TONY JONES -- "DOWN, BUT NOT OUT" Current Lucas Oil USAC/CRA sprint car series point leader Tony Jones of Norco, Calif., will find himself on the sidelines this weekend when the tour returns to the Ventura Raceway (Ventura ...
TONY JONES -- "DOWN, BUT NOT OUT"
Current Lucas Oil USAC/CRA sprint car series point leader Tony Jones of Norco, Calif., will find himself on the sidelines this weekend when the tour returns to the Ventura Raceway (Ventura Calif.) this Saturday night.
Jones suffered a broken collar bone during a violent end-over-end flip he rode-out moments after taking the white flag and sliding between eventual winner David Cardey and Mike Spencer last Saturday at the Perris Auto Speedway. Since Jones elected to have his wife Tammy drive him to the hospital after the race, most of the fans in attendance didn't even realize Jones was hurt.
"We're down right now, but definitely now out," Jones said with his usual fire. "I'm hopeful that I'll be running again real soon. The doctor actually told me that I could run after Ventura, but I risk re-breaking it again. Staying injured isn't really my way of doing things. I'm going to play it smart because I have a family and a job to think about. Thankfully, I've got a little bit of a cushion in the points and can miss a couple of races if I have to."
"You can't look back and second-guess what you should have maybe done differently because sometimes things don't go as planned in sprint car racing. If things would have gone as planned Saturday I would have looked like a hero. I dove down there hoping my Alexander Trucking car was going to stick enough in turn-one that I could stay ahead of Spencer and possibly even pass Cardey by the time I got to turn-four. I guess you could say I started something I didn't get a chance to finish," Jones laughed."
With a series-high five main event victories on the season, Jones still holds a 157-point lead over Spencer heading into this weekend. In addition to Jones trying to stay at the top of the driver standings, his Alexander Trucking No.4 ride also leads the entrant point standings. Originally, the team decided to park the car until Jones was ready to return. After some prodding from Jones, Mark and Steve Alexander were able to get defending USAC/CRA Champion Cory Kruseman of Ventura, Calif., to substitute for Jones Saturday at Ventura.
"Who better than Cory Kruseman could you get to drive for you at Ventura? He's the smartest driver that I've raced against, and it's just an honor that he would even consider getting in my car and helping us out," said Jones before adding: "I appreciate all the phone calls and get well wishes I've received. We're week-to-week right now. I should be back in the car by the next Perris race (September 15th), but if my recovery doesn't go as planned I could miss the Tucson and Manzanita races the following weekend. Whether I'm out one week or two months, everyone needs to know that I'm going to give them hell when I return."