After several near-misses earlier this season, Erik Jones finally captured his first win of the Camping World Truck Series season Friday night at Iowa Speedway. He held off Brandon Jones, Tyler Reddick and Matt Crafton to go to Victory Lane in the American Ethanol 200.
The 19-year-old Jones turned his fifth pole in 26 trucks starts into the fifth win of his career. He led 112 of 200 laps and pulled away from the rest of the field in the closing laps to win by a comfortable margin.
Jones had finished third or better four times for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2015, frequently losing the lead late in frustrating fashion. But the No. 4 truck’s ability to consistently beat the field on restarts allowed Jones to secure Friday’s win.
"This gets the monkey off our back," his crew chief, Rudy Fugle, told FOX Sports on pit road shortly after his driver took the checkered flag. "Actually, it was more like a gorilla."
Jones added: "It feels real good. It’s sure been a long time coming. Here at Iowa was where we kind of turned our season around last year when we got to Victory Lane in our Toyota Tundra. So this is awesome, to be able to do it again."
Brandon Jones finished second, followed by Reddick, Crafton and Chistopher Bell.
The most entertaining racing down the stretch actually involved Reddick and points leader Crafton, who were fighting for third. Although Reddick eventually won that hard-fought battle, he remains second in the series points standings behind Crafton.
"We didn’t have a winning truck," Reddick said. "But we did have a top-five truck, so I was pretty happy with our finish and have to thank our guys for really giving me a fast piece."