Nolen Racing's Coons Is Third in Points Following Carb Night Classic
BROWNSBURG, Ind., May 30 — Nolen Racing’s Jerry Coons Jr. had to pit to replace a flat right-front tire on his Nolen Racing USAC Silver Crown car while running fifth in the Carb Night Classic Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis (LORI). The Whiteland, Ind.-based team got the tire change accomplished quickly and Coons went on to finish ninth in the race, earning enough points to be shown in third place in the point standings prior to the next event June 16 at Williams Grove (Pa.) Speedway. (Thursday’s Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds was rained out.)
Joe Axsom qualified tenth in another Nolen Racing entry at LORI Friday night, but the Franklin, Ind.-based driver was forced to retire early due to mechanical issues. A problem with the car’s ignition system was the likely reason, according to team owner Gene Nolen. Axsom was credited with an 18th-place finish.
Coons qualified fifth with a time of 21.358 seconds for the 0.686-mile asphalt oval, just 0.354 off the pole, with his #20 sponsored by KECO Coatings and Indy Race Parts.
The Greencastle, Ind.-based driver passed Justin Grant for fourth place in Turn 1 on the first lap of the race, and held that position until lap 48 when Chris Windom got by. A yellow came out on 51 when Troy Thompson spun. A lap after the restart on lap 62, Coons passed Windom to regain fourth place on lap 63. Windom passed him back on the following lap, pushing Coons back to fifth.
Coons was still running in fifth on lap 73 when he was forced to pit due to a cut right-front tire. He rejoined the field in tenth place. He advanced to ninth on lap 94 after the sixth-place driver, Grant, hit the wall between Turns 3 and 4. That set up a green-white-checkered finish, and Coons brought his car home in ninth place.
Axsom ran in tenth place for the first five laps. A.J. Russell passed him on lap six to push him to 11th, and he pitted with the mechanical issue on lap seven. He rejoined the race two laps later, but pitted again on lap 16 and retired at that point.
Coons set the fourth-fastest lap of the race on lap two with a time of 21.871 seconds.
Both of the Nolen Racing cars in the Carb Night Classic were Beast chassis with Tranter-prepared Chevy engines.
“We don’t know what caused the flat tire on Jerry’s car,” Nolen said afterwards. “He could have run over some debris.
“Our guys have really been working hard to prepare for this week, and I’m proud of all of them,” he added.
The team's complete schedule can be found on its Web site at nolenracing.com and its Facebook page. It's also on Twitter. For information on marketing partnerships, contact Restart Communications at LKMRestart@gmail.com.
USAC's Web site is at usacracing.com. More information on the Hoosier Hundred and the Carb Night Classic is available at TrackEnterprises.com.
Photo credit: USAC photos by Gene Crucean