Sunday, September 19, 2021

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From Derby win to Derby win, Erik Jones is at the top of his game

To win the Snowball Derby once is something drivers take pride and joy in. The race is one of those marquee events on the short track that drivers are always wanting to win.

To beat Kyle Busch to win the Snowball Derby is another complete thing all together. Jones beat Busch to the line to win the event last year in his family owned late model.

The win caught the eye of the NASCAR driver and car owner and in trade, Jones got to run some races this year for him.

Jones ran five truck series races this year for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 51 truck and finished in the top 10 in each of them.

In his last race of the year for Busch at Phoenix, Jones surprised everyone by dominating the race, leading 84 laps, on his way to winning the event.

“Its unbelievable,” the 17-year-old said in victory lane. “Like I told Rudy on the radio – this is the best feeling ever. It’s all I wanted – was to be a winner in NASCAR. To get this win, its really unbelievable and hard to put in words. Just couldn’t be happier to get in victory lane.”

Jones then headed back to the event that started off his stellar 12 month span – the Snowball Derby – driving the Kyle Busch Motorsports late model.  Jones was second at the checkered flag, though Chase Elliott was DQ’d for illegal weight, handing the win over to Jones.

“A win is a win so we will take it,” Jones said. “Sometimes it plays out like this, we all come to the Derby knowing about the Room of Doom and everyone has to pass through it. Getting back-to-back wins at the Derby is really special to not only myself but to Kyle Busch Motorsports, James Finch and everyone at Phoenix Construction. It’s extremely hard to do such a thing and really puts a nice seal on the 2013 season.”

In doing so, Jones becomes only the third driver to win both the Winchester 400 and the Snowball Derby in the same year. He is also only the third driver to win two straight Snowball Derbys.

For any driver at the top of their season, having a year like this would be exciting.

For a teenager to have a year like this, it only sets up an even more positive future as Jones is going to be one of the youngguns to watch.

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