Erik Jones claimed his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win on Friday night and in dominant fashion, leading 131 of the 200 laps that made up the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton en route to the victory. Ryan Blaney finished second, Matt Crafton was third, Joey Coulter fourth and German Quiroga fifth.
“That was awesome,” Jones said. “We difinitely drove it hard and this thing had nothing left in it at the end.”
It was a dominant night, overall, for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Darrell Wallace Jr. started on the pole and led the first 41 laps, with teammate Jones in second. When Wallace lost the lead, he did so to Jones on pit road during the first caution of the race.
The KBM teammates continued to run first and second, just in reverse order, until the race closed in on its halfway mark when Blaney took second from Wallace. Shortly past halfway, Blaney took the lead from Jones.
Blaney’s time up front was rather short-lived, as Jones got back to the front by getting off pit road first during a caution on lap 126. Nearing a pit cycle, Wallace pitted under green just before the caution, and as a result, wound up two laps down to the front-runners when the yellow flag waved. He got one of those laps back by taking the wave-around under the caution.
“If we had come out of pit stops with the lead like we should’ve,” Blaney contemplated after the race.
Jones and Blaney ran first and second for the remainder of the race, and pulled away from the rest of the field as the race ran green the rest of the way. Blaney closed on Jones and took the lead, temporarily, in the final 30 laps, but Jones was quickly able to retake the spot and drive on to the win.
“That was a great race with Ryan — great competitor and a great guy to race against,” Jones said. “He raced me hard, raced me clean, and we have always shown a lot of respect to each other.”
As Jones and Blaney battled for the lead and eventual win far out in front of the field, Crafton and Coutler battled for third.
“That’s why I love this race track,” Coulter said. “You can race like that all the time.”