BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Erik Jones won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to take the series points lead
The 19-year-old Jones beat Canadian road racer Alex Tagliani to the first turn off a restart with two laps left on the 2.459-mile road course and held off two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton by 1.665 seconds. Tagliani lost a gear and slipped to fifth.
“It was a blast,” Jones said about racing with Tagliani. “It was nerve-racking. It’s a little intense when you’ve got a guy like that running you down for 15 laps.”
“We had a pretty long talk about racing people the way you want to be raced. I’ve never been one to want to move somebody to win a race, and he hasn’t, either. It’s nice to see that respect, especially from a veteran like that to me. It’s not something he had to do. It means a lot to me that he did.”
Jones raced to his second series victory of the year and fifth in 32 career starts. He also won at Iowa in June and has two Xfinity Series victories this year.
Driving Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Toyota, Jones took a three-point lead over Crafton. Tyler Reddick, the leader entering the race, dropped to third – 15 points back. He finished two laps down in 19th after running into the back of Gray Gaulding’s truck with 10 laps left.
Ben Kennedy was third, followed by Daniel Hemric, Tagliani, Johnny Sauter, Cameron Hayley, Spencer Gallagher, John Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer.
Tagliani started from the pole in Brad Keselowski Racing’s No. 29 Ford. The Quebec driver was second two weeks ago in the Xfinity road race at Mid-Ohio. He won a Champ Car race at Road America in 2004.
“It shredded completely,” Tagliani said about the broken gear. “It was pretty much good all race. I felt a couple of times it was kind of scratchy on the downshift, but no sign it was going to be bad. As soon as I put third gear on the back straight, it just went. I put it in fourth and it just kind of limped all the way back home.”