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2014 Bowmanville: Erik Jones NASCAR Truck Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Aug 27, 2014 - 07:31 AM
2014 Bowmanville: Erik Jones NASCAR Truck Race Preview

2014 has already been an exciting year for Erik Jones and the fun will continue this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont., where the talented youngster will make his first career start in any series on a road course. Jones will pilot the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the 64-lap NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course north of the border.


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Many exciting things have already happened this year: Jones turned 18, graduated from high school and received his diploma on the driver intro stage at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, made his first NASCAR National series start on a mile-and-half track, picked up his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Iowa Speedway in Newton, finished seventh in his Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway, made his first start in any series on dirt at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio and captured his first career Truck Series pole in the same event.

Jones enters this weekend's Truck Series event fresh off his first career start at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. In just his second Nationwide Series start, he qualified sixth, but found himself a lap down just past the halfway mark of the race. The Michigan native got his lap back with just over 100 laps remaining and battled back to an eighth-place finish. He has now posted top-10 finishes in his first two Nationwide Series starts after finishing inside the top 10 in his first five Truck Series starts this season.

Knowing this weekend will be the first time that he will be tackling left and rights in a race, Jones put together a plan to be ready for his road-course debut. His first step was attending Ron Fellows' Performance Driving School in Pahrump, Nev. for two days earlier this year. Earlier this month, KBM conducted a one-day test at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., where the talented youngster made approximately 60 laps in the same Tundra he will drive in this weekend's event. While he hasn't raced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park before, he did attend the inaugural race last season with No. 51 team and served as a spotter for Chad Hackenbracht, who finished second in the event, and feels that having attended that race will be beneficial to adapting to the track quickly this year.

As Jones takes on another first this weekend, the road course north of the border, his goal is a simple one - bring home another first.

Clcik Here to Watch Video of Erik Jones Testing Road Atlanta

Erik Jones, Driver of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra:

With this being your first road-course race, what did you do to prepare?
"I've been looking forward to making my first start on a road course for a long time and now that I'm finally am getting the chance, I think it is going to be pretty fun. It's always tough going into a new situation in a race car, but I attended the Ron Fellows school and that helped out a lot. Recently, we went and tested at Road Atlanta and that went really well. I felt really comfortable right away at the test and we had a really fast ToyotaCare Tundra. Hopefully, even though it's a different track, we can transfer that over to this weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I feel like when we unload we are going to be really close."

What do you know about Canadian Tire Motorsport Park?
"It's a really cool place, I went last year with the 51 team and helped as a spotter. I think that just being there last year and kind of seeing a little bit of the line and where people were running will help me out this year. I've also watched a few videos to familiarize myself with the track more. It seems like there are just a few technical corners and it's more of a high-speed road course. There a lot of blind corners and to be successful you have to learn where you need to get yourself setup going over the hill so that you are positioned right when you come out the other side. This team went up there last year and came away with a runner-up finish; hopefully we can have another strong run this time around."

Eric Phillips, Crew Chief of the No. 51 NCWTS ToyotaCare Tundra:

This will be a new course for both you and Erik, what are your expectations?
"I started my professional career in road racing and have always seemed to run well in the stock cars on the road courses, so I'm really excited about this weekend. It will be kind of new, but with all the data acquisition, simulation and all the other stuff we use these days, I don't know if you are ever truly going to a race track for the first time. We put a lot of effort into this race -- we took an old short-track truck and completely rebuilt it into a road-course truck. Then, we took that truck to Road Atlanta earlier in the month and tested with it. For not having any road course experience, Erik did a really good job -- he adapted well and was really fast. Just like every other week, I think our expectations are to try to go out and be the fastest in practice, sit on the pole and win the race."

Erik Jones' No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra:

KBM-X134: The No. 51 ToyotaCare Racing team will unload KBM-X134 for the first time this season. The team converted the chassis from a short-track truck to a road-course truck recently and updated it to the new 2014 Tundra model. The Toyota has collected one win, one pole, three top-five and five top-10 finishes across six careers starts since being purchased from Xpress Motorsports when KBM came into the Truck Series in 2010. Denny Hamlin went to victory lane with the truck at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October of 2012 and captured a pole with it at the same track last October.

