Tony Stewart Racing Ready To Take On USAC Indiana Sprint Week...Round One Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Fired Up For USAC Indiana Sprint Week Start INDIANAPOLIS (July 11, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and...
Tony Stewart Racing Ready To Take On USAC Indiana Sprint Week...Round One
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Fired Up For USAC Indiana Sprint Week Start
INDIANAPOLIS (July 11, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., are ready for the 2007 USAC Indiana Sprint Week. With only hours separating them from the eight-race mini-series, little need be said to describe their mindset heading into the week except that TSR will be on a mission.
With two doubleheaders and a stand-alone event on tap, the USAC National Sprint Car Series will begin its roughest season stretch to date at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday. The series will then move on to Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway for a two-day event on Friday and Saturday. The first leg of the whirlwind USAC Indiana Sprint Week will wrap up at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway Sunday.
Heading into this week's five-race stretch, Jones sits in the catbird seat as he is currently ranked second in the USAC Sprint Series championship. Points leader Darren Hagen beware, as Jones is only two points out of the lead and will be taking no prisoners as the series rolls into three of the toughest quarter-miles in the country. With five sprint car victories to his credit thus far in 2007, including one at Lawrenceburg on April 21, Jones will look to double that mark this week.
For Stenhouse, this week's racing action will be about redemption and discovery. The 19-year-old will make his first career appearance at Lawrenceburg on Wednesday and Thursday. An early season injury prevented him from competing at Lawrenceburg in the April USAC Sprint Series event. On Friday and Saturday, Stenhouse will look to even the score with Gas City's quarter-mile bullring. At the USAC Sprint race on June 14, Stenhouse had to exit the event early after two rollovers. Sunday's event at Kokomo Speedway will mark Stenhouse's first appearance in USAC Sprint Series competition at the track. He enters this week ranked ninth in the series title chase and has one series victory to date.
This week's USAC Sprint Series doubleheader will kick off with two 30-lap features at the quarter-mile, high-banked clay oval of Lawrenceburg Speedway on Wednesday and Thursday. Pit gates will open to competitors at 4 p.m. EDT with grandstands opening to the public at 5 p.m. Race fans can purchase tickets the day of the event or by calling 812-539-4700. The official Web site of Lawrenceburg is www.lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
For Friday and Saturday's 30-lap doubleheader at the quarter-mile Gas City I-69 Speedway, gates open to the public at 5 p.m. EDT. Race fans can purchase tickets at the gate both days or by calling 765-674-6135. For more information regarding Gas City, log on to www.gascityI69speedway.com.
For Sunday's 30-lap event at Kokomo Speedway, pit gates open at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Grandstand gates will open to the public at 4 p.m. EDT. Tickets can be purchased by calling 765-459-3877 or at the gate the day of the race. The official Web site of Kokomo Speedway is www.kokomospeedway.net.
Quotes from Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC National Sprint Car Series Dirt Car
The USAC Indiana Sprint Week series offers race drivers a chance to win a lot of races in a short period of time, but it also offers the title of Sprint Week Champion. What's the key to your approach for this prestigious series of events?
"One of the biggest keys to doing well in Sprint Week competition is qualifying well every night. You also have to be smart in your heat races. You can't drive over your head in the heats or you'll end up having to run the semi features. As a driver, if you can remember those two things, you'll do very well during Sprint Week. I've got some experience with this event, having won the title in 2005, and I told the guys that we've got a really good shot at winning the whole deal. We just can't beat ourselves. If we stay calm and really focus on qualifying and making the shows, everything will fall into place."
Will the doubleheaders at Lawrenceburg and Gas City I-69 Speedway in the early part of the series be an asset to the TSR team?
"Having two-day shows to start the event off is definitely going to help us in the long run. With a two-day show, you have an opportunity to use what you learned on the first night to help you with the second event. We've been good at both tracks in the past and we've got a lot of good notes to start from. The second night, we'll be stronger using our starting point as well as what we learned the night before. It's also going to make it easier on the team, as we won't have to travel as much. We'll stay close to the track for Lawrenceburg, as well as at Gas City. It will be good for us to stay rested in the early part of the week."
How did the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim team prepare for the USAC Indiana Sprint Week events?
"We really put a lot of work into getting ready to go for the next two weeks. I'm very confident in our level of readiness, from our set-ups to the Chevrolet engines that Paul Kistler builds for us. When we got back from Ohio earlier this week, we took the engine out of the pavement sprint car and put it in our back-up dirt car. We've got a couple of really good cars for this event and our spares are also good. We're just hoping that we won't have to use them. The goal is to put Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in victory lane several times in the next few days."
Quotes from Ricky Stenhouse, driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC National Sprint Car Series Dirt Car
With this being your first USAC Indiana Sprint Week event, is there a particular track you're looking forward to going to more than some of the others?
"I'm really looking forward to competing at Gas City again this week. I've kind of got a score to settle there. My first event in Gas City didn't go the way we'd wanted it to and I'm ready to get back out there for two nights. When we wrecked there in June, I made a vow that I would win at Gas City this year. Getting our first win there during Sprint Week would make it even better."
With two doubleheaders on tap to kick-off USAC Indiana Sprint Week, do you think that having more time at Lawrenceburg and Gas City will benefit TSR?
"I'm really glad we're going to have two nights at both tracks. I'm also glad we're going to Lawrenceburg first. I wasn't able to race there in April when USAC was there. I'd had an accident at Bloomington Speedway the night before and couldn't drive. I've only seen a race at Lawrenceburg from the grandstands. It will give not only our team a chance to get settled in but it will also give me time to really get used to the track. The same goes for Gas City. We're going to have two chances to get Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in victory lane there, as well."
How did the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim team help you prepare for your first USAC Indiana Sprint Week experience?
"We built two brand new cars for this week and I'm really excited to get them on the track. The guys worked really hard to get us as ready as we could be and I think we'll be able to cash in on that hard work. Everyone has also been really helpful in getting me mentally prepared for this week. I've not seen some of these tracks before and it's great to have such an experienced group of people to help me work through it, especially for the first time."