AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Erik Jones won the Camping World Truck race at Phoenix International Raceway for the second straight year when a power outage forced NASCAR to end the event with 24 laps left Friday night.
NASCAR called the race because of the possibility that the power would fail again, plunging the track into darkness while the trucks were racing at full speed. The start also was delayed more than an hour because of an outage that knocked out the track’s lights.
The 18-year-old Jones was making his 12th and final start of the season in the No. 51 Toyota he shares with team owner Kyle Bucsh. Jones started from the pole and led 114 of the 126 laps en route to his third victory of the year and fourth overall.
“It’s pretty cool to pick another win here at Phoenix,” Jones said. “Definitely a great way to top off the year in this truck.”
Last year at the mile oval, Jones became the series’ youngest winner at 17 years, 4 months. Cole Custer broke the record in September at New Hampshire, winning at 16 years, 7 months, 28 days.
Jones, also a winner this year in Iowa in July and Las Vegas in September, gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its series-record 13th victory in 21 races this season. Busch has seven wins in the No. 51, and Darrell Wallace Jr. has three in the No. 54 Toyota.
Points leader Matt Crafton was second in his bid for his second straight season title. He increased his lead over Ryan Blaney to 25 points heading into the season finale next week in Homestead, Florida.
“It’s a shame that the lights went out,” Crafton said. “I guarantee it was going to be exciting on the next restart.”
Jones was confident that he would have won if the race continued.
“I think that we would have been able to definitely hold him off,” Jones said. “I felt like we had by far the best truck. He could run 10 laps pretty and maintain about five (truck-lengths) back to us. Then, it seemed like we could just kind drive away inch by inch at that point.
“I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that, if we were to go back racing, that we would have been able to hold him off.”
Custer was third, followed by Blaney, Ben Rhodes and Wallace.
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