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KINGSBURG — Brothers Tanner and Kody Swanson don't have the luxury of working full time with their race cars. Instead, the brothers spend most of their time working a daytime job.

Tanner works as a loan officer in Hanford, while Kody works as a project manager for an engineering company in Indianapolis. With the little time they have left, the brothers dominate races around the country.

One of their most memorable racing moments came during Memorial Day weekend this year.

Kody kicked off the unforgettable weekend on May 27 when he raced to a first-place finish in Indianapolis, becoming the third driver in series history to win the Hoosier Hundreds for three straight years. 

Tanner followed up the next night with a first-place finish in the Race Before the 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana. Kody finished second behind his younger brother in the same race. 

Driven by a natural sibling rivalry, the brothers are used to finishing first and second in races.

"We've been fortunate to run one and two in a lot of races," Tanner said. "It's been fun to share that success with the family."

Living in Indianapolis, Kody has more access to racing throughout the year. Tanner, still living in Kingsburg, doesn't get to compete in as many races. As a result, he finds himself at a disadvantage against his brother and other racers.

"Most of the time, I stay there for a day and I fly back home after the race is over," Tanner said. "I only race four times a year now. I compete against people like my brother, who competes 40-50 times a year. It's hard to get caught up quick and be able to compete at the level that they're setting." 

Trips to Indianapolis are also a chance for the brothers to catch up with each other. 

"Going back there to race is a good excuse to see Kody and his 6-month-old son," he said. 

Kody tries to visit the Swanson family in Kingsburg at least during the winter holidays. Still, between racing and working, he doesn't get to visit every year. 

"It wears on you because we work all week, all nights and weekends, to make it all fit," Kody said. 

The hard work, however, pays off in results and in the simple joy of racing. 

"It's really neat to travel the country and race on a lot of great race tracks," Kody said. "We're meeting a lot of motorcross sports fans from all corners of the country."

The brothers had a passion for racing since they were children. Kody was 12 and Tanner was 9 when they started racing locally. That continued to develop when they joined the United States Auto Club, which gave them a chance to travel around the country.

"The closest track to Kingsburg was Plaza Park Raceway in Visalia. That's where we started," Kody said.

The brothers' interest in racing was sparked by their father, Mike Swanson.

"My dad raced when we were younger. We grew up watching him at the Madera Speedway," Kody said.

The brothers' ultimate goal is to make it to the top of motorsports in NASCAR or IndyCar. In racing, however, it takes money to make it to the top.  

"Unfortunately, the way racing is structured right now, they want their drivers to have sponsorship connections and bring that [money] in," Kody said. "I don't have that connection with anybody. I haven't found anybody wanting to sponsor us to the next level. If we can find that, myself or Tanner, we can make that jump quickly."   

If you would like to reach this reporter contact tkassahun@selmaenterprise.com

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