Published July 12, 2014
Newton, IA – Newton, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Erik Jones continued Kyle Busch Motorsports' dominance this season and kept Toyota's winning streak alive in the Camping World Truck Series by winning Friday night's American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway.
Jones, who drove the No. 51 Toyota for KBM in this race, put on a dominating performance by leading 131 of 200 laps around this 0.875-mile short track. He scored his second career win in just his ninth start in the series.
Ryan Blaney, driving the No. 29 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing, grabbed the lead from Jones just past the halfway point, but during a round of pit stops under caution on lap 129, Jones came out of the pits ahead of Blaney to reclaim the top spot.
With less than 20 laps to go, Jones got caught up in lapped traffic, allowing Blaney to chase him down. The two ran side-by-side and exchanged the lead for a couple of laps before Jones pulled away for good. He beat Blaney to the finish line by 0.6 seconds.
"That was awesome," Jones said. "We definitely drove it hard, and there was nothing left in that thing at the end. It was just a great race there with Ryan. He's a great competitor and great guy to race against. He raced me hard and raced me clean."
Last year at Iowa, Jones finished second in the July race and ninth in the September event. The series is competing only one time here this season.
KBM has won seven of the first nine truck races in 2014. Kyle Busch, a Sprint Cup Series regular, has driven the No. 51 to victory lane in all five of his starts this season. Last month, Darrell Wallace Jr. won at Gateway Motorsports Park. Wallace is in his second full season driving the No. 54 Toyota for the team.
Toyota now has 10 wins in a row, extending its record for most consecutive victories by a manufacturer in the series. Toyota's streak began on Nov. 8, 2013 when Jones scored his first career truck victory at Phoenix International Raceway. He became the youngest driver to win a race in the series, doing so when he was 17 years, 5 months and 9 days old.
Blaney was attempting to win a truck race at Iowa for the second time. His maiden victory in the series came here in September 2012.
"Erik was really good on the short run, and we kind of struggled," Blaney said. "We made a change that kind of helped that. It did a little bit, but I was so tight when I got close to him. It was hard to go anywhere."
Matt Crafton, the defending series champion, finished third and reclaimed the lead in the point standings. Johnny Sauter, who is Crafton's teammate at ThorSport Racing, entered this race atop the rankings, but Sauter finished two laps behind in 18th place after starting from that same position. He is now seven points behind.
Blaney moved up to the second spot, trailing Crafton by only two points.
Joey Coulter finished fourth, followed by German Quiroga and rookie Ben Kennedy. Jeff Choquette, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and John H. Nemechek completed the top-10.
Timothy Peters had won the past two July races at Iowa, but Peters finished 31st after he was involved in an accident with Ron Hornaday Jr. in the early going.
Hornaday, the four-time series champion, got into the back of Peters and put him into the wall along the frontstretch. On the following lap, Peters hit Hornaday from behind and spun him out in what appeared to be a retaliation.
Peters suffered significant damage to his Toyota and spent 70 laps in the garage for repairs. Hornaday sustained minimal damage and continued in the race, finishing three laps behind in 21st.
Wallace started on the pole and led the first 41 laps before he faded from there, finishing one lap down in 13th.