Jones' Promising Early Run Diminished by Late-Race Accident Resulting in 20th-Place Finish
In only his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start, 16-year-old Brandon Jones was impressing many during the Fan Appreciation 200 on Sunday afternoon. With an 11th-place starting position, Jones settled into a groove and was looking to accomplish the goals he and his Wolfpack Energy Services team set coming into the weekend. Running inside the top 10 for part of the 200-lap race, Jones was gaining valuable experience racing around many series veterans. With just shy of 20 laps in the scheduled distance of the event, close- quarter racing caused Jones to come into contact with another truck, resulting in damage to his No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado. Jones was able to bring home a 20th-place finish, two laps down from the leaders.
Jones came to Iowa Speedway familiar with the 0.875-mile track, having already raced with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series (NKNPS) at the Iowa Speedway twice in 2013. Jones showed that he was comfortable with both the track and his Silverado, posting a ninth-fastest average time in the only practice session on Saturday afternoon. When qualifying rolled around, Jones posted a solid lap time that resulted in an 11th-place starting spot for Sunday's Fan Appreciation 200..
When the green flag waved, Jones held his ground with many NCWTS veterans and battled for a top-15 running spot early in the race. When the first yellow flag was displayed, Jones brought his No. 33 Wolfpack Energy Services Chevy down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to correct his loose condition. Just past the half-way mark, Jones was making his move and positioned his Silverado inside the top 10 for the first time in the race. Jones ran as high as ninth over the course of the next 17 laps before giving up his track position to come back down pit road for his last scheduled pit stop. Still a little loose, the Wolfpack Energy Services team was able to give Jones adjustments to tighten him up for the late-race push. It was with 21 laps to go that Jones came into contact with another truck while battling for the 8th position, which spent him spinning and caused damage to his Chevy Silverado. Jones made multiple pit stops for repairs before eventually returning to the track two laps down. With thorough enough repairs to complete the event, Jones limped across the finish line in the 20th place.
"This was obviously not the finish we were hoping for considering the speed I had all night in my TSM Wolfpak Energy Services Chevy, but I feel like I gained a lot of valuable experience," said Jones. "I'm really thankful for everyone on my team for giving me such a great truck to be able to run towards the front for most of the day. I am really looking forward to returning to the trucks again soon and to be back in my TSM NASCAR K&N car at New Hampshire on September 21st."
The NCWTS will return to action at Chicagoland Speedway for the EnjoyIllionois.com 225 on Friday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m. EDT, airing live on Fox Sports 1. The event can also be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90 or MRN Radio.