In recent years, Erik Jones has found more success in Super Late Model crown jewel events than any other driver. The Byron, Michigan driver has won the Snowball Derby twice and the Winchester 400 three times. He’s also scored victories in the Redbud 300, Florida Governor’s Cup, Battle at Berlin 251 and Howie Lettow Memorial.
Now he’s set to embark on a trip to the West Coast that will find him chasing another one of those crown jewel wins.
Jones, who will begin his first full season of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition in February, has filed an officially entry for 3rd Annual Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway Park (CA) on February 11.
“It's a race that's been growing in size the last few years,” Jones told Speed51.com. “I wanted my chance to be a part of a race that I think will be around for a long time to come.”
In just three years, the Winter Showdown has established itself as one of Super Late Model racing’s crown jewel events. With a hefty $30,000 paycheck on the line, it’s a race that has attracted the best of the best from all over the country.
Jones has kept an eye on the event since its inception and believes it will only get bigger and better with time. That’s one of the major reasons why he decided to enter the event this year.
“You see the cars that are starting to come to this race. With it being out in California, it's neat to see a big Late Model race on the West Coast,” Jones stated. “Before long if they keep the race around I think we will start to see more and more cars show up.”
Although Jones has never raced or laid eyes on the Kern County half mile, he has a good idea of what he’ll need to do in order to have a chance at the victory.
“I recently watched last year’s race after we decided to go,” Jones said. “It's a long race and somewhat of survival, so I just want to make it to the end and have a shot to win. A $30,000 payday will make a lot of guys do some wild things to try to win.”
Jones joins an entry list already full of stars from both the East and West Coast including two-time Winter Showdown winner Bubba Pollard, SRL champion Derek Thorn, Northwest racing legend Garrett Evans and more.
The Winter Showdown takes place February 9-11 at Kern Country Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California. For more information, visit www.srlsouthwesttour.com/winter-showdown.
-Story by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor & Bob Dillner, Speed51.com Executive Editor
-Photo credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images