Tony Stewart PAS Oval Nationals preview

The Drive for Five Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Take Aim at USAC National Sprint Car Series Championship at California's Perris Auto Speedway INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 30, 2007) -- The storyline is one that Tony Stewart Racing's...

The Drive for Five
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Take Aim at USAC National Sprint Car Series Championship at California's Perris Auto Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 30, 2007) -- The storyline is one that Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones has taken part in once before. But as he and the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim team head to California's Perris Auto Speedway (PAS) for the first of the season's final five USAC National Sprint Car Series events, they know it's up to them to write the ending. Beginning with the 12th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals this Thursday through Saturday, Jones and the No. 20 team will look to wrap up Chevrolet's first-ever USAC Sprint Series championship.

Jones leads the USAC Sprint Series championship standings heading into this weekend three-day event with 1,232 markers -- 71 points ahead of second-place Darren Hagen. A lot rides on the shoulders of the 2005 series champion. Not only would the title mark his second such accomplishment, but it would represent the fifth USAC National Series title for TSR since it began operations in 2003. While nothing is certain, Jones' recent track record at PAS is excellent. In his last appearance at the half-mile oval, he earned a solid second-place finish (Nov. 4, 2006).

TSR's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., will also look to pad his current ranking in the USAC Sprint Series championship standings this weekend at Perris. Stenhouse, who has won one USAC Sprint Series event thus far this season, currently sits in fifth in the standings with 874 points, 358 markers arrears Jones. Stenhouse did not compete in the 2006 event at PAS.

The three-day Budweiser Oval Nationals will kick off on Thursday with a 25-lap preliminary feature. A second preliminary feature will be held on Friday with the 40-lap event finale on Saturday.

Race fans can purchase tickets for the event by calling 1-800-595-4849 or on the Internet at www.tix.com. The official Web site of the PAS is www.perrisautospeedway.com. For more information regarding the facility, please call 951-940-0135.

Quote from Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC National Sprint Car Series

When you won the 2005 USAC National Sprint Car Series title, the situation heading into the final two weekends was very similar to the one you face as you prepare for the Perris event. What's your outlook as you look to wrap up the title?

"We've been here before. This weekend isn't going to be unfamiliar. In 2005, I was racing for another team but the situation was extremely similar to the one that the No. 20 team faces. At this point, we'll have to be very heads up in this three-day event. While you want to go out and win every night, you also have to recognize what your car is capable of when it comes to the feature event. There are two dynamics that we're going to look at this weekend -- winning each night and the championship. Ideally, we'll have some luck in the qualifying draw each night and we'll get a good starting place each night. If not, we'll have some work to do. We're going to have work to do either way. My goals for the weekend are very simple. Obviously, I'd like to win if possible but I also want to come out of the weekend with the championship locked up. I know that the TSR team has been working very hard to get ready for the final two events and I know we're going to have great cars each night. Most importantly, we want to win the title for Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops and this weekend will be a key part in doing so."

Quotes from Ricky Stenhouse, driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC National Sprint Car Series

This will be your first appearance in the Budweiser Oval Nationals. Are you looking forward to the three-day format?

"This weekend is going to be a lot of fun. I really like it when we race at the same track for several nights in a row. Not only do you get an opportunity to try things each night, you also get a chance to apply what you learn the night before to make the car even better. I'm also looking forward to getting back into the sprint car. It's been over a month since we raced in the USAC National Sprint Series. I know that TSR has really been working hard in the shop during the break to make sure we're ready to go for the west coast swing. We're coming into this weekend ranked fifth in the points and I think we're going to have a great shot to move up in the standings or at least maintain our top-five. We're going to have great cars each night and I think TSR will be able to put Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops back in victory lane over the weekend."

For complete results from this weekend's USAC Sprint Series event, log on to www.usacracing.com. For information regarding TSR or Chevrolet, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com or www.chevrolet.com.

-credit: -TSR-

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Series USAC
Drivers Tony Stewart , Levi Jones , Darren Hagen