O’Reilly Auto Parts 500


FORT WORTH, Texas (June 2, 2015) – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Erik Jones has made just two visits to Texas Motor Speedway in less than a year, but the 19-year-old already is etching some lifetime memories at the venue. 

>The most recent came in April’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 when he earned his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in just his ninth series start. Jones became the second-youngest series winner at Texas Motor Speedway at 18 years, 10 months and 11 days – Chase Elliott (18 years, 4 months, 7 days) established the track mark a year prior – fourth youngest in series history. 

Texas Motor Speedway also assisted on Jones enjoying a personal milestone for any teenager last June during the NCWTS WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. The teen opted to skip his high school graduation commencement at Swartz Creek (Mich.) Community Schools to compete at Texas, but speedway officials gave him the best of both worlds. 

Texas Motor Speedway provided him with a graduation ceremony on stage during pre-race activities that had everything from cap and gown and diplomas to the “Pomp & Circumstance” music and Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage donning a faculty gown and presenting his Swartz Creek diploma. 

Jones is looking to add yet another milestone to his growing list of accomplishments at Texas Motor Speedway when he competes in Friday evening’s WinStar World Casino and Resort 400 (8 p.m. CT, FOX Sports 1, Sirius XM, MRN and locally 1080 KRLD-AM). 

“Texas Motor Speedway is a place where I really enjoy racing,” said Jones, who just celebrated his birthday on May 30. “I’ve been there twice and being fortunate enough to win in the XFINITY Series was definitely a big moment for me. It’s just a cool place with a lot of grooves and I think all the drivers love it when the tires wear out.” 

Jones, third in the series championship and 14 points behind the leader and two-time defending truck series champion Matt Crafton, is looking to capture his first win of the season despite being one of the more dominant drivers during the first six races of the season. 

He has four top-five finishes in six starts, including a pair of runner-up finishes, and has finished outside of the top 10 just once this season. He also has led a lap in five of the six, including a career-high 151 laps led during the series’ stop at Kansas Speedway in May. 

He finished 11th in his only truck series start at Texas Motor Speedway last June, but the XFINITY Series win here could provide the confidence and momentum boost to return him to Victory Lane. 

“That was a really big day for me,” Jones said referring to his O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 victory. “Being able to win an XFINITY race, let alone being able to race with the Cup guys and beat them, was big. That really boosted my confidence and made me look at racing a little bit differently. I can’t wait to get back for that reason because I have such great memories there. I think that’s one of the coolest Victory Lane celebrations a driver can go to.” 

With Jones’ career on a meteoric rise, it appears likely this will be his first and only full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. For him, this season is about one goal: capturing a championship. He understands the opportunity is within grasp and knows there is no better place than Texas to capture that momentum. 

“Being able to race fulltime in the truck series is a great opportunity for me,” Jones said. “We’re all trying to chase a championship. We want to be able to win early in the year to get things rolling for us. If we could get a win at Texas, that would be great. That would give a lot of momentum for the rest of the season. We are pretty excited to get there.”

About the author

The Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations Department is located on the 6th floor of The Speedway Club outside of Turn 1 of the speedway. 

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