Nolen Racing's Coons and Schuerenberg Finish in the Top 10 at Gateway
MADISON, Ill., June 27 — Nolen Racing’s Jerry Coons Jr. has qualified in the top three for all but one of the USAC Silver Crown races held so far this year, and Saturday was no exception as the series returned to the lightning-fast 1.25-mile paved oval at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. Coons, of Greencastle, Ind., qualified third in a new-to-the-team black Beast Chevy sponsored in part by Columbus Container and KECO Coatings. Despite a problem with the car’s ignition system he finished ninth in the 60-lap Vatterott College Silver Crown Showdown, duplicating his results at the season opener at Terre Haute, Ind., in April.
Coons, a native of Tucson, Ariz., remains fifth in the point standings at the season’s halfway point.
Hunter Schuerenberg of Sikeston, Mo. competed in the Whiteland, Ind.-based team’s yellow #120 Beast Chevy and also recorded a top-10 finish of eighth after qualifying 12th.
Each driver had just one lap in time trials so there was no margin for error, but Coons’ time was just 0.517 of a second off the time that the eventual race winner, Tanner Swanson, set to earn the ProSource pole.
Chris Windom, who finished second, got around Coons at the start of the main event and David Byrne passed him on lap two, but Coons remained in fifth place until lap eight when Austin Nemire snuck by. A full-course caution waved shortly thereafter when the driver who was third, Kody Swanson, hit the wall in Turn 1. Coons stopped on the track under that caution with the ignition problem and was pushed into the pits. After some quick work by the Nolen team he was able to return to the fray. He posted his fastest lap of the race on lap 20 with a 32.811, which was the eighth-fastest lap of the race, and was awarded ninth place at the end after completing 30 laps.
Schuerenberg also completed 30 laps enroute to his eighth-place finish. He moved into that position for the first time on lap 26. He set his fastest lap of the race on lap four with a 34.124.
“Jerry’s car was fast and he was happy with it, but on lap 11 the MSD went bad,” explained team owner Gene Nolen. “We went down 17 laps getting it fixed. We’re very happy with the new car.
“Hunter’s car was OK, but he got lapped and pulled in,” he added.
The series has almost a month off before it’s in action again on Thursday night, July 21, at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in an event that supports the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Two races are on tap in August: Salem (Ind.) Speedway Aug. 13 and the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Aug. 20. The season concludes with two races in September: DuQuoin, Ill. on Sept. 3 and Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio on Sept. 24.
For more information see the team’s Web site at NolenRacing.com and the series’ Web site at usacracing.com. For more information on marketing partnerships, contact Restart Communications at LKMRestart@gmail.com.