Erik Jones talks post-race about how he is satisifed with his ninth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because it will keep him in front of Matt Crafton in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings.
Matt Crafton turns up the pressure on points leader Erik Jones after an action packed points day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Erik Jones talks about his sixth place finish and how his team just missed the mark in the American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
RELATED: Race results from Canada " Updated series standings BOWMANVILLE, Ontario - Two weeks ago in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course , Alex Tagliani got turned out of the lead by Regan Smith and lost his shot at a win. Today in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park , Tagliani had a chance to be the one doing the turning. Heading into Turn 5B on the final lap, Tagliani says he was in a position to push Erik Jones aside and claim victory for himself. But he didn't. Instead, Tagliani held back as Jones cruised to his second win of the season and vaulted to the top of the NCWTS point standings. "If I would have stayed where I was he would have been gone in (Turn) 5B," Tagliani said. "I don't drive that way. I just want to continue the trend." Tagliani thought he would have time to take one more clean shot at Jones through the final series of turns, but a broken third gear took that chance away. "It shredded completely," he said. "It was pretty much good all race. I felt a couple of times it was kind of scratchy on the downshift, but no sign it was going to be bad. As soon as I put third gear on the back straight, it just went. "I put it in fourth and it just kind of limped all the way back home." The 19-year-old Jones felt the pressure from veteran road course racer Tagliani down the stretch, but maintained his concentration to become the first driver to lead the entire last lap of a NCWTS race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park . "It was a blast," Jones said of the race. "It was nerve-wracking. It's a little intense when you’ve got a guy like that running you down for 15 laps." It turned out that Jones and Tagliani had shared a parade truck before the race and had a philosophical discussion about racing with respect. Tagliani told Jones he knew he was in a heated points battle and that Jones didn’t have to worry about him trying the same thing Smith had done to him at Mid-Ohio. "We had a pretty long talk about racing people the way you want to be raced," Jones said. "I’ve never been one to want to move somebody to win a race, and he hasn't, either. It's nice to see that respect, especially from a veteran like that to me. "It's not something he had to do. It means a lot to me that he did." Jones worked hard to improve his road course craft coming into this weekend. Time spent at a pair of driving schools paid off, as did a strong effort by the team to improve their truck. "We had a good truck last year, and we were able to do some improving on our Tundra to get it to where it needed to be for this year," Jones said. "I was able to improve on myself and fix some of my mistakes this year as well and get a little bit better." Matt Crafton finished in second place, which keeps him second in the point standings behind Jones , who now holds a three-point advantage. Tyler Reddick , the standings leader entering the race, placed 19th and is now third (15 points behind Jones ) in the championship hunt. Ben Kennedy , Daniel Hemric , and Tagliani rounded out the top five in Sunday's race. Cole Custer mounted one of the strongest challenges to Jones in the late going, but contact between he and Tagliani took him out of the running with 11 laps to go. He ended up in 10th.
RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings John Wes Townley won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rhino Linings 350 on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by coasting to the finish line as drivers such a Erik Jones , Matt Crafton and Cameron Hayley ran short of fuel or needed to make a late stop. For Townley it was his first career victory in a major NASCAR series, but it didn't come without some tense moments as his crew chief was advising him to use three-quarters throttle in the race's final three laps. However, it turned out to be enough as race leader Crafton (eighth place) had to pit for a spalsh-and-go with five laps remaining and Jones (ninth) and Hayley (10th) were seen wiggling their trucks short on fuel in the final laps. "I would have run out of gas if it hadn’t been for (spotter) Terry (Cook)," Townley said after the race. "I took care of this thing (truck) tonight and it took care of me. This is amazing; awesome." Said crew chief Michael Shelton, a former series championship crew chief, "It's been a lot of time coming. He's (Townley) had a tough career at times." Timothy Peters finished second, followed by Ben Kennedy , John Hunter Nemechek and Brandon Jones to round out the top five. Erik Jones leads Crafton by four points in the driver standings, with Tyler Reddick , who finished seventh, 16 points down. Reddick wrecked with teammate Austin Theriault on Lap 13. Theriault, whose truck went head-on into the wall, was airlifted to a nearby hospital for observation. According to a post on the driver's Facebook page, Theriault was alert and communicating. RELATED: Theriault airlifted after Vegas wreck The Truck Series will return to the track on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Talladega Superspeedway for the Fred's 250 Presented by Coca-Cola (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM).
