Erik Jones wins pole for NASCAR Trucks at Phoenix with track-record run

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Erik Jones will start from the pole position in tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, while series points leader Matt Crafton will start alongside him in the front row.

Jones set a new Truck Series qualifying record at PIR with his lap of 135.532 mph in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra. He’ll be looking to claim his third victory of the season after earlier triumphs at Iowa and Las Vegas.

“We made two runs there and we couldn’t ask for anything better than that,” Jones told Fox Sports. “It’s a fast Dollar General Tundra from kinda when we unloaded.

“We made good adjustments [in practice] yesterday, and everybody did a good job getting it to where I want it to be. I think it’s gonna be good tonight, and I hope it comes alive even more when the night kicks in.”

Jones easily bested Crafton in the final round of qualifying by more than two-tenths of a second.

But Crafton, the defending Truck Series champ, will still have an early advantage against his current title rival, Ryan Blaney, who failed to advance from the first round and must start 17th. Crafton holds a 23-point lead over Blaney going into the next-to-last race of 2014.

“I do have a truck capable of racing with [Jones] in race trim, but man, the 51’s got the speed in [qualifying] trim, that’s for sure,” Crafton said to Fox after quals. “Hopefully, we’ve got something for them at the end of the night.”

A pair of Turner Scott Motorsports drivers make up the second row with Ben Kennedy on the inside and recently crowned K&N Pro Series East champ Ben Rhodes on the outside.

Joey Coulter and Spencer Gallagher are in Row 3, followed by Tyler Reddick and John Hunter Nemechek in Row 4. Darrell “Bubba” Wallace and Timothy Peters will go off from Row 5, while Sprint Cup rookie Austin Dillon is set to go from 12th position on the outside of Row 6.

Green flag for the Lucas Oil 150 is scheduled to drop later tonight, shortly after 8:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Phoenix – Starting Lineup

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.