Since Erik Jones won his first Snowball Derby in 2012, his career has skyrocketed. Jones has won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, multiple Xfinity Series races and is now going full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 with Furniture Row Racing. But Jones hasn’t forgotten his Late Model roots and plans to make a return to the short track scene January 28-29 at SpeedFest 2017.
Jones became the first driver to accomplish the CRA Triple Crown at Berlin Raceway (MI), Anderson Speedway (IN), and Winchester Speedway (IN) in 2015. In 2016 he returned to win a race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Now Jones will look to add another big Late Model win to his resume before he begins his first full season as a NASCAR Cup Series driver. Jones will return to the Watermelon Capital Speedway at Crisp Motorsports Park (GA) for CRA SpeedFest for the first time since 2013 when a late-race crash resulted in a 15th-place finish.
“SpeedFest is a race I’ve wanted to win for a long time,” Jones told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I was close in 2013 but didn’t quite get it done at the end.”
Jones and Team KBR, the team he will be racing with at SpeedFest, teamed up for three top-two finishes with two victories. Jones scored his two wins at Lucas Oil Raceway and at Berlin Raceway (MI) in the Battle at Berlin 251 for the second straight year. Jones and Team KBR finished second in the CRA portion of the Kalamazoo Klash at Kalamazoo Speedway (MI) as well.
“KBR and I had a good year together last year,” Jones said. “SpeedFest was just a race that worked out well for both of our schedules.”
SpeedFest has historically been a race in which Jones has struggled. His best finish came in the Pro Late Model 125 at SpeedFest in 2011 when he finished 10th, but that was at Lanier National Speedway (GA). Jones has two Super Late Model SpeedFest starts with finishes of 15th and 26th.
However, with the success that Jones has had in Super Late Model racing lately, especially with Team KBR, Jones said he feels like he may finally see some success at SpeedFest this year.
“I think we will be competitive just like we were last year,” Jones said. “I think SpeedFest always has a pretty stout field. We ran against some strong fields last year and had success so I hope we have the same. It should be fun.”
CRA SpeedFest will take place at Watermelon Capital Speedway at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia on January 28 and 29. For more information, visit www.cra-racing.com.
A full entry list for SpeedFest 2017 will be revealed at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday on Speed51.com.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo