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Two Wins at Manzanita Crown Wise USAC Sprint Champion

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Team Mopar's Josh Wise and Levi Jones not only wrapped up the 2006 USAC National Sprint Car Series Championship chase over the weekend, they owned it. Wise captured the USAC National Sprint Car championship, with Jones a close second, following the three-day season finale at Manzanita Speedway on November 9-11. Wise earned two victories and a Top-10 finish, with Jones posting three Top-five finishes.

Wise entered the weekend with an 87-point advantage over Jones, and after a seventh-place finish in Thursday night's preliminary event, Wise and the No. 20 team flexed its muscles en route to the championship. Wise took the lead on lap six of Friday night's feature to score his first of two weekend victories. On Saturday, Wise jumped to an early lead and put distance between himself and the rest of the pack. When the dust settled, Wise had led from green to checkered, earning win No. 2 on the weekend and a trip to the podium, where he was also crowned as the 2006 champion.

Jones and the No. 21 crew also had reason to celebrate. The team kicked off the weekend with a solid second-place finish in Thursday's prelim. On Friday, the No. 21 team set quick time for the night en route to a fourth-place finish. In Saturday's finale, Jones wrapped up the weekend with a strong fifth-place run, clinching championship runner-up honors.

Hoffman Auto Racing's Jerry Coons Jr., set quick time on Thursday and finished third in the prelim. On Friday the No. 69 team took sixth, then battled to a fourth-place finish on Saturday. Keith Kunz Motorsports Darren Hagen finished the season on a high note, taking eighth on Thursday, second on Friday and ninth on Saturday, to earn fourth in the championship standings. Tracy Hines also competed in the event, finishing 12th on Thursday, 17th on Friday, and 16th on Saturday. Brady Bacon competed for Keith Kunz Motorsports, driving the No. 67k to a 25th-place finish on Thursday. Bacon took 11th on Friday and posted another 25th-place effort on Saturday.

Although he didn't compete at the event, Ganassi Racing Development driver Bryan Clauson scored a Top-10 finish in the points championship. The injured driver notched a seventh-place championship finish, after running with much success throughout the first part of the season. He will make his return to racing in early 2007.

While the USAC National Sprint Car Series season is complete, Jones and the No. 21 Tony Stewart Racing Enterprises team will return to action on November 18 at the Perris Auto Speedway. For more information regarding USAC Racing, log on to usacracing.com.

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