Erik Jones Ready for Another First
2014 has already been an exciting year for Erik Jones and the fun will continue this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont., where the talented youngster will make his first career start in any series on a road course. Jones will pilot the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the 64-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course north of the border.
Many exciting things have already happened this year: Jones turned 18, graduated from high school and received his diploma on the driver intro stage at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, made his first NASCAR National series start on a mile-and-half track, picked up his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Iowa Speedway in Newton, finished seventh in his Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway, made his first start in any series on dirt at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and captured his first career Truck Series pole in the same event.
Jones enters this weekend's Truck Series event fresh off his first career start at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. In just his second Nationwide Series start, he qualified sixth, but found himself a lap down just past the halfway mark of the race. The Michigan native got his lap back with just over 100 laps remaining and battled back to an eighth-place finish. He has now posted top-10 finishes in his first two Nationwide Series starts after finishing inside the top 10 in his first five Truck Series starts this season.
Knowing this weekend will be the first time that he will be tackling left and rights in a race, Jones put together a plan to be ready for his road-course debut. His first step was attending Ron Fellows' Performance Driving School in Pahrump, Nev. for two days earlier this year. Earlier this month, KBM conducted a one-day test at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., where the talented youngster made approximately 60 laps in the same Tundra he will drive in this weekend's event. While he hasn't raced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park before, he did attend the inaugural race last season with No. 51 team and served as a spotter for Chad Hackenbracht, who finished second in the event, and feels that having attended that race will be beneficial to adapting to the track quickly this year.
As Jones takes on another first this weekend, the road course north of the border, his goal is a simple one - bring home another first.
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