Erik Jones Straight Outta Michigan

Erik Jones already boasts quite a resume for a 19-year-old driver in NASCAR, he's already won seven National Series events, been a part of two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner's championships and participated in two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, but the one thing he hasn't had the chance to do is race at his home-state track. Jones has a combined 50 starts across NASCAR's top three divisions, but Saturday's Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn will be his first at the track located 70 miles from his hometown, Byron, Mich.
Jones began his racing career in Quarter Midgets at the age of seven. The next step up the ladder was the Pure Stock Division at Owosso (Mich.) Speedway and then quickly into the Street Stock Division at the 3/8-mile asphalt oval, where he won a race and earned the Rookie of the Year award.  At the age of 13 he began racing in the ASA Late Model Series, and at the age of 14 became the youngest winner in series history with his win in the Bob Cross Memorial at Dixie Speedway in Birch Run, Mich. Later that year, he became the youngest winner in the 41-year history of the prestigious Oktoberfest Late Model event at LaCrosse (Wis.) Speedway. The talented youngster moved onto the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour in 2011, where he earned seven fast time awards and two feature wins en route to the series championship. That year, he also became the first non-Florida native to the win the Governor's Cup 200 Super Late Model race at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in over 30 years.
In 2012, he became the first 15-year-old driver to compete in the ARCA Racing Series and posted four top-five and five top-10 finishes while leading a total of 103 laps across 10 starts. At the end of that season, the Michigan native put himself on the national map after he outdueled Kyle Busch in the closing laps to win the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
That win was pivotal in getting Jones' NASCAR career started. Busch signed the then 16-year-old to a five-race deal for the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. In his final start that year at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, he became the youngest winner in the history of the Truck Series at that time.  His success in 2013 earned the talented youngster a 12-race Truck Series schedule last year and he made the most of it winning three times. Jones also made three NASCAR XFINITY Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2014, finishing inside the top 10 in each.
With Jones finally eligible to compete full-time this season, he moved over to the No. 4 Tundra where he is on a mission to earn KBM its first-ever driver's championship. The NASCAR Next alumnus currently sits third in the championship standings, 16 tallies behind points leader Tyler Reddick, entering this weekend's event at his home-state track. He has recorded one win, four poles, seven top-five and nine top-10 finishes in Truck Series action this season. Jones has added two NASCAR XFINITY Series wins across 20 starts this season and also made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Kansas Speedway in May.
Straight outta Michigan, Jones has emerged as one of the top young talents in NASCAR. Saturday, he finally gets to make his first start at the track he grew up 70 miles from and he hopes after the checkered flag waves that all his friends and family will get to proceed straight outta their seats and join him in victory lane.

Speedway Digest Staff

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