Erik Jones Defending Race Winner Ready to Harvest Back-to-Back Victories

For the second time in his young career, Erik Jones heads into a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as the defending winner. After successfully defending his crown at Phoenix International Raceway last November, the talented youngster will be aiming to make it two-for-two in defending race wins Friday night in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, a track where he boasts an average finish of 3.75 combined between three career Truck Series starts and one NASCAR XFINITY Series start.

 

Iowa Speedway is a track that the racing prodigy took an immediate liking to. In July of 2013as a 16-year-old making just his third career Truck Series start, Jones planted his name among the top young talents in the sport when he finished second at the .875-mile tri-oval. He followed it up with a ninth-place finish at the Rusty Wallace designed venue when the series returned in September. After knocking on the door of a victory at Iowa in his debut season, the Michigan native plowed the door open last year. Jones started last July's American Ethanol 200 from the second position and went on to lead a race-high 131 laps en route to his first victory of 2014.

 

Jones was able to carry his Truck Series success at the Hawkeye State track over to the NASCAR XFINITY Series earlier this season. He was unable to participate in practice or qualifying for the XFINITY Series race in May, as he was on standby for Kyle Busch at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. So after Drew Herring put the No. 20 Interstate All Battery Center Camry on the pole, the driver changed forced Jones to start from the back of the field per the NASCAR rule book. Despite having never turned a lap at Iowa in an XFINITY Series car, when the green flag dropped the talented youngster maneuvered his way into the top 10 by lap 50 and ended the day with a third-place finish.

 

After getting spun twice in the first three starts of his part-time Truck Series schedule in 2014, Jones went to Iowa and got things turned in the right direction when he collected his first win of the season. Amidst another string of tough luck, the defending race winner is ready to harvest back-to-back victories in the Hawkeye State and experience a little "déjà vu" in Friday night's American Ethanol 200.

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