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NCWTS: Erik Jones – No. 4 Toyota Tundra NCWTS Daytona Advance

ERIK JONES

‘Let’s Go Places’ We’ve Never Been

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 16, 2015) – As a certified scuba diver, Erik Jones already knows a thing or two about diving       head-first into unchartered territories. After two successful part-time voyages in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the 18-year-old Rookie of the Year candidate plunges into his first full-time expedition with high expectations as he prepares to butt heads with the sharks of the Truck Series in an effort to deliver Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) its treasured first-ever driver’s championship.

 

Jones’ quest for a championship begins with Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The season-opening event will mark the Michigan native’s first start in any series at the 2.5-mile oval and just his second career start on a superspeedway. He cut his restrictor-plate racing teeth last October at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where he qualified sixth and finished sixth.

 

Daytona will be one of 10 tracks on the 2015 schedule that the talented youngster will tackle for the first time in a Tundra. Jones has accumulated four wins, two poles, seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes across his first 17 starts running a part-time schedule the last two seasons. After being a part of two Truck Series Owner’s Championships with KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team, he moves over this season to a full-time gig behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra, but he will be brining eight members of that squad with him, four primary crew members and four over-the-wall crew members.

 

A familiar face will be atop the pit box for Jones this season in Ryan “Rudy” Fugle.  Fugle led KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins, including Jones’ first-career victory at Phoenix International Raceway, and a Truck Series Owner’s Championship as crew chief in 2013. He also contributed to an additional 11 wins in his role as race engineer for the organization during the 2012 and 2014 seasons.

 

To earn the Truck Series Driver’s championship this season, Jones will most likely have to outduel two-time reigning champion Matt Crafton. While running a full season for a driver’s championship will be a new experience, battling against Crafton and his team will feel just like old times for Jones and several crew members he brought with him to the No. 4 team this year, as the No. 88 team finished second in the owner’s championship standings to KBM’s No. 51 team each of the last two seasons. Jones finished ahead of Crafton in seven of his 12 starts last season, including seven of the last 10 times he climbed behind the wheel of the ToyotaCare Tundra.

 

With 39 wins and three owner’s championships since debuting in the Truck Series in 2010, there are not many accolades that KBM has yet to receive. When the checkered flag falls on the 2015 season, Jones is hoping that he emerges atop of the Truck Series talent pool and takes the team to a place it has never been by delivering KBM’s first-ever driver’s championship.

 

Erik Jones, driver of the No. 4 NCWTS Toyota Tundra:

 

What are your goals for this season?

“My goal this year is to go out and win races and bring home a driver’s championship to KBM. I feel like running a part-time schedule the last few years has helped prepare me for the chance to run full-time this year, especially last year racing at a couple of mile-and-half tracks. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get a little taste of running for a championship the last two years with the No. 51 team winning two owner’s titles, but my main focus each week was going out and winning that race. This year, there will be times where I have to change my mindset a little bit and at times not be as aggressive and think about the big picture. Matt (Crafton) has won the championship the last two years by being very consistent and we know that if we are going to beat him, we need to make sure on the days where we don’t have a winning truck we don’t try to make something happen and have it bite us.”

 

Kyle Busch, owner of the No. 4 NCWTS Toyota Tundra:

 

What do you expect from Erik Jones this season?

“I expect a lot from Erik Jones and I think Erik Jones knows that, he sees that and sees the potential that he carries. I just hope he still fits in his helmet as people talk about him and to him over the course of this season — how successful he can be and what his potential is. I think it’s very high. He’s got a great regard for his cars, for car control, for the trucks or whatever it might be. I see nothing less than him winning Rookie of the Year and being a champion in the Truck Series this year. That’s what we’ve set out to do and that’s what he feels like he’s ready to do. The experience he has gained from running a limited schedule the last few seasons has been really good for him, now I’m excited to watch this season and see if he can build on that experience and take it to the next level.”

 

Erik Jones’ No. 4 Toyota Tundra:

 

KBM-13: The No. 4 Toyota Racing team will unload KBM-13 for Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Team owner Kyle Busch drove the same Tundra to his first Truck Series victory at the “World Center of Racing” in last year’s season-opening event. Jones piloted the Toyota to a sixth-place finish in his superspeedway debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last October.

