Jones’s Journal: A Week to Remember
It’s true, some things in life you just have to experience to understand.
A little over a month ago, I was handed the unlucky stick through a stretch of races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Race after race, I had a wicked fast Toyota Tundra, and the KBM team and I were so close to victory but then, as a member on the No. 20 XFINITY team explained, “an asteroid fell from the sky with raging force and BOOM… our victory was destroyed.”
This past month has been tough! I felt like I was letting myself, my team, my family, and my fans down. However, thanks to all those people, I was able climb back out of that hole. I’ve learned how to deal with adversity and grown a lot as a person over the las month, and after it all, I’m thankful for the learning experience.
The turning point happened on Tuesday, June 16th. After Gateway I traveled to Michigan for the Berlin 251 at Berlin Raceway. This particular event was my first late model race since the Snowball Derby last December. I mainly went up there for fun. A friend of mine set the whole thing up with Port City Racecars. Port City built a brand new house car for me that they were certain would be a bullet. I was pumped to get into the seat! But, as luck would have it, during the second lap of practice on Monday something broke in the rear end and I killed the thing. I went numb. I couldn’t believe my bad luck had followed me and I let down another group of guys. At that moment all I wanted to do was go home, but instead I was encouraged to get back on the horse, and I am so glad I did!
Winning the Berlin 251 after all that went wrong was just the boost of confidence I needed. I was so happy and proud of the effort the Port City team put into those two days. Within 36 hours we went from a junked race car, to finding a new one, to hammering on it all night, to standing in victory lane. It will be a win I will always remember.
After Berlin I had a day at home before flying to Iowa. I used my time wisely and took my sister, her boyfriend, and my girlfriend to Cedar Point for some thrill rides J.
I was really excited to get back to Iowa. I won there last year and feel really comfortable at the track. Yet, in the midst of the race I remember getting a little nervous. That was a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time. While I was leading, my mind started imagining all that could go wrong. Luckily, I didn’t see the asteroid that day and I was able to finally give the No. 4 Toyota Tundra KBM team the win that was long overdue!
The next morning, I jumped on the JGR plane in Des Moines and flew into Joliet for the NASCAR XFINITY race with the 54 Monster Energy team. Drew Herring practiced the Camry for me the day before and did a great job getting it close for me for qualifying. That race I felt oddly calm. As I battled hard with Ryan Blaney, I felt like I knew exactly what to do. That’s a product of seat time and solid mentoring from Kyle, my crew chiefs, and my spotters. Crossing the finish line at Chicagoland, I was reminded of how far I’ve come.
One year ago I was making my first start in the XFINITY series hoping I would do well enough to get a few more races the following year. Now, I’ve got more races on my schedule than I could imagine. I’ve experienced highs and lows, but, the reality is, we are yet to reach the half way point in the NCWTS schedule! I have 14 more chances to collect the most points possible and bring home the championship for KBM and Toyota! It’s going to be a fun ride, so I hope you guys enjoy and thank you for all of your continued support!