Marne, MI (August 11, 2013) – Seventeen year-old Erik Jones showcased his talent Saturday night at Berlin Raceway dominating the 200-lap Primera Plastics event earning his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Series victory.
After two previous starts in the ARCA series this season that led to two heartbreaking “so close” moments, Jones was not letting this one slip through his figures. Virtually controlling the top spot the entire night Jones, driving his No.15 Stock Car Steel – Venturini Motorsports Toyota, excitedly took the checkered flag and began the celebration in front of his home state crowd.
A native of Byron, Michigan Jones had a huge contingent of hometown supporters’ on-hand to witness his career best day.
“This one means so much to me,” said an excited Jones during his post-race interview. “I’m only an hour and a half away from my hometown and so many of my friend and family were able to come out and be here with me tonight.”
“I had a flawless Stock Car Steel Toyota Camry today. Kevin (Reed, crew Chief) made the right calls – We only made one adjustment, that’s how good the thing was.”
Starting the race from the outside pole, Jones mingled within the top three, running at his own pace, until the first caution flag flew on lap 35. When the field returned green however, it was go time. Taking the lead from Menards Pole sitter Mason Mitchell on lap 43, Jones worked his way around the .4 mile oval dodging lap traffic at every turn.
Crew Chief Kevin Reed called Jones down pit road during the second of four cautions on lap 69. Being extremely satisfied with the handling of his machine, Reed made the only adjustment of the night (air pressure) on the first stop while taking two tires and fuel.
ones returned to pit road during the final caution of the night on lap 142, where his Venturini crew performed a flawless 4 tire stop, allowing Jones to win the race off pit road for the final time.
The final stop set up a 50-lap shootout. It was critical for Jones to consistently hit his marks because the No. 32 of Mason Mingus was hot in his tracks. Lap by lap the two mirrored each other’s time, but Jones had the advantage and was the first to the checkers.
“The 32 was coming hard there at the end, I was a little worried about him, but we were able to push it really hard. Luckily, we didn’t have a late caution because I think whoever was in third would have been able to drive past us both since we were racing so hard. It’s just so amazing to be able to hold everyone off and get my first ARCA win in Michigan,” concluded Jones.
For those who missed the live action the Primera Plastic 200 will air on NBC Sports Network at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday August 15.
About Venturini Motorsports
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Kevin Swindell, Miguel Paludo, John Wes Townley, Josh Richards and Johanna Long.
In 2012, VMS and the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano, among others.
After nearly two decades away from NASCAR, 2013 marks VMS’s modern day return to the series with John Wes Townley driving the team’s familiar No.25 in selective NASCAR Nationwide Series events.
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