Coons Shines In Hoosier 100

Indianapolis, Ind. – Jerry Coons Jr. raced to victory in the Hoosier 100 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Friday evening. The renowned race served as the opening event of the 2011 season for the USAC TRAXXAS Silver Crown Series and it drew a sizable crowd.

Powering underneath early leader Levi Jones on the 54th lap, the Arizona ace didn’t look back as he scored his first-ever victory on a mile-dirt track.

The winner drove the Rotondo Weirich/Champions Brand/Beast/Toyota, the same team that raced to victory here a year ago with Shane Hmiel. Critically injured in a sprint-car mishap a year ago, Hmiel was on hand, serving as grand marshal and greeted his teammate in victory lane.

“Winning the Hoosier 100 is very special to me,” Coons said. “For me to win on a dirt mile after three second places is great, too.”

Commenting on the race, the victor stated, “We didn’t’ qualify well, so we had to work at it,” Coon said. “The car was real good and I didn’t use up the tire in the first half. Other guys were getting off, and I was able to get by them and up to third. On the double-file restart, our Toyota took off and I followed Levi (Jones) past Bud Kaeding. When Levi had a problem, I got a run on him and got by.”

For the 100-mile events, the races are stopped after 51 laps to allow teams to make adjustments and change tires, if they choose. If the right-rear is changed, the car is sent to the back of the field for the restart. Of the top-seven cars after 51 laps, none replaced a tire.

At that point, Jones led Kaeding, Coons, Bryan Clauson and Tracy Hines.

“Once I got into the lead, I conserved my tires,” Coons added. “On the last restart with about 10 to go, I ran it as hard as I could.”

Jones made a valiant late-race attempt to catch Coons but fell short, and the Illinois driver had to settle for second place in the Bass Pro Shops/Armor All Chevy fielded by Tony Stewart Racing.

Third went to Hines in the Lightfoot Racing Gaerte.

Kaeding took fourth place with Brian Tyler fifth.

Sixth through 10th were Derek Hagar, John Heydenreich, Tanner Swanson, Todd Kane and Dave Darland.

Bryan Clauson was running third when a suspension part broke, and he was scored 25th.

In the accompanying modified race, NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader won for the second year in a row.

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