MOORESVILLE, North Carolina (February 10, 2016) – – What a difference a year makes.
Fast forward 12 months later, the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team is preparing for their biggest weekend yet with two races in one weekend, kicking off withSaturday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona (Fla.) Speedway.
Terry Jones, co-owner of RJR kicks off the team’s busy 2016 schedule with his ninth try in the ARCA Racing Series season-opener. The Amherstburg, Ontario native also hopes to improve on a track best run of eighth after starting 10th in 2014.
“It’s tradition for us to come and compete in the ARCA race at Daytona,” said Jones. “This race has always been one of my favorite ever since I first started competing in the series. It’s a race of luck and being at the right place at the right time, but we honestly have a really good outlook for it.”
To the surprise of some, the team elected not to partake in the open ARCA Racing Series open test at the 2.5-mile superspeedway last month, but as co-owner and ARCA championship crew chief Mark Rette describes, the team feels the decision will be to their benefit.
“We’ve spent a lot of time getting our No. 30 Jones Group International / J-AAR Excavating Toyota car together,” said Rette. “Last year we didn’t want to perform like we wanted to on the superspeedways, so we decided to spend the off-season really working hard to do what we can to improve the overall performance of the car. With race week upon us, I like where we’re at.”
Just like with every superspeedway race he competes, Jones knows that timing is everything, but a good starting spot equally helps make that right timing possible and with ARCA’s unique group qualifying format, Jones is anxious to see how it all plays out for the third time in his career.
“I really like the group qualifying,” Jones added. “What group you qualify in depends on where you end up in practice, so it’s like strategy from the get-go to find yourself with the right cars so you can go out and qualify together. The faster you are, the likelihood of starting near the front. We’ll do what we can to do that. I would be extremely satisfied with starting inside the top-10.”
While the team has high hopes for its traditional “World Center of Racing” thunder, Jones and company will head to New Smyrna (Fla.) International Speedway the next night to watch their newest RJR driver Dominique Van Wieringen make her NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) debut.
“We’re real happy with the direction of our team, especially approaching our one-year anniversary of being on track,” Jones sounded. “Mark has worked extremely hard with the guys back at the shop to put together a program that is sound and beneficial not only for our drives, but for our marketing partners too. Of course, we’re looking forward to Daytona, but we’re equally excited about Dominique vying for the championship in the K&N Pro Series East. We think it’s going to be a good year.”
In addition to Jones Group International and J-AAR Excavating, Rette Jones Racing welcomes Durobyte, Russo’s Tinting and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems as associate marketing partners for the first of 20 races this season.
“We’re thankful for the support we have for Daytona,” Rette mentioned. “It’s because of Jones Group International, J-AAR Excavating, Durobyte, Russo’s and Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems that we’re heading to Daytona this weekend smiling and ready to do work. We know without them, this race would not be possible.”
The Lucas Oil 200 presented by General Tire (80 Laps / 200 Miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2015 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins for the three-day show on Thursday, February 11 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Final practice is slated for Friday, February 12 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., before Menards pole group qualifying presented by Ansell takes place later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The preamble for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ “Sprint Unlimited” is set to take the green flag onSaturday, February 13 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1, while ARCARacing.com will steam live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.
PHOTO CAPTION: Terry Jones, driver of the No. 30 Jones Group International / J-AAR Excavating Toyota alongside Rette Jones Racing partner Mark Rette.