SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Flat, one-mile racetracks seem to suit Buckshot Jones' driving style. His first career NASCAR Busch Series win came at The Milwaukee Mile in 1996 and in 1998 he claimed a second victory at New Hampshire International Speedway.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Flat, one-mile racetracks seem to suit Buckshot Jones' driving style. His first career NASCAR Busch Series win came at The Milwaukee Mile in 1996 and in 1998 he claimed a second victory at New Hampshire International Speedway. After coming close to winning at Pikes Peak International Raceway in the Lycos 250 in 1998, Jones is even more determined to take the checkered flag this year. Jones started the inaugural Busch Grand National Pikes Peak event in 25th position. While his qualifying effort was not extraordinary, he quickly showed how strong he could be on the flat, one-mile speedway. Jones quickly made his way into the top five and after completing only 83 laps of the race, he captured the lead in the No.00 Pontiac. Jones was the fastest car on the track with almost a five second lead over the second place car. Jones did not relinquish the top spot until the fourth caution appeared on lap 151, but remained in the top five. He took over the second position after a caution was called for rain and it looked like he had a chance to take over the lead spot again. Unfortunately, the No.00 blew a tire on lap 188 that sent Jones into the turn two wall. "I led for a while and stayed up near the front for most of the race," said Jones. "I really thought that we could win, then the right front tire blew and I hit the wall. We fixed the car and about 20 laps later I blew another tire."
By leading 69 laps at Pikes Peak, Jones proved that he knows how to get around the one-mile speedway and he earned the Front Runner Award in the process. As a matter of fact, the only driver to lead more laps in Busch Series competition at Pikes Peak is 1998 pole winner and race winner Matt Kenseth.
This time around, Jones and the No.00 Cheez-It® team will benefit from their strong run in 1998.
"Since we had a good run last year we can use our notes to help us this year," Jones stated. "Otherwise, it would be like starting over. I feel very comfortable competing at tracks like Pikes Peak and this team has proven in the past that we have what it takes to win at these kind of tracks."
With race set-up causing few concerns, the team will be able to put more emphasis in other areas.
"Our qualifying package was not good last year and we didn't start the race where we would have liked to," Jones added. "This time, we can concentrate our efforts on getting a strong qualifying position and hopefully stay up front for the entire day."
Many have climbed to the top of the highest mountains in Colorado. As Buckshot Jones and the No.00 Cheez-It® team return to Pikes Peak International Raceway they plan to climb a mountain of their own and waiting at the top is a checkered flag.