Top-Twenty for Tony Jackson Jr. in his NCWTS Debut Martinsville, VA -- March 27, 2010. Tony Jackson Jr. got the chance to make his first big league start Saturday in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at the Martinsville Speedway.
Top-Twenty for Tony Jackson Jr. in his NCWTS Debut
Martinsville, VA -- March 27, 2010. Tony Jackson Jr. got the chance to make his first big league start Saturday in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at the Martinsville Speedway. The Missouri native made the best of his opportunity bringing home the ASI Limited No. 07 in 20th position despite several curveballs being thrown his way.
Rain on Friday afternoon cut short practice and cancelled qualifying so the field was set by last years owner points, giving Tony the 15th starting position. However on race day morning the team discovered the starter housing had cracked and Jackson's No 07 would not start. Crew Chief Jason Miller chose to change the starter rather than risk loosing additional laps if Jackson were to spin on track and have no way to restart the truck.
So Jackson took the green from the 33rd position and quickly disposed of several trucks in front of him, moving up to 27th by lap 15. Miller called Jackson to the pits for fuel and a chassis adjustment during the first caution on lap 28.
Tony drove smartly and stayed out of trouble climbing up to 23rd on lap 50 and 22nd on lap 65 loosing a lap to Kevin Harvick who was dominating at the front of the pack.
Jackson took four tires and another chassis adjustment on lap 75, dropping him back to 26th on the restart, and Tony raced hard and clean over the races next fifty laps moving into 24th by the races sixth caution on lap 135.
Teammate Jason White was caught-up in a wreck on lap 146, knocking him from contention. Following the accident and another stop for four tires Jackson was set to the run to the end of the 250-lap race.
Steadily gaining confidence and speed on the track, Jackson moved himself into the top-twenty by lap 200 and up to 18th by lap 225 and looked to finish the race out strong.
With five laps to go, another curveball was thrown at Jackson when the engine in his Chevy truck went silent while running in 18th place. Jackson coasted to the pits where the SS Green Light crew added fuel and worked to get the truck restarted.
Tony kept his cool and dashed back out on to the track to finish the race in 20th place behind Harvick. "I don't know why we ran out of gas at the end," Jackson said. "I guess it only cost us two spots, but it's unfortunate. I'm very happy with how we ran on the track."
"Bobby (SS Green Light General Manager, Bobby Dotter) said he would be happy with a top-twenty, but I really wanted to get a top-fifteen," Jackson said with a smile. "I feel I learned a lot about the trucks and we got better as the race went on. I can't wait to get to the next race."
Miller was pleased with his young driver. "Tony did an awesome job today, he has a lot of charisma on the track."
"He really did a good job of avoiding a lot of junk." Miller added. "He did a fine job and I am really looking forward to going to Kansas."