Jones capitalizes on Canadian
heartbreak, takes win and points lead

Photo by Paul Ellis/TheRacingExperts.com

Erik Jones celebrates his victory in Sunday's Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.





By Steven Ellis
Staff Reporter
August 31, 2015
sellis@theracingexperts.net


 

 

BOWMANVILLE—Canadian Tire Motorsports Park is known for some of the craziest finishes in NASCAR, and after some late race issues caused Alex Tagliani to fall off the pace in the final lap, Erik Jones would hold on for a big win to take over the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead.

 

Jones led the field at the 2.46-mile road course in Bowmanville, Ontario for 19 laps, the second highest amount.

“It’s so awesome to get a road-course win in only my second road-course start,” Jones said following the race. “We raced hard and hopefully we put on a good show.”


Jones will enter next month’s race at Chicagoland three points ahead of Matt Crafton with eight races left in the season.

 

 

THROUGH THE FIELD

Many teams hit the pits in the early stages of the race in order to try different pit strategies for later in the race. Similar to what he did in the Canadian Tire Series race earlier in the morning, Alex Tagliani was among the first to pit, surrendering the top spot early in the going, with teammate and championship contender Tyler Reddick in close tow.

Erik Jones would give up the top two spots to pit around lap 11, just in time to avoid a caution for Josh Reaume's No. 44 Dodge Ram stalling on the long Andretti backstretch.

 

The race returned to green at lap 16, with Canadians Cameron Hayley and Tagliani leading the way. Erik Jones took his chances with Hayley around turn one on a slow restart by Tagliani. Hayley would hold on to the start for the remainder of the three lap segment, with Daniel Brown's hard impact into the turn eight tires resulting in a second caution early in the race.

 

The next restart saw some tremendous action between the two Canadian rivals. After some nice beating and banging, Tagliani would come off of turn ten just a little too hot, roughing up Hayley in the process. Hayley would lose four positions as a result, Hayley would soon come in for a pit stop, leaving behind valuable track position in an effort to get some extra speed later on.


Photo by Paul Ellis/TheRacingExperts.com

Cameron Hayley leads Erik Jones. Hayley led 13 laps Sunday.



Photo by Paul Ellis/TheRacingExperts.com

Daniel Hemric's No. 14 Chevrolet. Hemric tied his career best Sunday with his third fourth place finish and second consecutive.




Photo by Paul Ellis/TheRacingExperts.com

Cole Custer's No. 00 Chevrolet. Custer led four times for 22 laps.

Shortly after that, Cole Custer would find his way around Tagliani for the lead. Custer, who looked like a favorite last year until getting spun by Tagliani, would hold the lead until the next round of green flag pit stops, only to take over the top position once again once everything cycled back around with 25 laps to go.

 

With close to 20 laps left on the board, the field found themselves reset once again after an accident to Brandon Jones. Jones, who had a fast truck all weekend long, would collide with Reddick, who made a divebomb pass into turn one. Jones' truck would never recover, hitting the turn two barriers hard enough to knock him out of the race.

 

The race would return with two dimes left in the lap column, but only for a short period of time. On lap 49, Matt Tifft's day  would come to an end after going off track himself, knocking into the tire barriers and safely away from traffic. Still, NASCAR would throw a yellow flag, setting up a late race run with 13 laps to go.

 

The racing resumed its intensity in the final laps. Just after the restart, Tagliani and Custer relived their duel from last year, with, once again, Custer spinning out heading in to turn two. Custer would resume action, finishing on the lead lap in tenth, but that doesn't mean there wasn't going to be another caution.

 

Unfortunately for Tyler Reddick, the point standings leader would find himself in the tires with about five laps to go. While Reddick would return to the track, he finished two laps down, relinquishing his points lead.

 

A restart with three laps to go found Jones in the lead, but Tagliani was there breathing down his neck. Earlier in the day, Tagliani was bumped out of second place in the Canadian Tire Series race by Jeff Lapcevich, and after getting nudged by Regan Smith at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago in the Xfinity Series, one can assume he wasn't ready to let things slide this time around.

 

Unfortunately for his fans in attendance, Tagliani would have an issue with his truck in turn five on the final lap, falling to fifth by the time he took the checkered flag. This allowed Jones to reclaim the lead, taking his first road course victory and his second win of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.

 

It was heartbreak once again for Tagliani, who has yet to record a win in any of the top three NASCAR series' despite many strong runs.

 

“I think I had a shot but (Jones) kind of shut the door,” Tagliani said. “The third gear broke on the last straight and that was it.”

 

Ben Kennedy and Daniel Hemric both had strong efforts all weekend long, finishing with finishes of third and fourth respectively. Johnny Sauter tried to make a last ditch pass over Tagliani in turn ten, but he'd have to instead settle for sixth place to put him 55 points behind Jones in fourth place.

 

Hayley, the other Canadian on track, finished the race in seventh place after leading 13 laps in the No. 13 Cabinets by Hayley truck.

 

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be off next weekend before heading to Chicagoland Speedway on September 18th.

Who will win the championship this season?
Erik Jones
Matt Crafton
Tyler Reddick
Someone else
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