Eric Jones returns to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series coming off his best career weekend in his last series appearance. Running a limited schedule in 2003, Jones last raced with the NCTS in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Jones...
Eric Jones returns to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series coming off his best career weekend in his last series appearance. Running a limited schedule in 2003, Jones last raced with the NCTS in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway. Jones qualified a career-best seventh and raced in and among the top-10 all afternoon before taking the checkered flag in sixth. His previous career best finish was eleventh, which came earlier this season in the Hardee's 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Team EJP Racing's previous best finish was at Dover in 2002 with Tom Carey at the wheel when they combined to finish eighth.
"We have made progress every week that we have raced," Jones said. "Our goal for 2003 was to get comfortable with one another and run better each week. For the most part, we have. Our finishes have been better from one race to the next every time we have raced this truck. We have taken it in steps. We have gone from the point where we were competitive enough to run with the top-10 to the point where we can finish in the top-10. The next step is to race with the top-5 and then finish in the top-5. Once we do that, we want to start challenging to win."
This Week's Truck: This week's truck is Johnny 5, the same one the team raced previously this season at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway. Team EJP purchased the chassis in 2002 from Joe Gibbs Racing and has since re-skinned it with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado body, hung by Bo Fletcher of Aero Advantage.
Eric on Johnny 5: "Johnny 5 has been fast everywhere we have taken it in 2003. We started 13th and battled for a top-10 finish at Charlotte, but we got caught a lap down when we pitted during a round of green flag stops and the caution came out right after we came in. We took it to Texas and qualifying was rained out. We lost an engine in practice and started last. We had a great race in Texas and came from the back all the way to eleventh. In Kansas, everything came together for us. We qualified well, we had great pit stops, and we ran in the top-10 all day and finished sixth."
Eric on MIS: "Michigan is a fun track to drive as a driver, but it is a challenge for the team. You need to have all the horsepower you can get because the straightaways are so long and the speeds are so high. You need a great body because you need downforce and you need to be able to draft. And since you are in the turns so much, you need the chassis to handle well. We will have great horsepower with a Hutter engine under the hood and we know the body is as good as anyone else's out there. It is up to us find a good setup. If we can do that, I think we can have another career best weekend for myself and for Team EJP Racing."
Eric's NHIS Weekend: While the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series spent last weekend at Gateway International Raceway, Jones and Team EJP spent last weekend entertaining guests at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and Busch Series weekend at New Hampshire International Speedway. "New Hampshire is our home track with Team EJP being based out of Maine," Jones said. "Steve (Prescott, team owner) had a double suite up there and we had a lot of customers and employees up there. We watched the races with them and spent a lot of time at the hotel and at dinner with them. I can't wait to get back up to New Hampshire with the Truck Series so they have a chance to see us in action."
About Team EJP Racing: Team EJP Racing is owned by Steve Prescott, and based in Gardiner, Maine. The team made its debut with a three-race schedule with Prescott behind the wheel in 2000. Since then, Steve has concentrated on building a winner as an owner. The team has run a limited schedule in 2001, 2002, and 2003 with drivers Tom Carey, Barry Bodine, and Eric Jones. The team runs the 2003 Chevrolet Silverado body style and utilizes engines built by long-time NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series, Truck and modified series standout Ron Hutter.
About Team EJP: The Prescott Companies are the premier distributor of water, sewer, and drain pipeline materials in the Northeast and Midwest. Based in Gardiner, Maine, EJP has 25 locations in 9 states. With many pipe, sewer, and drain emergencies occurring outside of normal business hours, Team EJP has an on-call service department available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, product and service information is available on the company's website, www.ejprescott.com, or by calling 1-800-EJP-24HR.