At 17 years, five months and nine days old, Erik Jones has put his name into the record books. The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver is now the youngest race winner in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history after taking the checkered flag tonight at Phoenix International Raceway in the Lucas Oil 150.
Jones was second to Ross Chastain on the final restart of the night with 11 laps remaining, but with nine to go, he got past Chastain down the backstretch into Turn 3 and went on to the win.
“It’s unbelievable,” Jones said to Fox Sports in Victory Lane. “It’s all I’ve wanted, to be a winner in NASCAR. To get this win…It’s hard to put it in words right now. I don’t think it’s even set in yet…We just got a really good run off [Turn] 2 and we were able to get underneath him and run him down on the backstretch and make the pass.”
“We just needed a little bit more turn in the center [of the corner] and that’s what he had to beat us,” Chastain said of his battle with Jones. “I tried taking his line away, I tried to banzai him on that restart – about wrecked – and got the lead, but after a lap of green, I couldn’t hold the bottom like I needed to and he was going so fast.”
As for the Camping World Truck Series’ points leader, Matt Crafton, he had a chance to clinch the championship with one race left to go on the schedule. Ty Dillon kept him from doing that with a fourth-place finish, but Crafton, who finished behind him in fifth, only has to start the season finale next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim the title.
Chastain’s runner-up was his sixth Top-10 finish of the season. Brendan Gaughan finished in third ahead of Richard Childress Racing teammate Dillon.