Byron, MI (July 8, 2013) – Dashing back into the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards since his victory in August at Berlin Raceway, Erik Jones has been anxiously awaiting his final appearance in the series for the 2013 season. Prior to arriving at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta this weekend, the only laps the 17-year-old colt has made around the 1.5 mile oval was for a test in early July. Jones joined his Venturini Motorsports team in a one day effort to get a feel for their set up and left the facility confident that his No. 15 ToyotaCare Toyota Camry will be strong right out of the gate for the Zloop 150 on Friday night.
Jones’ Kentucky start will mark his fourth start this season in the ARCA Racing Series. Appearing first at Pocono Raceway in June, the Byron, Michigan native was thought to have the victory wrapped up but a mid-race mishap force him to race back through the field where he came up one spot short of winning. Returning to the "Tricky Triangle" in August Jones was again tricked from a victory for the second time. Leading the majority of the 50-lap race, Jones came to a halt with two laps remaining due to an untimely mechanical issue. Determined to not let another race slip through his fingers, Jones claimed his first ARCA victory a week later in front of a home state crowd at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway. Of the 1,965 laps completed in those three races, Jones has led a total of 302, giving him an average of 60% laps led.
Jones also enters Kentucky on the Venturini Motorsports wave of domination. Out of the four drivers to take seat in the No.15 machine, all have visited victory lane including Jones at Berlin. For all track styles the ARCA Racing Series visits - super speedways, intermediate, short tracks, and dirt - the No. 15 has won on all at least once. With crew chief Kevin Reed, it seems as though a win is never out of the question and he will reunite with Jones in hopes of gaining number seven for the season.
Festivities for the Zloop 150 will kick off on Friday, September 20 at 1:00 pm ET with a two hour practice session. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell will begin at 5:15pm followed by the drop of the green flag at 8:00 pm. Fans can tune into race coverage on FoxSports1.
Erik Jones, Driver of the No. 15 ARCA ToyotaCare Camry:
What are you looking forward to returning to the ARCA Racing Series at Kentucky Speedway?
“I’m pretty excited to get to Kentucky this weekend with Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series. We had a great test there in August and getting on a 1.5 mile track is something that I have been looking forward to doing all year. Kentucky is a place that has a lot of character. I feel like we learned a lot at the test, even as fast as we were right off the trailer we were able to make some changes and got the car to drive more comfortably. It’s going to be a learning experience, and I’m sure that I will be learning a lot throughout the night.”
Is there some added pressure knowing you will have a target on your back running in the No. 15?
“No, it is just another race for me. The Venturini group has been very strong this year, and I’m looking forward to getting to work with them one more time before the year is over. Kevin does such a great job and we get along so well. We have had winning cars every time we are together but haven’t been able to put it together every race but I have a really good feeling going into Kentucky.”
Notes of Interest:
Erik Jones 2013:
- Won his first ever ARCA Racing Series event in his home state of Michigan at Berlin Raceway in August
- Accomplished a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career-best finish of second in the July race at Iowa Speedway
- Finished ninth in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, the same result that KBM owner Kyle Busch produced in his Truck Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park in August of 2001
- Gained the most positions on-track in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway to bring home his second top-10 finish for KBM in just his second series start
- Became the first 16-year-old to compete in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event since KBM owner Kyle Busch finished ninth at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in October of 2001
Erik Jones 2012:
- Won the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., outdueling KBM owner Kyle Busch in the closing laps to secure the victory
- Became the first 15-year-old driver ever to compete in the ARCA Racing Series, making his debut at the Mobile ARCA 200 at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway
- Posted four top-five and five top-10 finishes while leading a total of 103 laps across 10 ARCA starts
- Qualified inside the top 10 for all 10 races and posted two third-place finishes, June 24 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and Aug. 11 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich.
Erik Jones Career:
2011 – Became the first non-Florida native to win the Governor’s Cup 200 Super Late Model race at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in over 30 years (11/21/11)
2011 – Posted seven fast time awards and two feature wins en route to the JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour championship
2010 – Became the youngest winner in the 41-year history of the prestigious Oktoberfest ASA Late Model event at LaCrosse Fairground Speedway in West Salem, Wisc. (10/9/10)
2010 – At age 14 became the youngest winner in ASA Late Model History, when he won the Bob Cross Memorial at Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, Mich. (8/20 /10), breaking the record of 16 years of age - previously held by current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Landon Cassill.