For the third straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Erik Jones was on the cusp of victory in the closing stages, but ended the day having to take solace with a solid finish.
The first half of the Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway proved that passing was at a premium and track position was pivotal, so sitting eighth in the running order Jones and crew chief Rudy Fugle jointly elected to take just right-side tires under caution on lap 138. The move allowed the Special Olympics World Games Tundra to leave pit road in the second position for the ensuing restart.
When the race restarted, Jones emerged out front and slowly began to stretch the lead over the course of a long green-flag run. With 20 laps remaining he had opened up a one second lead, but as the finish approached a combination of a loose-handling Toyota and losing momentum to a pack of lap trucks allowed Tyler Reddick to close the gap. On lap 193 Reddick worked his way to the lead and soon after Jones' Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Daniel Suarez also got by, leaving the No. 4 team with a third-place finish.
"We just couldn't finish it out," said Jones, who was making his first start in any series at the Monster Mile. "It just got tough working through the lapped traffic and I had to use up a lot of tire and didn't quite have enough left. We had a good Special Olympics World Games Tundra and we fought hard all day. We came pretty close - we'll win one soon and keep getting better every week. It was a good points day and we'll just keep moving along."
Reddick picked up his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win this season. Suarez finished 1.255 seconds behind Reddick in the runner-up position. Jones crossed the stripe in the third position, while Daniel Hemric and Matt Crafton rounded out the top-five finishers. Justin Boston in the KBM Rok Mobile Tundra got sent into the inside wall early in the race and was relegated to a 25th-place finish.
The sixth race of the 2015 season featured eight cautions for a total of 41 laps. There were 15 lead changes among eight drivers, including Jones who led once for 50 laps. For the fifth time in six races this season Jones collected the Rookie of the Race Award.
With six of 23 races on the 2015 schedule complete, Jones ranks third in the championship standings - 14 points behind points leader Matt Crafton.
Jones will be back behind the wheel of the No. 4 Special Olympics World Games Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action on June 5 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Live coverage of the WinStar World Casino 400 begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 8:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.