LONG POND, Pa. (June 16, 1998) Buckshot Jones will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 21 with primary sponsorship from Aquafresh. Jones has competed on the NASCAR Busch ...
LONG POND, Pa. (June 16, 1998)
Buckshot Jones will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 21 with primary sponsorship from Aquafresh. Jones has competed on the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division for three years and has now begun to make the move toward a career in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
"Our team feels that once we reach a point where we are competitive in a series, we start to consider moving to the next level," Jones said. "The goal we have set for ourselves in these Winston Cup races is to gain as much experience as we can. I want to qualify for each race and finish every lap."
Jones' tentative NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule includes Pocono on June 21, New Hampshire on Aug. 30, Talladega on Oct. 11, Phoenix on Oct. 25 and Atlanta on Nov. 8.
Jones' first career series start came on Nov. 16, 1997 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jones has since tested and competed in a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car this year. Jones drove the No. 8 Circuit City Chevrolet at Dover Downs International Speedway on May 31 and finished eighth.
"When I was asked to drive the No. 8 car, we knew it would be beneficial to both teams and it would allow me to get some more laps under my belt," Jones said. "We wanted to qualify the first day and we wanted to finish the race. We did both and it felt great."
Making the transition from a NASCAR Busch Series car to a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car can take some time for young drivers. Jones knows that he has a new learning curve to conquer.
"I guess it is kind of like starting over when you move from the Busch Series to the Winston Cup Series," Jones said. "The biggest difference I've had to get used to is the size of the car and the horsepower. There is more acceleration coming off the turns and the cars are harder to handle.
"I know I will spend most of my first year on the Winston Cup Series just learning how to communicate with my team about what the car is doing and how I need it to feel. I really understand the Busch cars at this point in my career and I know if I am patient, I will learn how to get the Winston Cup cars to my liking as well."
Patience will be the key to Jones' success in 1999 and he knows staying patient will help him reach his goals.
"We are not focusing on winning races in 1999 as much as understanding the cars and setting them up so I am comfortable," Jones said. "I know that we have some of the best equipment and some of the best guys on our crew, but patience will keep us in the races next year. These are longer races and I need to concentrate on being strong at the end. Running in the top 10 is definitely where we would like to be."
Jones does realize that competing in more than five NASCAR Winston Cup Series races in 1998 will take him out of contention for Rookie of the Year honors in 1999.
"I would love to run for rookie of the year, but experience is very important to me," Jones said. "We have been competitive in the Busch Series and now we want to take it to the next level. It would be an honor to win rookie of the year, but right now we want to concentrate on getting as much seat time as we can in a Winston Cup car."
Source: NASCAR Online