Last Saturday night at the PAS seemed like it couldn't have gone any smoother for the Tony Jones Racing team! It sure was nice. And we got to do it on some fresh rubber too...
The tire rule for the USAC/CRA 410 sprinters has changed to a softer, wider tire this 2012 season. For my prior two races, we have been running on last years old tire due to the fact that we are a low budget team and others teams were happy to offload their now useless old tires. Lucky for me, I just had a birthday a week before! So I ended up with TWO brand spankin' new 2012 tires for the upcoming race thanks to the car owner and crew chief. It was a pretty good birthday.
I couldn't get a very good feel for the new tire in hotlaps because it was pretty slimy. So qualifying I had about two laps to get a good feel for it. I had a little bicycle action my first lap but ended up with a 17.1. At first I was disappointed, I thought had actually slowed down from the old tire. But after looking at the results it turns out the track was slower in general, I had Q'ed 15th out of the 31 entered. That wasn't too shabby of an effort.
I knew the restart would be tough to hold those two guys off. I got a good start and hustled it into one, beat them off of two, and for the next lap and a half I held them off to take my first career USAC 410 Sprint Car heat race win. Man it felt good!
14th was my starting spot for the feature. It was nice starting a little closer towards the front this time. I had a good race with Kruseman for awhile, and the whole race was really a ton of fun. We had a tricky track with wet spots and dry spots all over, and a cushion in some places and not in others. It made for some good racing. I ended up bringing home the #41 car in 11th place.
I'm very happy with our effort. The team has made such great strides in only 3 races. And I really have to thank the crew chief Tony Jones for doing such a great job with the setup. The car was so pleasant to drive throughout the day.
Sadly, we will not be racing the next Perris race on May 26th. We are still looking for some more sponsorship help to be able to attend more races in the #41 sprinter. A big Thank You to all of my current sponsors on this car; Zanzabuku Sports Lounge, VGI Graphics, The Alexander Brothers, Bubby Jones Racing, Goodwine Glass, So-Cal Performance, JDS Tank Testing and K&N Filters. My next race will be this weekend May 5th at Ventura again in the midget. Hopefully we can bring home a win this weekend for HPD and Honda Racing. Stay tuned!