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Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Published: Friday, 7/15/2005

Lewis drives to unslated victory

BY C.J. LANDRY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

After winning last Friday's 40-

lap United States Auto Club Valvoline National Sprint Car Series feature race at Toledo Speedway, Michael Lewis said his winning margin was too close.

He was right; if it had been any closer, he might have had to settle for second-place money. Lewis beat Bobby East across the finish line by 0.020 seconds.

What made the win by Lewis even more interesting was the fact that Lewis wasn't even scheduled to drive the No. 11 Hoosier Tire/Weld Wheels Beast/Claxton at Toledo.

"I just got to thank Jeff and Daryl [Walker] for the ride," Lewis explained.

"I started the week without the ride. We were just messing around, and I asked them and they said they'd put something together. It's nice to be able to run the National circuit again."

Doing double duty was Josh Wise who won the 30-lap USAC midget feature and finished third in the USAC sprint car feature.

Jerry Coons Jr. set fast time in the midgets, stopping the clock at 15.208 seconds on the half-

mile asphalt oval. All the midget qualifying was done in a group (European) qualifying session after a brief rain shower forced the cancellation of single-car qualifying.

Toledo Speedway general manager Scott Schultz said that with the track's new electronic scoring system the track was able to record the time and speed of six or seven cars at the same time.

Toledoan Ron Hemelgarn and Roger Johnson have chosen USAC midget driver Jerry Coons Jr. to drive the No. 91 Hemelgarn 91/ Johnson Motorsports entry at the Clean Event 100 at Nashville Superspeedway tomorrow.

Just how easy is it to get a ride in an IRL-type car?

"Jerry Coons Jr. has been working very hard this season preparing for any opportunity that might come along," said Johnson.

"He has attended racing schools and has raced SCCA road-racing events. He has spent many weeks in both Charlotte and Indianapolis looking for a ride. The Menards Infiniti Pro series is a great place for Jerry to showcase his USAC background."

The race will be Coons' first start in the Indy Racing League Menard's Infiniti Pro Series. While Coons is new to the

series, he is not new to the IRL. The Arizona native participated in an IRL rookie test for Team Panther in 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series makes its lone Flat Rock Speedway appearance of the year tomorrow night for the Jasper Engines and Transmissions 100. Also racing will be the figure 8's and the street stock classes. Time trials start at 5 p.m. and racing begins at 7.

Brian Liskai, Fremont Speedway's public relations person, reports that Jessica Hill, Green Springs, Ohio, is at home recovering from injuries suffered in a race at the track on July 3.

Hill's Coors Light dirt truck hit the concrete wall on the front stretch exiting turn four. She was airlifted by helicopter to a Toledo hospital. There she was examined and cleared of any serious injuries.

The third annual Dukes of Hazzard Motor City Nationals take place tonight, tomorrow and Sunday at Milan (Mich.) Dragway. Among the many classes burning up Milan's quarter-mile dragstrip this weekend will be IHRA rules Top Fuel Dragsters, Funny Cars, Pro Modifeds, Pro Stock, and Jets.

For race times and/or tickets call (734) 439-7368.



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