TSR TAKES ON INDIANA DIRT, PAVEMENT IN USAC RACING SERIES ACTION Hines, Jones and Chevy Prepare for Four Historic Events INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Tracy Hines are set to take part in four...
TSR TAKES ON INDIANA DIRT, PAVEMENT IN USAC RACING SERIES ACTION
Hines, Jones and Chevy Prepare for Four Historic Events
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Tracy Hines are set to take part in four historic USAC Racing events this week as the traditional "Month of May" comes to a close. With decades of racing history packed into four nights, TSR's Jones and Hines will look to leave their mark on the 2008 version of "May Mania."
Recent USAC National Sprint Series feature event winners Jones and Hines will return to the quarter-mile high banks of Anderson (Ind.) Speedway on Wednesday to kick off the week. Jones won in the series' last appearance at the facility on May 23, 2007, as he earned his first career USAC Sprint Series pavement victory. He'll work to defend his title in the Ninth Annual Banjo Glen Niebel Classic, as well as extend his lead in the USAC Sprint Series standings. Hines will make his first series appearance at the facility since May 24, 2006, when he finished 14th.
At Anderson, both Jones and Hines have posted solid career results in USAC Sprint Series competition. In addition to his 2007 victory, Jones has five top-five and seven top-10 finishes at the facility. Hines has found victory lane at the track on two occasions and has also earned five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in his career. Wednesday's event will conclude with a 100-lap feature race.
On Thursday, TSR will head south to the legendary Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track (THAT). Both Jones and Hines recently posted USAC Sprint Series victories on the dirt and will seek their second wins of the season at the half-mile oval. In the last series event at the track on May 19, 2007, Jones posted an eighth-place finish. The May 22 event will mark Hines' first appearance at the oval since Oct. 1, 2005, when he finished 17th.
Thursday's race pays homage to the former owner and president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the late Tony Hulman. The 38th First Financial Tony Hulman Classic will feature a 30-lap feature for the USAC Sprint Series. THAT is especially near and dear to Jones, who swept all three USAC Sprint Series events at the facility in 2005 en route to his first series title. He has also earned seven top-five finishes and 12 top-10 finishes in series competition at the track. Hines also has three USAC Sprint Series wins at the facility to his credit, in addition to nine top-five and 15 top-10 finishes.
Friday's 56th Annual Hoosier Hundred will see the return of the USAC Silver Crown Series to the one-mile Indiana State Fairgrounds facility in Indianapolis. The 2007 event was claimed by severe weather. Both Jones and Hines competed in the last Hoosier Hundred event held on May 26, 2006, with Jones finishing a close second to his then-teammate Josh Wise. Hines also posted a top-10 finish in that event, as he took the checkered flag in sixth place.
While both TSR drivers seek their first Hoosier Hundred victories, a win for Jones would also mark his first career USAC Silver Crown Series triumph. To date, Jones has earned one top-five and one top-10 finish in the event. Hines has taken the checkered flag in the series, but a win Friday would be his first in front of a Hoosier Hundred crowd. He has earned one top-10 finish in the 100-lap race.
TSR's racing action will conclude on Saturday with the 63rd Annual Night Before the 500 at O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) in Clermont, Ind. The historic event will feature the stars of the USAC National Midget Car Series in a 50-lap event finale. In last year's race, on May 26, 2007, Jones finished 13th. In his last series appearance at the track, Jones also earned a 13th-place finish on June 16, 2007. Saturday's race will mark Hines' first appearance at the facility since July 1, 2006, when he finished 19th.
A victory in Saturday's USAC Midget Series feature at ORP would be the third for Hines, who also has nine top-fives and 24 top-10 series finishes at the facility. Jones will seek his first USAC Racing Series victory at ORP Saturday.
Jones drives the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops entry while Hines drives the No. 21 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops entry in the USAC National Sprint and Midget Series. TSR utilizes Spike Chassis in the USAC Midget Series on both the dirt and the pavement. The team uses Maxim Chassis for dirt USAC Sprint Series and Beast Chassis for pavement events. Jones also drives the No. 10 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Maxim while Hines also drives the No. 22 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Maxim in the USAC Dirt Silver Crown Series.
Wednesday at Anderson Speedway, the pit gates will open at 9 a.m. EDT, with grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 5:35 p.m. with racing set to start at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. For more information regarding Anderson, visit www.andersonspeedway.com or call 765-642-0206.
For Thursday's event at the THAT, pit gates will open at 2 p.m. EDT. Grandstands will open at 4 p.m. with qualifying scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate. The official Web site of the track is www.theactiontrack.com, and fans can call 812-236-7951 for more information.
Tickets for Friday's Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds can be purchased by calling Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200, or by visiting www.trackenterprises.com. Tickets are also available at the gate. Practice for the event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. EDT.
On Saturday at ORP, the driver's meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. EDT. Practice and racing will follow. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the track at 317-291-4090 or by visiting the official Web site at www.oreillyracewaypark.com.
Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 and No. 10 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shop Entries for Tony Stewart Racing:
This week, TSR will compete in four different USAC Racing series events on both the dirt and the pavement. Does this type of variation make for a fun week?
