Racing news from the Indiana motorsports scene

Jones Powers To Victory In Hoosier 100

Levi Jones blasting through first turn in preliminary action.  [Joe Jennings Photo]

Levi Jones blasting through first turn in preliminary action. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Top-three finishers: Tracy Hines, winner Levi Jones and runner-up Jerry Coons Jr.   [Joe Jennings Photo]

Top-three finishers: Tracy Hines, winner Levi Jones and runner-up Jerry Coons Jr. [Joe Jennings Photo]

Indianapolis, Ind. – Levi Jones powered into the lead with six laps to go to win the Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Friday evening. For Jones, he won for the first time on a mile dirt track.

The 60th running of the famed race marked the opening event of the season for the TRAXXAS USAC Silver Crown Series.

The winner drove the Tony Stewart-Curb-Agajanian Racing/Chevrolet Performance – Curb/Maxim/Kistler.

“Words can’t even describe winning this race,” said Jones. “This is my Indy 500. I have been on a lot of front rows here and led a lot of laps, but couldn’t get a win. Early in the race, we were talking on the radio and feeling like we weren’t that good. The track was so hard on tires, and I watched other guys smoke their tires. I knew if I could get close to Jerry (Coons), they would tell him on radio that I was getting close. It worked out and I pressured him a bit. He got sideways, which enabled me to get by on backstretch. I don’t think he had much tire left at that point.”

Added team partner Mike Curb, “This is a big win for us. We won Indy two years ago with Dan Wheldon and the Firestone Indy Lights race a year ago, plus now this.”

Starting fifth, Jones ran with the leaders throughout and remained in the fifth spot as the leaders hit the half-way mark. Thereafter, he started picking off cars, making smooth moves to gain positions. For an extended period, Jones was running in a tight foursome with leader Coons, fast qualifier Russ Gamester and Brian Tyler.

Gamester, who led the initial 58 laps, was passed by Coons before falling back in the order and eventually exiting the race.

Seeking his third consecutive Hoosier 100 victory, Coons built up a commanding lead until caution flags and intense competition narrowed the margin. With Jones in hot pursuit as the laps wound down, the duo had to maneuver through lapped traffic with Jones making the pass for lead on the 94th stanza.

Jones was unchallenged after taking over with Coons falling to a distant second ahead of Tracy Hines and Shane Hollingsworth.

“We had a really good car, especially early,” Coons stated. “I was pacing myself and using lapped cars, I got the lead. Toward the end, Levi (Jones) was definitely quicker and my left rear tire was worn. We gained a lot of stagger in car, but car got free and we were never the same after that.”

Taking fifth was A. J. Fike with Justin Grant advancing from 18th to sixth.

Aaron Pierce, Bobby East, newcomer Miranda Throckmorton and Kellen Conover rounded out the top-10 finishers.

In the 20-lap UMPModified feature, NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader won it for the third time in four tries.

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