By Dick Jordan
The “Tony Hulman Classic” victory lane at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track is a destination every USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car driver wants to reach. Only two drivers have been able to get there three times in the previous 39 runnings – Levi Jones and Cary Faas.
Jones, of Olney, Ill., could stand alone May 27, if he can capture his fourth title. Not only would he be the first four-time winner, he would also become the first to win the race three years in a row, which would give him four wins in the last six years!
He won the 2005 classic for the 2B Racing team, leading the final 13 laps. In 2008 he also led the final 13 laps to put the Tony Stewart Racing team in victory lane. He repeated with the Stewart team last year, leading all 30 laps, the first time a driver had led every lap since J.J. Yeley did it in 2003!
Jones is also trying to join Steve Butler as the only four-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Champions in the club’s history. He enters this weekend’s race at Newton, Iowa, the last before Terre Haute, second in the standings to Damion Gardner.
Jones could be facing a field which includes four more previous “Tony Hulman Classic” Champions, Dave Darland, Tracy Hines, Daron Clayton and Jon Stanbrough, who will try to join Jones and Faas in the three-time winners club. Stanbrough also has a pair of second-place finishes in this race.
Last year’s race proved to be a preview of the “Indiana Sprint Week” championship showdown, with Jones and Bryan Clauson finishing 1-2, just as they did in the final 2010 ISW standings, just one point apart!