17-year-old Jones youngest to win truck race
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- In a battle between two drivers who had never won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, 17-year-old Erik Jones pulled away from Ross Chastain in the final 10 laps of Friday night's Lucas Oil 150, becoming the youngest winner in series history.
Jones took the lead on Lap 142 of 150, powering to the inside of Chastain through the dogleg on the backstretch. Born May 30, 1986, Jones eclipsed Chase Elliott, a winner earlier this year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, as the youngest winner in the truck series.
With a fifth-place run, Matt Crafton moved closer to the series championship, ending the evening 46 points ahead of Ty Dillon, who finished fourth. To secure the title, Crafton has to only start next Friday's race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
James Buescher, who entered the race second in points, came home ninth and was eliminated from championship contention. Veteran Brendan Gaughan ran third behind Jones and Chastain.
Jones lost the lead to Chastain during pit stops under caution on Lap 89, the yellow flag necessitated by Ron Hornaday's hard crash into the Turn 4 wall. After his release from the infield care center following the wreck that ended his race, Hornaday revealed that he had been released from his ride in the No. 9 NTS Motorsports truck and will drive for Turner Scott Motorsports in the season finale.
As soon as the green flag waved, however, Jones powered to the outside of Chastain after a restart on Lap 94 and cleared the No. 19 by the time the trucks exited Turn 2.
Jones opened a lead of 3.2 seconds before debris from Joey Coulter's truck caused the fourth caution of the night on Lap 110. Chastain grabbed the lead from the inside lane after the Lap 120 restart moments before John Wes Townley's spin into the outside wall caused the sixth caution.
Chastain retained the top spot until Lap 132, when Timothy Peters' truck got loose beneath that of fellow Toyota driver Darrell Wallace Jr. and sent both trucks spinning.