TAKE TWO Jones, Hines and Chevy Return For Second Attempt At Winchester Speedway's USAC Sprint Series Event INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's Levi Jones and Tracy Hines were at the track, in their cars and ready to ...
Jones, Hines and Chevy Return For Second Attempt At Winchester Speedway's USAC Sprint Series Event
INDIANAPOLIS (April 22, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's Levi Jones and Tracy Hines were at the track, in their cars and ready to push off for the start of the 2008 USAC National Sprint Car Series event at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway last Sunday but, once again, Mother Nature had different plans for the team and the series. Battling intermittent showers for much of the day, they finally decided to try it again at the half-mile paved oval this Sunday.
Jones and the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops team opened defense of their 2007 USAC Sprint Series championship last Friday at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway. After taking the checkered flag in fourth place at Gas City, Jones set his sites on the high banks of Winchester and the series points lead before the rains came. In his last appearance there, on April 22, 2007, Jones finished eighth. He is currently ranked second in the USAC Sprint Series standings with 63 points.
The No. 21 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops team and Hines were looking at last Sunday's event at Winchester Speedway as a chance at redemption for their bad luck at Gas City on April 18. After missing the set-up in qualifying, Hines and the team spent their night playing catch-up and saw it end early in the feature after being collected in an unavoidable accident. The four-time winner at Winchester Speedway finished fourth in the last USAC Sprint Series event at the track last April. He has also earned 11 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes at the facility.
Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. EDT for Sunday's Rich Vogler Classic at Winchester Speedway. Practice is set to begin at 10 a.m. with racing at 2 p.m. The official Web site of Winchester Speedway is www.winchesterspeedway.com. For more information, the track office can be reached at 765-584-9701.
Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/BEAST
From a driver's perspective, with all of the rain and seepage the track was dealing with last Sunday, were you glad to see the event postponed until this weekend?
"I was glad that they decided to reschedule the race for this Sunday. Had we been at another pavement track, such as Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, we probably could've waited until they got the track dry and run the race. But at Winchester, you're already pushing the edge of grip on a good day and to try to race on a track that had any water on it at all would've been really pushing our luck. It's just got such high banking and you carry a lot of speed. They definitely made the right call in postponing the race until this weekend."
The addition of this Sunday's race means that the USAC Sprint Series will not have an idle weekend. Are you looking forward to getting on the track again this weekend?
"It's pretty cool to race on Sunday. We've had a lot of down time due to weather lately and we're all ready to start racing several times a week again. It's also pretty cool that to get to run at Winchester in the daytime. Day shows are fun. It's a completely different perspective for us as drivers to run in natural light. It also means that you really have to pay attention to the track and how the atmosphere is affecting it. I think if we qualify well and come out of our heat race, we're going to have a really good chance to put the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops car in the winner's circle for the first time this year."
Tracy Hines, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/BEAST
There has been a lot of talk regarding the decision to postpone the Rich Vogler Classic until this Sunday. As a driver, were you pleased with the decision?
"The track and USAC made the right decision last weekend when they decided to run the USAC Sprint Series race this Sunday. There is no way that the track would've ever been ready for us to race on it. With our open-wheel cars being the way they are, we don't have a lot of downforce and that would have been a problem on a track that had any moisture on it at all. The speeds we run at Winchester and the angle of the banking requires a completely dry race track, and with the humidity that was in the air throughout the afternoon, it would have been a miserable event for us to compete in."
Mother Nature hasn't been kind to racing of any type in the Midwest this spring. Are you pleased to have another shot to get a race in this Sunday?
"I know that everyone in our shop is glad to have a race this weekend. We've not enjoyed the off-weekends and rainouts. I'm also really glad that we were able to reschedule this event for this weekend. Having the race on Sunday means that we already have our cars ready to race right off the truck. If there had been a couple of other pavement races in-between, we would've had to re-establish set-ups for Winchester. When we tested at the track last week, we learned quite a bit and that's another benefit of running this race on Sunday. We'll have all of that information at the front of our minds. If the weather holds for Sunday, I think we'll have a good chance of putting Chevy and Bass Pro Shops in victory lane."
For complete results from this weekend's USAC Racing Series events, 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.