RELATED: Full practice results Matt Crafton topped the lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice from Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Crafton paced the 150-minute practice session with a fast lap of 177.719 mph. The two-time defending series champion enters the 18th race of the season just seven points back of championship leader Erik Jones . Jones placed 13th in the practice session and is the defending race winner. Crafton's ThorSport Racing teammate Johnny Sauter was second (177.556 mph), followed by Timothy Peters (177.369 mph), Brandon Jones (177.003 mph) and Austin Theriault (176.829 mph). Travis Pastrana, who is making his first NASCAR start since 2013, placed 17th in the session. Keystone Light Pole Qualifying is set for 7:05 p.m. ET with coverage on FS2. The Rhino Linings 350 is set for 10 p.m. ET with coverage on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
RELATED: Qualifying results Matt Crafton earned himself his second Keystone Light pole of the season, and the ninth of his career, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during Saturday's qualifying session. Crafton wheeled his No. 88 Chevrolet around the 1.5-mile track with a fastest lap of 176.396 mph during the final minute of qualifying. Joining Crafton on the front row for Saturday night's race is John Wes Townley . Townley drove his No. 05 Chevrolet to a quick lap of 175.758 mph. And rounding out the top three was the No. 33 Chevrolet of Brandon Jones , who had a fastest lap of 175.678 mph. Next was the No. 17 of Timothy Peters (175.490 mph), followed by the No. 54 of Christopher Bell (175.308 mph) coming in fourth and fifth, respectively. Defending race winner, Erik Jones , failed to advance to the second, and final, round and qualified 15th (174.531 mph), but will start at the rear of the field due to an engine change. On-track action picks back up at Las Vegas at 10 p.m. ET for the Rhino Linings 350 (146 laps, 219 miles), FOX Sports 1.
Coach Joe Gibbs shed light on Erik Jones ' NASCAR career arc Tuesday morning, saying that a full XFINITY Series schedule and some Sprint Cup events were planned for 2016. Gibbs, appearing on "The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said that advancing the 19-year-old driver through the NASCAR development ladder was a top priority at Joe Gibbs Racing . "We look at Erik as a big part of our future," Gibbs told SiriusXM, "and we've got a plan laid out and it's not something we've talked about in public, but we all kind of know inside of our racing organization, and with his parents and his agent ... is just great. So we've talked over a plan, and basically the plan next year would be a full XFINITY season and try and run for a championship there and also to, in all likelihood, have him in some Cup races so that would be the goal for next year." Jones already has one Sprint Cup start to his credit, making an impressive drive at Kansas Speedway in May in place of the injured Kyle Busch . He also logged a hefty relief stint the month before, substituting for an ailing Denny Hamlin at Bristol Motor Speedway. Gibbs, 74, said plans to get Jones into a full-time ride are taking shape, though his organization currently stands at the NASCAR-mandated maximum of four teams, with Busch, Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth on the JGR driver roster. "We've got a plan laid out in the future, and it's something we can't, you know, we don't want to talk about now, but there is no question -- this guy, Erik's headed for Cup," Gibbs said with a laugh. "He's headed for Cup and we've got a path charted that we think is the best to get him ready and to fulfill his goal of being in a Cup car as quick as we can get him there." Jones is in his first full season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The Michigan native ranks third in the series standings, with four pole positions and one victory in 12 races thus far. Jones has also competed in 17 of 19 XFINITY Series events this season, with four poles and two wins splitting time between JGR's Nos. 20 and 54 Toyotas.
BROOKLYN, Mich. – Beyond planning to run the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Joe Gibbs Racing next year, 19-year-old phenom Erik Jones doesn't have any specifics about his 2016 deal. But two trips in a Sprint Cup Series car—the first in a relief role for Denny Hamlin at Bristol, the second as a sub for injured Kyle Busch at Kansas—have heightened Jones' eagerness to drive in NASCAR's top series. RELATED: Jones talks personal impact of Gordon "JGR ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) is working on a lot of things—a lot of things I honestly don't know," said Jones , who is competing for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title this year. "I'm kind of waiting to see how the rest of the year progresses. "I do know that I'll be racing XFINITY next year, but I don't know sponsor, number or any kind of information like that. No plans this year (for additional Sprint Cup races), but I hope I get another shot soon. It was fun." Jones is currently third in the Truck Series points standings, trailing leader Tyler Reddick by 16 points and two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton by five.
RELATED: Full Practice 1 results Defending Chevrolet Silverado 250 pole winner Alex Tagliani got off to a hot start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Saturday, topping the opening practice session of the weekend by a landslide. Tagliani's best speed of 109.853 mph topped runner-up Erik Jones ' effort of 108.916 mph, making his way around the 2.459-mile, 10-turn course at a 1:20.584 clip. It's just Tagliani's second career start in the Camping World Truck Series, but he has experience at the Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada track in the Canadian Tire Series. Reigning champion Matt Crafton was third (108.894 mph), with Ben Kennedy (108.584 mph) and Gray Gaulding (108.509 mph) rounding out the top five. RELATED: Full Practice 2 results Tagliani again was fast in the final session, but it was Jones who topped the leaderboard with an even faster pace at 110.436 mph. The Brad Keselowski Racing driver was just off Jones' pace at 110.364 mph. Canada native Cameron Hayley was third at 110.273 mph, followed by teammate Johnny Sauter at 110.177 mph. Ben Kennedy rounded out the top five with a best speed of 110.132 mph. The practice was halted twice for drivers who ran into the tire barriers. Both Jennifer Jo Cobb and John Wes Townley were checked and released from the infield care center after their respective incidents. Tune in Sunday to see the Chevrolet Silverado 250 , when trucks hit the track for a 1:30 p.m. ET start on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM.