Erik Jones returns to the No. 51 ToyotaCare/Project Pink: Protect Your Pair Tundra this weekend for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the 'Magic Mile' for the first time since 2011, the 18-year-old phenom will be looking to continue the success that owner-driver Kyle Busch established at the one-mile flat track and earn the team its third consecutive victory at the venue.
In KBM's two trips to New Hampshire with Busch behind the wheel, to say that the team dominated the races is an understatement. The Las Vegas native captured the pole in the team's inaugural trip to the 1.058-mile, was the fastest truck on the track for 50 of the 135 green-flag laps and led 156 of the 175 total laps en route to the victory and a near-perfect Driver Rating of 149.8. What did he do for an encore? In the 2011 event he captured the pole again, was the fastest truck on the track for 60 of the 166 green-flag laps and led 165 of 175 total laps en route to the victory and a perfect Driver Rating of 150.
Coming into an event on a flat one-mile track with big shoes to fill is nothing new for Jones. He entered his first start at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway last year on the heels of two impressive wins by KBM. Busch led 107 of 150 laps en route to victory in 2011 and Brian Scott became the first non-Sprint Cup Series regular to win for KBM leading a race-high 48 laps en route to victory in 2012. Jones was equally impressive in the dessert, where at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days, he became the youngest winner of a NASCAR National Series event by leading a race-high 84 laps en route to his first Truck Series victory.
The talented youngster will be racing a familiar Tundra in Saturday's 175-lap event. KBM-12 is the same chassis that Jones led 131 of 200 laps en route to his second career Truck Series victory earlier this season at Iowa Speedway in Newton. What is new this week, however, is the Project Pink: Protect Your Pair logo adorning the bed top and tailgate of his Toyota. The logo will be on the No. 51 truck the next two races, promoting the Kyle Busch Foundation's second-year initiative to help raise money and awareness for the Pretty in Pink Foundation - a Raleigh, N.C. based foundation whose mission is to provide financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients who are in active treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. To learn more about the Project Pink initiative, which last year successfully paid the bills for 48 breast cancer patients undergoing treatment in North Carolina, fans can visit KyleBuschFoundation.org.
Jones hopes that the rest of the field will get a good look at the Project Pink logo on the tailgate of his Tundra on Saturday, as he is ready to 'Protect a Pair' of KBM victories and pick up the team's third consecutive victory at the "Magic Mile."