Erik Jones Polished and Ready to Shine

The last two seasons, Erik Jones entered the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway behind the times compared to other Truck Series drivers. Not eligible to compete at Daytona due to age restrictions, the youngster opened up his part-time Camping World Truck Series schedule each year at the.526-mile paper-clip shaped oval. With seven races already underneath his belt combined between the Truck Series and XFINITY Series this season, Jones now heads to the Virginia track wound up and prepared to compete for his first win of 2015.


After outdueling now owner Kyle Busch to win the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race in December of 2012, Jones was signed by Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) to run a five-race Truck Series schedule in 2013. The Michigan native made his NASCAR debut at Martinsville in April of 2013, becoming the first 16-year-old to compete in the series since Busch did so in October of 2001. After qualifying 19th, Jones maneuvered his way into the top five late in the race, but was had to settle for a respectable ninth-place finish after finding himself on the wrong end of a Martinsville bump-and-run.


Turn the clock ahead two years and Jones has quickly solidified himself as one of the top young drivers in all of NASCAR. Across his first 19 starts in the Truck Series, the NASCAR Next product has collected four victories, two poles, eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. After two races in 2013 he sits third in the Truck Series championship standings and is the top Rookie of the Year candidate. In eight career XFINITY starts the last two seasons for Joe Gibbs Racing, the racing prodigy has recorded two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Jones captured his first career XFINITY Series pole last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and went on to finish a career-best third.


Just as he did in the closing laps of the Snowball Derby, Jones will have Busch's presence on his bumper this weekend. The tailgate of the No. 4 Tundra will carry a special decal this weekend promoting Win Kyle's Camry, a fundraising effort for the Kyle Busch Foundation. The same "Rowdy Edition" Camry that won Busch the 2012 SEMA Toyota Dream Build Challenge is being raffled off for $18 per chance. Fans can go to to purchase one of 5,151 tickets, with the winner being announced on April 1.


Jones will be looking to win in Kyle's Tundra this weekend and deliver the boss his fifth Martinsville victory. While many of the Truck series regulars have been off the clock since Atlanta, Jones has been busy working overtime in the XFINITY Series. Just like the grandfather clock that will leave with the winner of Saturday's 250-lap race, KBM's young gun is polished and ready to shine.


Speedway Digest Staff

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