While Erik Jones’ first career win in the Xfinity Series at Texas Motor Speedway was a personal accomplishment, it also was historical.
At 18 years, 10 months and 11 days old, Jones became the first driver to reach five wins in NASCAR’s three national series before the age of 19.
Jones, born May 30, 1996, broke a tie with Chase Elliott for most wins by a driver under the age of 19. Before his Xfinity win, in which he finished ahead of Brad Keselowski (second place) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third), Jones won four Camping World Truck Series races with Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Jones owns 35 percent of the 14 national series wins held by drivers 18 years old and under.
His first win was at Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2013, when he was 17 years, 5 months and 9 days old.
Jones, who has a full-time in the Camping World Truck Series, has been in 29 races so far in the two series, with nine in Xfinity. He’s scheduled to run about 20 Xfinity races this season.
“I’ve been in and out of the seat 15 races a year and now being in the (Xfinity) seat every weekend pretty much during the year has been a huge help for me,” Jones said following his win, which was his first for Joe Gibbs Racing. “Getting that seat time, learning what these cars want and what these cars need and having that extra seat time is really, really big. I don’t have to get in the race car anymore and knock the rust off like I was the last couple of years. It eliminates that whole feeling and gives me the confidence that I know what I’m going to do this week and how I’m going to do it and that’s a big boost for a driver.”
The 18-year-old Michigan native is now the subject of how quickly he’ll be seen in the Sprint Cup Series, where Elliott has already made his debut and will race full time in 2015 with Hendrick Motorsports.
“As far as down the road, there’s no question that at some point very quick he’s going to be in a Cup car some,” Joe Gibbs said after Jones’ win last week at Texas. “I think we have a bit of a strategy there that we talked about. I think he’s ready to go at any time.”