Date: Nov. 7, 2014
Event: Lucas Oil 150 (Race 21 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway (1-mile Tri-oval)
Start/Finish: 1st / 1st (Running, completed 126 of 126 laps)
Winner: Erik Jones of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
On a bizarre evening, with a full moon hanging over Phoenix International Raceway, 18-year-old Erik Jones and the Dollar General Racing team dominated a caution-filled race that was delayed at the start by a power outage and called before the scheduled distance for the same reason. Jones, the defending race winner, started from the pole and led 114 of the 126 laps en route to his third win of the 2014 season and a perfect driver rating of 150.0.
"Just an awesome Dollar General Tundra," Jones said. "It was a good truck when we built it -- one of the best ones we've built so far and it showed tonight. Just proud to be a part of KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) and it's been an awesome year. We broke the record here tonight with 13 wins in a season -- that's amazing for these guys. Just excited for next year -- full season with them and chasing down the championship. It's going to be a great year for sure. Can't wait to get it started -- it's been an awesome season with three wins. Just can't believe it."
Jones started his day off by capturing the pole as he posted a new track record with a lap of 26.562 seconds at 135.532 mph. The talented youngster also posted the fastest time in the first round of knockout qualifying, touring the 1-mile tri-oval in 26.815 seconds at 134.253 seconds.
After the start of the race was delayed by over an hour, a four-truck accident on lap one left a lot of fluid on the track and the field remained under caution until lap 18. With mass amounts of speedy dry on the track and the surface still slippery, three more cautions occurred before lap 50. Throughout the mishaps, Jones remained out front of the field.
Once the field was able to settle into a long green-flag run, Jones began to distance himself from his competitors. On lap 80, he had opened up over a three-second lead and on lap 92 he surrendered the lead for the first time to make his one and only pit stop of the race. After the over-the-wall completed a four-tire and fuel stop, the Dollar General Tundra returned to the track scored in the sixth position as a handful of drivers were on a varying pit strategy.
Jones was scored in the fourth position when a two-truck accident on lap 101 slowed the field for the fifth time. The top-three truck hits pit road, moving the No. 51 team to the front of the field again. Jones held serve on one more restart and was over half a second ahead of the No. 88 truck when the lights at the track went out with 24 laps remaining. NASCAR called the race and the Dollar General team was declared the winners.
"I think that we would have been able to definitely been able to hold him (Matt Crafton) off," Jones said. "I felt like we had, by far, the best truck. He could run for 10 laps pretty hard and maintain about five back to us and then it seemed like we'd just kind of drive away inch by inch at that point. Just felt like it was a great truck and I didn't have a doubt in my mind that if we were to go back racing there for the last 20 that we would have been able to hold him off."
The win was the Jones' fourth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in just his 17th series start and gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its record-breaking 13th win as on organization this season, breaking the mark set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001.
Crafton came home in the runner-up position behind Jones. Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers. Busch's KBM teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. led once for 12 laps and came home in the sixth position.
The 21st race of the 2014 season featured seven cautions for a total of 48 laps. There were just two lead changes, as KBM drivers led all 126 laps. The No. 51 team leads the Owner's point standings by 18 points over the No. 88 team with one race remaining.
Kyle Busch will be behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway on Nov. 14. Busch is the defending winner of the Truck Series race at the 1.5-mile Florida track. Live coverage of the Truck Series season finale will air on Fox Sports 1 beginning wi