 

KBM-013 Performance Profile:

 

Date

Site

Driver

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

10/18/14

Talladega

Jones

6

6

95/95

1

running

2/21/14

Daytona

Busch

7

1

100/100

25

running

10/19/13

Talladega

Coulter

9

27

79/94

1

accident

2/24/13

Daytona

Coulter

10

22

100/100

0

running

 

Notes of Interest:

 

Erik Jones @ Daytona:

  • Jones will make his first career start in any series at Daytona in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250
  • The 18-year-old will be pulling double duty this weekend at the “World Center of Racing,” as he will pilot the No. 20 Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday’s Alert Today Florida 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race 

Erik Jones 2015

  • Will compete full-time as a Rookie of the Year candidate in the NCWTS as well as running a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series 

Erik Jones NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Races

Win

Top 5

Top 10

Pole

Laps

Led

Earnings

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

Miles

LLF

2013

5

1

2

5

0

1017

84

$91,860

13.2

6.0

5

847.0

5

2014

12

3

5

8

2

1789

300

$240,336

6.1

9.2

11

2030.0

9

Totals

17

4

7

13

2

2806

384

$332,196

8.2

8.2

16

2877.0

14

 

Erik Jones 2014

  • Collected three wins (Iowa Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway), two poles, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes across 12 NCWTS starts
  • Despite competing in just 12 of the 22 NCWTS events, ranked third among all drivers in laps led (300)
  • Recorded top-10 finishes in all three of his NASCAR XFINITY Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing

Erik Jones 2013

  • His victory in the November event at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway at the time made him the youngest winner in the history of the NCWTS at 17 years, five months and nine days old
  • Became the first 16-year-old to compete in a NCWTS race since KBM owner Kyle Busch in October of 2001, went on to finish ninth in his debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and recorded top-10 finishes in all five of his series starts
  • Collected first ARCA Racing Series victory at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway and registered two top-five and three top-10 finishes across four starts
  • Became just the third driver in the 46-year-history of the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., to register back-to-back victories

Erik Jones 2012

  • Won the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway, outdueling KBM owner Kyle Busch in the closing laps to secure the victory 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra:

  • The No. 4 team will be using the Owner’s points earned by the reigning Owner’s Champion No. 51 Tundra team last season
  • Eight members of this  year’s No. 4 Tundra team, four primary crew members and four members of the over-the-wall crew, were a part of last year’s Owner’s Championship-winning No. 51 team
  • Erik Jones was a key contributor to KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team winning back-to-back Owner’s Championships while driving a part-time schedule each of the last two seasons 

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Has collected three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner’s Championships, 39 Truck Series victories and 18 poles across 201 starts since originating in 2010
  • 39 career Truck Series victories as an organization ranks third all-time behind Roush (50) and Kevin Harvick Inc. (43)
  • 14 victories as an organization during the 2014 season broke the Truck Series record of 12 set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001
  • Has won 17 of the last 26 races, dating back to Darrell Wallace Jr.’s win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October of 2013
  • Six different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 26. Darrell Wallace Jr. collected five victories, Erik Jones has posted  four wins, Denny Hamlin produced two victories and Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott both collected one triumph
  • Has collected victories at 17 of the 21 tracks on the 2015 schedule, excluding Atlanta Motor Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway

KBM NCWTS @ Daytona International Speedway

KBM drivers have collected one win, three top-five and three top-10 finishes across nine starts at Daytona resulting in an Average Finish of 15.9. Owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up the team’s first victory at the 2.5-mile Tri-oval in dramatic fashion in last year’s season opener, finishing .016 seconds ahead of fellow Toyota competitor Timothy Peters. The best starting position a KBM driver has earned is sixth, which has happened three times, most recently by Busch for the 2013 event.

 

The Fugle File:

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will call the shots for Erik Jones’ championship campaign in the Truck Series in 2015. The New York native led KBM’s No. 51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins, including Jones’ first-career victory at Phoenix International Raceway, an Owner’s Championship as crew chief in 2013.  He also contributed to an additional 11 wins in his role as race engineer for the organization during the 2012 and 2014 seasons. Before coming to KBM, Fugle held crew chief positions in both the Truck Series and XFINITY Series with Germain Racing.

 

Fugle’s NCWTS drivers have posted one top-five finish across two starts at the “World Center of Racing,” a second-place finish by KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch in 2013.

 

-KBM-

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