A Fork In The Road Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Prepare for Two Different Schedules in USAC Competition INDIANAPOLIS (August 22, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC driving duo of Levi Jones and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., are...
A Fork In The Road
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Stenhouse, Jr., Prepare for Two Different Schedules in USAC Competition
INDIANAPOLIS (August 22, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC driving duo of Levi Jones and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., are set to tackle two different schedules this weekend, all the while in pursuit of separate championships. Jones will rack up frequent flyer miles jetting between Wisconsin and Ohio, while Stenhouse will be ready for three USAC National Midget Car Series events in the Badger State.
Kicking off the week will be Friday's USAC Midget Series events at the Plymouth (Wis.) Dirt Track, where both Jones and Stenhouse will make their first appearance.
Saturday, TSR will see its team split time between the USAC Midget race at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis., and the USAC National Sprint Car event at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. Both teams will reunite Sunday at Angell Park for Day Two of USAC Midget competition.
Competing in three races in two different states in only three days will be a challenge for Jones. He'll start this weekend at Plymouth on Friday night before jumping on a flight to Pennsylvania and driving to Sharon for Saturday's race, where he'll make his first-ever appearance. Jones will then fly back to Wisconsin to end the weekend at Angell Park on Sunday.
Jones leads the USAC National Sprint Car Series standings with 1,206 points and is ranked eighth in the USAC Midget Series championship with 612 points.
Making his first career appearances at Plymouth and Angell Park, Stenhouse will be looking to gain ground in the series championship. Only 131 points behind series leader Jerry Coons, Jr., the 19-year-old is looking for his first national series title. Stenhouse has won four Midget races this year, two USAC/POWRi co-sanctioned events and two USAC Midget Series events. He is ranked third in the series standings with 747 points.
Injured TSR driver Tracy Hines has resumed therapy following a second surgery on August 13 to break up scar tissue on his right knee. He attends daily therapy at St. Vincent Sport Medicine. For a complete update on Hines' recovery, please visit www.tonystewartracing.com and click on the News section.
Friday's USAC Midget event at the 1/3-mile Plymouth Dirt Track will feature a 30-lap race. Gates will open at 4 p.m. CDT with hot laps scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The official Web site of the Plymouth Dirt Track is www.plymouthdtr.com.
Saturday's USAC Sprint race at Sharon Speedway will see the series return to the 3/8-mile oval for the first time since its last appearance at the track in 1987, when Kenny Jacobs was crowned the victor. For information regarding Sharon, please visit www.sharonspeedway.com.
The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame Classic at Angell Park Speedway will take place on Saturday and Sunday. Ryan Durst won the series' last event on the 1/3-mile oval on Aug. 26, 2006. Grandstand gates will open at 4:30 P.M. CDT with racing set to begin at 7 p.m. both nights. The official Web site of Angell Park Speedway is www.angellpark.com.
Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Spike -- USAC National Midget Series and the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Maxim -- USAC National Sprint Series:
Heading into the final stretch of races in the USAC Sprint Series championship chase, how do you approach these last few events?
"You're always racing for the win. I don't go to the track to run second. But at this point in the season, when you're leading the championship, you have to look at things a little differently. Having won the title in 2005, I will rely on my experience to tell me when to push it and when to go for the best finish we can. You have to be able to recognize the difference between a winning car and a third-place car. If you know that you need to pull back a bit to get the finish that will allow you to build on the points lead, then you need to do that. With that said, I'll be racing as hard as I can on Saturday night at Sharon to get the win. I'm ready to put TSR, Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops back in the winner's circle with the No. 20."
Does it bother you that TSR had to make a decision about where to send the Nos. 20 and 21 teams this weekend due to the schedule conflict with the USAC Midget and Sprint Series?
"It's not a decision that we wanted to make, especially when you consider our sponsors. It doesn't make a lot of sense to pull the series apart. It robs the fans and the promoters of having all of the USAC drivers at the track. This weekend's events won't be as much of a situation as it could have been at the beginning of the season. The point races have started to sort themselves out at this point and we had to make decisions that would give us the best shot at staying in both the Sprint and the Midget championship chases. Hopefully, Ricky and I will be able to get a win in both series this weekend."
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Spike -- USAC National Midget Series:
This weekend will be your first look at both the Plymouth Dirt Track and Angell Park Speedway. Are you looking forward to competing in the Midget racing hotbed of Wisconsin?
"I haven't heard anything about how to approach Plymouth or Angell Park. I'm going into these two tracks sight unseen. I know that they're both very racy and pretty fast. It will be one of those deals where we show up and go to work figuring out the fast way around. I also know that Midget racing is pretty tough in the Wisconsin area. There are a lot of guys who run at Sun Prairie every weekend and that it's going to be a tough deal all three nights. We've worked hard to have our cars ready to go for this three-day run and I think we're going to have a good shot at putting Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle on any of the three nights."
Would you have liked to compete in the USAC Sprint Series event at Sharon Speedway on Saturday night?
"I hate it that we're going to have to miss that race. Right now, I'm fifth in the USAC Sprint series points and missing that race is going to make it harder for us to finish in the top-five. We're only 54 points out of fourth place right now and missing the Sharon race will widen that gap. We're going to have our work cut out for us in order to finish in the top-five. But I think we've got our bases covered with Levi heading to Sharon and the No. 21 team running all three Midget events. We hope to make it a four-for-four weekend for TSR."