JONES YOUNGEST NASCAR TOURING SERIES WINNER
Seventeen-year-old Erik Jones of Byron, Michigan, became the youngest-ever race winner of a NASCAR national touring series event when he piloted his truck to victory on Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.
Jones, who had been beaten on the previous two restarts by pole-sitter and eventual second place finisher Ross Chastain, sparked awake his Wake Up Narcolepsy Awake Toyota coming off turn 2 with nine laps to go just after the race's last restart and got around Chastain to take the 23rd annual Camping World Truck Series, the season's next to last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
Matt Crafton, the season's points leader, failed to clinch the series title when he finished fifth, one spot behind Ty Dillon, who remains the only driver still in the running for the championship. But, Crafton, leading by 46 points, needs only to take the green flag at Homestaed-Miami Speedway next week to cop the title.
Crafton said Jones "looked like Kyle Busch tonight," in complementing the frequent truck series winner who owns Jones' entry. Crafton also tipped his cap to the group of 2013 rookies: "It's a different crop this year."
James Buescher was eliminated from title contention but battled well early, holding second place until being shuffled back during pit stops. He finished ninth.
Veteran driver Brendan Gaughan led a number of laps while staying near the front all night and finishing third.