Brooklyn, MI: Eric Jones qualified the No. 03 Team EJP Chevrolet in the 13th position for Saturday's Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Michigan International Speedway. Jones recorded a fast lap of 41.872 seconds/171.953 miles...
Brooklyn, MI: Eric Jones qualified the No. 03 Team EJP Chevrolet in the 13th position for Saturday's Sears 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Michigan International Speedway. Jones recorded a fast lap of 41.872 seconds/171.953 miles per hour which slots him inside the seventh row on the grid. Jason Leffler won the pole for the race with a track record time of 40.441 seconds/178.037 miles per hour.
In the three previous races in which Jones has driven this particular truck (Johnny 5), the worst it has qualified is 13th, both here this weekend at MIS and previously this season at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It is the same truck he qualified seventh with and drove to a sixth-place finish at Kansas three weeks ago.
"This truck is good in qualifying, but it really comes in under race conditions," said Jones. "It was okay in final practice, but we know we need to do a few things to make it better. We are going to change the gear for tomorrow. We think that will help us work our way through the draft a little better and maybe hold some of the guys off once we get past them."
Driving a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, Jones says if circumstances fall the right way, the Dodge teams could hook up and drive away from the rest of the competition.
"If they were smart they would hook up and stay in line for 90 laps and drive away from everyone. Wait until the end and then decide which Dodge is going to win. As of right now, I think we have a truck that can fight for the lead in the second group of trucks. The Dodges, and maybe one or two Fords, will check out and leave the rest of us to run for best in class. I am pretty confident right now that we can be at the front of that second pack.
"Usually this race has a pretty long stretch of green flag racing and very few cautions. If we can get those long runs, we'll be okay. We need a race with no yellows."
The Sears 200 is scheduled to begin at 1 P.M. Eastern, and can be seen live on Speed Channel. It can also be heard on MRN Radio affiliates nationwide and on NASCAR Radio, Channel 144 on XM Satellite Radio.