BUSCH: Daytona II: P.J. Jones preview

FAST FACTS * The ...


* The #43 Diversified Partners Dodge team of the Curb Agajanian Performance Group is back in action this week with veteran driver P.J. Jones behind the wheel for Friday night's NASCAR Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

* Piloting the same #43 racing machine that started on the front row for this season's opening race at Daytona, Jones will attempt to make his 26th career NBS start and his third on the 2.5-mile superspeedway tri-oval here. He qualified on the second row in the 2001 NBS season opener here. Jones also has one NASCAR Nextel Cup Series start here, the 1993 July race in which he drove to a top-30 finish in the #9 Melling Racing entry. Jones' career-best best NNCS finish was fourth in the 1993 Watkins Glen race, where he also had his career-best NBS finish of ninth in 2000.

* Jones is no stranger to Victory Lane here at Daytona. He co-drove a Rolex 24 win for Toyota in the manufacturer's first-ever 24-hour race in sports prototype competition in 1993, his first of three victories that year enroute to second place in the IMSA GTP driver championship to teammate Juan Fangio II. Jones has driven extensively in the Champ Car World Series, Dayton Indy Lights, Firestone Firehawk and American Racing Series. He also qualified on the pole in his first-ever NASCAR Winston West Series race, and has two NASCAR SuperTruck victories to his credit.

* In its last two starts, the #43 CAPG Dodge scored solid qualifying and race efforts with road course specialist Chris Cook behind the wheel at Nashville and Kentucky.

* Driver Aaron Fike, who started the season by putting the #43 CAPG Dodge on the front row here, also qualified sixth on the superspeedway at Talladega, and recorded top finishes of 15th at Nashville and 18th at Bristol in 14 starts.

* On board as a sponsor of the #43 CAPG Dodge this weekend is Scottsdale, Ariz.-based real estate developer Diversified Partners (www.diversified-partners.com), which also recently sponsored Jones' CAPG entry at the 2006 Indy 500, where he finished 19th. "We enjoyed a very positive experience with P.J. and the Curb-Agajanian team at Indy this year," said Tim Dollander, Diversified Partners principal, "In wanting to continue the relationship with P.J. and the team, we were led to the other prominent speedway in North America and that is Daytona this weekend. We're excited to be with a team and car owners who have a strong track record in many different kinds of racing over the years."

P.J. JONES QUOTES ON DAYTONA -- "We're ready for Daytona. I'm excited to drive for Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian and sponsored again by Diversified Partners. Obviously, they were my sponsor and car owners at Indianapolis in the 500. I have a long history and association with them. Finally getting to drive the Busch car at Daytona is exciting. The 43 car's been good at the restrictor plate races. They qualified well at Daytona and Talladega this year. Hopefully we'll be able to give them a good race. I haven't done a 'plate race in a while. It'll be great to race under the lights at Daytona on the Fourth of July weekend. That's one of the pinnacles of racing. I love night races. I grew up racing short tracks and dirt tracks at night all over America. A success would be a top 10. That's what we're looking for. And to get as many points as we can for the team."


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Drivers P.J. Jones , Aaron Fike , Chris Cook