Jones returns to site of first Truck Series win

Avondale, AZ ( – The Camping World Truck Series will kick
off NASCAR’s tripleheader weekend at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday

When the series competed at this flat 1-mile track one year ago, Erik Jones
made NASCAR history by becoming the youngest driver to win a national touring
series race. Jones was 17 years, 5 months and 9 days old when he took the
checkered flag for the 150-mile event here.

In September, 16-year-old Cole Custer surpassed Jones’ record when he won the
Truck Series race at New Hampshire.

Jones is in his second season as part-time driver of the No. 51 Toyota for
Kyle Busch Motorsports. His first win in the series last year came in just his
fifth start.

“That’s a memory that I don’t think will ever fade away for me, coming here
and just picking up our first win in the Truck Series,” Jones said. “We ran
five races that year, and to pick up a win in one of those five starts was a
goal I had set for myself. It was a tall order really the whole year. To get
it done and to pick up a win was pretty special. It really helped the 51
(team) pounce towards an owner’s championship too.”

On Thursday, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing jointly announced
that Jones will compete full time for KBM in the Truck Series and run a
partial schedule for JGR in the Xfinity (now known as Nationwide) Series.

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will serve as Jones’ crew chief in trucks next year, but his
entry number and team sponsor in that series have yet to be decided.

This season, Jones has scored two wins (Iowa and Las Vegas) and seven top-10
finishes as well as one pole (Eldora) in 11 truck starts. He also made his
first two career Nationwide starts this year, driving the No. 20 JGR Toyota to
a seventh-place finish at Chicagoland in July and then an eighth-place run at
Bristol the following month.

“We’ve been working hard over the past probably three months now to get this
deal done, and it’s finally come together to where I’ll be in the full season
next year for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series as well as Joe Gibbs
Racing for some Nationwide races too,” Jones said. “Definitely an exciting
year ahead for me.

“I felt like it was coming, but we all worked hard for it and to finally have
it come together and get to run a full season in one of the NASCAR series is
pretty special for me. Happy to see it all come together and really looking
forward to it.”

Last weekend, Kyle Busch drove the No. 51 to victory at Texas. It was the
ninth win for the team this season. The No. 51 currently holds a 12-point lead
over ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 team, with driver Matt Crafton, in the owner’s

With just two races to go, Crafton, the defending series champion, has a 23-
point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney. The season will conclude on
Nov. 14 at Homestead.

Thirty-four teams are on the entry list for the Lucas Oil 150.

Series: NASCAR Camping World. Date: Friday, Nov. 7. Race: Lucas Oil 150. Site:
Phoenix International Raceway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET.
Laps: 150. Miles: 150. 2013 Winner: Erik Jones. Television: FOX Sports 1.
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.