Turkey Night Triumph Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Hines and Stenhouse, Jr., Prepare for Thanksgiving USAC Midget Series Finale at Irwindale Speedway INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 20, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC driving trio of Levi Jones,...
Turkey Night Triumph
Tony Stewart Racing's Jones, Hines and Stenhouse, Jr., Prepare for Thanksgiving USAC Midget Series Finale at Irwindale Speedway
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 20, 2007) -- Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) USAC driving trio of Levi Jones, Tracy Hines and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., are set to make their final appearance in USAC National Midget Car Series competition this week at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. The 67th Annual Turkey Night Grand Prix is slated for Thursday, Nov. 22, at the half-mile paved oval near Los Angeles.
Turkey Night festivities kick off with practice for the USAC Midget Series and USAC Western States Sprint Car Series competitors Wednesday from 3 to 8:30 p.m. PST Wednesday.
TSR's Jones, fresh off winning the 2007 USAC National Sprint Car Series Championship, will enter Thursday's event ranked seventh in the USAC Midget Series standings with 862 points. Jones and the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Beast team have one series victory in 2007 -- in Wisconsin on Sept. 7. In his last appearance at Irwindale Speedway, on Nov. 23, 2006, Jones finished 13th in USAC Midget Series competition.
Stenhouse will look to gain ground in the Midget Series championship with his first appearance at Irwindale Thursday in the No. 21s TSR/Chevrolet/Beast entry. He is ranked third in the series standings with 1,070 points -- only 142 points behind leader Jerry Coons, Jr. Stenhouse has won five Midget races this year -- two USAC/POWRi co-sanctioned events and three USAC Midget Series events.
TSR driver Tracy Hines will make his third USAC Midget Series appearance this season since returning to the seat of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Beast entry Nov. 8 at Phoenix International Raceway. In his last appearance at Irwindale, on Nov. 23, 2006, Hines finished sixth. He continues daily therapy at St. Vincent's Sports Performance Center in Indianapolis.
Thursday's USAC Midget event at Irwindale will feature a 98-lap race in honor of late race promoter J.C. Agajanian. Gates will open at 4 p.m. PST with racing scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The official Web site of Irwindale Speedway is www.irwindalespeedway.com.
Quote from Levi Jones, driver of the No. 20 TSR/Chevrolet/Beast -- USAC National Midget Series
With the tradition and prestige that are synonymous with the Turkey Night Grand Prix event, what would it mean to win this Thursday's series finale?
"The Turkey Night event is one that would be a milestone in any driver's career. The names that are on the winner's list for this event represent some of the biggest legends in open-wheel racing. I won my first USAC Midget Series race at the Plymouth (Wis.) Dirt Track in September on the dirt and it would be awesome to win my first series pavement race at Irwindale Speedway on Thursday. Getting a win this week would be a great way to follow-up our USAC Sprint Series championship. It would also be really cool to put Chevrolet and Bass Pro Shops in the winner's circle in the last event of the season."
Quote from Tracy Hines,, driver of the No. 21 TSR/Chevrolet/Beast -- USAC National Midget Series
This weekend will be only your second race since the accident in late April. Was getting back in the car in Phoenix difficult, and are you looking forward to competing in the Turkey Night Grand Prix later this week?
"Getting back in the car at Phoenix was just what I expected, nothing more or nothing less. I knew it was going to be a lot of work to race, but with the help of my trainers from St. Vincent's Sports Performance, I accomplished my goal of getting back in the car. I wish we'd had a better result in the feature at Phoenix but it felt great to get back in the car. For this week's Turkey Night event, I plan to drive the TSR/Chevrolet/Beast Midget and I'll compete in the Western States Sprint Series event for the Morales family. This event, with the long flights, will also be hard on me, physically, but I am definitely looking forward to racing again. I'm focused on finishing as well as I can in both events. Nothing has changed in terms of my approach to racing."
Quote from Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., driver of the No. 21s TSR/Chevrolet/Beast -- USAC National Midget Series
You had a great run at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 8, coming from a 31st starting position to finish 13th. Are you looking forward to competing on the pavement at Irwindale Speedway for the first time this week?
"While a 13th-place finish wasn't what I would have liked to come away from Phoenix with, we were able to learn a lot about set-up and how our engines work with our chassis. I enjoy racing on the bigger tracks and heading to a half-mile like Irwindale is pretty exciting. Each time we race on the pavement, I get more comfortable, and I'm really looking forward to running in my first Turkey Night Grand Prix. I've won five Midget events this year, but I've not won on the pavement, yet. It would be pretty cool to get my first pavement win in an event like this. It would also be great to put Chevrolet and Bass Pro shops back in victory lane in the last event of the year."
For complete results from this weekend's USAC National Midget event, log on to www.usacracing.com. For information regarding Stewart, TSR or Chevrolet, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com or www.chevrolet.com.