Erik Jones leads the championship standings by three points over Matt Crafton after winning at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Jones worked feverishly to hold off Alex Tagliani on the final restart until Tagliani fell off the pace and cruised to a win in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
With the victory comes the points lead in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Jones now holds a three-point advantage over Matt Crafton, who ended up finishing second. Former series leader Tyler Reddick dropped to third, 15 behind Jones.
The win is Jones’ second in the series this season and first on a road course.
“That’s awesome, especially winning with Tagliani here,” Jones said in Victory Lane. “This is a good team – we built it last year and improved upon it this year.
“I knew I had to clear (Tagliani). We were able to clear him and fortunately he (had a problem) going down the hill but I think we could have held him off anyways.”
Ben Kennedy finished third, Daniel Hemric was fourth and Tagliani was able to finish fifth.
Tagliani shreds a gear on the final lap
With five of 64 laps remaining, Reddick and Gray Gaulding wrecked in Turn 8 to bring out a caution. On the restart with two laps to go, Tagliani made a furious charge on Jones but fell off the pace when he said he shredded third gear.
“I had some grinding in third gear during the race but as soon as I went to third gear on the back straightaway, it shredded,” Tagliani said. “It was too low in RPMs and a couple of guys got by us.
“It sucks when you race with guys that are in the championship. I see them in front of me and I don’t want to hurt them. You want to pass clean. Nevertheless, it was a fun ride.”
One more restart and Crafton, who has won the past two series championships, said he would have had a shot at the win.
“It really took my truck about a lap or so to get going. Jones and Tagliani would get away from me but eventually I could get a run on them,” he said. “I didn’t really want to see that last caution but a top two finish – that’s not too bad.”
Cole Custer led the most laps (22) but spin after contact with Tagliani with 11 laps remaining. Custer ended up finishing 10th.