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Big Game Motorsports Driver Sammy Swindell Claims New Zealand Championship
Inside Line Promotions – AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Dec. 4, 2013) – Big Game Motorsports pilot Sammy Swindell capped the year by claiming his first career Porter Hire International Sprintcar Series title.
Driving for Ron Salter, Swindell picked up his first-ever victory at Western Springs Speedway on Nov. 23 and he then charged from 15th to third last Sunday to earn the championship. It also marked the fourth track in New Zealand where Swindell has won at least one race.
“It all went real well,” he said. “We had a new car and they don’t give you any practice. You show up, they give you your heat spot and you go out and run. It makes it a little tough.”
During the opening event on Nov. 23, Swindell advanced from fifth to fourth place in the first heat race and he won the second heat race after starting sixth. That gave him the fifth-most points and a trip to the pole shuffle. Swindell defeated the driver with the sixth-most points to advance before losing to the driver with the fourth-most points.
“The guy that’s ahead of you gets to pick the lane,” Swindell said. “On the outside you couldn’t take off. I stayed next to him for about a lap.”
That started Swindell on the inside of the third row for the 30-lap feature.
“I was able to work through there,” he said. “You were able to move around, but the bottom was definitely better. The track is so flat. They don’t like you getting in the grass either. Sometimes you get penalized and sometimes you don’t.”
Swindell advanced to the lead by the midpoint of the race and powered to the victory on the tiny track.
“It’s probably a little smaller than a quarter mile,” he said. “It’s the smallest track I’ve run a sprint car on.”
Swindell returned to the Western Springs Speedway for the finale last Sunday, but quickly ran into bad luck. A fuel line started leaking during his first heat race, which sent him pitside before the race ended.
“If you don’t finish you don’t get any points,” he said.
Swindell then won his second heat race after starting fourth. However, he was penalized because officials ruled he had made a pass with a tire in the infield grass. That started Swindell on the inside of the last row for the main event.
“It was pretty tight because the track was pretty narrow,” he said. “It took a little bit. The yellows we had were on the first lap and then we ran 25 or 26 laps before we had a yellow.”
Swindell advanced from 15th to third place in the first half of the race.
“Just kind of picking them off one by one,” he said. “I was just running right on the bottom real nice and straight. I wasn’t really sliding the car. When the guys would slip out I would tuck under them.”
Swindell had a late chance to sweep the event when he restarted third with a handful of laps remaining.
“I restarted third and the guy on the outside squeezed me in the grass,” he said. “I just backed off because I knew third would be good enough to win me the title.”
Swindell’s podium finish wrapped up the championship.
His next event will be the 27th annual Chili Bowl Nationals at Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, Okla., Jan. 8-12. Swindell owns an event-best five triumphs at the midget race.
QUICK RESULTS –
Nov. 23 – Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand – Heat race #1: 4 (5); Heat race #2: 1 (6); Pole Shuffle: 5; Feature: 1 (5).
Dec. 1 – Western Springs Speedway in Auckland, New Zealand – Heat race #1: DNF (7); Heat race #2: 1 (4); Feature: 3 (15).
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INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations, media management and merchandising services for sprint car teams. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and your sponsors’ return on investment.
To meet the media relations needs of your team, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.insidelinepromotions.com.