RACING TO RICHMOND Chevrolet, Tony Stewart Racing USAC Drivers Hines, Jones Set To Invade Richmond International Raceway INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Tracy Hines head to Richmond (Va.)...
RACING TO RICHMOND
Chevrolet, Tony Stewart Racing USAC Drivers Hines, Jones Set To Invade Richmond International Raceway
INDIANAPOLIS (June 25, 2008) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Levi Jones and Tracy Hines head to Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (RIR) for a USAC Sprint and Silver Crown Series doubleheader this weekend as part of the IRL IndyCar Series' SunTrust Indy Challenge. Friday, they'll tackle the USAC Sprint Series Showdown at Sundown, and Saturday they'll take to the three-quarter-mile high-banked oval for the K&N Silver Crown Series James River Grounds 100.
Jones enters Friday's USAC Sprint Series event ranked second in the championship standings. Only 19 points behind series leader Cole Whitt, Jones will look to earn his third series victory of the season. In his last USAC Sprint Series race at RIR, on June 29, 2007, Jones earned an eighth-place finish. He will pilot the No. 20 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Beast in the USAC Sprint Series race.
Hines heads to RIR ranked fourth in the USAC Sprint Series standings. He has also won two feature events in 2008, having found victory lane twice at team owner Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway. Hines' last appearance in USAC Sprint Series competition at the track, on June 23, 2006, saw him earn a fifth-place finish. He and the No. 21 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Beast team will look for their first series pavement win of the year on Friday.
Jones' last USAC Silver Crown Series race at RIR, on June 30, 2007, saw him finish 16th. This Saturday's race will mark his first start at the facility behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Beast entry for TSR. He is currently ranked seventh in the series standings.
Saturday's race will also see Hines make his first start for TSR at RIR. He and the No. 22 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Beast team will look to improve on their fifth-place standing in the USAC Silver Crown Series championship. Hines' last appearance at the track in Silver Crown competition saw him earn a fourth-place finish on June 28, 2003. He also earned a fifth place finish at RIR in NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition on Sept. 9, 2005.
Grandstand gates at RIR will open to the public Friday at 10:30 a.m. EDT. Practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series will begin at 10:30 a.m. The USAC Sprint Series will take to the 3/4-mile track for its opening round of practice at 2 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5:30 p.m. USAC Silver Crown Series qualifying is set for 6:15 p.m. that evening. The 60-lap Showdown at Sundown, featuring the USAC Sprint Series, will begin at 8:50 p.m.
Saturday, grandstands will open to the public at 2 p.m. EDT. Practice for the USAC Silver Crown Series will take place at 2:30 p.m. with the James River Grounds 100 set to begin at 5:15 p.m.
Tickets for the Sun Trust Indy Challenge Weekend at RIR can be purchased by calling 1-866-989-RACE, or by visiting the track's official Web site at www.rir.com.
Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevy/Beast -- USAC National Sprint Car Series
No. 10 TSR/Chevy/Beast -- USAC Silver Crown Series
What makes Richmond International Raceway a unique facility?
"Richmond is one of the most prestigious pavement events we participate in each season. Having the opportunity to compete at the same facility alongside the IndyCar series is a unique opportunity. It's a great way for us to showcase USAC Racing and potentially reach another group of fans that may not be familiar with the quality of the product we represent. I enjoy competing at Richmond and I am looking forward to racing there this weekend."
Richmond has a very unique shape to its configuration. Is there a trick to qualifying well at this track?
"It's a place where you really have to hit your marks each lap and work to keep the car as smooth as possible. You want to have the car set up just right. It's not different than any other pavement track in that respect. We've really been working on our pavement programs this year and I think that we're going to have a great base set-up to work with. My teammate, Tracy Hines, has been a big help in that department and I think we're going to have a good chance to put Chevy and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle on both days this weekend."
Are you looking forward to driving the traditional style USAC Silver Crown Series car at Richmond this weekend?
"I had an opportunity to compete in the new-generation car at Richmond last year and, unfortunately, due to mechanical failure, our day didn't end the way we wanted it to. I am looking forward to getting back into the traditional car. We've had some great success with those cars in the past and they're a lot of fun to drive. It would be really cool to get my first Silver Crown Series win in front of a crowd like the one that will be at Richmond on Saturday."
Tracy Hines, driver of the No. 21/TSR/Chevy/Beast -- USAC National Sprint Car Series
No. 22 TSR/Chevy/Beast -- USAC Silver Crown Series
Do you have a favorite memory of competing at Richmond International Raceway?
"I don't know that I have one particular memory that I would call a favorite when I think about Richmond. I have always been impressed with the speed of the track. The amount of speed that you carry around that place is unbelievable. Our Chevy engines will definitely be a benefit at Richmond this weekend. They've been performing really well and will be very quick around the track. I enjoy competing there and I am really looking forward to this weekend's doubleheader."
What makes Richmond International Raceway unique?
"Richmond is actually a D-shaped oval. Unlike most tracks that have that configuration, Richmond has a one- to a one-and-a-half-car-wide groove all the way around. The exit off of turn two is very tight. It's really hard to pass off of that corner. Most of the passing that will take place will happen off of turn four. These variations, combined with the speed that we carry around the track, will make for some interesting racing this weekend."
Are you looking forward to competing in one type of car this weekend more so than the other?
"I'm really looking forward to both events. In the Sprint car, we've been finishing really well when we're able to finish. We've had some bad luck and have been caught up in some on-track altercations this season. We're going to debut our back-up car this weekend, as my primary was destroyed at Winchester a few weeks ago. We'll have to wait to see how it's going to handle. It was a car that served as a back-up for either Levi (teammate) or Josh Wise (former TSR driver) in 2006. I have no doubt that the guys have put together a great car. We'll just have to adapt to the track as we need to.
"I'm also excited about getting back in the Silver Crown car. I've not been in a traditional-style pavement car for a while in USAC Racing competition. I competed with the former Premier Racing Association (PRA) series a few years ago, so I'm still pretty familiar with those cars. It will be fun to get back on the track at Richmond with one of the traditional cars. I think that we're going to be pretty strong right off the truck and have a good chance to put Chevy and Bass Pro Shops back in the winner's circle this weekend."
For complete results from this weekend's USAC Racing Series events, log on to www.usacracing.com. For information regarding TSR, Chevy or Bass Pro Shops, visit www.tonystewartracing.com, www.Chevrolet.com or www.basspro.com.