Erik Jones Claims First-Career XFINITY Series Win From the Pole at Texas Motor Speedway in Just His Ninth Series Start
- Making just his ninth-career NASCAR XFINITY Series start, Erik Jones earned his first series victory in dominating fashion under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
- Sweeping all three qualifying sessions, Jones earned his second-career NASCAR XFINITY Series pole and led the field to green for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop Mortal Kombat X Toyota Camry. With the race under way for 200 laps, Jones settled into his positon at the front of the field with spotter Tony Hirschman coaching the 18-year-old around the 1.5-mile track.
- Happy with his Toyota Camry the entire race, Jones visited pit road for four routine pit stops, including one green-flag stop, taking on four fresh tires, fuel and making small adjustments throughout the 200-lap event. With solid stops each time, Jones was the first car off pit road after every pit stop.
- With great coaching from crew chief Mike Wheeler and Hirschman, Jones was able to remain in the top five for the entire race and battle for the lead with Cup Series regulars Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brad Keselowski.
- At the end of the night, Jones prevailed to claim his first victory in the series and Toyota’s 99th-career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory since joining the series in 2007.
- Jones crossed the finish line 1.624 seconds in front of second-place finisher Keselowski. Earnhardt, Jr. finished third followed by Regan Smith and Austin Dillon.
- The win also marked Crew Chief Mike Wheeler’s first win as a crew chief.
- The No. 20 Toyota Camry team gained three positions in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings and now sits sixth, 42 points out of the lead.
Erik Jones’ Post-Race Thoughts:
“It’s just surreal. It’s going to take a minute for this one to sink in. This has got to be one of the biggest wins in my career by far, to race against these Cup guys and being able to go out and get a win. I knew we had a fast Camry, I never go into a race thinking we can’t win, but it’s still far-fetched to think – man, it’s amazing, I watched the other guys do it, win races as young guys, and I wanted to be that guy. Now we’re here in victory lane and taking it all in and honestly can’t wait to get to the race track again.”
Carl Edwards vies for win to benefit children through ninth annual “Racing for a Miracle” program
The Ace Hardware Foundation has its hopes set on Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards, as he races for miracles this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.
The “Racing for a Miracle” initiative is a multi-faceted program celebrated in collaboration with the No. 19 STANLEY Racing team, the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) – all to benefit children by raising funds for the hospitals that provide their care.
If Edwards and the No. 19 team win, STANLEY will donate $1 million to CMN Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation. The pledge is part of one of the most successful and longest-running campaigns in NASCAR that benefits patients of CMN Hospitals. Regardless of the race’s outcome, the “Racing for a Miracle” program with STANLEY and the Ace Hardware Foundation will once again pledge $100,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It’s a total contribution to CMN Hospitals of more than half a million dollars since the program started.
“Our STANLEY team never needs to be motivated to win a race, but we have the opportunity to race for $1 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and that really encourages all of us,” said Edwards. “We have to thank the Ace Hardware Foundation for continuing to support this program and giving us this opportunity. It would be the highlight of my career to be able to win this Saturday night for these kids.”
As part of the special week of events, representatives from the Ace Hardware Foundation, CMN Hospitals, STANLEY, and Joe Gibbs Racing, including Edwards and members of the No. 19 STANLEY pit crew, visited Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. While at the hospital, representatives spent time with the patients and their family members by giving them an inside look at the STANLEY race team, including pit stop demonstrations.
On April 10, Edwards along with representatives from STANLEY will present the $100,000 donation to the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the Texas Motor Speedway. The special scheme includes four very special children who will also serve as “Honorary Crew Members” of the No. 19 team throughout the weekend.
As part of the campaign, the No. 19 racecar made special appearances at several Ace Hardware stores throughout the greater Fort Worth area, including two of Ace retailer Bill Jablonowski’s stores in Keller and Fort Worth, Texas. “I’m incredibly proud to be involved in this year’s ‘Racing for a Miracle’ events,” said Bill Jablonowski, owner of Jabo’s Ace Hardware. “Fundraising is in the DNA of our stores, in fact, in 2014 alone we raised more than $20,000 for our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Cook Children’s in Fort Worth and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas,” Jablonowski said.
For more information on the “Racing for a Miracle” program, including more ways to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, visit www.stanleymotorsports.com. For more information about Ace Hardware and the Ace Hardware Foundation, please visit www.acehardware.com.