Second Place Finish for Erik Jones After Battle at Berlin Raceway
It is a rare thing to be pleased with coming in second place, but for 15-year old Erik Jones, that disappointment was replaced this weekend at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway when he put on an outstanding battle with short track legend, Brian Campbell.
The Byron, Michigan native qualified sixth out of the 43 cars that came out to Berlin Raceway on Saturday May 12 for the ARCA/CRA Super Series event. Jones found a comfortable pace running fourth for the first 70 laps. As the race heated up, cautions came out and the double file restarts opened the opportunity to hook up with the leader. On lap 110, Jones brought the crowd to their feet cheering, as he jumped to the high side and took the lead away from Campbell. Jones led for one lap before Campbell reclaimed the lead. With the checkered flag in sight, the two drivers were door to door. Jones made one last daring dive to the inside of Campbell, going through the grass sideways out of turn four, straightened out the car and then finished a mere .692 seconds behind Campbell. Although the young gun didn’t hit the finish line first, he emerged from his car with a huge smile on his face.
“We had a really good car going into the race, thanks to Scott (Hantz, crew chief) and the crew,” proclaimed Jones. “For the first 70 laps we were just running laps saving tires. The plan was to get in third and ride around with Campbell. After a restart towards the end he slowed up a bit and we were able to take him on the high side. He was a little bit better on the short runs and we were a little better on the long runs, but with cautions we didn’t get our opportunity. It was a really fun race racing hard and clean like that. I’m really looking forward to trying again at the Rowdy (NASCAR star Kyle Busch’s signature event at Berlin in June).”
This was Jones’ second ARCA / CRA Super Series appearance for the 2012 season. He has been filling his time behind the wheel of a Venturini Motorsports ARCA Racing Series car and his JEGS/CRA All-Star Tour car. Next on the schedule will be the ARCA Menards 200 race at Toledo Speedway on May 20. This race will be Jones’ first race broadcast on SPEED and his last as a 15-year old, since his birthday will follow the week after.
Erik Jones and his #4 Chevrolet Impala are accompanied with an unparalleled pit crew that consists of: Scott Hantz, Branden Lines, Adam Chase, and Barry Bramblett. As well as the finest sponsorships from Paragon Corvette Reproductions, McGunnegil Engine Performance, CG Financial, Simpson Race Products, and Penske Race Shocks, Fram/Autolite, and Power Balance.
To learn more about Erik Jones Racing check out www.erikjonesracing.com, follow him on Twitter @erik_jones, and “Like” him on Facebook.