KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 12, 2001) - Jerry Coons, Jr., of Tucson, Arizona, is back behind the wheel of the "Spirit of Knoxville" Kele O.E.M. number 35 car on the dirt tracks of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Coors Light Silver Bullet ...
KNOXVILLE, IOWA (April 12, 2001) - Jerry Coons, Jr., of Tucson, Arizona, is back behind the wheel of the "Spirit of Knoxville" Kele O.E.M. number 35 car on the dirt tracks of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Coors Light Silver Bullet Series schedule in 2001, which includes the June 1-2 "NAPA 100" at the famed Knoxville Raceway. The car, crewed by ex-World of Outlaws driver Joe Gaerte and mechanics Chris Santucci and Keith Lani, and owned by Roger Johnson of Kele O.E.M., will promote Knoxville and its National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in the following six USAC races this season:
<pre> May 25 Indianapolis, Ind. Indiana State Fairgrounds June 2 Knoxville, Iowa Knoxville Raceway Aug. 18 Springfield, Ill. Illinois State Fairgrounds Sep. 2 DuQuoin, Ill. DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Sep. 22 Rossburg, Ohio Eldora Speedway
According to museum director Thomas J. Schmeh, "We are genuinely excited that the Kele O.E.M. team wants to partner with us again on the USAC dirt championship trail. Especially in light of the fact that Knoxville will be hosting the NAPA 100 as part of our twelfth National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction weekend. And to have a former NAPA auto parts salesman from Tucson actually pilot the 'Spirit of Knoxville' in that race is really special!"
The "Spirit of Knoxville" debuted last June in Iowa with car builder Danny Drinan at the helm. Unfortunately, a miscue in the Friday night qualifying race netted him a "DNQ" (Did Not Qualify) for the weekend. Coons took over the driving duties of the red Kele dirt car in August and racked up the following record: <pre> 08/19/00 Springfield, Ill. finished 18th (started 16th) 09/04/00 DuQuoin, Ill. finished 16th (started 24th) 09/22/00 Indianapolis, Ind. finished 8th (started 12th) 09/30/00 Rossburg, Ohio finished 14th (started 21st)
Already this season, Coons has notched a fourth place finish on the asphalt at Phoenix and a 22nd at Irwindale, Calif. Those seeking more information on the "Spirit of Knoxville" or the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum should contact Schmeh at 641-842-6176 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.