For the first time since weeks two and three on the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, Erik Jones will be behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for consecutive events. Coming off an 11th-place finish in his Truck Series mile-and-a-half debut last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Jones will make his first start at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill, a 1.25-mile flat oval.
While it will be the first time the 18-year-old will race at Gateway, he already seems to have a knack for tracks with similar layouts. Last November, in just his fifth career start, he became the youngest winner in Truck Series history when at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days he led a race-high 84 laps en route to victory in the Lucas Oil 200 at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, a flat one-mile oval. Jones is also fresh off a victory this past Sunday in the ARCA Midwest Tour Super Late Model Series Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile, another flat one-mile oval.
In KBM's lone start at Gateway in 2010, Brian Ickler started 10th and finished ninth. Although the organization has only raced once at the flat oval, they have a strong history of success on similar tracks. Jones victory at Phoenix last season was the third consecutive for the team at the Arizona track. Brian Scott won the 2012 event and owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious in the 2011 race. Busch and his team have also dominated the two Truck Series events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. The Las Vegas native was victorious in both events held at the one-mile oval, leading a combined 321 of 350 laps.
Jones is in the midst of a stretch that will see him driving the No. 51 Tundra in five of six races, starting last week at Texas and continuing through Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in August. The Michigan native is ready to get in a rhythm behind the wheel and continue to show the racing world why he is one of the top young talents in all of NASCAR.