Standing on the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway doing his victory interview, Erik Jones’ first thoughts turned to his mother and father.
Erik lost his father to cancer two years ago to cancer. His mother stayed home because restrictor-plate racing makes her nervous.
“It sounds clichéd a little bit,” Jones said. “But it was the first thing I thought about was my mom and dad. I wanted my mom to be here, number one.”
Erik did the next best thing. Standing in Victory Lane after the Coke Zero Sugar 400, he paused to make a phone call to his mother, Carol Jones. Tuesday on NASCAR America, she called Marty Snider, Kyle Petty, and Steve Letarte to share feelings about her son’s first win.
Watching the final laps of the race, “I pretty much was biting my fingernails off and my heart was just racing because those last couple of laps were really hard to watch.”
It was the fulfillment of a dream. Erik’s father Dave Jones was instrumental in the development of his career, but Carol was the one who first suggested racing as a vocation.
“When we started 15 years ago or so on this journey, I really never expected it to go this far. … I was the one who instigated it, but Erik and his Dad were the two that pretty much put it into overdrive and just kept going and going. To see him, where he’s at right now because this is what he worked so hard for, and to see him get this win is just amazing.”
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