Heading home Michigan last weekend, Erik Jones made his NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) debut at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in his No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry. The youngster did have one start at MIS in the Truck Series, starting the 2015 race from seventh and finishing third after leading sixteen laps.
Sadly, the ‘Joe Gibbs Racing’ driver Jones had to confirm that his father, Dave Jones passed away earlier in the week after a battle with cancer. Dave was only fifty-four years old and a huge factor in the rookie’s racing career. Erik honored his “Papa Bear” by racing in the ‘Menards 250 presented by Valvoline’ with his father’s name over his door.
Unbelievably, Erik qualified second for the 125 lapper and finished a respectable fourth. The finish moved him up one spot to fourth in the points standing.
While some of them may make it look easy, becoming a race car driver is anything but easy. Erik Jones has demonstrated that he possesses the mental acuity, fortitude, and behavior that it takes to make it in the NASCAR business.
To confirm - my father did pass away on Tuesday. Take it to the limit Papa Bear pic.twitter.com/IsCybrHWH4— Erik Jones (@erik_jones) June 11, 2016
Jones posted an open letter to his father on Twitter prior to the start of Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway.
(Condolences to Erik Jones and Family on their huge loss.)