The NASCAR Truck Series roared on at Iowa Speedway with a victory for Erik Jones in the No. 51 Toyota in the American Ethanol 200.
Iowa Speedway tweeted out the result:
The victory was the second consecutive one in the series for the No. 51 car. Kyle Busch manned the wheel on June 26 in the UNOH 225.
While the 18-year-old may have been driving the much more experienced driver's truck, that shouldn't take away from an incredible performance. Jeff Gluck of USA Today noted the standout's winning ways early on in his career:
Finding the winner's circle wasn't easy for Jones. But it was a dominant performance turned in by the KBM team driver. With 48 laps to go in the race, Jones had already set a personal best in laps led, per NASCAR Trucks:
The race appeared to belong to KBM from the outset. Bubba Wallace was the early leader with Jones just barely trailing him. Thirty laps in, the lead was almost nonexistent, as noted by NASCAR Trucks:
Current lead is 0.137 seconds RT @KBMteam: Lap 30 Bubba still out front with Erik P2— NASCAR Trucks (@NASCAR_Trucks) July 12, 2014
It didn't take long for Jones to make his move from there. By Lap 48, he had already established his lead and would remain there for the majority of the race:
Adversity would soon strike in the form of Ryan Blaney and the No. 29 truck. On Lap 184, the 20-year-old made his move and pulled alongside the eventual winner:
Blaney would spend the last 16 laps of the race making Jones earn the victory, but he was unable to pick up his first victory of the season. At the end of the race, Blaney took to Twitter to post his reaction to his run:
I gave it my all.— Ryan Blaney (@RyanBlaney22) July 12, 2014
Failing to edge out the No. 51 car down the stretch is bound to be disappointing. But the second-place finish isn't all bad. The Brad Keselowski driver was able to close the gap in the overall series standings and edges closer to current leader Matt Crafton.
Crafton was able to seize the top spot by virtue of his third-place finish at Iowa.
Here's a look at the full top 10 from the race and what the overall standings look like as the series leaves Iowa:
|1||Matt Crafton #88 - Toyota||1||330||‒||2|
|2||Ryan Blaney #29 - Ford||2||328||2||0|
|3||Johnny Sauter #98 - Toyota||-2||323||7||0|
|4||German Quiroga #77 - Toyota||2||311||19||0|
|5||Ron Hornaday Jr. #30 - Chevrolet||–||307||23||0|
|6||Ben Kennedy #31 - Chevrolet||1||301||29||0|
|7||Timothy Peters #17 - Toyota||-4||299||31||0|
|8||Darrell Wallace Jr. #54 - Toyota||–||293||37||1|
|9||Joey Coulter #21 - Chevrolet||1||282||48||0|
|Fin||St||#||Driver||Sponsor / Owner||Truck||Laps||Status||Led||Points|
|1||2||51||Erik Jones||ToyotaCare (Kyle Busch)||Toyota||200||running||131||48|
|2||4||29||Ryan Blaney||Cooper Standard (Brad Keselowski)||Ford||200||running||26||43|
|3||6||88||Matt Crafton||Ideal Door / Menards (Duke Thorson)||Toyota||200||running||0||41|
|4||9||21||Joey Coulter||Allegiant Travel (Maury Gallagher)||Chevrolet||200||running||0||40|
|5||10||77||German Quiroga||OtterBox (Tom DeLoach)||Toyota||200||running||0||39|
|6||19||31||Ben Kennedy||Heater.com (Steve Turner)||Chevrolet||200||running||0||38|
|7||12||97||Jeff Choquette||Adrian Carriers / Liz Girl Logistics (Gary Adrian)||Chevrolet||200||running||0||37|
|8||5||0||Cole Custer||Haas Automation (Gene Haas)||Chevrolet||200||running||0||36|
|9||16||19||Tyler Reddick||Broken Bow Records (Brad Keselowski)||Ford||200||running||0||35|
|10||14||8||John Hunter Nemechek||SWM / Smokeandsear.com (Joe Nemechek)||Toyota||200||running||0||34|
With Iowa now in the rearview mirror, Truck Series drivers will get a bit of a breather as they prepare for the next step on the tour in Eldora, Ohio, for the Mudsummer Classic on Wednesday, July 23.
Blaney struggled to make his mark at the race, finishing 15th, while Crafton got a top-10 finish to his name at No. 8. With those two topping the standings this year, it will be worth keeping an eye on just how much they improve on those results in the 2014 edition of the event.