Sprint Car ace Tony Jones retires
Southern California Sprint Car racing superstar Tony Jones has announced that he will be retiring from racing. The popular star's last race will be the 1st Annual Glenn Howard Memorial featuring the Lucas Oil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars at Perris Auto Speedway on Saturday, November 29th.
Jones, a Norco, California resident who will turn 39 in January, won the 2007 USAC/CRA championship. This season, despite not contesting the entire series and confining most of his racing to The PAS, he is fourth in Lucas Oil USAC/CRA points and he leads the series with five main event wins. His latest victory came at the opening night of this year's Budweiser Oval Nationals when he beat the best traditional Sprint Car drivers in the nation to the checkered flag.
The son of National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Bubby Jones, Tony's main reason for hanging up his helmet is his family. "I have been racing for 16 years and I want to spend more time with my wife and kids," he said over the phone last week. "When I left to race at Manzanita (in Phoenix, Arizona) a couple of weeks ago, I looked over and my neighbor and his family were getting ready to go camping. I was leaving and my wife was staying home with the kids. I just want to spend more time with them."
Over the years Jones has assembled a stellar record. In addition to his 2007 USAC/CRA title, the talkative star won the 2000 Oval Nationals and amassed a total of 34 wins in the combined history of the original CRA, SCRA and now USAC/CRA. That ranks him 13th on the all-time victory list. Besides the Oval Nationals and Oval Nationals preliminary wins mentioned above, Jones also has main event wins in the Sokola Classic, Jack Kindoll Classic, Oval Nationals preliminaries in 1998 & 2006, Salute to Indy, Jeff Bagley Classic, Firecracker 40, Non Wing World Championship and more.
"This comes as a big surprise and we will miss Tony not only on the track, but off the track as well," Perris Auto Speedway promoter Don Kazarian said. "While it will be sad to see him leave, we all understand and wish him the best of luck in all future endeavors. I hope all of his fans come out for his last race. Personally, I have known Tony since he was a kid and would not miss it for anything. It will be an emotional night for me as I am sure it will be for many of the fans."