Erik Jones The "Daily Double"

This NASCAR driver is scheduled to compete in two different series at two different tracks in two different states on the same day for the second time this season. The correct answer; "Who is Erik Jones?" Jones will start his Saturday off with 175 laps in his No. 4 Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon and barring any complications will end his day with 200 laps behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Camry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
 
In August, Jones started from the pole, led 35 laps and rebounded from getting spun late in the race while challenging for the lead on a late-race restart to pick up a 10th-place finish in the Truck Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. He then hopped in a helicopter and headed to the airport, jumped on a plane and flew to the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Despite never having turned a lap in an XFINITY Series car at Iowa and having to start from the back of the field due to a driver change per NASCAR Rules, the talented youngster maneuvered his way to a fifth-place finish.
 
Saturday will be Jones' second start at New Hampshire. In his Magic Mile debut last year, the talented youngster started the Truck Series event from the seventh position and registered an average running position of 3.663 throughout the 175-lap event. He was running second when a caution came out with less than 30 laps remaining. With track position being crucial at the 1.058-mile oval, the No. 51 team elected to keep their driver on the track while other teams elected for two and four-tire stops. The Michigan native was at the head of the field for the ensuing restart, but shortly found himself on the outside of a three-wide battle and was forced into the outside wall. After pitting for four fresh tires and some minor damage repair under caution, the Michigan native restarted from the 11th position with 15 laps remaining, but was able to maneuver his way back inside the top 10 in the closing stages and ended the day with a seventh-place finish.
 
Jones was on the brink of victory in both the Truck Series and XFINITY Series races at Kentucky Speedway earlier this season. In Thursday night's Truck Series event he led a race-high 55 laps, including 12 of the final 13, but lost the lead to Matt Crafton on a late-race restart and one lap later the race ended prematurely due to an accident that damaged the catchfence. The following night, the 19-year-old racing prodigy led with eight laps remaining in the XFINITY Series race, but his progress was slowed by a lapped car and Brad Keselowski worked his way around him, leaving Jones with another runner-up finish.
 
Kyle Busch Motorsports owner Kyle Busch is the only driver ever to win two NASCAR National Series events in the same day, winning the Truck Series and XFINITY Series events at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in February of 2009. Jones has a legitimate shot to equal the feat on Saturday and if he is successful, there is no doubt that he will have one-upped his boss by completing the "Daily Double" at two different tracks in two different states.

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Steven B. Wilson

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