Kingsburg, California’s Kody Swanson is trying to go where only one man has gone before: Win four consecutive Joe James/Pat O’Connor Memorials at Salem Speedway.
The four-time USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series champion will get his opportunity Saturday when the 60th running of the Visit Scott County James/O’Connor Memorial presented by the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers rolls out onto the Salem high-banks.
Pancho Carter is the all-time James/O’Connor winner, taking four-straight from 1974 to 1977. Swanson has won the last three.
The all-time Silver Crown winner (27) and current championship points leader has already won three this year … at Memphis, Toledo and Madison. He’s also the unequivocal favorite headed to Salem.
The list of winners reads like a who’s-who of racing giants including AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Roger McCluskey, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Rollie Beale, Gary Bettenhausen, Carter, Rich Vogler, Kenny Irwin Jr., Tony Stewart, Dave Darland, Eric Gordon, Ed Carpenter and Bryan Clauson.
The Lucas Oil Great American Stocks and the annual visit by the Midwest Oldtimers Vintage Race Car Club also will be a part of the festivities.
Jeff O’Connor, son of the late Pat O’Connor, will once again pace the field during parade laps in a replica of the Sumar Special that his dad drove in the 1950s. Pat O’Connor was born and lived in North Vernon.
The front gates open at 3 p.m., followed by the first practice session at 3:30 p.m. Qualifying is set for 5:45 p.m., and the first race is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Advance general admission tickets are $23 for adults and teens. Ages 7 to 12 are just $5. Children 6 and under are free.