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NASCAR Truck: Erik Jones accepts challenge to beat Busch

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 12: Erik Jones, driver of the #20 DEWALT Toyota, speaks with the media during the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Add Erik Jones to the growing list of NASCAR Cup Series drivers vying for the $100,000 bounty to beat Kyle Busch in a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race. Jones will enter the Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as driver of a truck fielded by Billy Ballew and James Finch. That race was scheduled for March 20 but has been postponed amid attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus.

Busch has won the last seven Truck Series races he has entered as a driver, including all five he entered last year, and a race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month. Since his win at his hometown track of LVMS, Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick has offered a payout of $50,000 to the first Cup driver to beat Busch in one of the remaining four Truck Series races Busch plans to enter. Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World, the parent company of Truck Series title sponsor Gander RV & Outdoors, then, announced he would match Harvick’s offer for a total of $100,000. If no Cup driver is successful, a donation will be made the the Bundle of Joy Fund, a charitable cause founded by Busch and his wife Samantha to assist families dealing with infertility issues.

Other Truck Series races Busch plans to contest include the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the race at Homestead, the race at Texas Motor Speedway and race at Kansas Speedway. Specific race dates are unknown as a result of the recent schedule upheaval.

Cup Series driver Chase Elliott plans to challenge Busch at Atlanta and Kansas, and like Jones, Kyle Larson plans to enter the race at Homestead-Miami. Both Elliott and Larson will drive trucks entered by GMS Racing. Cup Series rookie Brennan Poole plans to contest all four of the Truck Series races remaining on Busch’s schedule, among others, for On Point Motorsports.

Ballew is a former Truck Series team owner but shuttered operation of his team after the 2012 season. Busch won 16 races as a driver for Ballew’s team. In all, Ballew has 20 wins as a Truck Series team owner. Finch is a former team owner in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series.

“We decided we would come and do a joint effort and come get us a driver,” Ballew said in an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “After some things that we’ve done with Erik Jones in the past, winning the Snowball Derby, we put a deal together.”

Jones is Busch’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racin in the Cup Series. In the Truck Series, Jones has seven wins in 42 races, all with the Busch-owned Kyle Busch Motorsports.

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Posted by on March 13, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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