By the end of the season at Tucson Speedway, there’s a chance four track championships could be awarded to one family.
Dustin Jones currently leads the points in the Thunder Trucks and Pro Stocks divisions at Tucson Speedway, a 0.375-mile paved oval NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned track in Tucson, Arizona. Jones’s 11-year-old daughter, Keirstin Jones, has one win this season and is third in the points in the track’s Bandolero Outlaws division. His 8-year-old son, Devin Jones, leads the points in the Bandolero Bandits.
“I don’t believe it has,” Dustin Jones said when asked if he thinks one family has ever won four titles in a season at Tucson.
Dustin is a rookie in the trucks division this year, though he’s a veteran on the track. This is his first year back racing after taking about six years off to raise his family and help get his kids into the sport. In 2004, the same year Dustin graduated from high school, he won a track championship at Tucson in a late model.
Racing runs all through the Jones family. Dustin met his wife, Kelly, at a go-kart track when they were both youngsters driving themselves. When they were dating, they raced against each other in the pro stocks division at Tucson Speedway. Dustin finished first in the points at the track, and Kelly was second.
“It was good. Of course, every dinner didn’t taste the same every night, but it was good,” Dustin said of his time racing against his wife. “It was a while back. We were youngsters. It was definitely a good deal though.”
Both Joneses passed their love of racing on to their kids, who both started driving a little more than two years ago. Keirstin won rookie of the year in bandoleros at Tucson last year, and was second in the points. She has three career wins.
Devin is still looking for that elusive first bandolero victory, but he’s finished top five in five of six races this season.
Dustin works as the spotter for Devin, and teaches both of his kids exactly how to get around the track. Both of the younger Jones kids said they’ve obviously learned a lot from their dad, but they also work together and give each other advice.
“I usually help him (Devin) sometimes get in his car and buckle him up and stuff,” Keirstin said. “I tell him stay on the gas always because sometimes he’ll let off on the corners.”
“Usually when my sister races I can watch her cause she goes after me, but I have enough time to watch her. And I do like watching her and my dad,” Devin said. “They tell me stay on the gas and the racing lines.”
Devin is still looking for his first win, but he already knows exactly what to do when he gets it.
“I’m going to tell the audience my sponsors,” he said.
With four cars going every week, race days can be “crazy” for the Jones family.
“It’s very busy because we have, like, a lot of cars,” Keirstin said.
“Crazy. And very stressful to be dead honest,” Dustin said. “Running around trying to keep those cars going. Just jumping in and out of all those cars. Not stressful, but busy. Let’s just say busy. Very busy.”
Seeing each member find success, though, makes it worth it. Earlier this season Dustin and Keirstin both won on the same night, so they got to celebrate each other’s wins together.
And for Dustin, while he loves racing, the race days are about much more than him.
“I get more excited watching those kids race than I race,” he said. “I enjoy watching them race… The adrenaline rush is very strong watching those little youngsters roll around that track.
“It feels good to be back in the car and doing what we love. We all love racing.”
The love of racing in the younger Jones duo is already strong. Dustin said the two already talk about wanting to race NASCAR one day. They work on the cars at night with their dad, and are already involved in all aspects of the sport at a young age.
With about a half-dozen races left this season, the goal for the Jones family is obviously to finish the year with as many track championships as possible. But it’s also about Keirstin and Devin learning more and more about the sport, being consistent, and continuing to build the foundation for a long career.
“I’m hoping to watch my kids win races and hopefully the can grab themselves a couple championships,” Dustin said. “Learning how to drive those cars a little better and learn how to pass people and just getting the whole racing experience. That way one of these days they can move up to faster cars and late models and higher divisions and all that stuff.”
The goal is much the same for the Keirstin and Devin.
“Getting wins and just having fun,” Keirstin said. “You need to just go for it. It’s now or nothing.”
“It’s fun,” Devin said. “I want to get my first win.”
Racing will return to Tucson Speedway on August 3 for the Roasted Rattler, featuring Super Late Models, Modifieds, Outlaw Late Models, Hornets, Legends, Bandolero Bandits, and Mini-Stocks.