HAVE HELMET WILL DRIVE Memphis, Tenn. -- March 25, 2005 -- Jerry Coons Jr. headed to Memphis for what he thought would be just a weekend of road racing at Memphis Motorsports Park. As part of their driver development program, the ...
HAVE HELMET WILL DRIVE
Memphis, Tenn. -- March 25, 2005 -- Jerry Coons Jr. headed to Memphis for what he thought would be just a weekend of road racing at Memphis Motorsports Park.
As part of their driver development program, the R.E. Technologies Racing team rolled out the No. 35 Spec Miata for practice Friday. Coons gained seat time while team owner Roger Johnson provided instruction.
"The road racing is a lot different from ovals," stated Coons. "The big thing that I am learning is that you don't change the car. You change your driving style."
In the afternoon session, Coon's Silver Crown crew visited the track to see how their driver was progressing. Crewmembers Robert Hubbard and Robert Gant began kicking around the idea of taking Gant's 360 sprinter to Little Rock to race Saturday night but one question remained. Who would drive it?
"Hubbard said "why don't you put Jerry in it?" smiled Coons. "Gant asked me if I wanted to race it and I said, "heck yea lets go."
So Robert Gant, Robert Hubbard and team manager Chris Santucci went to work on Gant's No. 15g sprinter. Coons took the car out for a brief testing session at the Memphis Motorsports Park dirt oval Friday night to tune it up.
The following day, the Arizona native returned to road course mode as he qualified the No. 35 Spec Miata third quick in his division in the SCCA regional event at Memphis. When the green flag dropped, Coons concentrated on improving his entries and exits in the turns and in the process finished second in his division in only his second road course race weekend.
Following the race, Jerry Coons hopped in a car and headed three hours west to Little Rock and I-30 Speedway. His Silver Crown crew met him at the track with the No. 15g prepped and ready to go. Coons strapped in and claimed a victory in his heat race. Jerry Coons started on the pole and finished 4th in the feature against a strong regional contingent of 360 sprint drivers.
"We had a great time," smiled Coons. "We were all laid back. I think (Robert) Gant had as much fun as car owner as driving the car. (Robert) Hubbard turned the wrenches with Chris (Santucci). They had the car-dialed in. It took me a while to get used to the limits of the car and were I could run it."
Jerry Coons returned to Memphis to race one more time on Sunday. With dirt still on his shoes, he grabbed the second best time during qualifying. When the green flag dropped, he used what he had learned over the last two weeks to win his division at the SCCA regional event at Memphis.
"It was a busy weekend but it was quite enjoyable," stated Coons. "I love to race and I would definitely do it again."