TERRE HAUTE —
Levi Jones, the five-time and reigning United States Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car champion, will undergo season-ending surgery on Tuesday to repair two herniated discs in his neck. While a full recovery is expected, the 12-week rehabilitation period will not allow for Jones to finish out the 2012 season, where he has competed in the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car and TRAXXAS Silver Crown divisions for Tony Stewart Racing (TSR).
“This is something I was hoping could wait until the end of the year, but when two different surgeons tell me that I needed it done within two weeks, there was only one thing I could do,” said Jones, who was leading the point standings in the USAC Sprint Car division and ranked fourth in USAC Silver Crown points. “I didn’t need to be hard-headed and ignore what was wrong any longer. We’re going to get it fixed and be better for the next 30 years of my life.”
Jones was slated to race Saturday in Terre Haute in the “Jim Hurtubise Classic.”
TSR has tabbed USAC driver Chris Windom to pilot the No. 20 Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records/Eagle for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing for the final 13 USAC Sprint Car races of 2012. Windom finished second to Jones in last year’s USAC Sprint Car championship. The Canton, Ill., native will make his debut in the No. 20 Chevy Performance/ Curb Records/ Eagle on Saturday at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.
“I’m very excited for this incredible opportunity,” said the 21-year-old Windom. “I know I’m trying to fill some incredibly big shoes. I can’t thank everyone at Tony Stewart Racing enough for giving me the chance to go out and run really well the rest of the season. My goal is to help bring another championship to TSR. Hopefully, it doesn’t take long for me to get on the same page with the guys. We have a lot of tracks coming up where I enjoy racing. I’m optimistic things will go well right away and we can get some wins to finish out the year.”
Windom currently ranks 11th in USAC Sprint Car points and has posted a pair of victories in 2012 after scoring six in 2011 when he pushed Jones to his unprecedented fifth USAC Sprint Car title. Windom will attempt to deliver a seventh USAC Sprint Car title to team owner Tony Stewart, as Jones won championships for TSR in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, while J.J. Yeley (2003) and Josh Wise (2006) secured the first two titles for TSR.
The status of a replacement driver for the No. 10 Chevrolet USAC Silver Crown Series entry for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing has not been determined.
Bobby East will continue to compete in all remaining 2012 USAC Silver Crown Series events for TSR in the No. 22 Chevrolet.
• ISU wins 1-0 — The Indiana State women’s soccer team dominated its match with the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Friday night at Memorial Stadium, capping their performance with a victory on a goal in the 88th minute from freshman Sydney Lovelace.
The Sycamores (2-2) jumped on the Panthers (1-4) from the opening whistle, taking five shots in the opening eight minutes of action. Sophomore Bria Caldwell and Lovelace each recorded a shot on goal, with Caldwell also hitting the near post from a close angle during the early run of play.
In the opening 45 minutes, Indiana State recorded a 12-3 advantage in shots, holding Eastern Illinois without an attempt until just five minutes remained in the half. The Sycamores put four of their 12 shots on frame in the first half.
Indiana State nearly went in front in the 57th minute, as Lovelace set up sophomore Emily Chura for a shot from six yards out in the center of the box, but Eastern Illinois’ Jessica Taldone was up to the task and made a great diving save to keep the game scoreless.
The next thirty minutes of action was a defensive battle, with each side taking just two attempts at goal.
Lovelace, a freshman from Franklin, Ohio, capitalized on her second chance in the closing minutes, taking a pass from sophomore Alexandra Rodas and driving towards goal on the right wing. Lovelace beat the EIU goalkeeper to the back post for her first collegiate goal with just two minutes and 53 seconds remaining in the game.
Indiana State returns to the field at Memorial Stadium on Sunday afternoon, hosting the Murray State Racers at 1 p.m. The game will be aired live for free on GoSycamores.com through SycamoreVision.
• Voll gets ace — Matthew Voll of Terre Haute made his first Hole-in-One Tuesday at Mark’s Par Three Golf Course.
Voll aced the 105-yard 7th hole using a pitching wedge. The ace was witnessed by Candres McCord.