Faas’ First Outing In The Silver Bullet This Saturday
by Bobby Kimbrough on March 8, 2011
Nic Faas steps into the legendary #4 Silver Bullet this Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway.
Replacing a Champion and fan favorite driver can be daunting, but Southern California boy Nic Faas is looking forward to stepping into the hot shoes of Tony Jones. Affectionately known by his legion of fans, “The open wheel Cowboy” Tony Jones is rumored to be taking the year off. Jones is coming off a difficult year where bad luck seemed to be lurking around every corner on the track. In addition to wrecking three different chassis within a four race period, Jones lost a very close friend and longtime racecar sponsor last December when Bob Davidson passed away. No one could fault the Cowboy for taking a year off to regroup.
This opened the door for a talented young driver to join the Alexander brothers crew and drive the famed #4 Silver Bullet Sprinter. Enter 21 year old Nic Faas whose resume already includes the USAC Western Midget Championship and a USAC/CRA feature win at Perris Auto Speedway in 2008. Saturday night opens the USAC/CRA season at Perris with the Sokola Shootout, where Faas and the Alexander Brothers look to start another run at a USAC/CRA championship.
onedirt.com sends our warmest regards to Tony Jones and we eagerly await his return to the track and we send Nic Faas and the Alexander team best wishes for this upcoming season.
For more information please see the official press release or visit Perris Auto Speedway on the net to check out their 2011 schedule.
FAAS TO FILL A BIG PAIR OF SHOES STARTING SATURDAY AT PERRIS!
(Perris, CA, March 7, 2011) When the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series takes the green flag to begin its eighth season with the Sokola Shootout at Perris Auto Speedway this Saturday, March 12th, young racing star Nick Faas will open a new chapter in his racing career. The Huntington Beach, California resident will be replacing veteran Tony Jones in the Mark Alexander owned silver #4 Sprint Car.
Jones, the 2000 Budweiser Oval Nationals champion, 2007 USAC/CRA champion and arguably the most popular driver in Perris Auto Speedway history, is stepping away from racing for the year to spend more time with his family. Jones decision to vacate the ride meant that any driver who took over was going to have some very big shoes to fill.
Tony Jones decided to take a year away from the track for personal reasons.
Speculation ran wild on the Internet as to who the new driver would be, but it did not last long. The Alexander team quickly named 21-year-old Faas as their new hired gun and stated their intentions to run for the 2011 USAC/CRA crown.
“I heard through a message on Facebook from Lance Jennings that Tony Jones was going to take the year off,” Faas said by telephone on Monday afternoon. ”I called Mark (Alexander) that day and he was kind of caught off guard, because he had not told anyone. I told him I was really interested and I thought we could work really well together.”
Faas and Alexander stayed in touch for a couple of weeks and when the team was sure it had enough sponsorship to run, Faas was called to their shop. ”I went up there and met everyone and got the ride.”
Faas practiced in the car for the first time last Saturday at The PAS and most observers thought he looked very good. ”It was not hard at all to get used to the car and I felt real comfortable in it,” he said. ”Mark and Steve (Steve is car owner Mark’s brother) build really nice cars and they have really good motors. It makes me really excited about this Saturday night.”
Faas realizes he is following a driver with a big reputation and lots of people are expecting a lot from him in the famous #4. ”Yeah, I have big shoes to fill,” the affable driver said. ”I am really fortunate to get the ride. Guys like Mike Kirby, Rickie Gaunt and Tony Jones have all raced for the Alexander’s and they are all good race car drivers. Hopefully I can add my name to that list.”
The team plans to run most of the season, but at present time they are not sure if they are going to run the Calistoga and Chico races, but as Faas offered, “I bet if we are doing good in points we will find a way to make it happen.”
Faas has not talked to Jones since he has been hired, but he did talk to him last year. ”I would give him a hard time saying, ‘hey, if you ever want to hang it up, I will be willing to fill in for you,’ I was just teasing with him,” he stated with a laugh.”
The slender driver has been racing for 16-years having started in BMX when he was 5-years old. When he turned seven, he shifted gears and he began racing quarter-midgets at the now defunct track on 1st Street in Pomona. In 2007, Faas won the USAC California Ford Focus Midget title and followed that up the next season by winning the USAC Western Midget championship. In 2008, Faas won his only USAC/CRA main event when he bested the field at The PAS on August 16th.
Faas spent the 2009 season racing Sprint Cars in Indiana and won a couple of main events. He returned to Southern California for 2010, but only got in a handful of races due to a lack of sponsors. ”I think I ran seven or eight races last year and I just could not do it anymore. I was doing it by myself and it got to the point where it wasn’t fun doing it,” he said.
Even though he was not racing much of 2010, Faas kept his hand in the sport. ”I was always at the track helping Matt Mitchell if I wasn’t racing. I helped them as much as I could at the shop and I went back to Indiana Sprint Week with them. I was always still around even though I could not drive.”
Away from the track, Faas is in his last semester at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa before he transfers to Cal State Fullerton to pursue his degree in business finance.
Faas’ new ride is sponsored by Scott Sales Company, VP Racing Fuels, LaVilla Mexican Restaurant, SCRAFAN.com, Berdoo Auto Body, Extreme Mufflers, Larry Murakami Contracting, Garnica Trucking, Scotty Stalmo Trucking and Ray’s Trucking.