Erik Jones, who will make his third of five starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra in Saturday night's American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen at Iowa Speedway, believes that the "third times a charm." After posting top-10 finishes in his track debuts at both Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway earlier this year, the rookie heads west for this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event, a track he is familiar with, in hopes of picking up where he left off more than three months ago.
In 2012 Jones visited Iowa Speedway in the ARCA Racing Series where, despite feeling under the weather, qualified sixth and was racing for the win until a late-race spin forced him to settle for an 11th-place finish. Although, Friday's practice session at the .875- mile track will be Jones first time on the track in a truck, the 17-year-old driver is confident he will pick up where he left off and he and his KBM team can focus more on getting the truck race ready.
During Jones' three-month hiatus from the NCWTS, he was able to get behind the wheel of an ARCA car at Pocono (P.A.) Raceway with Venturini Motorsports. Starting in the fifth position, Jones took the lead from nine-time series champion Frank Kimmel after 23 laps and maintained the lead for over a quarter of the race. However, just after the halfway point, Jones was forced to restart at the tail end of the longest line due to a fuel miscalculation. With 20 laps remaining, Jones charged through the field and against all odds finished second.
Before climbing back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Toyota Tundra this weekend at Iowa, Jones will take part in the ARCA Midwest Tour's Howie Lettow 150 at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin on Tuesday, July 9 in his family-owned late model. This is only Jones second late model appearance since beating now owner, Kyle Busch, for the win in the prestigious Snowball Derby.