Erik Jones Certified Perfect
With the battle in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series championship standings coming down to the final two races, Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (PIR) is a 'perfect' destination for Erik Jones and the No. 4 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles team. Jones is two-for-two in Truck Series starts at the one-mile oval, scoring a pair of perfect driver ratings en route to victories in both the 2013 and 2014 events.
The racing prodigy cemented his place as one of NASCAR's rising stars in the 2013 Lucas Oil 150, whenat the age of 17 years, five months and nine days old, he became the youngest winner of a NASCAR National Series event at the time. Jones narrowly missed the pole, but was able to work his way to the front of the field for the first time on lap 45. Once out front, he led a race-high 84 laps and crossed the stripe over 1.6seconds ahead of the second-place competitor. Along the way, he posted a race-high 39 Fastest Laps Run and recorded an Average Running Position of 1.867 en route to a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0.
What did he do for an encore in last year's event? Jones captured the pole, led a race-high 114 laps, posted a race-high 38 Fastest Laps Run and Recorded an Average Running Position of 1.302 en route to his second consecutive victory in a race that was shortened due to an electrical issue at the one-mile oval. The win was the fourth consecutive in the Truck Series event at Phoenix for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) with Jones' wins combined with wins by Kyle Busch in 2011 and Brian Scott in 2012.
While he wasn't quite perfect last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Jones scored a driver rating of 149.5 en route to his third Truck Series victory of 2015. The win marked his 13th consecutive top-10 finish and his seventh consecutive week atop the Truck Series Championship standings. After the eighth race of the season at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., the talented youngster found himself fourth in points, 33 behind Matt Crafton. His recent run of top-10 finishes has propelled him to the top of the championship standings, where he sits 17 points ahead of two-time reigning champion Crafton with just two races remaining.
NASCAR Loop Data Statistics and the two Lucas Oil 150 trophies on display in Kyle Busch Motorsports' showroom prove that Jones is certified perfect in his two Truck Series starts at Phoenix. Keeping his perfect record intact on Friday night would go a long way in the 19-year-old's quest to become the youngest champion in series history and in turn delivering boss and mentor Kyle Busch his first-ever driver's championship as an owner.
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