"All of the different types of cars we'll compete in this week definitely make for a lot of fun. The TSR team has worked really hard to make sure we're well-prepared, and I think this might be the most ready we've ever been for these events. Our cars are ready to go. We'll spend Monday and Tuesday making sure all of the loose ends are tied up. The guys will be ready to load up on Wednesday. This week, as well as the Indiana Sprint and Midget Weeks, are the toughest on our schedule. I look forward to those three weeks all year long and I'm looking forward to racing four nights in a row."
You won your first USAC Sprint Series pavement feature at Anderson Speedway last year. Does that give you confidence while working toward a repeat in Wednesday's race?
"Any time you can win a race at a track, you always keep that in the back of your mind. It's definitely a confidence booster. Anderson is a track where you really have to qualify well in order to put your team in a good position for the night. Qualifying in the top of the field will give you better track position. This Wednesday's race is a longer race. It's 100 laps. That really gives you a chance to let the tires play a part in the outcome. You're able to use tire wear to your advantage and that factors into the final laps of the race. I think that TSR has a great chance to win at Anderson this week. It would be great to put Chevy and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle again."
Of the four scheduled events on tap for this week, which one are you looking forward to the most?
"I am really excited about the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Friday. The weather beat all of us last year. We got some laps in and then the storms took over. I really enjoy running the dirt Silver Crown cars and I'd love to get my first series win at the Fairgrounds on Friday. There is so much history behind that race, especially with it being on a mile track. I also led much of the race in 2006 before my tires went away and Josh (Wise, former TSR teammate) was able to get around me for the win. I'm ready for another shot at it this week."
Are you looking forward to competing at the Terre Haute Action Track in the USAC Sprint Series for the first time this year?
"I had a chance to run at Terre Haute a few weeks ago with another series and I really have to give credit to Mike King, Davey Hamilton and Brian Dorsett. They've taken the steps to bring the track back to the level it has been at in years past. Terre Haute has always been one of my favorite places to race. My family and friends always make the trip from Olney, Ill., to support us. It's a track that I consider to be one of my home tracks. It will be a lot of fun to race with the USAC Sprint Series there again this week."
Do the excitement and the vibe of the Indianapolis 500 carry over into the USAC Racing events that are held this week?
"Everything that takes place leading up to the Indianapolis 500 really lends a lot of excitement to the entire area. With the drama of yesterday's Bump Day still being talked about, the four races that we compete in really get caught up in that excitement. We're entertainers, and this week we'll have an opportunity to entertain a group of fans that might not typically see what USAC Racing has to offer. The whole week leading into the Indianapolis 500 is a lot of fun and it's great to be a part of that history."
Tracy Hines, driver of the No. 21 and No. 22 TSR/Chevy/Bass Pro Shops Entries for Tony Stewart Racing:
This week will see you and the Tony Stewart Racing team participate in several different USAC Racing Series events. Are you looking forward to the four-race stretch?
"We're really ready for this week to get started. The best thing about this week is the fact that all of these races are at night and all of them will see us run different cars. The guys will be working hard each day, but they won't have to worry about getting the same cars we raced the night before ready to go again. Running four different cars this week allowed us to prepare everything before this week arrived. We'll spend Monday and Tuesday of this week making final preparations, and we'll be ready to go come Wednesday. We've worked really hard to get ready and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be contenders at each race this week. I think we've got a great shot at putting Chevy and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle each night."
Which USAC Racing Series event scheduled for this week are you looking forward to the most?
"Having won multiple USAC Silver Crown Series feature events in my career, I really enjoy racing the dirt Champ cars. The Hoosier Hundred race is one that has such a longstanding history. It's a really neat event, especially being held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Any time you race on a mile track, it's unique. The Silver Crown cars really bring a sense of the history of USAC racing into the present and it's great to be a part of these events."
It's been several years since you've competed at the Terre Haute Action Track. Are you looking forward to this Thursday's race?
"I think Thursday's race could be one of the best of the week. The only thing that you really have to take into consideration when you're racing dirt Sprint cars is the weather. It can really affect the track, and that dictates the direction the event goes. If the track is in good shape and the weather cooperates, you can't find any better racing than dirt Sprint cars. If the weather doesn't go our way, sometimes it becomes a situation where things can come down to the pill draw for qualifying. If you get a late number and qualify in the back, you just have to hang on and work toward the best finish possible. If the weather cooperates, Thursday's race will definitely be a good one."
Does all of the excitement and anticipation of the fans waiting for the Indianapolis 500 make this week more intense?
"I've been racing in these events so long that I don't know if this week's really got a different feel in terms of anticipation. You're always ready to race. What is really exciting is that having the crowd in the area for Indy brings more fans to our races during this week. When you have great crowds at events, that's one of the neatest things you can experience as a driver. The drivers and teams that compete in the three USAC National Racing Series put on such a good show, we've got such a great product to offer to fans. Hopefully, people who are in town for Indy will come to a few of our races this week and will become permanent USAC fans after watching the action that our events offer. This week is an opportunity for USAC Racing to come into its own with a new group of fans, and that's pretty exciting."
For complete results from this week'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.