Dirt Nation Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Hit the Dirt in Sprint, USAC Midget Series Events INDIANAPOLIS (August 7, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., get back to business this week...
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Hit the Dirt in Sprint, USAC Midget Series Events
INDIANAPOLIS (August 7, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., get back to business this week as they tackle five dirt-track races in six days, not to mention rack up some serious highway time in-between. With today's Ultimate Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway (SIS) in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and the four-day USAC Indiana Midget Week Series on tap for Thursday through Sunday, TSR's dynamic duo will have five opportunities to pick up more hardware.
Today's event at SIS starts the busy week for TSR. The Nos. 20 and 21 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST teams will compete in the Ultimate Challenge featuring the O'Reilly Sprint Bandit Series. The event, which features a $30,000 payday for the feature winner, will see some of the best talent in the country take to the lightning-fast half-mile.
USAC Indiana Midget Week begins Thursday at Kamp Motor Speedway in Boswell, Ind. >From there, the four-day series will make stops at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway on Friday and Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Saturday. The event finale will take place on Sunday at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway.
Jones is no stranger to hitting pay dirt at SIS, as he won the prestigious event in 2005 en route to the USAC National Sprint Car Series title. While this will be his first four-day USAC Indiana Midget Week run, Jones did earn a ninth-place finish at Gas City on Aug. 16, 2006 in Midget competition. He also posted a sixth-place finish at Kokomo Speedway in a Midget car on Aug. 20, 2006.
Jones and the No. 20 team lead the USAC Sprint Series championship heading into this weekend with 1,206 points. Jones has also scored five Sprint car victories thus far in 2007, including four USAC Sprint events. Jones is ranked fifth in the USAC Midget standings with 539 points.
Today's race will mark Stenhouse's first appearance at SIS. While he has competed at all four facilities set to host USAC Indiana Midget Week, Stenhouse has never taken to the tracks in a Midget car. Stenhouse has one Sprint-car victory this season, having claimed the checkered flag at Big Diamond (Pa.) Raceway on June 7. He also has three Midget-car victories to his credit and is ranked fifth in the USAC Sprint Car Series standings with 850 points. Stenhouse is ranked third in the USAC Midget Series standings with 556 points.
TSR's Tracy Hines, who was injured in an off-road motorcycle accident on April 30, has rejoined the team as a pavement set-up consultant while he continues his recovery. Hines will continue to work with TSR until his recovery is complete and he is able to return to the driver's seat. On Aug. 13, Hines will undergo a second surgery on his right knee to remove scar tissue and continue to repair the nerves. He will resume daily therapy following the surgery.
For more information regarding SIS or the Ultimate Challenge, log on to www.rlpromotions.com/oskaloosa/.
For more information regarding USAC Indiana Midget Week, please visit www.usacracing.com.
Quotes from Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST
You've been in victory lane at Southern Iowa Speedway. What would it mean to win your second Ultimate Challenge?
"Winning the Ultimate Challenge was by far one of the highlights of my career. The $30,000 payday didn't hurt the experience, that's for sure. Everyone at TSR has been working really hard to make sure we're as ready as possible for not only every race but the big ones such as the Ultimate Challenge. I ran the event last year in another car but to win the event in a TSR car would be really cool. It would be great to get a win like that for Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in their first year in USAC racing."
Coming off a strong second place run at Salem Speedway in the No. 20 USAC Midget, are you looking forward to a four-day stretch of Midget racing?
"Any time you can run several races in the same type of car, you're doing to learn more about it. Not only will we get four days to use that knowledge but we're very familiar with all of the tracks that we'll compete at during Indiana Midget Week. Finishing second at Salem was definitely a confidence booster and I'm really looking forward to getting back on the dirt in the Midget."
Quotes from Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/BEAST
You've watched races at Southern Iowa Speedway but this will be your first time to compete at the facility. Are you looking forward to your first race there?
"In having watched races at Oskaloosa, the track reminds me of Manzanita Speedway. The speed that the cars carry around the track is awesome. You can run on the top or the bottom all the way around it. It's also similar to Manzanita in terms of banking and the walls. The only difference is that, at Oskaloosa, there isn't a backstretch wall. I'm also a fan of the bigger tracks. I like running on the bigger, fast tracks like this. It's going to be a lot of fun to make my first start at Osky this week. Hopefully, Tony Stewart Racing can take Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops to the winner's circle."
With four USAC Midget races on tap for this week, are you looking forward to any of the tracks more so than the others?
"I really like Kamp Motor Speedway. There again, it's a bigger track. It's a 3/8-mile, and it's pretty fast. I am looking forward to going back there in the Midget. We've had some success in the Midgets this year and I think we'll have a good shot at winning some of these races this week. It's also good to have several races in a row in the same type of car. When you have more than one night in a certain type of race car, you're going to get better. I'm definitely going to miss running the Knoxville Nationals this week but I'm really excited about having five races in such a short amount of time."
For complete results from this weekend's USAC National Sprint Car Series event, log on to www.usacracing.com. For information regarding Stewart, TSR or Chevrolet, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com or www.chevrolet.com.