2016 was a year of “firsts” for Garrett and his #88 Garrett Motorsports Chevy. Garrett paired up with veteran crew chief, Shane Tesch. Shane came to Garrett Motorsports from Richard Childress Racing where he worked as a car chief in NASCAR’s Premier Monster Energy Cup series. According to Garrett, “Shane's accomplishments in motorsports are extensive and impressive. He’s worked with teams and drivers such as RCR, Front Row Motorsports, Thor Motorsports, Mike Garvey and Ryan Blaney. He’s won races at all levels in the sport. I was excited when he came on board and knew that we could win some races together.” Success wasn’t immediate. Garrett and Shane spent the first half of the 2016 season searching for the chemistry and trust necessary to be competitive. Team Owner, Larry Jones stated, “the beginning of season was rocky for sure. Garrett and Shane were both on different pages. I can’t say that I knew things would work out like they have, but I do know that there is not a crew chief in the sport that is smarter and more dedicated than Shane or a driver more committed than Garrett. Shane and Garrett both kept digging trying to figure out each other. Shane is one of the best people I know to work with a young driver. As summer rolled around and Garrett was able to spend more time in the shop working side-by-side with Shane, I could see the transformation of their relationship. As a team, we decided to miss a few races and spend time testing at the track.” This time proved hugely beneficial as their first race back was the Lee Fields Memorial 150 in Mobile, Alabama. After qualifying 12th, Garrett found himself inside the top 5 within the first 15 laps, working his way to 3rd at the competition caution on lap 75. As the field went green again, Garrett dove his #88 Chevy inside veteran Augie Grill and 2016 Southern Super Series Champion, Donnie Wilson entering turn 1, taking the lead! Garrett led the remaining 75 laps flag to flag, lapping all the competitors up to 4th place. Ecstatic after his first Super Late Model win, Garrett commented, “This was the best car I’ve ever driven and I’ve got to thank Shane for giving me one fast hot-rod! It was like a Sunday afternoon drive. The car would go anywhere I wanted to go and it just kept digging.” And the rest, as they say, is history. From that point in 2016, Garrett and Shane have been competitive and a force to be reckoned with on the Super Late Model circuit.
Maintaining their momentum, Garrett started his 2017 season off with a strong run at the Rattler 250 in Opp, Alabama. Shane put Garrett at the top of the speed charts each day of the event. When the #88 Chevy rolled on the track during practice, competitors took notice - with stopwatch in hand! After qualifying 3rd with a 15.08, Garrett was in prime position for the start of the race. Pacing himself, Garrett saved his tires the first 150 laps. By the competition caution at lap 200, Garrett was the fastest car on the track, riding in 3rd. As the green flag dropped again, Garrett took his Chevy to the point, taking the lead on lap 211. “When I took the lead, I knew I was going to have trouble holding 1st. The last set of tires just didn’t feel the same. My car went from being on a rail to being loose. I didn’t know if I had a tire going down or what, but I couldn’t get into the corner as good and I couldn’t touch the gas,” according to Garrett. After falling back to 11th, Garrett rolled his #88 down pit road during a caution that came with 19 laps remaining. Shane went to work on the car with Garrett exiting the pits in 15th. Over the final 19 laps, Garrett was able to make his way back to 9th for a strong top 10 finish in the first Southern Super Series race of 2017.
Intending to build upon the strong run in the season opener, Garrett and his #88 Chevy will compete in the full Southern Super Series schedule in 2017 as well as other select Super Late Model events.
Jones Looking to Make His Second Start in Famed Short Track Race
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (November 30, 2015) – As the 2015 race season wraps up, 16-year-old Super Late Model driver, Garrett Jones is getting set to make his second start in Five Flags Speedway’s Snowball Derby. Jones, who is coming off winning Rookie-Of-The-Year honors in the Southern Super Series, looks to use his past experience competing in the famed short track race on his way to Victory Lane.
Last year, Jones qualified for the Snowball Derby when he won the event’s “Last Chance Qualifier” race. Once the green flag dropped on the main event, Jones began racing his way through the field, but unfortunately got shoved into the inside wall by another competitor on Lap 40. After that Jones focused on survival to make it to the end of the race.
“Last year I learned that many people in the race try to win it in the first 50 laps,” explained Jones. “I got put into the inside wall last year on Lap 40. You really have to be on guard every lap with these drivers! I wasn’t making an aggressive move, but once I was door-to-door, the other driver turned left into me. However, this year I’m way more confident going into the race. I’ve race Super Late Models all year, and now have a car that has a good setup!”
Another change to this year’s trip to the Snowball Derby is the addition of Mike Garvey as Jones’ crew chief. Jones and Garvey have worked together for the majority of the 2015 season and developed a solid driver/crew chief relationship.
“Working with Mike has been great!” said Jones. “Mike is the setup king. His setups are just so drivable. My cars now turn and have drive off the corner. I think that is one of the reasons why my results picked up almost immediately after starting to work with Mike. He has so much experience being in the seat of a car. He knows what is fast. It’s a great feeling to be able to speak the same language with your crew chief!”
With more experience and a great set-up, one goal for Jones this weekend is to make the Derby on time. Last year Jones missed qualifying on time by 35 thousandths of a second – an experience he is looking to avoid this time around.
“At the Derby, you have to give qualifying 110 percent – no 125 percent of everything you have,” he stated. “I’m not going to miss the Derby this year on time by 35 thousandths of a second. I’ll either be in the race on time or wadded-up – that’s how important qualifying is here! Pensacola is such a finicky place too. There is no room for error. Pole night there can be so nerve-wracking! It can set the tone for the Derby, and you want the tone to be set correctly!”
As with any young driver, Jones know the prestige that comes along with competing and winning the Snowball Derby. Recent winners, including Erik Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Chase Elliott, have seen their careers take off after a Derby victory. This fact is not lost on Jones.
