Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon. Some of the most talked about young drivers that NASCAR has today, but who we should actually be talking about is Erik Jones.
Born in 1996, Erik is only 22 years old and has already accomplished more than what a lot of drivers do in their lifetimes. He has driven in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and now in the Monster Energy Cup Series.
Erik has 7 career wins in the Truck Series, including a Series Championship in 2015. That same year he won Rookie Of The Year and decided to take his talents to the Xfinity Series full time. He has 9 career Xfinity wins, and a 2016 Rookie Of The Year award.
In 2017, Erik Jones transitioned into the Monster Energy Cup Series, where he had 5 top-5 finishes, 14 top 10 finishes and a Rookie Of The Year award. He has yet to achieve his first career win in the MECS, but I believe that could change here at his home track in Michigan.
Jones finished 3rd and 13th here last year in his rookie season, and has already been fast so far this weekend, where he qualified 8th. He finished the rain-shortened 2nd practice as the 10th fastest car.
I don’t want to take anything from Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick because they have been rolling as of late, but if I had to choose one guy to surprise everybody? I would have to choose Erik Jones. He is more determined then ever, he is hungry for his first win and he wants to win on his home track. Even though an inspection violation sent him to the back, I believe he has the car to make a run at victory lane.
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