KBM-X134 Performance Profile

Date Site Driver Start Finish Laps Laps Led Status
10/26/13 Martinsville Hamlin 1 6 200/200 65 Running
4/6/13 Martinsville Jones 19 9 250/250 0 Running
10/27/12 Martinsville Hamlin 5 1 200/200 6 Running
10/29/11 Martinsville Richards 25 28 197/200 0 Running
7/23/10 Lucas Oil Raceway Ky. Busch 2 2 200/200 0 Running
3/27/10 Martinsville Ickler 32* 3 250/250 0 Running

Notes of Interest:

Erik Jones 2014:
• Led a race-high 131 laps en route to victory in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, picking up his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory in just his ninth career start (7/11/14)
• Captured his first career NCWTS pole at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/23/14)
• Across six NCWTS events this season has registered an Average Starting Position of 4.7, Average Running Position of 7.6, Average Mid-Race Position of 6.0 and Average Finish of 14.7
• Despite running just six of the 13 events, ranks fourth among all NCWTS drivers in Laps Led (159) and fifth in Fastest Laps Run (98)
• Finished seventh in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway (7/19/14) and followed it up with an eighth-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (8/22/14)
• In his lone Super Late Model start of 2014, won the Howie Lettow Memorial 150 ARCA Midwest Tour race at the Milwaukee (Wis.) Mile (6/8/14)
Erik Jones 2013:
• At 17 years, five months and nine days old, became the youngest winner in the history of the NCWTS with his victory in the November event at Phoenix International Raceway (11/8/13)
• Became the first 16-year-old to compete in a NCWTS race since KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch in October of 2001, went on to finish ninth in his debut at Martinsville Speedway (4/6/13) and recorded top-10 finishes in all five of his series starts
• Collected first ARCA Racing Series victory at Berlin Raceway (8/10/13) and registered two top-five and three top-10 finishes across four starts
• Became just the third driver in the 46-year-history of the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway to register back-to-back victories (12/8/13)
• With a victory in the Winchester 400 Super Late Model race at Winchester Speedway, became the sixth driver in history to post victories in both that race and the Snowball Derby (10/13/13)
Erik Jones 2012:
• Won the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., outdueling KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch in the closing laps to secure the victory (2/2/12)

Kyle Busch Motorsports' No. 51 Tundra:
• Leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with six wins, five poles, 754 laps led and 438 Fastest Laps Run
• Ranks fourth in the NCWTS owner's points standings, 20 points behind the series leading No. 98 team
• Erik Jones picked up his second career NCWTS victory in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton (7/11/14), captured his first career pole at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/23/14) and has registered an average finish of 14.7 across six starts this season
• Kyle Busch leads the NCWTS with six wins this season, capturing victories at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta
• Has captured five pole awards (Kyle Busch - 4, Erik Jones- 1) and started first two other times when qualifying was cancelled and the field was set by the NASCAR rule book
• In 2013, produced a series-leading six wins (Kyle Busch -5, Erik Jones- 1), 505 laps led and 11 top-five finishes en route to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Championship
• Has collected two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner's Championships, 33 Truck Series victories and 16 poles across 183 starts since originating in 2010
• Six different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 24. Darrell Wallace Jr. has three wins, while Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin have produced two victories each and Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott have both collected one win
KBM NCWTS @ Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
KBM's Truck Series drivers produced two top-five finishes in last year's inaugural event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Chad Hackenbracht led the charge with a runner-up finish in the No. 51 Tundra.

The Phillips File:
Eric Phillips, the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, picked up his 33rd career series victory with Erik Jones at Iowa Speedway on July 11. The Illinois native has visited victory lane with nine different Truck Series drivers and 20 different tracks in his 10 seasons atop the pit box. He led KBM to a Truck Series Owner's Championship and series-leading eight wins in its inaugural campaign in 2010 and overall in four seasons at KBM has guided the team to 23 wins with five different drivers.

This will be the veteran crew chief's first visit to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the Nationwide Series last season, Parker Kligerman collected one top-five and two top-10 finishes resulting in average finish of 7.3 across three road-course starts in the Nationwide Series with Phillips calling the shots last season.

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 51 2014 NCWTS Box Score:

Date Site Driver Start Finish Laps Laps Led Status Owner Pts./Pos. Money Won
2/22 Daytona Busch 7 1 100/100 25 Running 47/1st $72,470
3/30 Martinsville Jones 4 18 256/256 0 Running 73/7th $10,990
5/9 Kansas Busch 1 1 167/167 104 Running 121/1st $43,210
5/16 Charlotte Busch 1 1 134/134 130 Running 169/1st $43,920
5/30 Dover Busch 1 1 200/200 150 Running 217/1st $40,815
6/6 Texas Jones 5 11 166/167 0 Running 250/1st $11,915
6/14 Gateway Jones 3 23 153/160 4 Accident 272/1st $7,450
6/26 Kentucky Busch 1 1 150/150 91 Running 314/1st $54,815
7/11 Iowa Jones 2 1 200/200 131 Running 352/1st $39,245
7/23 Eldora Jones 1 29 144/150 24 Running 368/2nd $8,505
8/2 Pocono Jones 13 6 64/64 0 Running 406/2nd $12,250
8/16 Michigan Busch 11 5 100/100 14 Running 446/2nd $11,975
8/20 Bristol Busch 1 24 194/200 81 Running 467/4th $10,360

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