The 150-lap Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night came down to a 10-lap battle between two drivers who were looking for their first series win. In the end, Erik Jones made Truck Series history, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the series at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days.
“It’s unbelievable,” Jones said. “This is all I’ve ever wanted, right here — to be a winner in NASCAR.”
Ross Chastain, who started on the pole, had to settle for second and continue to wait for that first win.
“Erik drove a great race,” Chastain said. “He drove what he had, and he had a great truck. I don’t know how we could’ve been better.”
Jones and Chastain combined to lead most of the race. Chastain started on the pole and led the way until a decision to take four tires during a caution on lap 35 shuffled him back several positions, as several other drivers opted for two.
Brendan Gaughan and Jones got off pit road first and second, and Jones took the lead from Gaughan on the restart. Jones continued to run up front until he was beaten off pit road by Chastain during a caution on lap 89.
That stint up front for Chastain was short-lived, as Jones retook the lead as soon as the race went back to green. But Chastain got the position back on a restart just a few laps later. Chastain remained up front through a couple more restarts before losing the lead, for good, to Jones a lap after the final restart with nine laps remaining.
“We just got a really good run on him off of (turn) two and was able to make the pass,” Jones said.
Gaughan finished third, Ty Dillon was fourth and Matt Crafton fifth. After posting a fifth-place finish, Crafton will, officially, become the 2013 Camping World Truck Series champion when he starts next Friday night’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Finishing sixth through 10th were Cale Gale, Ryan Blaney, Johnny Sauter, James Buescher and Chase Elliott.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR