SWEDESBORO, N.J. — Moving from asphalt to dirt, C.J. Jones has found continued success in the Spirit Dodge Big Block Modified Series at Bridgeport Speedway.
Hailing from Ottsville, Pa., the former Race of Champions Tour (RoC) standout has proved to be a quick learner, having recorded two victories already during his rookie campaign in the big-block modified division at Bridgeport.
Last weekend, piloting the No. 0 South Jersey Overhead Door Company Modified for Sal Debruno, the hotshoe held back substitute competitor Joseph Watson and veteran Sam Martz en route to his second win in the talented division.
“Second career win in big-blocks, that is extremely awesome,” Jones explained. “We are still considered a rookie to most, because this is our first season in the big-blocks at Bridgeport. Our game plan the entire night was to run the high side. Jo Jo Watson was right there on the bottom. We were able to hold him back though.”
For Jones, each win holds so much meaning, especially given that he is a rookie competing against veterans like Martz, championship leader Ryan Watt and Jordan Watson, who have all forged their careers on the dirt.
“When I am able to go out there against people that have been racing big-blocks and dirt for so long, and be able to race side-by-side and compete with them, it is really cool,” Jones said. “Our class up at Bridgeport is stellar and filled with talent. This deal [with Sal Debruno, car owner] is so neat and an amazing opportunity that we were given — and I am just doing the best that I can with it.”
Though 2016 has been Jones’ first starts in the big-block division, he did compete in a two-year stint with Debruno’s team in Bridgeport’s Stewart Stainless Crate/Sportsman Series.
However, he believes the quick big-block success stems from his time in the asphalt modifieds.
“I think what helped me the most with this jump to big-blocks was our experience in asphalt modifieds,” Jones expressed. “There is a lot of horsepower in the asphalt modified engines and traction. Obviously, the acceleration is a lot more from the Sportsmans to the big-block, but I was use to it from the asphalt cars.”
“So, it was not a huge learning curve for me as far as that goes. It took us awhile to work out the bugs and it is still a working progress. But, the biggest learning curve, was probably just getting the overall new car figured out.”
Following the breakthrough wins, Jones is beaming with confidence and is looking to ride the current momentum wave he is on into the remainder of the season.
Right now, he is sixth in the championship standings, 68 markers from the points lead.
“We are going to continue to try knocking down some wins,” Jones said. “I have a great group of people around me, that is who really makes this happen. Some of these people have helped me from our days back in asphalt racing and into this dirt adventure. Without that help from sponsors, the dedicated people, and of course Sal Debruno, this would be impossible.”
Listen to Race Chaser Online’s interview with C.J. Jones by clicking on the player below:
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and handles public relations needs in multiple outlets of motorsports, including for tracks and drivers. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Maryland, completing his junior year. He is just 16 years old.
Email Marshall at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow on Twitter: @MarshallGabell
Email Race Chaser Online: email@example.com
Follow RCO on Twitter: @RaceChaserNews