Last weekend, Erik Jones did exactly what he needed to at Iowa Speedway to claim the victory for his second career win and the third straight for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Though with that in his back pocket, Jones is set for two unique challenges – his first Nationwide Series career start this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway and the Mudsummer Classic next Wednesday at Eldora.
“Well, I think it’s cool just in the sense that we do get to go to a dirt track and especially a place like Eldora that they host a lot of really prestigious dirt track races throughout the year,” Jones commented earlier this week. “For us to get a shot to race there and really put our mark down at Eldora is pretty special. I think it would be pretty cool to pick up a win there and definitely think we’ve got a good shot at it.
“I think it’s something that NASCAR and the Truck Series should continue to do. I think it’s a great show for the fans and brings a lot of people out to watch the trucks that maybe necessarily wouldn’t watch them every weekend. I think it’s a great thing all the way around for drivers, teams and fans, and it really puts on a good show.”
With the hype surrounding the event along with the already sold-out crowd, Jones is one of many who would rank Eldora right up there with Daytona in the most prestigious event on the Camping World Truck Series calendar.
Jones has yet to race on dirt himself ever, so next week will certainly be a learning experience for the 18-year-old. Part of that may bring contact in not knowing the limits of how far he can push his vehicle on the track.
“I think there’s definitely going to be — a majority of the contact on dirt just comes from inexperience on dirt and not really knowing what your race truck is going to do when you put it in a corner,” he commented. “It’s kind of a lack of truck control, not knowing what’s going to happen when you put it in the corner. I think you’ll see a lot more contact just from mistakes rather than purposeful aggression.
“It’ll definitely make it exciting, and I can’t wait to see what it’s all going to bring.”
If Jones can master sliding on the dirt and turning right to go left, you may just see Jones in victory lane once again on Wednesday night.