NASCAR: Erik Jones becames youngest Truck Series champion
Erik Jones (Kyle Busch Motorsports) became the youngest ever NASCAR Truck Series champion after sixth-place finish in Friday night’s last race of the 2015 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Winner of the Ford EcoBoost 200 race was 2013 and 2014 champion Matt Crafton, who scored his sixth win of the season and finished on the third place in the championship standings, 15 points behind 19-year-old Jones.
Crafton’s # 88 Toyota Tundra finished 2.9 seconds ahead of John Hunter Nemechek’s Chevrolet and more than six seconds ahead of Tyler Reddick’s Ford. Ben Kennedy and Timothy Peters rounded top 5. It was Crafton’s first win at Homestead-Miami.
Jones entered the race 19 points ahead of Reddick and 32 points ahead of Crafton. Jones needed only to avoid trouble and finish 15th or higher to claim the series crown. He qualified fifth and raced safely, remaining in the top 10 for most of the race, so at the end sixth place was enough for the title. He scored three wins this season and increased his overall number of Truck Series victories to seven. Jones expects to drive full-time in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing next year.
“I can’t think of a better way to repay these guys. I can’t think of a better way to thank Kyle for all these years getting the driver’s championship for him. He’s wanted one since the company started, and to bring it home for myself and for KBM, you couldn’t really ask for a better ending than that,” Jones said in Victory Lane.