Avondale, AZ – For the first time in nearly a decade, the USAC Silver Crown Series returned to the Phoenix International Raceway. The return was better than advertised too.
Pole sitter Bobby Santos had a thrilling battle with David Byrne over the last several laps, which saw Santos get by Byrne with seven laps-to-go and never look back en route to the victory in Saturday’s Phoenix Copper Cup.
The race started badly for Tanner Swanson, as his car had an issue immediately on the start. Davey Hamilton Jr. had an issue on Lap 11 too and had to pit.
By Lap 20, Byrne had moved his way up to third. One lap later, he got by Kody Swanson for second and set his sights on Santos for the lead.
He got even closer when the caution flag flew on Lap 25 for Justin Grant getting into the wall in Turn 3. He was running fourth at the time.
On the restart, Byrne was all over Santos and finally got by him on Lap 33.
Chris Windom, who won the season opener at Terre Haute blew an engine on Lap 40 and was out of the race. At that time, he charged from 16th to eighth.
With 40 to go, Damion Gardner nailed the Turn 4 SAFER barrier after an issue with his right front tire.
We’d go back to green with 31 to go, and Santos regained the lead. By Turn 3, Byrne got back by for the top spot.
They’d battle neck and neck after the final restart with 18 to go, as Santos used a crossover move to get by and en route to his seventh career Silver Crown victory tying him for 10th all-time.
Swanson, would get by Byrne for second and finish runner-up ending a nearly two year win streak on pavement.
Byrne came home third while Davey Hamilton and Jerry Coons Jr. rounded out the top five.
Swanson leads Coons by 14 points and Windom by 20 heading into the next race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park on Carb Day.
1. Bobby Santos
2. Kody Swanson
3. David Byrne
4. Davey Hamilton
5. Jerry Coons Jr.
6. Shane Butler
7. Aaron Pierce
8. Toni Breidinger
9. A.J. Russell
10. Henry Clarke
11. Joe Axsom
12. Damion Gardner
13. Chris Windom (#2 Lawson)
14. Justin Grant
15. Tanner Swanson
16. Davey Hamilton Jr.