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 Press Release

Jones Two for Two after Huskerland Nationals Triumph
by Lonnie Wheatley
GREENWOOD, Neb. (August 15, 2005) – Levi Jones is definitely finding the inaugural six-event O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless swing to his liking, as he picked up his second triumph in as many legs of the “TNT” Tour by topping Monday night’s 30-lap Huskerland Non-Wing 410 Sprint Car Nationals feature at Nebraska Raceway Park’s I-80 Speedway.

Jones and Dickie Gaines swapped the point numerous times along the way before Jones fought off a late bid by a rim-riding Bud Kaeding to score a car-length victory aboard Scott Benic’s Gaerte-powered Lucas Oil Products No. 2b Maxim.

“When Dickie passed me, it kind of made me mad,” Jones chuckled after his second consecutive “TNT” triumph, following on the heels of his $30,000 prize in last Tuesday night’s Non-Wing Ultimate Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, IA.

With the popular O’Reilly Sprint Bandits format of heat races and a like number of qualifying races in place, Jones earned the pole position for the main event by racing from fifth to second in his heat race then backing it up by charging from fifth to win the first qualifying race.

Jones outgunned fellow front row starter Jon Stanbrough for the point at the drop of the green, with third-starter Gaines taking over second on the opening circuit. Jones and Gaines set the pace on the low side during the opening rounds until Gaines began to apply pressure for the lead on the eighth lap.

Gaines’ pressure paid off when he slipped underneath Jones exiting turn two on the 10th round to take command. Jones fought back in short order by regaining the lead the next time around only to see the race’s first caution fly, thus negating the move.

Not to be denied, Jones made a strong move on the ensuing restart to recapture the lead entering turn three on the 12th round. Gaines fought right back and the pair swapped the lead several times over the next few laps, with Justin Marvel entering the lead mix as well by positioning himself to challenge for the lead.

Jones had finally established a slim advantage over Stanbrough and Marvel when the caution flew with 17 laps in the books as Zach Chappell and Jesse Hockett tangled while battling for seventh down the front stretch. Avoiding a potentially wild ride, Chappell spun to a halt in the middle of turn one, while Hockett stopped as well with a flattened right rear. Both would rejoin the chase at the tail.

Marvel’s victory hopes would dim as well on the ensuing restart when he looped his machine in turn two while challenging Gaines for second. Marvel was also able to restart at the rear.

Back under way, Jones had his hands full fending off Stanbrough for the lead with Kaeding making his presence known on the topside. Meanwhile, Stanbrough and Dave Darland battled side-by-side for fourth immediately behind the lead trio.

Jones encountered lapped traffic with just two laps to go and it was Kaeding stepping forward to make a bold bid for the lead with the checkered flag in sight. As Jones struggled with a lapped car on the final circuit, Kaeding rode past Gaines in turns one and two and made a desperate charge off the final corner, only to fall a car-length short of the victorious Jones at the line.

Gaines settled for the show position behind Jones and Kaeding, while Stanbrough out dueled Darland for fourth.

While the lead quintet diced throughout, the balance of the field engaged in a wildly entertaining battle with three and four-wide duels an every-lap occurrence.

After his lap 17 tangle, Chappell found the middle of the track to his liking and sliced through the field to claim the sixth spot by the 25th round after restarting at the tail. Chappell held the position to the line, with John Scott snaring seventh. Marvel raced through the field as well after his spin to claim eighth, with Brad Sweet and Steve Ostling completing the top ten.

Teamed with Stanbrough aboard the second R&B No. 10 entry, Don Droud, Jr., became the race’s only DNF when he exited after 24 laps, as 20 of 21 feature starters took the checkered flag.

Darland, Stanbrough and Gaines topped heat race action for the talent laden 24-car field that represented ten different states, with Jones, Kaeding and Scott winning qualifying races.

Ryan Anderson was the evening’s only flip victim when he tripped over the turn three cushion in the second heat race and went for a wild ride. While his car was destroyed, Anderson was uninjured.

The inaugural O’Reilly Sprint Bandits Tour ‘N Topless swing continues Wednesday night at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Speedway before moving on to Tulsa Speedway on Thursday night. Sprint Bandits “TNT” wraps up with Friday and Saturday’s double at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS, with Saturday night’s winner pocketing $10,000.

O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Results:

First Heat (10 Laps): 1. #11 Dave Darland, 2. #75 Jesse Hockett, 3. #50z Zach Chappell, 4. #45 Steve Ostling, 5. #35 Tyler Spath, 6. #8 Rodger Eckhardt, 7. #29 Travis Rilat, 8. #21 Charles Davis, Jr.

Second Heat (10 Laps): 1. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 2. #10x Don Droud, Jr., 3. #17 Michael Woodruff, 4. #29F Bud Kaeding, 5. #53 Casey Shuman, 6. #83 John Scott, 7. #71R Ryan Anderson, 8. #55 Tony Everhart.

Third Heat (10 Laps): 1. #21x Dickie Gaines, 2. #2b Levi Jones, 3. #47 Justin Marvel, 4. #1 Brad Sweet, 5. #1k Kim Kennedy, 6. #57 Mike Martin, 7. #71 Robert Bell, 8. #92J J.R. Topper.

First Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. #2b Levi Jones, 2. #50z Zach Chappell, 3. #35 Tyler Spath, 4. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 5. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 6. #17 Michael Woodruff, 7. #1k Kim Kennedy, 8. #29 Travis Rilat.

Second Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. #29F Bud Kaeding, 2. #47 Justin Marvel, 3. #21x Dickie Gaines, 4. #10x Don Droud, Jr., 5. #55 Tony Everhart, 6. #53 Casey Shuman. DNS: #8 Rodger Eckhardt, #71r Ryan Anderson.

Third Qualifier (10 Laps): 1. #83 John Scott, 2. #57 Mike Martin, 3. #11 Dave Darland, 4. #75 Jesse Hockett, 5. #1 Brad Sweet, 6. #45 Steve Ostling, 7. #92J J.R. Topper, 8. #71 Robert Bell.

A Feature (30 Laps): 1. #2b Levi Jones, 2. #29F Bud Kaeding, 3. #21x Dickie Gaines, 4. #10 Jon Stanbrough, 5. #11 Dave Darland, 6. #50z Zach Chappell, 7. #83 John Scott, 8. #47 Justin Marvel, 9. #1 Brad Sweet, 10. #45 Steve Ostling, 11. #29 Travis Rilat, 12. #21 Charles Davis, Jr., 13. #57 Mike Martin, 14. #35 Tyler Spath, 15. #17 Michael Woodruff, 16. #75 Jesse Hockett, 17. #1k Kim Kennedy, 18. #92J J.R. Topper, 19. #71 Robert Bell, 20. #8 Rodger Eckhardt, 21. #10x Don Droud, Jr. DNS: #53 Casey Shuman, #55 Tony Everhart, #71r Ryan Anderson.

O’Reilly Sprint Bandits “TNT” Points (Top Fifteen): 1. Levi Jones 300, 2. Jon Stanbrough 280, 3. Bud Kaeding 278, 4. (tie) Dickie Gaines and Justin Marvel 268, 6. (tie) Zach Chappell and Dave Darland 242, 8. Charles Davis, Jr. 236, 9. Jesse Hockett 230, 10. John Scott 211, 11. Brad Sweet 207, 12. Travis Rilat 203, 13. Mike Martin 199, 14. Tyler Spath 197, 15. Michael Woodruff 195.






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