Erik Jones is ready for Sprint Cup debut
Jones, 18, reveals rate in practice at Kansas Speedway.
KANSAS CITY, KAN. -- One year past, Erik Jones was getting ready to to graduate from highschool.
On Saturday, the 18-year old Byron, Mich. native is planned to make his official Sprint Cup debut in the No. 18 M&M-S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones is completing for Kyle Busch, who stays on the mend from injuries sustained in a XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Jones admits there is nevertheless a great deal to understand. And so the former pupil came to Kansas Speedway prepared soak it all-in throughout the SpongeBob SquarePants 400.
"I saw quite several videos from last year's race - not just on the Cup side, but the truck aspect also," stated Jones, that will pilot the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra on Friday. "Spoke to Kyle, he won the Truck race here a year ago as well as on the Cup side he gave me a few suggestions. He said to lean on my team-mates for that as well.
"It is an enjoyable weekend. It'll be a busy weekend - this might be the most active day of the week end here today. I am thrilled and I am looking ahead to it. I am going to learn a great deal plus it'll be an excellent weekend."
Getting up to speed
While Jones logged laps in a-Cup car as a last-minute replacement Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota at-Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, this week end at Kanas Speedway the automobile has been personalized to his tastes. He could get in the full truck training on Thursday. On Friday, Jones posted the ninth quickest speed (186.806miles per hour) throughout first Sprint Cup training. His consistency was obvious as he topped the chart for the Finest 10 Successive Lap Average.
And speak about hastening his learning curve, when Jones came back to the 1.5-mile track for Happy Hour, his last lap was the quickest of all 44 Sprint Cup automobiles in the session with a lap of 191.306mph. Prior to Thursday, Jones hadn't turned a lap at Kansas.
Although Jones claims he did not have time to get anxious prior to his Bristol stint, he admit there might be a bit of stress prior to the green flag. Jones considers that his level of comfort with predicate Saturday's achievement in the Cup race and that begins with seat time.
Our huge aim now was simply to make laps and learn the best way to drive the monitor and fix our auto to allow it to be a little better and only see that which we are able to do.
"I need to get plenty of seat time in the Cup vehicle clearly," Jones stated. "I believe like we'll get training in nowadays - I looked in the radar there a short while past also it seems pretty clear. Hopefully we can get laps in and I only genuinely need to make lots of laps. Hopefully we can head out as well as make long runs all the day and we are able to remain in race trim all the day. Only I want to go and feel it outside as well as get a sense of the automobile and find out if I could pick up speed only heading out as well as running laps.
"That was our big target now was simply to create laps and learn the best way to drive the monitor and align our auto to allow it to be a little better and only see that which we are able to do."
Making the grade
Jones has turned out to be a fast research. His first truck triumph came in only his fifth start in the collection. In 20 Camping World Truck Series begins, he is won four races, posted nine top fives and 16 top 10s. His typical beginning and typical finish is 7.6 in trucks, where he is been working at the finish in all-but one-race. Jones gained his first career post in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in only his eighth start and won in the post one race after.
While the pundits question whether Jones is willing to take another phase in NASCAR, he is maybe not stressed at all. The ability to generate Hamlin's automobile was rather the evaluation -- and one that created the youthful motorist more powerful.
"Clearly, that was a rough position to be set in and I felt like if we may have began further up front rather than all the way in the back that people could have maybe completed a little better than we did," Jones stated. "I felt quite comfortable in the vehicle by the conclusion of the day, that was fine specially at Bristol - that is a spot that I Have never actually felt completely like I Have got that spot figured out.
"To sense that comfy in the automobile there made me feel quite positive relating to this weekend. I feel such as the mile-and-a-half courses are some thing that is come if you ask me in recent months and it is some thing I Have identified a bit more, which makes me comfy relating to this week end. I feel extremely good about it actually. Bristol was sort of a huge evaluation session for me allowing me get laps and knock some of the new automobile, new group rust away and get an excellent feel for it."
His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards believes Jones is prepared for that next step.
He is great and it is actually exciting to see some one that quickly.
"I spoke to him a tiny bit today," Edwards stated. "As quickly as he's, I Will be - the guidance is going to be going another direction it appears like. He is great and it is actually exciting to see some one that quickly.
"He looks really dedicated. He is extremely funny. He was great in the assemblies either last week or the week before. Only may seem like a great man, so hopefully he does nicely and has an excellent time."
What is next?
David Wilson, President and General Manager of Toyota Racing Development states there is an agenda set up to keep Jones in a Camry beyond this yr however he wouldn't elaborate.
As for a potential Sprint Cup program for Jones after Kansas, the motorist said team owner Joe Gibbs hasn't discussed the standing of the No. 18 Toyota after this week end.
"Actually, we have not actually thought much past this week end," Jones stated. "We are all expecting Kyle can come straight back, I am aware he is able to come back. At the moment, it is only Kansas and heading out as well as seeing what we are able to do this week end."
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