Brandon Jones Fights Off Mechanical Gremlins to Finish Sixth at Salemby Kyle Pokrefky April 28, 2015 0 comments
Photo credit: Kyle Pokrefky/The Fourth Turn
SALEM, In. — Early Sunday morning at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana, things were looking a bit bleak for the No. 25 Ansell/Menards Venturini Motorsports team of Brandon Jones.
With rains washing out two practice sessions and qualifying on Saturday, all 26 cars entered for the Federated Auto Parts 200 were given a lone 30-minute Sunday morning practice to prepare for the day’s race.
Expected to have a strong result in the day’s race was Jones, who was to start seventh by virtue of qualifying’s rain out the day before.
However, the two-time ARCA race winner’s Sunday at the track started off with a bit of panic as his car did not make it out on track for a flying lap in the 30-minute session. Multiple attempts were made to get Venturini Motorsports’s flagship car out on the track in the session, but to no avail as the No. 25 car rolled down pit road with no power on several occasions.
Starting the race at the rear of the field still with his primary car, Jones started the Federated Auto Parts 200 as if he had no issues at all, charging his way through the field and into the top-10 early in the race.
Clawing his way to second by the halfway point of the race, the 18-year-old out of Atlanta remained in the top-10 for the rest of the day. Entering the race with a streak of five straight top-fives in the series, Jones however was unable to add a sixth top-five to his ARCA record as he finished the day in the sixth position.
“Not bad for zero laps on the race track,” Jones said. “That was pretty cool to fight back and get sixth. Broke our top-five streak but it’s still a good day to come home in the top-10.
“I can’t thank these guys enough, they got it back going and we had to go to the rear at the beginning but we battled back and we got sixth.”
When faced with the technical issues earlier in the day, Jones stated that he wasn’t worried about the setback in practice as he had faith that his Venturini Motorsports crew would correct the issue in time for the race.
“I figured they’d get it fixed in some way like if we had to go to the backup,” Jones said. “I didn’t really know what to expect right there at the beginning with no laps and I’d never even seen this place before.
“Not too bad, I figured it out right there pretty quick I feel to start passing cars at the beginning. We were second for a while there too so that was pretty cool.”
Up next for Jones will be his fourth of 10 ARCA races this year – the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
When speaking on what will be his first career superspeedway start in the ARCA Racing Series, the 18-year-old says he’ll look to the Talladega veterans for advice ahead of the race – including 10-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel, who will race in a No. 15 Venturini Motorsports car.
“Frank’ll be there with us and a couple of other big guys who have been there … that won’t be too bad,” Jones remarked. “I’ll take a lot of notes from them and be ready to go.”
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky