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AMSOIL Sprints
Sunday, 19 January 2020


Bubby Jones Bubby Jones John Mahoney Photo


By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Speedway, Indiana (January 19, 2020)………Norman “Bubby“ Jones, a 27-time winner in USAC National competition during his National Sprint Car Hall of Fame career, passed away Saturday night, January 18, 2020, at the age of 78.

Nicknamed Ol’ Bub, the racing barber who originally who hailed from Danville, Illinois, established himself as an “outlaw” racer around the country, winning from coast-to-coast until notching his first career USAC victory, in a Silver Crown car, in 1976 at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds for car owner Roger Beck.

Jones concluded the 1976 season with his first career USAC National Midget victory in the prestigious Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot Park in Gardena, Calif. for car owner Doug Caruthers.

However, Jones made his biggest impact with USAC on the National Sprint Car trail during the late 1970s, winning 22 total feature events, 20 of which came during a three-year span between 1977 and 1979.  He won seven total USAC Sprint races in ’77: three at Eldora Speedway, twice at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in consecutive days and once each at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track and at Indianapolis Raceway Park, finishing 5th in the standings.

Jones won twice in 1978 in the USAC Sprint division at Eldora and Terre Haute, but 1979 would prove to be his breakout year with the series, winning on 11 occasions in one of the prolific years in the history of the division: four at Terre Haute, thrice at New Bremen (Ohio) Speedway, twice at Eldora and once each at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and at Santa Fe Speedway in Illinois.

During the 1979 season, he became one of just two drivers to win at least four consecutive USAC Sprint Car races at Terre Haute, and the only to driver to do so in a single season.  His prowess at Terre Haute extended to the midgets where he captured the 1977 Hut 100, and added to his tally of four career USAC National Midget victories with additional scores at Eldora in 1977 and Springfield (Ill.) Speedway in 1979.

Jones also made his one and only start in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, starting 33rd and finishing 21st for car owner, Bobby Hillin.  Jones made a second USAC National Championship start the following year in 1978, finishing 27th at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

Following his second-place finish in the 1979 final USAC National Sprint Car standings by 32 markers behind champion Greg Leffler, Jones migrated to southern California where he became one of the premier drivers of CRA, winning sprint titles in 1983 and 1984.

In his retirement from behind the wheel, Jones remained heavily involved in the sport, helping to develop California’s Perris Auto Speedway and becoming one of the top crew chiefs in USAC Sprint Car racing during the 2000s.