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JONES EYES RETURN TO SPRINT POINT LEAD AS USAC SPRINTS FACE 60-LAP RICHMOND TEST Levi Jones of Avon, Ind. trails Cole Whitt of Alpine, Calif. by 19 points in his bid for a third USAC National Sprint Car Championship heading...

JONES EYES RETURN TO SPRINT POINT LEAD AS USAC SPRINTS FACE 60-LAP RICHMOND TEST

Levi Jones of Avon, Ind. trails Cole Whitt of Alpine, Calif. by 19 points in his bid for a third USAC National Sprint Car Championship heading into this Friday's race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.

Jones and teammate Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind. compete for Tony Stewart Racing and they have won four of the 11 races contested so far this year. Hines, who ranks fourth in the current standings, won the most recent race, at Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, his second victory there in 2008. Jones' 2008 wins came at Brownstown, Ind. and Terre Haute, Ind., the latter race being the famed "Tony Hulman Classic."

Friday's race, part of RIR's weekend which includes Saturday's SunTrust Indy Challenge Indy Car Series race and the "James River Grounds 100" USAC K & N Silver Crown race, presents a 60-lap challenge for the Sprint cars at one of the fastest tracks on the schedule. The 60-lap race will split into two segments of 31 and 29 laps respectively, with a pit stop in between.

Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind., who established the one-lap USAC Sprint Car track record of 139.911 mph in 2005, won last year's 60-lapper. The 60-lap track record of 124.231 mph was set by the current USAC Sprint Car Series coordinator Jason McCord in 2004.

The USAC National Sprint Cars are making their fifth appearance at RIR. In addition to East and McCord, race winners at the 3/4-mile paved oval have been Brian Tyler (2006) and Ron Gregory (2005). Tyler will be trying to win a USAC race for the third consecutive year at RIR, having won last year's Silver Crown 100-miler.

Youth has ruled supreme in recent USAC National Sprint races. A new all-time record has been established in the last two outings as Cole Whitt won at Minersville, Pa. on June 5 and Chad Boat won at Hagerstown, Md. on June 7. Both are 16 years old.

-credit: usac

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tracy Hines , Brian Tyler , Bobby East , Ron Gregory , Levi Jones , Jason McCord , Cole Whitt , Chad Boat