18-year-old Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Erik Jones not only graduated to the larger tracks of the Camping World Truck Series recently, he also graduated from high school right on stage at Texas Motor Speedway prior to Friday night’s WinStar World Casino and Resort 400. Jones, whose recent birthday now allows him to race on all tracks in the Truck Series, debuted on the 1.5-mile track with a solid 11th-place finish, right behind KBM driver Darrell Wallace Jr. in 10th.
Jones, who qualified fifth in the No. 51 Hiring Our Heroes/ToyotaCare Toyota Tundra, raced in the top five for much of the night, but pit strategies and a loose Tundra forced him back to 11th.
"We started out pretty good and were able to run up towards the front for the majority of the race, but at the end we just got too free," said Jones on the KBM website. "Overall, not a terrible night for this No. 51 Hiring Our Heroes/ToyotaCare Tundra considering it was my first time on a mile-and-a-half track in this series. I learned a lot about how to work the air and work around guys. I feel like I'll be more prepared now for the next one and we'll be really good. Looking forward to being back in this No. 51 Tundra again next week at Gateway (Motorsports Park)."
Wallace Jr., who started seventh on Friday night in the No. 54 ToytoaCare Tundra, also ran in the top five for much of the race, but a loose-handling truck and a late pit stop for fuel left Wallace Jr. in 10th at the checkered flag.
“This was a great race for not only myself, but my team,” said Wallace Jr. “We came into this race with a goal to finish all the laps and get a top-10 finish. We did that, ran in the top 10 most of the night and learned a few things that we can carry over to our next mile-and-a-half race. Our season hasn’t gone the way we had hoped, but I think tonight was definitely a step in the right direction to turn our season around and start producing solid finishes and move up in the points.”
The Camping World Truck Series gets back on track next Saturday, June 14th, at Gateway Motorsports Park. Keep up with the action at www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.
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