COONS TO DRIVE FOR HEMELGARN 91/ JOHNSON MOTORSPORTS AT NASHVILLE Memphis, Tenn. -- July 7, 2005 -- Ron Hemelgarn and Roger Johnson announced today that USAC standout Jerry Coons Jr. would drive the No. 91 Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports...
COONS TO DRIVE FOR HEMELGARN 91/ JOHNSON MOTORSPORTS AT NASHVILLE
Memphis, Tenn. -- July 7, 2005 -- Ron Hemelgarn and Roger Johnson announced today that USAC standout Jerry Coons Jr. would drive the No. 91 Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports entry at the Clean Event 100 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, July 16th.
"I am looking forward this opportunity to drive for Ron Hemelgarn and Roger Johnson," smiled Coons. "Both Ron and Roger have always put first class race cars on the race track. To be in that kind of equipment, it is just an honor to drive for owners like that."
"I'm excited to have Jerry drive the No. 91 Hemelgarn 91/Johnson Motorsports car at Nashville," said co-owner Ron Hemelgarn. "Jerry knows how to run up front and win. Besides having another USAC driver to join Jay Drake in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series is fantastic."
"Jerry Coons Jr. has been working very hard this season preparing for any opportunity that might come along," stated co-owner Roger Johnson. "He has studied and attended racing schools. He has raced SCCA road racing events and honed his skills reviewing data acquisition information. He has spent many weeks in both Charlotte and Indianapolis looking for a ride. Jerry is a very smooth driver who will stand on the gas and knows when to back off. The Menards Infiniti Pro series is a great place to Jerry to showcase his USAC background and I expect he will perform well."
The race will be Coons' first start in the Indy Racing League Menard's Infiniti Pro Series™. While Coons is new to the series, he is not new to the IRL or Nashville Superspeedway. The Arizona native participated in an IRL rookie test for Team Panther in 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.
At Nashville Super Speedway, Jerry Coons Jr. established a new one-lap track and speed records, becoming the fastest person to drive a USAC Silver Crown™ car in 2001. Coons officially averaged 149.600 mph or 31.29 seconds per lap during testing. Onboard CDS recorded data showed Coons and the No. 35 R.E. Technologies Racing Silver Crown car reached speeds over 176 mph while making the circuit in 30.9 seconds and averaging 154.95 mph. Jerry Coons says he likes the 1.33 mile oval.
"Nashville is unique track with its concrete surface," stated Coons. "The track seems racy and we should be able to do some passing there."
The opportunity to race at Nashville Superspeedway is one that Coons hopes will give him exposure to show off his talent.
"I think any time you can gain that type of experience, any time you are racing in front of people in conjunction with the IRL, that is a great opportunity," said Coons. "This race will mean more experience and more exposure for me so I can move on and do some bigger things in the future."
The Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports team has had success at Nashville before grabbing the Gibson Guitar and winning the inaugural event in 2002 with Cory Witherill behind the wheel. The team also holds the fastest race record and the fastest race lap at the facility. The Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports has been one of the more successful teams in the history of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series. The team has recorded four wins in the last three years. Last season the team finished second in the points with Paul Dana behind the wheel.
THE TENNESSEE CONNECTION
Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports co-owner Roger Johnson makes his home in Bartlett, Tennessee located just a few hours from Nashville Superspeedway. Nothing would make Johnson happier than to see his team win in his home state.
ON THE WEB
Hemelgarn Racing's website www.hemelgarnracing.com provides fans with the latest information on the Ethanol/ Hemelgarn Racing team. Fans can also visit Jerry Coons' official website at www.jerrycoonsjr.com. R.E. Technologies Racing's website www.retechracing.com will provide updates throughout race weekend on the Arizona native's progress. The site also offers photos from the track as well as the opportunity to hear the driver's thoughts in the Driver's Audio section.