MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Garrett Jones is not slowing down anytime soon, as the newly crowned Southern Super Series’ Rookie-Of-The-Year is set to make his debut start in Winchester Speedway’s famed Winchester 400 this Sunday. The 15-year-old Super Late Model driver will be relying on past experience at the Winchester, Ind. track and guidance from crew chief, Mike Garvey, as he prepares to compete in what will be the longest race of his career.
Jones is coming off a strong season finale performance in the Southern Super Series, as he earned a Top-10 finish as well as Rookie-of-The-Year honors. It was a well-deserved eighth place finish for Jones at Five Flags Speedway, as he had to fight his way up through the field after qualifying 17th earlier in the day.
“This is my second Rookie-Of-The-Year honor since I’ve been racing full-sized cars in two of the toughest divisions, UARA Late Model Stock Cars in 2013 and now the Southern Super Series. While I wish I would have been able to bring home a win this season, to finish fourth in the championship standings ahead of guys like Kyle Grissom and Bubba Pollard and be the top rookie are accomplishments to be proud of,” said Jones. “The competition in the Super Late Models around the country is very tough. The UARA competition has been the toughest competition I’ve encountered on a week-to-week basis up until now. I mean there are 20 cars usually that could win in any Southern Super Series race!”
While this is Jones’ first time competing in the Winchester 400 he does have track experience, as he previously competed in the 100-lap Winchester 100 in early September. Jones earned a Top-15 finish in that race and also came away with valuable experience to use this weekend.
“I did get to race a Pro Late Model at Winchester in 2014, and I ran the Winchester 100 in my Super Late Model a few weeks ago,” he explained. “I really like the track. I like the banking and how close you run to the wall. Every lap you are racing both the track and the competition. You have to stay pretty focused there for sure. The 400-lap race will be my longest race in my driving career. It’s intense every lap, but fun. There will also be hot pit stops, which we normally don’t do in Super Late Model series. Everything sort of prepares you for the next level, and I look forward to it.”
Despite some NASCAR stars like Chase Elliott and Erik Jones entering the Winchester 400, Jones remains confident about his chances to pull off the big win. He is not intimidated by the depth of the field and instead focuses on running his own race.
“I always want to win, and I think we have a good shot. We learned a lot a few weeks ago when we ran the Winchester 100,” said Jones. “Temperatures will be cooler probably, but Mike (Garvey) has raced here a lot and likes this place as much as I do. With the competition that will be there, my goal is to be competitive in the race for 400 laps. I’ve raced most of these drivers before at different tracks, and anytime you have a big event, it just comes down to a lot of pre-race excitement. I like that a lot and it will be a lot of fun!”
Follow Jones’ debut start in the Winchester 400 by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88. Fans can also visit www.garrettmotorsports.com to learn more.
-Garrett Motorsports Press Release. Photo credit: Garrett Jones Facebook