Buckshot Jones Looks Toward His First Daytona 500

Buckshot Jones Looks Ahead To Success In His First Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --- Every young race car driver looks forward to the day when he takes that big step into the premiere series...

Buckshot Jones Looks Ahead To Success In His First Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. --- Every young race car driver looks forward to the day when he takes that big step into the premiere series known as Winston Cup. Once that driver takes that step, he has the biggest race of his career, the Daytona 500, awaiting him. Buckshot Jones is a young driver taking that first step and he is excited and ready to compete in his first Daytona 500. "I'm thrilled to be entering this new phase in my career and making the move to the Winston Cup Series, but I guess I'm even more excited about getting to run my first Daytona 500," said Jones, driver of the No. 00 Pontiac . "This is a race that everyone watches, even if your not the biggest race fan in the world. It's the longest and toughest week to go through as you prepare for the actual event. Because the week is so long, the drivers can't wait to get on the track and race. "I've been looking forward to this race since I started my career and now the time has finally come. I enjoy competing on the superspeedways and we were successful at this track when we competed in the Busch Series, so I am hoping to use that to my advantage. I know that we have a long week ahead of us and it will be a race just to qualify, but I'm confident that we're ready." Jones, whose teammate in 1999 is Larry Pearson, driver of the No.00 Cheez-It® Pontiac on the NASCAR Busch Series, is looking forward to the season that is ahead of him. "This will be a year full of lessons and accomplishments for us," said Jones. "I'm anxious to learn as much as I can about these cars and reach the goals we've set. Our goals are to qualify for every race this year and finish every lap. We want to run consistently and be competitive throughout the year. I know that this team is capable of achieving those objectives." Jones qualified for his first NASCAR Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1997. He competed in five Winston Cup races in 1998 and had an impressive record for a beginner. His most memorable finishes were at Dover Downs International Raceway in June, where he qualified 19th and finished eighth in only his second career Winston Cup start and at Talladega Superspeedway, where qualified 11th and finished 16th. "The experience and knowledge I gained from competing in five races last year has given me some insight into what challenges are ahead of me this year," said Jones. "I was able to start to get a feel for these cars since they are bigger and heavier and determine the things I will really need to focus on throughout this season." One thing Jones does realize is the fact that patience will play a large role in his being successful at Daytona and throughout the rest of the season. "These races are 200 laps longer than the Busch races and that is something I will need to get used to," commented Jones. "I know that if we have a bad qualifying run, I still have plenty of time to work my way to the front and I need to remember that when I am out there on the track. I know if I'm patient this year, I will finish these races and maybe even see some top-10 finishes." One thing Jones is looking forward to at Daytona and for the duration of the season is battling fellow Busch Series graduates Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. "This is going to be one of the most thrilling rookie of the year battles this sport has seen in a long time and I'm looking forward to getting it started here at Daytona," said Jones. "The three of us were fierce competitors on the Busch Series, but we are also friends. I think we'll have a lot of fun this year and the competition will be exciting." Jones is feeling many emotions as he begins his week long preparation for the Daytona 500 and enters this new phase in his career, but he and the Buckshot Racing team are ready for the challenge. Look for the No.00 Pontiac to be conquering most of those challenges throughout 1999.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Buckshot Jones