Jones to Seek Fourth Win in Peabody Race at Ascot
Bubby Jones, the only multiple winner of the Don Peabody Classic, will be shooting for his fourth victory in the 50-lap event next Saturday at Ascot Park that concludes the 1985 Kraco-California Racing Assn. sprint car season.
Jones, 43, of Glen Avon, once again will be aboard the Kazarian Bros. Gaschem car in his bid for the $6,000 winner’s purse in the 25-mile feature on Ascot’s half-mile dirt oval.
All of his previous victories (1981-82-84) have come in Ray Sheetz-prepared Gaschem machines and his streak was interupted by Steve Kinser in 1983. Kinser is currently campaigning is Australia.
After winning the Kraco-CRA championship for two years in a row, the Kazarians decided not to compete in this year’s race, leaving Jones with a ride.
He organized a new team for Frank Lewis, but it never did jell and it broke up in late summer with Jones again without a ride.
After quite a few weeks of inactivity, Jones returned to Ascot in the No. 1 BJ machine he built when the Kazarians decided to run the Pacific Coast National races and they were reunited.
After running fourth in his qualifying night for the nationals, Jones and the Gaschem car returned to the winner’s circle the night before the nationals when he easily won the final event of the CRA-United States Auto Club challenge series.
In the nationals, he turned in a vintage Jones performance, finally finishing third after being forced to got to the rear of the field after and early-race spin and then being put back two spots for a restart violation.
In last year’s Peabody, Jones took the lead from current Kraco-CRA point leader Eddie Wirth on the 15th lap and wound up with a straightaway win over Wirth and third-place finisher John Redican.
If Jones is to win a fourth Peabody, the man he probably will have to beat is Dean Thompson of Carson. Thompson, who recently won his fourth Pacific Coast National, is the all-time CRA winner with 101 triumphs. Jones is the runner-up with 66. Thompson’s fourth National victory broke a tie with Ron Shuman of Tempe, Ariz., for most wins and Shuman is also expected to be in the Peabody field.
Although he has had his problems in recent Ascot races, Shuman has had a very good year, winning the Tony Hulman Classic at Terre Haute, Ind. and finishing third, a personal best, in the tough World of Outlaws standings.
This fall, Shuman finished second to Kinser in the Western World at Manzanita Speedway, his home track in Phoenix, dropped out of the Pacific Coast with mechanical troubles and then was third behind Kinser and Jimmy Sills in the Gary Patterson Memorial at Baylands Park in Fremont driving the Offixco car owned by Lloyd Stephens of Tulsa.
Five nights after the Peabody, Shuman will return for the annual Turkey night Grand Prix for midget cars and will be gunning for his sixth victory in the past seven year.
Other early entries for the Peabody, named for former CRA President Don Peabody who was killed in a plane crash in 1978 while he was serving as sprint-car supervisor for USAC, include: Dave Blaney of Hartford, Ohio; Brent Kaeding of Campbell, Calif. and Lealand McSpadden of Tempe, Ariz.