Mere hours after his boss triumphed in the Nationwide Series at Dover International Speedway, Erik Jones has claimed his second win of the season for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Jones passed KBM teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. with 13 laps to go in the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before beating him to the stripe by 1.329 seconds.
Prior to tonight, Jones’ previous two wins in the Truck Series had come on tracks of one mile or shorter.
“It was a blast – I learned a ton,” the 18-year-old driver told Fox Sports. “To get a win on a mile-and-a-half is awesome. It drove so good at the end. I couldn’t ask for more than this right here.
“I wanted to win out here so bad. I had this marked down as one I was looking forward to. Who doesn’t want to win in Vegas? This is really surreal to me right now.”
For a while, it appeared that Wallace would be the winner tonight in Las Vegas. He took control of the race around Lap 50 when he dusted Timothy Peters for the lead after Peters wiggled high off of Turn 2.
The race’s middle stages progressed with “Bubba” at the front, and he cycled back to P1 following a round of green-flag stops that started with about 40 laps left.
But Jones had been able to move up to second past Matt Crafton in the cycle, and then set his sights on Wallace before taking the lead for good with an inside pass.
“It’s frustrating,” Wallace said after his fifth runner-up finish of 2014 and his second in as many races. “I hate finishing second so bad. Thanks to my guys, though…Thought it was ours, that’s the most frustrating thing.
“To see where we came out [after the stops] and we passed him on the exit of pit road, I thought we’d be fine – and he just ran us down fast.”
Crafton, the defending Truck Series champion, finished third but was able to extend his current points lead to 19 over teammate Johnny Sauter, who finished 14th.
Peters, the Vegas winner from one year ago, picked up a fourth-place finish – his first Top-5 run in the last nine events. Brian Ickler rounded the Top 5 finishers.
The Truck Series will resume action in two weeks time at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 18.