Saturday, June 7, 2014

Erik Jones Graduated from High School and to Superspeedways at Texas

Erik Jones gets congratulatory kisses from Kristen and P.J. of The Great American Sweethearts.
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
Erik Jones turned 18 on May 30, 2014. Like many 18-year-olds, he was set to graduate from high school this weekend, but he had a scheduling conflict with his part-time job. Erik chose to work instead.

When you consider that his employer is Kyle Busch Motorsports and that his job is driving a race truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, that decision made perfect sense. Especially since that 18th birthday meant Erik would be able to drive on superspeedways and happened to fall just in time for him to take over the seat of the No. 51 Tundra for KBM in the WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

As far as Erik was concerned, there was no choice to be made.

His parents agreed.

"You'd have to know Erik," said his father Dave. "Ever since about the first grade, all he ever wanted to do was race. So, everything in school, whatever the assignment was, whether it was writing a story, it would be about racing, or drawing pictures in kindergarten, it would a racecar. So to get to this point and to have him graduate and get his diploma at a racetrack is beyond his wildest dreams. He would have quit school in first grade to go racing if that was an option."

When the TMS staff found out that Erik was foregoing picking up his diploma, they decided to hold a graduation ceremony for him during pre-race activities.

"It kind of started off as a joke, really, to graduate here but it all worked out and Texas Motor Speedway was gracious enough to get it all together," said Erik. "Being able to graduate at a racetrack, I don't think I would have had it any other way."

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
As Pomp and Circumstance rolled out of the track PA system, track president Eddie Gossage Jr. donned a cap and gown to present the young driver with his diploma from Swartz Creek High School. Gossage also presented Erik a diploma commemorating his graduation to superspeedway racing as Erik's parents, sister, his mother's mother and his father's father watched proudly.

Erik's debut on the high banks of the Great American Speedway went well, considering that it was only his seventh race. He ran in or near the top five all night, until a long green-flag run put him and the rest of the field in jeopardy of running out of fuel. Jones pitted late and wound up finishing 11th.

After the race he tweeted, "Well you're going to have nights like this. We worked hard all night, finish doesn't represent our run. We will be better next weekend." He then tweeted a photo of two of the Great American Sweethearts kissing him on the cheeks as he posed with his diploma pre-race, and said, "But, I will say it was a pretty good graduation!"

And how is the new graduate celebrating? By racing, of course. He'll be in the ARCA Midwest Tour’s Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 Super Late model event at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday.

Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs

0 comments :

Post a Comment