Kyle Busch Motorsports dominated the American Ethanol 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Friday night, and in the end, 18-year-old Erik Jones took his first-career Truck Series win in the No. 51 KBM Toyota that has won six of the nine races, so far, this season. Team owner Kyle Busch has won five races in the No. 51. Also worth noting. Overall, KBM has won seven of nine races, with fellow-KBM driver Darrell Wallace Jr. also winning a race in the No. 54 team truck.
"That was awesome," Jones said. "We definitely drove it hard and this thing had nothing left in it at the end."
Jones, himself, was dominant at Iowa, leading 131 laps of the 200 that made up the race. Teammate Wallace started on the pole and was in command early until Jones got off pit road first during the first caution of the race that came out on lap 39.
Jones then led most of the remainder of the race, with Wallace behind him in second for much of the rest of the first half. But just before halfway, Ryan Blaney took second from Wallace. Just after halfway, Blaney got by Jones for the lead.
Jones got back to the front, though, during pit stops under a yellow that was displayed on lap 126. Jones and Blaney then ran one-two for the remainder of the race. That same caution brought and end to Wallace's bid for the win, though. As the field neared a cycle of green-flag stops just before the yellow flag, Wallace pitted under green and, as a result, went a couple of laps down when the caution came out. The other front-runners had yet to pit and, instead, pitted under green. Wallace was able to get one of his laps back by taking the wave-around. He wound up finishing 13th.
Jones and Blaney pulled away from the rest of the field when the race returned to green. With just under 30 laps remaining, Blaney closed on Jones and the two battled for the lead in the closing laps. Blaney was able to take a quick lead late, but Jones got back by to take the top spot for good. Blaney had to settle for runner-up honors.
"That was a great race with Ryan -- great competitor and a great guy to race against," Jones said. "He raced me hard, raced me clean, and we have always shown a lot of respect to each other."
As Jones and Blaney battled for the win, far in front of the rest of the field, Matt Crafton and Joey Coulter waged a battle for third in the late laps. It was a battle won by Crafton. Coulter wound up fourth, and German Quiroga rounded out the top-five.
With the third-place finish, Crafton retook the championship points lead from ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter. Blaney is now in second, two points behind Crafton. Sauter dropped to third.