By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Speedway, Indiana (February 25, 2022)………One of USAC’s finest sprint car drivers will have a new generation of racers chasing after an award named in his honor throughout the 2022 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.
The Bubby Jones Racing Master of Going Faster mini-series Presented by Spire Sports + Entertainment will encompass 10 events on the USAC National Sprint Car schedule this season, all of which will take place at some of the most legendary tracks on the schedule, including half-miles and some of Bub’s favorite places throughout his storied career as a driver and crew chief.
”The Jones family appreciates USAC taking the time and energy to make sure that Bub is being remembered,” Bubby’s wife, Patti Jones, stated. “This is exactly what he would’ve wanted – a little extra support going to the drivers, and it all takes place at his favorite tracks that he raced on.”
In May, the 10-race “series within a series” begins at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway for #LetsRaceTwo on May 7; Kansas City, Kansas’ Lakeside Speedway on May 12; and at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track for the 52nd annual Tony Hulman Classic on May 21.
Two Eastern Storm dates are part of the series in June, at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway on June 17 and Port Royal Speedway on June 18. A pair of Indiana Sprint Week dates are slated for Kokomo Speedway on July 23 and at Bloomington Speedway on July 29.
The final stretch of the Bubby Jones series features a trio of high-paying events. The $12,000-to-win Haubstadt Hustler kicks off the autumn on September 17 at Haubstadt, Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway followed by the $10,000-to-win Fall Nationals at Lawrenceburg Speedway on October 1 and the $20,000-to-win Oval Nationals at California’s Perris Auto Speedway on November 5.
Points will be tabulated throughout the 10-race series and an inaugural Bubby Jones Racing Master of Going Faster champion will be crowned, which will include a custom trophy provided by Potter Metal Art and a year-end acknowledgement at USAC’s Night of Champions in December.
“This is a way to honor one of the all-time greats in a fun way at some of our biggest races of the year,” USAC National Race Director Kirk Spridgeon said. “Bub had a huge impact on USAC Sprint Car racing in several ways, and his family continues that to this day. This is another feather for the best drivers in sprint car racing to shoot for this season.”
Norman “Bubby“ Jones was a 27-time winner in USAC National competition during his National Sprint Car Hall of Fame career. Among his 27 wins are seven each at Eldora and Terre Haute, two tracks featured prominently on the schedule.
Nicknamed Ol’ Bub, the racing barber who originally hailed from Danville, Illinois, established himself as an “outlaw” racer, winning from coast-to-coast until notching high-profile victories with USAC, including the CBS-televised Du Quoin Silver Crown in 1976, as well as the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot Park in 1976 and the Hut 100 at Terre Haute in 1977.
Bubby reigned victorious at the Western World Championships in 1976 and, one year later, Jones made his one and only start in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, starting 33rd and finishing 21st for car owner, Bobby Hillin.
Jones made his biggest impact with USAC on the National Sprint Car trail during the late 1970s, winning 22 total feature events. 1979 proved to be his breakout year with the series, winning on 11 occasions in one of the prolific seasons in the history of the division at places like Terre Haute, New Bremen, Eldora and the Indiana State Fairgrounds for car owner Don Siebert, and during one stretch, won four in a row before finishing as the championship runner-up.
At the dawn of the 1980s, Bubby moved west to begin the next chapter of his racing career. Competing with the California Racing Association, Jones piloted the Kazarian’s Gas Chem Products entry. In their first year together, Jones and Kazarian earned nine victories, including his first of four season-ending “Don Peabody Classics.”
By the time he hung up his helmet for good in 1991, Bubby had claimed 80 CRA feature wins (2nd overall), including a record 18 triumphs in 1983 and was a multi-time winner of the Firecracker 50, the Pacific Coast Nationals and the Don Peabody Classic. Bubby stayed active in racing as a crew chief and team manager. He continued to innovate in chassis designs and the development of Surelock shifter. In 1996, Bubby played a part in the construction of Perris Auto Speedway.
The Jones family’s involvement with USAC racing continues to this day. Bubby’s sons have made an indelible mark with the series, specifically in sprint car racing. As a driver, Tony Jones captured the 2007 USAC CRA Sprint Car title and his 20 victories with the series ranks fourth all-time. Currently, he serves as the series director for the division.
Bubby’s son, Davey Jones, has won a multitude of feature events on the USAC National Sprint Car tour as a crew chief, becoming a series champion in 2019 while turning the wrenches for driver C.J. Leary. That same year, Davey was honored as the recipient of USAC’s Chief Mechanic of the Year award.
Spire Sports + Entertainment will serve as the presenting sponsor of the series. SS+E has been involved in numerous race promotion and marketing efforts for tracks and events on the USAC schedule in recent years.
“USAC Racing has played a hugely significant role in both mine and my partner T.J. Puchyr’s personal and professional lives,” explained Spire Sports + Entertainment CEO and Co-Founder Jeff Dickerson. “T.J. and I are honored to have our business aligned with the Jones family and this prestigious award. From New Bremen to Ascot to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Bubby was a winner, a champion and, ultimately, a Hall of Famer. Ol’ Bub was a true gasser and as versatile of a driver as anyone. Whoever wins this award is sure to be as well.”
Founded in 2010, Spire Sports + Entertainment (SS+E) has blossomed into a multi-tiered entity. Since then, SS+E has become a subsidiary of parent organization Spire Holdings, which includes a a diverse sports portfolio, including Spire Motorsports, SS+E, ECHL hockey teams the Rapid City (S.D.) Rush and the Greenville (S.C.) Swamp Rabbits and short track promotions company Track Enterprises.
2022 BUBBY JONES MASTER OF GOING FASTER SCHEDULE:
May 7: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH
May 12: Lakeside Speedway | Kansas City, KS
May 21: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN
Jun 17: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA
Jun 18: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA
Jul 23: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN
Jul 29: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN
Sep 17: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN
Oct 1: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN
Nov 5: Perris Auto Speedway | Perris, CA