LOUDON, N.H. — Audio and story by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online — Kyle Rickey photo — Brandon Jones has plenty of reasons to smile entering today’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Granite State 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Jones, the 18-year-old Atlanta, Georgia native driving for Turner Scott Motorsports, is coming off a huge ARCA Racing Series win at Winchester Speedway in his debut start. This weekend, he’ll look to add his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victory to that resume and in the process, stop his teammate Ben Rhodes’ four-race win streak.
“It’s sure not gonna be easy; Ben’s been real good, but you know, we’ve got a real good car coming into this weekend,” Jones expressed to Race Chaser Online after yesterday’s K&N East practice. “He’s not unbeatable; we’ve just got to catch the same luck that he’s had these past few weeks.”
Jones is hoping the momentum from his ARCA victory will play into his team’s hands this weekend and maybe send along a little bit of that luck that he’s searching for.
“For sure, I’m confident after the win over the weekend. I learned a lot too, from guys like Ken Schrader, Frank Kimmel, all these veterans that I’m so privileged to race alongside. Hopefully some of those lessons will translate to this weekend.”
The Georgia native is aware that Loudon is very different than any of the race tracks the K&N East Series has raced on this year. He points out that it’s going to take a whole different mindset on Friday evening to win after 100 laps.
“Loudon’s a whole different animal; it’s the biggest track (the K&N East Series) races on and the race itself is gonna be longer than most of our normal races so you really have to plan your race out a little more carefully. I think strategy is gonna be part of the game on Friday evening for sure.”
With strategy being part of the game, and with all the success that Turner Scott Motorsports has had as an organization so far this season, what would a win on Friday mean to the 18-year-old?
“It’d mean a ton, man, for sure,” Jones expressed. “Can’t let Ben have all the fun now. We got one already in the ARCA car, but we’ve had an up and down season. I really want to make this weekend the biggest up yet for our team and deliver them a win here in the Granite State.
Jones has a streak of five straight top-ten results and a total of four top-five and seven top-ten finishes coming into Friday evening’s event at Loudon, the tenth race of the K&N East season. After a career-best second place result two races ago at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, he knows time is short in trying to erase his 78 point deficit to his teammate.
“We need to win; Ben’s not just going to give up the lead he’s built. We’re going to have to take it to him and hopefully, this is the beginning of that here. Loudon’s first, and we’ve got six races after that. It all starts here.”
Jones will roll off the grid for tonight’s Granite State 100 from the seventh position.
Listen in to Brandon Jones’ complete interview from last night’s Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show with Managing Editor Jacob Seelman as he talks Loudon, Winchester and how he grades his 2014 season to date: