INDIANAPOLIS – With a decorated driver roster for the 2013 United States Auto Club (USAC) season, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing has set its sights on adding to the 12 championships its already earned in the ultra-competitive, open-wheel racing series.
The team will field three entries – two in the USAC Silver Crown division and one in the USAC Sprint Car Series – with drivers Bobby East, Levi Jones and Bryan Clauson.
East will return to the seat of the No. 22 Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records entry to defend the Silver Crown title he earned last year. The 2004 USAC Midget champion was the only driver to score feature victories in all three USAC National Series in 2012, winning in Sprint Car, Midget and Silver Crown.
Joining East in the Silver Crown ranks is Jones, who is a seven-time USAC champion, with five Sprint Car titles (2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) and two Silver Crown championships (2010, 2011). Jones had season-ending surgery in early September and was forced to miss the final three events of the 2012 season, but the time off has him well-positioned for a strong return in 2013 behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records machine.
Clauson will be the lone representative for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing in the USAC Sprint Car ranks. He’ll pilot the No. 20 Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records Maxim as he defends his 2012 Sprint Car championship.
In addition to his sprint-car title, Clauson is a two-time USAC Midget champion (2010, 2011) and a three-time USAC National Drivers champion (2010, 2011, 2012), where USAC tallies a driver’s best 25 finishes among its top-three touring series – Sprint Car, Midget and Silver Crown – to recognize an overall champion.
East closed his first season for Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing in thrilling fashion by winning the Sumar Classic 100 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track, which enabled him to clinch the USAC Silver Crown title. He won twice and finished inside the top-five six times in nine starts driving the No. 22 Chevrolet Performance/Curb Records machine. The 28-year-old from Pittsboro, Ind., will begin his title defense in April on the same half-mile oval where he hoisted the championship hardware last October.
“It was a tremendous honor to win my first Silver Crown championship last season,” East said. “The support I got from everyone involved with Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing was incredible. Whether it was the people from Chevy Performance, my crew guys and even my teammate Levi Jones, it was unbelievable to accomplish what we did last year. We kind of set the bar pretty high, and I’m really excited to go out and see if we can be champions again.”
Now fully healed, Jones will join East at Terre Haute in April when the 2013 USAC Silver Crown season begins.
“We’re excited about the chance to go out and try to win another Silver Crown championship for Chevy Performance and Curb Records,” said Jones, who hails from Olney, Ill. “I’m feeling great after the surgery and I’m excited about the opportunity to earn Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing another USAC championship.”
In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Clauson was a teammate of Jones in the Silver Crown division and, this season, he’ll be looking to rejoin Jones as a USAC champion driving a Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing machine. Jones won Sprint Car titles in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011, but it was Clauson who claimed the Sprint Car championship in 2012.
Clauson, a participant in last year’s Indianapolis 500, won seven times en route to the Sprint Car title. The Noblesville, Ind., native also win the USAC National Drivers championship for a third consecutive season.
“It’s really exciting to take over the reins of the No. 20 car,” Clauson said. “I’ve got some big shoes to fill with all the success Levi and the team have had the in the past. It’s a special opportunity for me to come back to Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing as the driver of the No. 20. I’m looking forward to continuing the success the team has had with Chevrolet Performance and Curb Records the past few years and to keep growing the team’s tradition of winning.”
All three drivers will be racing machines backed by Chevrolet Performance and Curb Records, continuing a longstanding relationship between Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing and one of the world’s largest car brands.
The success of Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing in USAC has come with the help of many partners. In 2005, Jones carried the Chevrolet bowtie on his Sprint Car and brought Chevrolet its first USAC championship. Last season, Chevrolet Performance and Curb Records served as co-primary sponsors on the machines of Jones and East. This season, the Chevrolet Performance brand will again be a co-primary sponsor on Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing’s USAC Sprint Car and Silver Crown entries.
“Chevrolet’s association with Tony Stewart Racing gives us a direct link to loyal, passionate short-track fans who have a tremendous appreciation for performance,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This relationship provides us a great opportunity to expose the fans to Chevrolet’s performance vehicles, high performance parts and accessories.”
The team continues its partnership with renowned car owners Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian. For the past three seasons, Tony Stewart Racing has been joined by Curb-Agajanian Racing in its USAC Silver Crown effort. In 2012, that relationship expanded to include both the Silver Crown and Sprint Car entries. In 2013, the team again carries the historic Curb-Agajanian name as a co-entrant with its storied USAC program.
“We are proud to continue our relationship with Tony Stewart Racing where we have shared three consecutive USAC Silver Crown National Championships with drivers Levi Jones and Bobby East,” said Curb, President, Curb Records. “We are also excited to defend our USAC Sprint Car Championship with Bryan Clauson moving to our program. We are also proud to be involved with Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser in the World of Outlaws Series and most of all to be partnered with Tony Stewart.”
“Our goal when we formed Tony Stewart Racing was to create a grassroots motorsports program that would compete for wins and championships while promoting qualified drivers to the next level, as well as providing them with an opportunity to leave their mark on the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and among the USAC National Series,” said Stewart, who captured four USAC national championships early in his career, including the elusive Triple Crown in 1995 when he earned titles in each of USAC’s top divisions – Sprint Car, Midget and Silver Crown. “We’ve been successful but, in order to remain successful, we needed partners committed to us and committed to motorsports. We’ve found the perfect partners in Chevrolet Performance and Curb Records.
“I’m really proud to work with Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian again this season, not only as co-entrants with our USAC program, but as a sponsor on our World of Outlaws program. They both have such a storied and diverse history in the sport. It’s an honor to work with them.”