Sunrise Ford will look to defend their 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West title won with Derek Thorn with a new driver behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford this season: Jagger Jones.
The 16-year-old won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model track championship at Kern County Raceway Park last season, garnering five wins at the Bakersfield, California, oval. He also graced Victory Lane a combined 10 times at Lake Havasu Speedway and Irwindale Speedway.
Jones one win driving in the No. 88 JR Motorsports Late Model at Myrtle Beach Speedway, which happened to be his first start for the team. He also competed in events at South Boston Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway.
— Jagger Jones🇺🇸 (@jaggerjones98) July 1, 2018
“I’m really looking forward to a new car, and the 2019 season with Sunrise Ford Racing,” Jones said in a release. “This year’s schedule includes such an amazing variety of tracks. From the dirt track in Las Vegas, the road course at Sonoma Raceway on a NASCAR Cup weekend, to short tracks like Kern and Irwindale, Iowa and Gateway on IndyCar race weekends, and then racing at my home town track at ISM Raceway. I can’t wait for this season to begin. I’m going to do my best to use my experience to win some races. I want to thank Bob Bruncati, XYO, and all of my supporters for this great opportunity.”
Racing has been in the family for some time. Jones’ grandfather, Parnelli, won the 1963 Indianapolis 500 and father, P.J., is a former NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA driver. Now, the third generation driver will take the next step in his career into stock cars. He started racing at the age of nine, winning go-kart races domestically and internationally.
Two-time series champion Bill Sedgwick will call the shots as Crew Chief for Jones. He’s won both his titles with Derek Thorn (2013 and 2018). Along with Sunrise Ford, Jones’ No. 6 will have sponsorship from XYO Network, Method Race Wheels and EZ Cut CNC.
— Jagger Jones🇺🇸 (@jaggerjones98) January 29, 2019
“We’ve raced a lot on the West coast in late models and Bob (Bruncati) has been a big help in getting Irwindale back up and running,” Jones told NASCAR.com. “I did a full season there last year and met Bob a few times. I knew about his team, his awesome program and opportunities he’s given to other drivers. We’ve been looking to move up, started talking with Bob and were able to work out a deal.”
Jones is expected to have Trevor Huddleston as a teammate for 2019, who finished second in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings driving the No. 22 Sunrise Ford last season. Jones will have to lean on Huddleston, as this will be the first time the rookie driver will pilot a full bodied stock car.
“It’s going to be a learning curve at first but thats what I’m focusing the most on is trying to learn the best I canm” Jones said of his transition. “Every race, every track, to learn something new, improve a little bit. Then we’ll be able to be winning races by the end of the season for sure. That’s the goal every time you go to the track. It’s not going to be super easy at first, not going to feel the same as Late Models but if I can keep learning, we’ll be in a good position.”
The 2019 K&N Pro Series West season kicks off at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Dirt Track for the Star Nursery 100 on Thursday, February 28.