LEVI JONES CLINCHES THIRD USAC TITLE TSR Earns Chevy, Bass Pro Shops Second USAC Sprint Car Crown TULARE, Calif., (Nov. 16, 2009) -- Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Levi Jones clinched his third career U.S. Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint...
LEVI JONES CLINCHES THIRD USAC TITLE
TSR Earns Chevy, Bass Pro Shops Second USAC Sprint Car Crown
TULARE, Calif., (Nov. 16, 2009) -- Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) driver Levi Jones clinched his third career U.S. Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car Series championship by finishing 12th in Sunday night's 30-lap season finale at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. Jones won the championship driving the No. 20 Chevy/Bass Pro Shops/Maxim in 34 events during the 2009 season, earning team partners Chevy and Bass Pro Shops their second championship in non-winged Sprint car racing's premiere division.
The championship marked the fifth USAC Sprint car title for car owner Tony Stewart. TSR earned its first USAC Sprint car championship in 2003 with J.J. Yeley. Driver Jay Drake won the 2004 title, followed by Josh Wise's series triumph in 2006. Jones earned the 2007 USAC Sprint cars title for TSR and followed it up with this year's triumph to mark the fifth such title for Stewart's open-wheel stable. The championship is Stewart's eighth in USAC and his 11th overall as a car owner, for he also has three car owner titles in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
"It feels great to win a third USAC Sprint car championship," said the 27-year-old Jones, who resides in Brownsburg, Ind. "All the hard work from everyone at Tony Stewart Racing has paid off. This season has had its ups and downs and I'm very proud of our team for the effort that they've put into this title. Winning races is what we shoot for, and even though we didn't win the final race of the season, our overall season effort put us on top in the end.
"Every season, our goal is to win the championship, and this year we were able to win our third championship. It takes a lot of commitment from the team and our partners. The people at Chevy, Bass Pro Shops and Armor All give us an opportunity to compete for a championship each year and we sincerely appreciate their support. It's really a team effort, and I can't thank the TSR/Chevy team (Jimmy Carr, Mikey Kuemper, John Sayne, Adam Barth, Bobby Barth, Colton Brown, Michael Lewis, Brad Mariscotti and Kenny VanDam) enough. It was also great to have my family with me this weekend, and I especially want to thank our team owner, Tony Stewart, for giving me the opportunity to drive for his team."
Jones capped the title chase Nov. 7 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway in the final night of the Budweiser Oval Nationals event. He carried a 124-point advantage over his nearest challenger, Dave Darland, to claim the championship. In the final race of the season on Sunday night, Jones qualified in the 12th position and finished second in the fourth heat to transfer into the feature event, and after starting 11th in the 30-lap feature event, Jones drove and ill-handling racecar to a 12th-place finish in the season finale.
The 2009 season has been a stellar one for Jones and the Chevy/Bass Pro Shops team. En route to earning four USAC Sprint car victories, Jones also picked up his third career USAC Indiana Sprint Week title. Jones notched 16 top-five and 29 top-10s in 34 events this season.
Jones has driven for team owner Stewart since the 2006 season. The two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion was thrilled to have Jones and the Chevy/Bass Pro Shops team capture their third series crown.
"Levi has matured into a true championship caliber driver and I'm very proud to see him and the TSR team win its third USAC Sprint car championship," Stewart said. "The USAC Sprint car series is one of the most competitive divisions in all of racing, and this championship says a lot about the TSR operation. Levi is a true champion and I'm glad that he was able to win his third championship as part of TSR.
"It's also exciting to win a second USAC Sprint car championship with Chevy. The brand has been a huge part of my racing career and I'm extremely proud to win another championship with Chevy as part of my open-wheel programs. It's really a privilege to be able to present them with their second USAC championship. It's an honor to have Chevy, as well as TSR's other partners, as part of Levi's championship and we look forward to working with them as we move forward."
For information regarding TSR, Jones, Chevy, Armor All or ParkerStore, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.Chevy.com, www.aa-ownerscenter.com or www.parkerstore.com.