Loudon: Eric Jones preview

Eric Jones comes to New Hampshire International Speedway looking to make his sixth start of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Jones and the No. 03 Team EJP Racing Chevrolet Silverado have not raced on the NCTS circuit since the Sears...

Eric Jones comes to New Hampshire International Speedway looking to make his sixth start of the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. Jones and the No. 03 Team EJP Racing Chevrolet Silverado have not raced on the NCTS circuit since the Sears 200 at Michigan International Speedway in July. In that event, Jones and the Team EJP Racing Team finished a disappointing 18th after problems with the rear gear adversely affected the handling of the truck.

Eric on the Sears 200:

"We are extremely disappointed that we didn't come out of Michigan with a top-10 finish. We had a good truck, and we know the changes we made before the race were a step in the right direction. But as soon as the green flag came out, I knew it wasn't the same truck we had in happy hour the day before. We were really stumped until we started to push the truck onto the trailer and the left rear started hopping up and down, and the rear end locked up on us. It's one thing to run badly and not know why. We are upset we didn't run better at Michigan, but as a young team we are happy we learned something out of it. It takes a negative and turns it into a positive."

This Week's Truck:

In carrying on with the team tradition of naming their trucks after movie characters, this week's truck is Frankenstein. It earned its name from being rebuilt and reclipped several times. As the team says, it has been cobbled together with parts and pieces from various other race trucks, just like the movie character of the same name. It is the truck that Jones raced previously this season at Milwaukee, where it qualified 19th and finished 17th. It is a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, and the body was hung by Bo Fletcher of Aero Advantage. (Other trucks in the Team EJP fleet are named "Johnny 5" after a character in the movie Short Circuit, and "E.T.", which is named after the title character of the movie E.T. and is also short for "Eric's Truck". The team has also added a brand new truck named "Dracula" that will hopefully debut later this season.)

Eric on Frankenstein:

"It has been rebuilt a lot, but it is still a really good truck. I know it has been built and rebuilt several times, and resurrected from the dead. It should be interesting to see what we need to replace after this weekend! It seems like every time this truck has been on the track somewhere, something has happened to it. Hopefully Frankenstein won't need to be rebuilt and brought back from the dead again!"

Frankenstein's 2003 Results:

Milwaukee: Started 19th Finished 17th Completed 195 of 200 laps $8,765

Eric on NHIS:

"New Hampshire International Speedway is the home track for Team EJP Racing, so it is going to be great to race in front of a lot of the guys' family members and all of our friends. Plus, we will have a lot of Team EJ Prescott customers and employees in the suite here this weekend, so it makes us want to work even harder to put on a good show for them. This is the same truck we had at Milwaukee, and the two tracks are both relatively flat one-mile tracks. A lot of the Winston Cup teams will go and test at Milwaukee to get information for New Hampshire. They are similar enough that you can run a similar baseline setup to get you in the ballpark, and you won't be too far off. We are going to try some different things in practice, and if it doesn't work, we'll go back to what we know will work there. We're pretty confident that we will have a good truck here this weekend."

Eric's Time Off?:

Even though Eric and the Team EJP Racing Team have not been in competition the past few weeks, it doesn't mean that the team hasn't been working hard, and it surely doesn't mean that the team hasn't been on a racetrack somewhere.

"We tested during the weeks we were away from the series in August," Jones said. "We learned a lot. We were encouraged, because we were able to work on some of our strengths and we pinpointed some of our weaknesses. I am not sure any of the information is going to transfer directly over to New Hampshire this weekend, but for sure the confidence the tests gave us will be a big boost going into our biggest race weekend of the year."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Eric Jones