Getting Personal Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Seeking USAC Pavement Success at Richmond International Raceway INDIANAPOLIS (June 26, 2007) -- If Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC teams were to place a personal ad in the Richmond...
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Seeking USAC Pavement Success at Richmond International Raceway
INDIANAPOLIS (June 26, 2007) -- If Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC teams were to place a personal ad in the Richmond Times-Dispatch for this Friday's USAC National Sprint Series race at Richmond International Raceway (RIR), it might read something like this...
"In Search Of: Indiana-based USAC Sprint team seeks out-of-state pavement victory at RIR. Only good omens or lucky persons need respond. See racers Levi Jones or Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., to apply."
While the No. 20 and No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST teams aren't ready to place an ad just yet, they do have an advantage heading back into this week's Sprint Car race at Richmond. Tracy Hines is back on the scene as he continues to heal from his April 30 off-road motorcycle accident, albeit in a slightly different role. Feeling better and almost back on his feet, Hines is now working as a consultant to TSR crew chiefs Bubby Jones and Bobby Barth. Focusing on pavement setups and strategy, Hines just may prove to have answered any personal ad his team could have produced.
As Jones and Stenhouse head to the ¾-mile track for this Friday's race, they'll be armed with a renewed approach to their pavement program with the reemergence of Hines.
Jones is no stranger to running at the front at Richmond, as his last two appearances have seen him grab a top-five and a top-10 finish on the racy short-track. In 2006, Jones drove his TSR entry to a sixth place finish in USAC Sprint Series competition at RIR on June 23. He and the No. 20 team lead the USAC Sprint Series championship standings heading into this weekend's event with 610 points. Jones has also scored four Sprint Car victories thus far in 2007, making him the series' only four-time winner this year.
This Friday's race will mark Stenhouse's first appearance at Richmond. It will also be the 19-year-old's fourth pavement race in the No. 21 entry. Stenhouse has one Sprint Car victory thus far this season, having claimed the checkered flag at Big Diamond (Penn.) Raceway on June 7. He also has two Midget Car victories to his credit and is ranked 13th in the USAC Sprint Car Series standings with 308 points.
Grandstand gates will open to the public for this Friday's event at Richmond at 10:30 a.m. EDT. Practice for the USAC Sprint Series will begin at 11 a.m., with a second session following at 2:30 p.m. Qualifying for the 60-lap feature event will take place at 5:30 p.m., with racing scheduled to begin at 8:40 p.m. For race tickets or more information regarding the USAC Sprint Series event at RIR, please visit www.rir.com.
Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST
You won your first USAC Sprint Series pavement event in May, but it came on a ¼-mile track. What is the key to success at a larger track such as Richmond?
"The key is being able to stay in the gas all the time. You definitely don't want the car to be loose, especially getting into turn one. Richmond is a big, fast track that we can really race hard on for the entire night. It's got these tight corners that force you to really pay attention to your lines and entry, but it's also big enough that you can also race side-by-side with guys. It's a fun track to compete at. I've really enjoyed racing there in the past couple of years. I've had some good runs in the past two years and I think we'll be in contention to get Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops back in victory lane at a pavement track."
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST
This Friday's race will be your first at Richmond and your second pavement event on a larger track. Do you think the No. 21 team is ready for a second go-around with a bigger track?
"I'm really looking forward to heading to RIR. We were decent in the sprint car at O'Reilly Raceway Park a few weeks ago and I think we've begun to really step-up our pavement program. It's great to have Tracy in the shop more now that he's feeling better. He's helped us prepare for this event and will continue to work with all of us on our pavement programs as he heals. Realistically, we'd like to come away with a top-10 finish. Ideally, we're shooting for a top-five, but we'll take a top-10 finish. I think that both Levi and I will be in contention as the season continues and that we're going to put Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle several more times this year."