Coons Qualifies Second, Leads 32 Laps And Finishes Third in Hoosier Hundred
INDIANAPOLIS, May 27 — In only its second race ever, Nolen Racing's new Maxim USAC Silver Crown car driven by Jerry Coons Jr. qualified second, led 32 laps, and finished third Thursday night in the 62nd annual Hoosier Hundred on the one-mile dirt oval at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Coons, a native of Tucson, Ariz., who resides in Greencastle, Ind., got the best of polesitter Brady Bacon at the start to lead the first lap, but Bacon led laps two through 26. Coons retook the lead with an outside pass of Bacon on the frontstretch and continuing into Turn 1 on lap 27 shortly after a restart on lap 25. That was necessary after Joe Liguori brought out the first caution when he stopped in Turn 4.
Coons showed the way for the next 30 laps in Gene Nolen's yellow #20 that is based in Whiteland, Ind., and sponsored in part by Columbus Container and KECO Coatings.
There were two yellows during that period. The first flew around lap 34 when Steve Buckwalter stopped on the backstretch, and the second came around lap 46 when Aaron Pierce stopped in Turn 3.
Shane Cottle got around Coons in Turn 3 working lap 58 to become the next leader, but Kody Swanson took over first place on lap 67 and went on to post the victory over Cottle and Coons. Swanson took the lead on lap 67 after a red flag for Russ Gamester, who flipped on the backstretch.
Coons had dropped to fourth when Justin Grant got around him to the outside in Turn 3 around lap 59, but Coons regained third on lap 83 when both he and Bryan Clauson passed Grant on the frontstretch near Turn 4. A couple laps later Jeff Swindell flipped in Turn 3 to bring out a red flag, but the rest of the race went nonstop.
Following Swanson, Cottle and Coons across the line at the finish were Clauson and C.J. Leary. Chris Windom, David Byrne, Davey Ray, Mark Smith and Dave Darland rounded out the top 10 in the 30-car race held before a large and appreciative crowd.
"The car ran very well; I was very happy with it," Coons said afterwards. "It was its first time on a mile. We were real good early. They were just a little better than we were at the end.
"I was being pretty conservative, but the pace was faster than normal here," he added. "It was like a sprint car race. These newer cars don't eat tires as much as the older ones do."
Coons earned the outside starting spot in the feature with a lap in 34.402 seconds in qualifying. That was just 0.006 of a second off the time Bacon set to earn the pole.
Coons is now fifth unofficially in the point standings. The next race is today (Friday) at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind.
The team’s complete schedule can be found on its Web site at NolenRacing.com. For more information on marketing partnerships, contact Restart Communications at LKMRestart@gmail.com.
The series' Web site is at usacracing.com.