The 2010 Rookie of the Year title as well as a Third Place Overall Finish in the Northern Late Model Series (Formerly ASA Late Model Northern Series) during the 2010 racing season would have any driver and team celebrating their accomplishments and focusing their efforts on the following year.
Not 14-year-old, Erik Jones, as the Byron, Michigan teenage sensation who started his 2010 campaign in the Sunshine State of Florida during Speedweeks, will end the year in the very same state. He and his Paragon Racing Team will make the long haul from the Great Lakes State to the famed 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Jones will partake in the Allen Turner Snowflake 100, which highlights the Saturday portion of the 43rd annual Snowball Derby weekend, which is set for December 1st-5th. The driver of the #4 Paragon Corvette Reproductions Chevrolet Impala is amongst an impressive 67 entries signed in.
"We've had a great year, I definitely learned a ton!" stated the Michigan teenager. "I learned things as simple as making it to the finish for each race, and finishing the race without any damage on the car. I set goals at the beginning of the year that I wanted to meet, and I exceeded them which is very exciting." he added. "I owe a lot to my Crew Chief, Rich Lushes, and spotter Jim Smith." he stated.
Amongst his list of accomplishments during the 2010 season are two wins in the Northern Late Model Series with his first career victory coming at the track closest to his Byron, Michigan home at the Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, Michigan. He scored the popular win after outdueling eventual 2010 Series Champion, Eddie Hoffman, to win the Bob Cross Memorial 100 on August 20th.
Jones then became the youngest driver to win a feature in the 41-year history of one of the most tradition laden, end of the season, special events in the country - Oktoberfest Weekend at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wisconsin. Jones led all 100 laps of the John and Sue McKarns 100 on October 9th to capture his second victory of the year, while securing the Freshman title and a third place overall finish in the former ASA Late Model Northern Series.
As for Pensacola and the talented field that awaits him, Jones is approaching it the same way as he has throughout the entire year that started at the 2010 Florida Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway in Samsula, Florida; with sheer determination and a sense of once again proving to the short track racing world that he belongs.
"The whole crew is very happy to head down to Pensacola for the Snowflake. We have a lot of momentum coming off the win at LaCrosse last month, and I think it's going to help us down there. We know there's a lot of competition down there and we're very appreciative to be able to be a part of such a big race." Jones continued.
"Pensacola is a very unique track, and I'm looking forward to it." he added as he and his Paragon Racing Team make final preparations before the trip down to Pensacola, Florida. "The opportunity to run this race is amazing, and I hope we can make the most of it. I can't thank the entire crew enough for being a part of all of this; Rich Lushes, Jim Smith, Dave Jones, Carol Jones, Brandon Rose, Tony Youngs, Steven Wendt, Neil Wendt, Ken Bond, and so many others." he ended.
For the Allen Turner Snowflake 100, Jones' #4 Chevrolet Impala will carry primary sponsorship from Paragon Corvette Reproductions as well as CG Financial Services, Simpson Race Products, Webster Looby and Baumgarten, M.P.H. Promotions, and Paragon Racing Team.