can never start near the front at that place. I'm uploading my on board video of the race to the link below. Just copy and paste it to your browser to watch it. Thanks to EgoTactics, we use two cameras for a front and back picture and picture shot. It's a fun race to watch.
    I'd like to thank Lucas Oil, Goodwine Glass, Honda Racing, PBH Indy, Crower Performance, One Day Signs, Ego Tactics, K&N Filters, and Oakley for their support. And I'm looking forward to share some new engine news in the near future thanks to HPD and Honda Racing, as well as PBH Indy and Crower Performance.
    We are working hard on the pavement car now, stay tuned for updates.

Video Link:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pavement Press Release

    I've been hanging onto some very exciting news for awhile now, but now it's actually come together as of last night. Thanks to Cory Kruseman I will be participating in some pavement events this season using his Beast pavement car with our Honda power plant. The car is now in our garage being sized up and fitted for a Honda 2.26 liter engine. This is the engine that is currently being run in our dirt car.
    I am so thankful and excited to have an opportunity on pavement. The only pavement I've ever driven has been with a dirt car. I was actually able to test a focus pavement car once at Turkey Night thanks to Mr. Frazin, but that's the extent of my pavement car experience.
    We plan to run some USAC Madera Shows with it this season, but we don't have a debut race date yet. It all depends on how quickly we can get it ready. Keep checking back in to see progress on it. I'm really looking forward getting out there with it!


Jake Finishes 2nd to Kuhn at Santa Maria

Santa Maria Speedway 5/12/12

    I've always had a love for the banked third mile oval, but even more so after our run there last Saturday night. It was a strong showing of 20 midgets for the USAC Western States event.
    The night began with hotlaps on an already dry racetrack. From hotlaps we tightened the car up a ton but it wasn't quite enough. My Q effort put us p8. Again we went even more drastic on the Stealth chassis to find bite.
    My heat had cousin Cody on the pole, myself starting 4th, and Kruser behind me. Cody jumped to an early lead as I tried to make my way through traffic as quick as I could. By the time I got to 2nd Cody was long gone. I had to settle for second.
    My 8th place qualifying effort landed us on the pole for the feature because of the 8 car invert. I had a great start and set the pace for the early laps of the race. I had a good sized lead before the first yellow (of many) came out. On the restart national driver Brad Kuhn and the Kruser jumped to 2nd and 3rd behind me. I gave my best to hold them off, but we were no match for those two. I fell to third ran there by myself. The car was pretty fast though, I had a good buffer distance between myself and the rest of the field.
    On another restart the 2nd place car of Kruseman began to stumble and slow which gave us back the 2nd spot. I ran there for the remainder of the race.
    It was a good night for us. I love being able to put this #05 Honda on the podium for HPD, Skeet at PBH Indy, and DC at Crower Performance. With each race we continue to learn more and become even stronger.
    Thank you to everybody helping us with this program; Lucas Oil, Goodwine Glass, Honda Racing, PBH Indy, Crower Performance, One Day Signs, Ego Tactics, K&N Filters, and Oakley.

This weekend it's on to Hanford for the next round of the USAC Western Midget Series Schedule.

I've also got the onboard video of the race posted, check it out!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jake Gains Momentum in the Sprinter


    Last Saturday night at the PAS seemed like it couldn't have gone any smoother for the Tony Jones Racing team! It sure was nice. And we got to do it on some fresh rubber too...
    The tire rule for the USAC/CRA 410 sprinters has changed to a softer, wider tire this 2012 season. For my prior two races, we have been running on last years old tire due to the fact that we are a low budget team and others teams were happy to offload their now useless old tires. Lucky for me, I just had a birthday a week before! So I ended up with TWO brand spankin' new 2012 tires for the upcoming race thanks to the car owner and crew chief. It was a pretty good birthday.
    I couldn't get a very good feel for the new tire in hotlaps because it was pretty slimy. So qualifying I had about two laps to get a good feel for it. I had a little bicycle action my first lap but ended up with a 17.1. At first I was disappointed, I thought had actually slowed down from the old tire. But after looking at the results it turns out the track was slower in general, I had Q'ed 15th out of the 31 entered. That wasn't too shabby of an effort.
    The heat race was one heck of a show. This time, no front row starting spot for me. I was starting in the last transfer spot, 4th. Cardey and Bernal were my main concerns. Both past winners. I had a great start and settled into 2nd behind Bezio. Somebody tried a slide job on me and failed bringing out a yellow. On the restart I slid Bezio for the lead and got into a good rhythm. I kept seeing noses of Bernal and Cardey trying to find a way around me. The white flag came out and with just one corner to go, we got a yellow.
    I knew the restart would be tough to hold those two guys off. I got a good start and hustled it into one, beat them off of two, and for the next lap and a half I held them off to take my first career USAC 410 Sprint Car heat race win. Man it felt good!
    14th was my starting spot for the feature. It was nice starting a little closer towards the front this time. I had a good race with Kruseman for awhile, and the whole race was really a ton of fun. We had a tricky track with wet spots and dry spots all over, and a cushion in some places and not in others. It made for some good racing. I ended up bringing home the #41 car in 11th place.
    I'm very happy with our effort. The team has made such great strides in only 3 races. And I really have to thank the crew chief Tony Jones for doing such a great job with the setup. The car was so pleasant to drive throughout the day.
    Sadly, we will not be racing the next Perris race on May 26th. We are still looking for some more sponsorship help to be able to attend more races in the #41 sprinter. A big Thank You to all of my current sponsors on this car; Zanzabuku Sports Lounge, VGI Graphics, The Alexander Brothers, Bubby Jones Racing, Goodwine Glass, So-Cal Performance, JDS Tank Testing and K&N Filters. My next race will be this weekend May 5th at Ventura again in the midget. Hopefully we can bring home a win this weekend for HPD and Honda Racing. Stay tuned!

Jake Swanson