Jones Escapes Martinsville Speedway with a 19th-Place Finish
Making his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start and first career start at Martinsville Speedway, the 16-year-old Brandon Jones continued to impress once again. Starting the Kroger 200 in the 23rd position, Jones followed many veteran racers through the 36-truck field and worked his way up to contend for a top-10 finishing spot. Restarting 12th on the outside of a late-race restart, Jones got hung out to dry and multiple trucks slipped by his Exide Edge AGM truck. However, that would not spoil the solid effort that Jones and his entire Turner Scott Motorsports team put in all day long, and Jones came home with a 19th-place, lead-lap finish.
Jones' third and final NCWTS start of the 2013 season came at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200. With very little experience around the 0.526-mile oval known as the "paperclip," Jones spent the two practice sessions logging laps and getting comfortable with the track. When it came time for the race on a cold Saturday afternoon, Jones and his Exide Edge AGM Chevrolet rolled off the grid in the 23rd-starting position. Knowing he couldn't stay towards the back of the pack long as the leaders would start to close in on him, Jones quickly picked up a couple spots and by lap 30, he had already cracked the top 20. Running lap times as quick as the trucks inside the top 10, Jones continued his push forward in the running order. Jones was able to get behind some series veterans and went to school, following them through the pack. On lap 76, under the race's second yellow flag, Jones brought his Exide Chevy to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel. Jones seemed to be content with the handling of his No. 33, stating that it was feeling neutral.
Just as the slew of yellow flags were displayed around the halfway mark of the 200-lap race, Jones was running in the 15th position and started to get more aggressive, driving his No. 33 deeper into the corners. This helped Jones overtake some positions as he worked his way up to the 11th-running spot with just over 20 laps remaining. The rookie learned a tough lesson about Martinsville, however, when he got caught in the outside lane on a late-race restart. Jones tried to be aggressive to get down to the preferred bottom line, but was unable to do so before multiple trucks slipped pass the No. 33 Exide Silverado. Jones brought his No. 33 Exide Edge AGM Chevy home on the lead lap with a solid 19th-place finish.
"This place is a lot of fun," said Jones. "I can't thank my entire Exide team enough for the truck that they prepared for me. I was able to gain a lot of valuable experience by just following some of the veterans. Hopefully I'll be more prepared for the next time I get to run here."
Latest from Steven B. Wilson
- Full Speed Ahead Michael Self, Sinclair Oil Make Bid for Third Victory of Season at Talladega
- Michael Self Hunting ARCA Menards Series Hat Trick at Talladega
- Clint Bowyer Talladega: A Fitting Weekend for Vehicle Repair Coverage
- Pit Stop of a Different Kind: International Motorsports Hall of Fame Outside Talladega Superspeedway a Must Visit This Week
- Starting Times Announced For Eldora Season Opener