DUQUOIN, Ill. – official release — Al Steinberg photo — It’s been a little while, but Levi Jones is back.
Jones, one of USAC’s most accomplished racers who hasn’t raced in more than a year, returns to the cockpit Sunday night for the Ted Horn 100 at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.
The one-mile oval sits just an hour southeast of Jones’ residence of Swansea, Ill., and about the same distance southwest of his hometown of Olney, Ill.
Last year Jones recorded his third career Silver Crown victory in the prestigious Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Jones has 28 career USAC sprint car wins and four USAC midget victories.
Jones will pilot the No. 56 entry for long-time car owner Galen Fox, the 1994 DuQuoin winner. Fox also entered the recent Springfield race with driver Jon Stanbrough.
The 2010 and 2011 USAC Silver Crown Series champion and five-time AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series champion is looking forward to Sunday’s race.
“It’s a race I’d like to win, for sure,” Jones said. “Not having competed full-time in a year or so, I feel like the miles (DuQuoin and Springfield) are ones where you can race and have some fun and I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to drive for Galen.
“He’s definitely got a car that can win the race. DuQuoin has special meaning for me, so close to my home. We used to go to the races every year and I’ve been going there for more than 20 years now.”
Jones’ last USAC appearance came in last year’s Eastern Storm sprint races in Pennsylvania and New Jersey where he recorded three top-10s. He announced his retirement from racing on June 28, 2013 in order to spend time with his family and focus on his family’s business.
He’ll face a formidable field of USAC champions and Illinois veterans. They include USAC driving champions Bobby East, Tracy Hines, Dave Darland, Chris Windom, Russ Gamester, Kody Swanson, Robbie Ray, Jerry Coons Jr. and Caleb Armstrong, plus Illinois vets Patrick Lawson, A.J. Fike, Zach Daum, Steven Russell, Randy Bateman, Shane Cockrum and Chris Urish.