If the top-finishing Toyota finishes 14th or better in Friday’s race at Phoenix, Toyota will capture its eighth Manufacturers’ Championship, tying Chevrolet for the most in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history. The Manufacturers’ Championship would also be Toyota’s third consecutive title.
Jones Makes Lone Star Statement
Erik Jones put on a dazzling performance at Texas Motor Speedway where counterpart Matt Crafton normally dominates, leading 117 of 147 laps to win last Friday’s WinStar World Casino 350. Jones’ victory marked his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win at Texas and his third checkered flag of the season. He also posted a near-perfect 149.5 driver rating.
Jones became only the third driver to win a NCWTS and NASCAR XFINITY Series (April 2015) race at TMS, joining his No. 4 truck owner Kyle Busch and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick.
The NASCAR Next alumnus currently rides a streak of 13 consecutive top-10 finishes – the longest in the NCWTS this season. He ranks first in the NCWTS standings – 17 points ahead of second-place Matt Crafton – with two races left in the season.
A NASCAR statistician’s dream, Jones tops the series in average running position (4.9), average finish (6.2), fastest laps run (549), percentage of laps led (25.9%) and driver rating (118.3).
Phoenix ‘Son’: Jones Controls Championship Destiny As Truck Series Goes West
With only two races left in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Erik Jones leads second-place Matt Crafton by 17 points and third-place Tyler Reddick by 21 points in the championship standings.
The No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra driver gets the opportunity to further increase his points advantage in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1) – a place he has won in both of his starts. In 2013, Jones became the then-youngest winner in NASCAR national series history when he visited Victory Lane at Phoenix from the second starting position. Last year, he led 114-of-126 laps at the one-mile track to win from the 21 Means 21 Pole.
Crafton finished second to Jones at Phoenix last year and owns five top fives and 10 top 10s in 14 starts at the Arizona oval. His five wins this season are the most in the NCWTS.
Reddick placed 10th at Phoenix in his only start there, last season. He enters the race with a streak of three consecutive fifth-place finishes.
There’s an outside chance Jones clinches the 2015 championship a race early. If he leaves Phoenix with a 49-point lead over second place, he’ll clinch the title.
Abreu Set For Truck Series Debut At Phoenix
Noted dirt track ace and first-year stock car driver Rico Abreu will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway driving the No. 31 NTS Motorsports Chevrolet.
Abreu, a NASCAR Next member, ran a full NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule this season, finishing fifth in the series standings on the strength of one win, four top fives, eight top 10s and three poles.
Outside of NASCAR, Abreu holds the title of 2014 USAC Midget National champion and is a three-time World of Outlaws winner. Earlier this season, he won the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
K&N East Champ Byron Readies For First Truck Series Start
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron will make his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start when he takes the wheel of the No. 9 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota at Phoenix on Friday.
The 17-year-old Charlotte native has taken NASCAR’s touring ranks by storm, winning not only the NKNPSE title, but also its Sunoco Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver Awards. In 14 NKNPSE starts, Byron posted four wins, five top fives, 11 top 10s and three poles.
Byron’s No. 9 Toyota is one of four KBM trucks entered in Friday’s race. Series standings leader Erik Jones (No. 4), Daniel Suarez (No. 51) and Matt Tifft (No. 54) will also compete at Phoenix for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team.
Recently, KBM announced its plans to have Byron and Christopher Bell run a full-time schedule for the organization in 2016. Daniel Suarez and Cody Coughlin will split time in a third KBM entry.
Byron, who began racing in 2013, is a member of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class.
“My goal for my first NASCAR Camping World Truck start is to get a top 10 and run all of the laps,” Byron said.
NASCAR Next Takes Phoenix
Five members of the 2015-16 NASCAR Next class are scheduled to compete in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway: Rico Abreu, William Byron, Cole Custer, John Hunter Nemechek and Dalton Sargeant.
Abreu and Byron are set to make their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debuts, while Sargeant will log his first start at Phoenix. Sargeant has finished in the top 10 in two of his first three NCWTS races.
Custer placed third at Phoenix in his lone start there last season, while Nemechek claims one top-10 finish in two career Phoenix starts.
Custer (Gateway) and Nemechek (Chicagoland) each have one NCWTS win this season.
Cindric Back In Action For BKR
Austin Cindric, 17, will take the wheel of the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford in his second career series start in Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. The Mooresville native placed 25th after running in the top 10 throughout much of the race in his debut at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 31.
A versatile racer, Cindric medaled at the X-Games in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites Series and became the youngest ever IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge winner when he took the checkered flag at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July.
Ryan Blaney piloted the No. 29 Ford to a third-place finish last weekend at Texas.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Lucas Oil 150
The Place: Phoenix International Raceway
The Date: Friday, Nov. 13
The Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM Ch. 90
Distance: 150 miles (150 laps)