|Jones visited victory lane in Texas on his way to the title|
credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts & Scuffs
2015 Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones became the youngest champ in the series’ history after a close battle with runner-up Tyler Reddick. Learn more about his quick rise to fame in this week’s championship edition of Fast Facts.
- Erik Jones was born May 30, 1996 in Byron, Michigan. He began racing quarter-midgets at age 7, and moved into stock cars at age 13. In 2010, he raced in the ASA Late Model Series, becoming the youngest winner of its Oktoberfest race at Wisconsin’s LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. In 2011, Jones took home the series championship from the Champion Racing Association’s All-Star Tour as a rookie and won the Governor’s Cup 200 late model race at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida, leading every lap of the race.
- Jones became the first 15-year-old to race in the ARCA Racing Series in 2012; he raced in 10 of the series’ 19 races that season, finishing a season-best third at both Winchester Speedway and Berlin Raceway. He also won the prestigious Snowball Derby at Florida’s Five Flags Speedway in 2012, holding off Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch for the win; Jones won the Snowball Derby again in 2013.
- Busch was so impressed by Jones that he signed him to run
five Truck Series races for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2013. On Nov. 8, 2013,
Jones became the youngest winner in NASCAR history when he won the Lucas Oil
150 at Phoenix International Speedway at 17 years, five months and eight days
(that record has since been broken).
Jones and his Truck Series boss, 2015 Cup Series champ
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton
- Jones continued driving on a part-time basis in the KBM
Toyota Tundra in 2014, winning three more races (Iowa, Las Vegas and Phoenix),
and received his high school diploma at Texas Motor Speedway in June; Texas
also marked his first race on a 1.5-mile track, as he had just turned 18. Jones
also made his Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at
Chicagoland Speedway in July, registering three top 10 finishes in three races
- In 2015, Jones competed in all three top NASCAR series, winning the Truck Series championship on the strength of three wins and 20 top 10s in 23 starts. He also picked up his first Xfinity Series win at Texas, also winning later in the season at Chicagoland. Jones made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Bristol in April as a relief driver for Denny Hamlin, and made his first start at Kansas in May subbing for Kyle Busch; later in the season he subbed for Matt Kenseth at Texas and Phoenix.
- Find out more about Jones at his website, www.erikjonesracing.com, and at the KBM website, www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.