Second power outage at Phoenix hands NASCAR Trucks win to Erik Jones

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In a way, it’s sort of fitting that a lights-out performance from Erik Jones in tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway ended because…The lights went out.

After the start of the Lucas Oil 150 was delayed by more than an hour due to a power outage west of the city, a second outage with 24 laps left to go brought out the red flag. Shortly after, NASCAR decided to call the race, which gave Jones his third Truck win of 2014.

NASCAR senior director of communications for competition Kerry Tharp later tweeted that NASCAR couldn’t guarantee the lights would not go out again:

Jones, who won his first career Truck race last fall at PIR and led 114 of the 126 laps ran tonight, led series points leader Matt Crafton to the checkered flag. Cole Custer finished third, with Ryan Blaney and Ben Rhodes completing the Top 5.

“It’s pretty cool to pick up another win at Phoenix,” Jones told Fox Sports. “Definitely a great way to top off the year for me in this [No. 51] truck. Just a good way to start off the 2015 season.”

With the victory, Kyle Busch Motorsports breaks the single-season Truck Series record for wins by a team with 13. Busch and Jones have combined for 10 wins this year in the No. 51, while Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. has won three times in KBM’s sister truck, the No. 54.

As for Crafton, he’ll take a 25-point lead over Blaney to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend. If Crafton can finish 21st or better there, he’ll become the first back-to-back champion in Truck Series history.

Multiple cautions marred the early going of the race once it did get underway. A stack-up in the middle of the field took place just after the green flag and involved multiple drivers, including German Quiroga and John Wes Townley. The cleanup from the incident was extensive and included liberal amounts of speedy-dry put down around the one-mile oval.

Eventually, the green flag came back out at Lap 19 but two laps later, separate spins for Ben Rhodes and Matt Tifft triggered another yellow. Then, shortly after the restart at Lap 27, more trouble occurred when Spencer Gallagher and Timothy Peters made contact in Turn 3 and went into the wall, damaging Jeb Burton’s truck in the process.

That led to another restart at Lap 34, which was promptly followed by Joey Coulter having a tire go down and then wrecking unassisted at Lap 40.

Three laps later, the red flag was thrown so crews could get Coulter’s wounded Chevy Silverado off the track. The red flew for almost four minutes before it was swapped for the yellow.

Thankfully, things finally settled into a rhythm of sorts following the restart at Lap 46. The Trucks went all the way to Lap 99 and through a round of green flag stops before another yellow came out.

Adam Enticknap paves the way for the ‘Other 19’

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Once the 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season kicks off in Anaheim, Calif. on January 4, eyes inevitably will begin to focus on the front of the field.

One rider will win that race. Two will stand on either side of him on the podium. Nineteen others will ride quietly back to the garage and if they’re lucky, get a few minutes to tell the tale of their race to a few members of the media. On their way off the track, the other 19 will take a minute to wave to the fans in the stands.

Adam Enticknap will motion for them to follow him.

One of the most engaging riders in the sport, Enticknap not only recognizes his role as a dark horse on Supercross grid, he revels in it.

“Not everyone is going to win,” Enticknap said last week at the Supercross media sessions. “There’s only one winner on a weekend; that’s it. There can’t be more than one winner. And everyone else has got to go home and eat too.”

A recognized Hip Hop artist known for his video ‘My Bikes Too Lit’, Enticknap is bringing new fans to the track – and as a result, he is putting a spotlight on riders deeper in the field.

Last year Enticknap was coming off a broken femur that marred his SX season. He made only three Mains with a 20th in Indianapolis, 15th at Houston, and an 18th at Las Vegas. In October, he earned a career-best 14th in the Monster Energy Cup at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. He got there by being consistent in the three heats, finishing 16-15-15.

But that’s not the point for Enticknap. Yes, he wants to win but it is just as important to be the ambassador for those riders who are known only to their fans.

“I’ve made a path for riders that are not going to win,” Enticknap said. “And that’s not saying that I don’t want to win, or that I’m not going to win, but I’ve made it so that the guy who’s finishing 20th and barely making the Mains can make a full career out of it. I’m probably the most famous, slowest guy on the track. It’s come from the way I’ve marketed myself and the way I’ve been with my fans and I’ve appreciated every second that I’ve been here.”

On a good weekend, Enticknap is one of the “other 19” in the Main Event.

“Without all of us, there really is no winner. Everybody’s got to show up and everybody’s got to compete during the weekend. In our sport, everyone is so hyper-focused on the guy who is winning all the time, but I hope that I’ve opened people’s eyes that sometimes it’s not just about the guy who wins the race as much as it is about the guy who is succeeding during the weekend.”

For Enticknap, success looks different than for last year’s champion Cooper Webb or Eli Tomac who won six of the 17 races in 2019. It’s about knowing that when it’s time to ride back to the hauler – whether that is at the end of the Main or after a Last Chance Qualifier – that nothing was left on the track.

“My best finish was a 14th at the Monster Energy Cup – ever in my career,” Enticknap emphasized. “Making my way from the bottom is huge. I made my way from not even making the top 40 to finishing 14th in A-Main Event. That’s huge.”

And that’s progress.

In his second season with H.E.P. Motorsports, Enticknap predicts he will make 10 Mains this year.

Even if he advances to only half of the Features, it will be his best season in eight years at this level. Enticknap qualified for seven Mains in 2017 with a best of 18th at Vegas. He was in five Mains in 2018 with a best of 16th at San Diego before signing with his current team – and getting injured without rightly being able to show what he could do with them.

“I want to break into the top 10 – that’s my goal for the year – but as of right now I’m succeeding in all the little goals that I’ve set and I want to keep succeeding,” Enticknap said.

It’s not enough to want to finish well, however; riders have to visualize a path to success. For Enticknap, that will come with because of how he approaches stadium races. Towering over the field, Enticknap is not a small man by anyone’s measure so it’s ironic that he makes a comparison between Supercross and ballet. The indoor season is about precision, technical mastery, and finesse. And that is where Enticknap believes he shines.

“Supercross is more of a ballet. It’s more perfection. It’s something that takes so much talent – and you can see it in real life. When you watch an outdoor race, you’re like ‘that guy’s a beast’; he’s manhandling it; he’s hammering the throttle. And when you see a Supercross race it’s just so rhythmic and flowing and light. So much finesse on everything. Just such a fluent, technical race.”

Enticknap credits his background in BMX racing as one of the reasons why he is so fluid on a tight track.

“Supercross fits my riding style a lot,” Enticknap said. “I don’t like to just hang it out and get all sideways and just swap, swap, swap. I like to be very precise in all my movement. I’m a perfectionist. It helps in Supercross because everything is just timed by the millisecond.”

More: Michael Mosiman expects magic in this third year

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