Coons Finishes Tenth at Iowa Speedway
NEWTON, Iowa, June 22 — Nolen Racing's Jerry Coons Jr. had worked his way up to fifth place and was geared for a thrilling finish in Saturday afternoon's Casey's General Stores 100 USAC Silver Crown race at Iowa Speedway when his charge came to a premature end with 59 laps complete due to a problem with a valve cover gasket on the yellow #20 sponsored by Columbus Container and KECO Coatings.
Still, it was good enough for a tenth-place finish in the fourth event of the 11-race series for the team, which is based in Whiteland, Ind., and its Plainfield, Ind.-based driver.
Coons started eighth in the 100-lapper. He ran in fifth place for 21 laps, or almost a quarter of the race.
He was scored in eighth place for the first 10 laps, and then he moved into seventh by passing the driver who started second, Kyle Hamilton.
Five laps later Hamilton brought out the race's first yellow when he hit the wall in Turn 3. Coons was having problems at that point too, as he dove into the pits under that yellow for the Nolen Racing team to replace a tire that had a faulty valve stem. The team worked quickly and he didn't lose a lap, but he did lose three positions for the restart on lap 23.
Coons passed Rex Norris for ninth place two laps later, and he got eighth on the next lap when he powered by Tim Barber. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap 27 with a time of 23.716, which was about 1 second off the 22.798 he ran in qualifying.
On the very next lap, lap 28, he passed polesitter and current point leader Kody Swanson for seventh. He moved into sixth place working lap 34 by powering by Austin Nemire.
Aaron Pierce, who was the fastest driver in both practice sessions, was his next target, but Pierce proved to be difficult to pass. After a thrilling battle, Coons got around Pierce for fifth place working lap 38, right before Swanson's car suffered a rear axle problem and its right-rear tire rolled down the frontstretch to bring out another yellow flag.
Coons held off Pierce's challenges on the restart on lap 46 and remained in fifth place, chasing David Byrne first and Jacob Wilson later, until he dropped out with 59 laps complete.
Bobby Santos went on to win the race over Byrne, Chris Windom, Pierce and Nemire.
The next USAC Silver Crown race is a dirt-track event at the Terre Haute Action Track in Terre Haute, Ind., on July 2. The series will stage a race on the Thursday before the Brickyard 400 on July 23 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The month of July concludes with a show July 31 on the Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kan. Coons is the only three-time winner of that track's prestigious Belleville Midget Nationals.
For more information on Nolen Racing, see NolenRacing.com and follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.
The team is looking for marketing partners; for more information, call (317) 201-0729 or e-mail LKMRestart@gmail.com.
Additional information is available on the series' Web site at usacracing.com.