Busch, Jones Set for Late Model Rematch
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on February 10, 2017 | 6:30 A.M. EST
Erik Jones and Kyle Busch will square off against one another in this weekend’s Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kyle Busch and Erik Jones will square off against one another in this weekend’s Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway.
Saturday’s $30,000-to-win Super Late Model race held at the half-mile Bakersfield, California will include the duo facing off against one another since the celebrated Snowball Derby in 2012.
It was in that race that Jones beat Busch for the coveted win in the prestigious event, a turn of events that helped launch the young driver’s NASCAR career.
Busch gave Jones an opportunity to drive in one of his Camping World Truck entries and he’s since climbed the NASCAR ladder to the point of becoming a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup rookie contender for Furniture Row Racing this year.
“It will be the first time he and I get to compete against one another since the Snowball Derby where he beat me,” Busch said. “I get to race against Bubba Pollard and David Mayhew, Noah Gragson’s gonna be there, a couple of the West Coast guys we don’t get against typically. It’s gonna be fun, I’m looking forward to it.”
Jones is also excited to get back behind the wheel of a Late Model and competing against Busch.
“I guess it is the first time since then,” Jones said when reminded of the Snowball Derby win. “I went and shook my Late Model down (when) we ran Speedfest, we ran second. I’m not looking at another second when we run against him next week but it’s fun. I love running the late models, it’s just a fun time in general hanging out with that group of guys and getting to run against Kyle again at Kern in gonna be fun as well. I know he’s excited about it.”
While Jones has recent experience in the division, Busch admitted he’ll need to knock off some rust.“I haven’t been in one of my supers in a long time so that’s gonna be fun,” he said. “I wish it was a Rowdy Manufacturing chassis, it’s not gonna be because we got behind on our builds so I’m gonna be in our normal stuff that we always run but then later on this year I’m gonna run a few more races in our own cars.”
Jones isn’t buying Busch’s dismay over the type of equipment he’ll drive this weekend.
“He was complaining the other day because he has to take an older car because his newer car got wrecked down at the Snowball,” he said. “So I guess he’s trying to plant an excuse in my mind but it will be fun, I’m looking forward to it.”