TULSA, Okla. (February 18, 2013) With a last name like Swindell, it isn’t hard to garner attention and Jeff Swindell is not short on the families pool of talent. Absent from the full time scheduled of the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real in 2012, that didn’t stop the Bartlett, Tenn. driver from winning on four occasions.
First at the Dodge City Raceway Park in the Randy Washburn owned No. 0, then at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway in the Hammers backed No. 94, the pair of weekend sweeps solidified Swindell’s plans to return to the road full time.
Asked if the 2012 season was used to regroup, and recharge, Swindell replied, “I had some things I needed to take care of and we got that headed down the right path.”
Commenting on the wins at Dodge City and the Devil’s Bowl, Swindell was modest in his response, “We just worked into a couple of real good racing programs. Randy Washburn’s guys for the Dodge City race week and the Hammers actually midsummer.”
Taking about his upcoming season, Jeff’s words would be good advice for anyone new to the sport of racing. Speaking of teams, and team building, the veteran driver explained, “It’s all a matter of everything gelling, you know, and people working together. We got real lucky with two different teams that way. We’ve built on that and have, and think we have, a real good program built this year.”
When asked how he and the Hammers team got together, Jeff explained that he had seen the car but had never met the owners which he found surprising, seeing as both are originally from the Memphis area.
Chuckling about the story, Jeff explained that the Hammers had reached out for him to drive the car, “He [Mike] had called and asked me to drive the car years ago when I wasn’t racing at all and I don’t even remember it.”
Hearing the call of the Hammers in 2012, the team quickly formed and took off.
Picking up additional sponsorship for the R&A Farms & Pearson Farms No. 94 in the form of Headman Headers colors, the decision for Swindell to return was a much easier one, especially following the struggles of the 2011 season, “Headman Headers come on board with the Hammers’ group and I think, well, it’s all a matter of who you’re with, you know, I think it’s more than anything” commented Swindell.
“The year before last was a struggle for us. We had a lot of people helping but didn’t have any real monetary help so I just kind of had to pay the bills myself. A few wins we should have had we didn’t get so that kind of hurt us, but I think we have everything lined up and in order for this season. “
With the new partnership with the Hammers family, it brings to light the importance of timing in racing. Whether off the tack or on, with the years of experience, and patience, Swindell expounded on the subject by simply saying, “It’s all about timing; racing’s always been about timing.”
Jeff elaborated on the matter by adding, “It’s always being at the right place at the right time to get with the right guy, you know, whether it be a really good Crew Chief that you can work with on some pretty decent stuff, or whether it be some really good stuff that you can work into and get it going with the help of a few guys.”
With long time crew friend and crew member Curtis Davis, along with son Asa working to get the Headman Headers / H&H Container Services No. 94 ready for the road, added help from brother Sammy has not gone unnoticed, “Sammy’s been pretty instrumental in some of our set ups, and learning the new Super Shox; very instrumental.”
With fresh Fisher power, and brand new J&J Chassis’ at the ready, Swindell has surrounded himself with people whom he enjoys working with, and being around, “I think that’s going to make a big difference” Swindell said.
“Everybody down there is really relaxed, and looking forward to the year and when you can enjoy it, and have fun with people who you enjoy being around, it just makes life a lot easier. You can get more things done, and when you can get more things done, I think it helps you get ahead of the next guy.”
A short tack ace, Jeff explained that the short track program is probably the biggest improvement the team needs to make in the 2013 season. A past champion at the Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. Swindell looks forward to getting out west for the season opening weekends in Arizona.
Despite begin bigger tracks, Swindell is confident saying, “I think we’re a lot better than most on the big tracks.” Commenting on Tucson, the veteran Swindell described the oval as one “that races a lot like a short track” due to the contact, and close quarters, which is often associated with the Tucson oval.
Confirming having never been to Cocopah Speedway, the $10,000 payday is certainly a high point to start the season, “That pumps ever body up. Sometimes it pumps people up a little too much too, but that’s the nature of the beast.”
With a line-up of drivers that is among the stoutest of any year with the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real, the field of cars presents a true challenge to all who look to win. Asked about the field, Jeff replied, “It’s going to be as hard to win races as it is on the Outlaw deal. It’s just a different program.”