MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that Erik Jones will drive the team’s No. 51 Camry in three upcoming Super Late Model events.
The three-race schedule will be highlighted by the prestigious 46th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 8, where the talented youngster will try to become the third different driver to capture Derby titles in back-to-back years. Jones will also compete for KBM in the Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway Oct. 11 and the All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., on Nov. 2.
Jones has one race remaining on his five-race schedule in the team’s No. 51 Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway on Nov. 8. The 17-year-old driver has produced top-10 finishes in each of his first four series starts, including a career-best second-place finish at Iowa Speedway in Newton on July 13.
“Erik has done a great job in our trucks and we feel like we need to get him as much seat time as possible this year as we continue to work on our plans for next season,” team owner Kyle Busch said. “With our Super Late Model program we’ve been able to travel around and win some pretty big races the last few years, but it’s been mostly with me driving. Three of the biggest races of the season are left, so we felt like this was a good chance to further Erik’s development and at the same time go after some big wins with someone other than myself driving.”
“It’s really an honor to be able to drive KBM’s Super Late Model,” Jones said. “They have shown that they are one of the leaders in the Super Late Model world the past few years. I know from having raced against them, as a driver when you see that No. 51 Camry entered for a race you know that is the car that you have to beat. These are three of the biggest late model races of the year and I can’t wait to have a chance to compete in them and hopefully defend the Derby title.”
In addition to his Truck Series schedule for KBM this season, Jones has made four ARCA Racing Series starts for Venturini Motorsports. The Michigan native picked up his first series win at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. in August, leading 154 of 200 laps en route to the victory at his home-state track. He led at least 20 laps in each start, collecting two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
Jones made a name for himself last December when he raced side-by-side for several laps and eventually worked his way past Busch in the closing laps to win the 45th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. The victory came in a race widely recognized as the most prestigious late model event in the country, with a field which included NASCAR regulars Busch, David Ragan and Johanna Long.