After Successful Debut; Eric Jones & Red Cactus Salsa Racing Ready For Wild West
Avondale, Arizona - - After notching a solid 23rd place finish in their season debut at Kansas Speedway, Red Cactus Salsa Racing (RCSR) and driver Eric Jones are ready to tackle the NASCAR Busch Series once again, as the new team will invade Phoenix International Raceway this weekend.
Red Cactus Salsa Racing owned, and operated by Quincy, Illinois businessman Dan Griffin made their presence known at Kansas. Despite woes in practice, the rookie team qualified on time giving them a berth for the main event. In the race, Jones maneuvered his No. 73 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from his 38th place starting position to net an impressive top twenty-five result. Needless to say, it was a small victory for the team.
"We had a good day at Kansas," recalled the driver, Eric Jones. "We were able to climb from the back and pass some quality race cars and give our team some early momentum
With a finish now under their belts, the team will take what they have learned from Kansas and apply it to Phoenix with hopes of gaining some more valuable experience.
PIR, (Phoenix International Raceway) a one-mile flat oval fits Jones's driving style. The current part-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver for Kansas's Team Chick Motorsports looks to once again show his muscle and prove that patience is a virtue, saving the best for last.
"I'm looking forward to returning to Phoenix. Obviously, I haven't had much luck at the track, but its only one start. Much like Kansas, We're going to have a tight and competitive field, we're going to give it our all," continued the former ARCA RE/MAX Series driver. "I'm really proud of our team, we have come a long way in a very short amount of time."
Red Cactus Salsa will return as the primary sponsor of the slick-looking No. 73 Chevrolet Monte Carlo this weekend.
Jones has one NASCAR start at the Avondale based facility occurring in 2002, where he finished 35th after encountering mechanical problems early in the race.
The team does not have any provisonals to falls back on, should weather or a problem interfere during the weekend, RCSR (Red Cactus Salsa Racing) team could be headed home. However, the added pressure doesn't seem to bother the former open-wheel sensation. "In racing there's always pressure. Look at Kansas, we beat the odds. We can only go out there and do our best, hopefully that will be good enough."
In addition to running the Phoenix event this weekend, the team will also shoot for the NASCAR Busch Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway later this month.
"I think our goals will be a little higher for the remainder of our Busch events this season," continued the Granger, Iowa native. We've proved to everyone we can take a new team and run competitively. Phoenix, and Homestead are two terrific facilities, and I hope we can score a top-twenty finish within these next two events.
With thoughts of competing in 14 to 16 NASCAR Busch Series events in 2005, Red Cactus Salsa Racing feels this season is a stepping-stone and vow to return to the series next season with high expectations.
"I can't wait for 2005," boasted Jones. "If everything works our way, we'll have a few races under our belt this season. During the off-season we're going to work hard to make this team successful. Dan (Griffin, team owner) has done a great job getting this team off the ground, and we are looking forward to producing a top-ten team next year."
Rolling into Phoenix, Jones has 27 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, Six NASCAR Busch Series starts, and has achieved $84,476 in NASCAR Busch Series career earnings.
The Bashas' Supermarkets 200 is the 32nd of 34 events on the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series schedule. Practice, and qualifying are on the agenda this Thursday, November 4th with the race set to take the green flag Saturday afternoon, November 6th. NBC will air the event live beginning at 3:30pm EST, with MRN handling the airwaves starting at 3:15pm EST. The race will also be available via XM satellite radio channel 144 launching at 2:30pm EST.