From Dick Jordan
The 2010 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series returns to pavement this week for back-to-back races at O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. and the Toledo (Ohio) Speedway. It’s their second appearance at ORP this year and the first since last year at Toledo.
Shane Hmiel of Pleasant Garden, N.C. returns to ORP for Thursday night’s event after having won there June 10, while Bobby East is the defending winner at Toledo, which hosts “Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness Night” Friday.
The fireworks should be spectacular on and off the track this Independence Day weekend as drivers compete for valuably points toward the 2010 National title. Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. and defending titlist Levi Jones of Olney, Ill. are separated by only two points as the series prepares for these two pivotal racing events.
Jones won Saturday night’s 30-lap AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car race at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa, leading the final 10 laps in his Tony Stewart Racing Chevy/Bass Pro Shops Maxim/Kistler Chevy. Dave Darland led the first 20 laps until tire problems relegated him to a 10th-place finish. Chris Windom finished second ahead of Hmiel, Gardner and fast qualifier Terry Babb. Three drivers flipped but there were no driver injuries.
Gardner has had better finishes than Jones in the last ORP and Toledo outings. Jones was 12th in each, while Gardner had a 10th at Toledo last year and a fourth in the June race at ORP.
The Mopar USAC National Midgets share billing at Toledo, where Bobby Santos III was the winner last year.
USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT SERIES POINT STANDINGS
1-Damion Gardner-1,010, 2-Levi Jones-1,008, 3-Bryan Clauson-937, 4-Chris Windom-891, 5-Jerry Coons Jr.-887, 6-Tracy Hines-846, 7-Henry Clarke-782, 8-Dave Darland-600, 9-Shane Hmiel-577, 10-Ricky Williams-528.