Illinois: Tony Stewart Racing preview

TONY STEWART RACING'S HINES, JONES GEAR UP FOR TONY BETTENHAUSEN 100 Duo Eyes Repeat Victory at USAC Silver Crown Series Stop in Illinois INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 15, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Tracy Hines and Levi Jones will roll into...

TONY STEWART RACING'S HINES, JONES GEAR UP FOR TONY BETTENHAUSEN 100
Duo Eyes Repeat Victory at USAC Silver Crown Series Stop in Illinois

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 15, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Tracy Hines and Levi Jones will roll into the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Saturday with only one thing in mind -- defending the team's Tony Bettenhausen 100 title. As the duo takes to the mile oval in Springfield, Ill., this weekend, they'll be looking to put Chevy in the winner's circle for the second consecutive time in the historic event featuring the USAC K&N Silver Crown Series.

Hines is no stranger to victory lane in Springfield, as he won the Tony Bettenhausen 100 title in 2006. He comes into Saturday's race ranked fourth in the USAC Silver Crown Series standings, only 61 points behind leader Jerry Coons, Jr. Hines also holds the one-lap qualifying record at the mile oval, having recorded a lap of 122.846 mph during the 2006 event. As one of five former event champions scheduled to compete, Hines will also look to widen his lead in the Earl's Fast Qualifiers rankings in the USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Car divisions.

Jones' focus will vary a bit from Hines', as he enters Saturday's event looking for a little redemption. After leading 28 of 75 laps in 2007, Jones' chances at a victory were cut short by a blown right rear tire. He looked on as then TSR teammate, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., took the checkered flag. A win at the mile oval would also give Jones, an Illinois native, a boost from his third-place ranking in the USAC Silver Crown Series standings. He is only 58 points behind series leader Coons in the hunt for his first series championship.

Silver Crown Series practice will begin at 9 a.m. CDT Saturday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Qualifying is scheduled for 10:25 a.m., with racing set to begin at 12:15 p.m. For tickets or information regarding the Tony Bettenhausen 100, visit www.trackenterprises.com, or call 217-782-1979.

Quotes from Levi Jones, driver of the No. 10 TSR/Chevy/Maxim -- USAC Silver Crown Series

Having led more than one-third of the laps in last year's Tony Bettenhausen 100 event and falling victim to a flat tire, what would a win in this Saturday's race mean?

"I'll be honest. Losing last year's race after leading so many laps was pretty heartbreaking. But that was last year and tomorrow we have a new opportunity, a new race in front of us. We'll go into the mile expecting a typical Springfield track. It tends to lay rubber and be pretty hard on tires. Fortunately, we've had some experience with this type of track this year and I think we're pretty prepared for whatever may come at us. The entire TSR team has worked really hard to make sure we're ready to go and I have a lot confidence in the car that they've prepared for me. Tomorrow's race will definitely be a good one and I think we've got a great shot of putting Chevy in the winner's circle again this year."

Quotes from Tracy Hines, driver of the No. 22 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC Silver Crown Series

It's been almost two years since you competed at the Illinois State Fairgrounds with the USAC Silver Crown Series. Are you looking forward to getting back on the mile?

"I would love to end our day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds with a trip to victory lane in the Chevy Maxim. The last time I raced at the mile, I was able to win and I think we're going to have just as much of an opportunity to do so again this weekend. The past two weeks have been really busy for the TSR team, but the guys have put in a lot of hours working to make sure we've been prepared for every race. I'm looking forward to racing in Springfield tomorrow. We'll have to see how the track comes in and make sure we adjust as necessary to run up front."

For complete results from the Tony Bettenhausen 100, log on to www.usacracing.com. For information regarding TSR, Chevy or Bass Pro Shops, please visit www.tonystewartracing.com, www.chevy.com or www.basspro.com.

-credit: -TSR-

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tracy Hines , Levi Jones , Jerry Coons , Tony Bettenhausen