LAS VEGAS — official release — Will Schneekloth/Getty Images North America photo — In a race that featured a Las Vegas Motor Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track-record 18 lead changes, Erik Jones played his cards right to pull off the last one.
The 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver passed his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. with 14 laps remaining and held him off the rest of the way to win Saturday’s Rhino Linings 350.
Don’t cue up the victory to beginner’s luck either. Jones has collected three wins and 10 top-10 finishes in a mere 14 starts over the span of 10 months. His Sin City statement came just one week after Cole Custer broke his record for youngest winner of a NASCAR national series race.
While Jones stood front and center, it was also a banner weekend for KBM. The racing outfit posted its 10th victory of the season and its first-ever triumph in its owner’s hometown of Las Vegas. Only three tracks remain on the current NCWTS schedule at which KBM has yet to win.
Furthermore, KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra extended its dominance on 1.5-mile tracks, capturing its fifth win in the last six races on courses of that distance. Jones’ victory was his first on a 1.5-mile track in only his second start. Busch won each of the other four races.
With five NCWTS races remaining on the docket, Jones is scheduled to pilot the No. 51 three more times this season with Busch taking the wheel for the other two. Jones will hit the pavement next in the Fred’s 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 18 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX).