Now it’s official: Erik Jones will start from the pole for tonight’s 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.
The format for tonight’s event on the half-mile Eldora dirt track called for single-truck qualifying, followed by five 10-lap heat races and a 15-lap last-chance race to set the field for the 150-lap main event.
Polesitters for the five heat races were Jones, Mason Mingus, Ron Hornaday Jr., Matt Crafton and Ken Schrader. They were the five fastest qualifiers in the single-truck runs.
In the opening session, Jones topped the speed charts in his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota and then took the first heat race, which locked him into the pole for the big race.
The second heat race was taken by Jeb Burton’s ThorSport Racing Toyota. In the third heat, Hornaday gave Chevrolet its first triumph, putting his Turner-Scott Motorsports Silverado in Victory Lane. The penultimate heat race was captured by Ryan Blaney in a Brad Keselowski-owned Ford. Burton’s teammate, Johnny Sauter took the final heat race.
In the 15-lap, last-chance race, Jon Wes Townley won and advanced to the main event, along with Tyler Young, Jody Knowles, Norm Benning and Michael Annett.
Jones, who turned 18 in May, ran a fast lap of 90.393 miles per hour in his No. 51 Toyota to lead the way in the single-truck qualifying portion of the night on the half-mile dirt track.
The youngster won the most recent Truck Series race at Iowa, as Toyota has swept all nine races run this year.
"Just pushing hard for that one lap and the track was good early," said Jones, who spun on his first qualifying lap but recovered to win the pole.
Mason Mingus was second in the single-truck qualifying runs his RSS Racing Toyota at 90.312 mph. Then came four-time series champ Hornaday, reigning series champ Crafton and the veteran Schrader.
Numerous drivers had incidents during the qualifying session, including T.J.Bell, who hit the wall hard enough to have to be towed in, and dirt veteran Jared Landers.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Setup starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, followed by the 150-lap main event at 9 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.
Here is the unofficial starting order for the race: