Nolen Racing Looks Forward to 2016 Season Opener Sunday at Terre Haute
WHITELAND, Ind., March 31 — Nolen Racing has a new car among its arsenal as it approaches the 2016 USAC Silver Crown season opener Sunday at the Terre Haute Action Track. Its driver, Jerry Coons Jr., the series’ champion in 2008, hopes that the team’s new Maxim chassis will be just what he needs to advance one more position in the driver point standings after he finished second in the championship in both 2014 and 2015.
Nolen Racing, based in Whiteland, Ind., is always a top contender. Team owner Gene Nolen of Greenwood, Ind., begins his 27th season as a USAC Silver Crown car owner on Sunday.
Coons, a native of Tucson, Ariz. who moved from Plainfield, Ind. to Greencastle, Ind. in the off-season, finished third in this race last year. He is one of only six drivers ever to win all three of USAC’s national divisions (Silver Crown, sprint and midget), which is called its Triple Crown.
“I’m looking forward to getting the season kicked off,” Coons said. “We never seemed to be where we wanted to be on the dirt last year, so Gene has given us a new Maxim dirt car which seems to be the car to beat. There will be some learning to do, but we expect to be good right out of the box.”
The team uses Tranter-prepared Chevy engines. Its yellow #20 is sponsored in part by Columbus Container Inc. and KECO Coatings.
Coons was one of only two drivers to lead last year’s Sumar Classic.
Sunday’s race will be the 16th annual Sumar Classic. It will be the track’s season opener as well as the series’ season opener. The distance is 100 laps of the demanding half-mile dirt oval located at the Vigo County Fairgrounds at 3901 South U.S. Highway 41.
Spectator gates are scheduled to open at 3 p.m. Silver Crown practice begins at 3:30 p.m. followed by UMP modified practice at 3:45 p.m. A second round of Silver Crown practice at 4 p.m. precedes the 4:40 p.m. start of Silver Crown qualifying. UMP modified heats are slated for 5:15 p.m. and the modified feature is set for 6 p.m. The Sumar Classic Silver Crown feature begins at 7 p.m. All times are subject to change.
Sunday’s race is one of 11 on the 2016 schedule, which features both dirt and asphalt tracks. The season goes through late September.
One highlight will be the series’ return to the historic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on June 10.
“Heading to Williams Grove is exciting,” Coons agreed. “It's an iconic track that I've never raced on. It should be a fun year!”
Advertising space is available on all of the Nolen Racing cars for one race or the entire season. The team’s schedule includes the three biggest short-track events that support the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May. They are the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Thursday, May 26; the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Brownsburg, Ind. on Friday, May 27, and the PayLess Little 500 at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Ind., on Saturday night, May 28. The first two races are USAC Silver Crown events while the Little 500 features pavement sprint cars.
For more information on marketing partnerships, contact Restart Communications at (317) 201-0729 or LKMRestart@gmail.com.
The team’s complete schedule can be found on the team’s Web site at NolenRacing.com and on its Facebook page. It also has a Twitter account.
Terre Haute’s Web site is at terrehauteactiontrack.net and USAC’s Web site is at usacracing.com.
(Photo credit: USAC photos by Gene Crucean)