- Piloted by Michael Andretti throughout the 1998 CART FedEx Championship Series
- Secured the pole position at the Texaco/Havoline 200 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
- Contested seven out of the 19 events throughout the year
- An American-made chassis by Swift Engineering
Upon the conclusion of Carl Haas’ status as US distributor for Lola Cars, Newman/Haas racing entered a partnership with Swift Engineering of San Clemente, California. It was a bold decision at the time, as manufacturers Penske, Reynard, and Lola completed all their construction in the United Kingdom—making the Swift the only American-made chassis on the grid when it debuted in 1997.
Established in 1983, Swift had gained a large amount of motorsports experience constructing junior open-wheel racing cars prior to jumping into the IndyCar arena. Backed by the resources of Ford Motorsports engineering and a team including Dr. Mark Hanford, Peter Gibbons, and Brian Lisle, Swift’s brand-new chassis were conceived with assistance from state-of-the-art computer design software. However, Swift’s rolling road wind tunnel, one of the most advanced of its type at the time, proved to be the significant contributor to the car’s success. Previously used by the Williams Formula One team, the tunnel helped to conceive a rear end design that neatly packaged the exhaust and gearbox out of the ever-important airflow exiting the underwing.
Piloted by Michael Andretti throughout the 1998 CART FedEx Championship Series, chassis 004 contested seven out of the 19 races throughout the year. The car made its race debut at one of the five international events on the calendar, the Rio 400K at Autódromo de Jacarepaguá in Brazil. After having little luck during the previous two races at the track, the former champion qualified in 8th and worked his way up to 5th by the time the checkered flag waved, marking his first points finish in Rio de Janeiro.
Later in the season, chassis 004 was entered in the US 500 at Michigan International Speedway. This D-shaped two-mile oval had been an unlucky track for Andretti, as his previous visits over the past seven years had all ended in retirements. A change in fortune would arrive in 1998, however, as he qualified 8th and managed to run the full race distance to finish a respectable 6th.
Andretti’s luck would unfortunately reverse at a track that had been kind to him over the years, Road America. After qualifying on the pole, he drove a superb race and lead for 18 laps, but during the final laps, while battling Alex Zanardi for 2nd, a tire failure on the final lap left him with an unfortunate 15th-place finish.
Wearing its distinctive Havoline/Kmart/Duracell racing livery, this Michael Andretti-driven Swift-Ford 009.c is not presently fitted with an engine.