Date: July 22, 2015
Event: 1-800-CAR-CASH Mud Summer Classic (Race 11 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (.5-mile tri-oval)
Start/Finish: 19th / 4th (Running, completed 154 of 154 laps)
Winner: Christopher Bell of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
After experience multiple issues in the first segment of last year's Mud Summer Classic, Erik Jones was relegated to a 29th-place finish in his first-ever dirt start. Jones' plan for this year's event at famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio was to avoid problems and have the Special Olympics World Games Tundra in the mix at the end of the 150-lap race.
Mission was accomplished for the talented youngster. After starting from the 19th position, Jones took care of his Tundra in the early stages of the event and then made a charge to the front in the final segment. He broke into the top 10 for the first time on lap 109 and advanced up to the seventh spot when a one-truck spin on lap 148 set up a green-white checkered finish. The No. 4 Toyota emerged from a four-wide battle off of Turn 4 on the final lap in the fourth position. With his seventh top-five finish of the season, the Michigan native was able to gain five points on Matt Crafton in the championship standings.
"It's pretty easy to have a really bad day here and we did have a bad day last year, but just kind of stayed out of trouble all day and didn't really have the track position to get up there and contend for a win truly," Jones said. "It wasn't until the last 10 laps or so that we really got up into the top-five and were there to make a move. I wish we could have started a little better - just took a lot of work to get up from 19th. We had a good Special Olympics World Games Tundra, but just not the track position. A good points day and nice to finish ahead of the 88 (Matt Crafton) and get things going in the right direction."
Jones' Kyle Busch Motorsports' (KBM) teammate Christopher Bell picked up his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in just his third series start. Dirt Late Model standout Bobby Pierce crossed the stripe 0.761 seconds behind Bell in the runner-up position. Tyler Reddick finished third, Jones fourth and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top-five finishers. Matt Tifft, in the No. 51 KBM Tundra, finished 21st after getting spun with 30 laps remaining.
The 11th race of the 2015 season featured 13 cautions for a total of 61 laps. There were nine lead changes among four drivers.
With 11 of 23 races completed, Jones sits third in the championship standings - 24 tallies behind points leader Matt Crafton and 10 behind Tyler Reddick for the second position.
Jones will be back behind the wheel of the No. 4 Special Olympics World Games Tundra when the Truck Series resumes action Aug. 1 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Live coverage of the Pocono Mountains 150 begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.