“I drive race cars and this race is the biggest short-track race in the country!” Jones explained. “I’d be ecstatic to win it! You look at the drivers who have won it both recently and in the past, and the list is amazing. It has propelled some young drivers to the top in recent years. I’m going to be the next one the Derby takes to the top!”
Fans can learn more about Jones and follow his Snowball Derby weekend by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Part Failure Robs Garrett Jones of Top-10 Finish in Winchester 400
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 13, 2015) – It was a roller coaster of a race weekend for Super Late Model rookie driver Garrett Jones during his debut Winchester 400 this past week. The 16-year-old driver overcame multiple challenges to race in the Top-10 of the premier short track event before a broken heim on the trackbar relegated him to a 24th place finish.
Jones had just raced his way up through the field from 27th place after pitting under an early caution to adjust the feel of the car and was passing top drivers like Erik Jones and Cody Coughlin when his trackbar gave out and ended his day earlier than expected.
“To have a car capable of winning one of the major short track races was so cool,” said Jones after returning to his home in Mooresville, N.C. on Monday. “But to fall short of battling it out for the win at the end really knocks the wind out of you after being ‘on-the-chip’ all weekend.”
Jones had fought hard all weekend long to be in contention for the win, as he had issues with his trackbar on both Friday and Saturday. After fixing it multiple times, Jones finished second in Friday’s second practice of the day and qualified 18th out of a packed field of 39 competitors.
“Once the green flag dropped, I had no drive. It was like a completely different car from what I qualified,” Jones explained. “We pitted during the first or second caution and Mike (Garvey, crew chief) made some good adjustments. We were able to drive back up through the field from 27th place.”
“At times as my tires started to wear out I‘d lose drive, but everyone was losing drive so I kept pace up in the Top-10,” he continued. “I was still up in the Top-10 around Lap 250 and was racing pretty hard with Cody Coughlin, who went on to finish second, when the trackbar broke for the final time. Luckily I had been running the high groove, so I managed to prevent any major wrecks and got the car on pit road without causing a caution.”
Despite the disappointing finish, Jones did enjoy racing up front at the “Fastest Half Mile” with drivers such as Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott, and already looks forward to his next Winchester 400.
“To race with drivers like Christopher Bell and Erik Jones and the other guys up front was awesome! But at the same time, I expect myself to be racing with them, be competitive and beat them,” Jones said. “Racing at Winchester really is unlike any other track. Normally, I love racing the outside groove up next to the wall, but at Winchester, I found the low groove, and my car was faster down there at times during the race. That’s what I like about Winchester. You can race all over the track. It’s really fast and fun. I really can’t wait for next year!”
Jones came away from the weekend with valuable experience that he can use for the upcoming Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in December.
“While the tracks are completely different, I got some great practice making hot pit stops this weekend. That is something we don’t normally get to do in Super Late Model racing but will get to do again at the Snowball Derby,” said Jones. “For this race I got to work with the same crew I will have at the Derby. Everything matters in these stops, from how fast you think you can get away with while coming down pit road, to how fast you can get into your box, and how fast you can get out of your box. ‘Racing’ on pit road was a new experience for me this weekend. I really enjoyed it, and will have more confidence with that going into the Derby now.”
Fans can learn more about Jones and follow his journey to the Snowball Derby by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Garrett Jones to Make Debut Start in Winchester 400
Jones Recently Secured 2015 Rookie-of-the-Year Honors in Southern Super Series
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 7, 2015) – Garrett Jones is not slowing down anytime soon, as the newly crowned Southern Super Series’ Rookie-Of-The-Year is set to make his debut start in Winchester Speedway’s famed Winchester 400 this Sunday. The 15-year-old Super Late Model driver will be relying on past experience at the Winchester, Ind. track and guidance from crew chief, Mike Garvey, as he prepares to compete in what will be the longest race of his career.
Jones is coming off a strong season finale performance in the Southern Super Series, as he earned a Top-10 finish as well as Rookie-of-The-Year honors. It was a well-deserved eighth place finish for Jones at Five Flags Speedway, as he had to fight his way up through the field after qualifying 17th earlier in the day.
“This is my second Rookie-Of-The-Year honor since I’ve been racing full-sized cars in two of the toughest divisions, UARA Late Model Stock Cars in 2013 and now the Southern Super Series. While I wish I would have been able to bring home a win this season, to finish fourth in the championship standings ahead of guys like Kyle Grissom and Bubba Pollard and be the top rookie are accomplishments to be proud of,” said Jones. “The competition in the Super Late Models around the country is very tough. The UARA competition has been the toughest competition I’ve encountered on a week-to-week basis up until now. I mean there are 20 cars usually that could win in any Southern Super Series race!”
While this is Jones’ first time competing in the Winchester 400 he does have track experience, as he previously competed in the 100-lap Winchester 100 in early September. Jones earned a Top-15 finish in that race and also came away with valuable experience to use this weekend.
“I did get to race a Pro Late Model at Winchester in 2014, and I ran the Winchester 100 in my Super Late Model a few weeks ago,” he explained. “I really like the track. I like the banking and how close you run to the wall. Every lap you are racing both the track and the competition. You have to stay pretty focused there for sure. The 400-lap race will be my longest race in my driving career. It’s intense every lap, but fun. There will also be hot pit stops, which we normally don’t do in Super Late Model series. Everything sort of prepares you for the next level, and I look forward to it.”
Despite some NASCAR stars like Chase Elliott and Erik Jones entering the Winchester 400, Jones remains confident about his chances to pull off the big win. He is not intimidated by the depth of the field and instead focuses on running his own race.
“I always want to win, and I think we have a good shot. We learned a lot a few weeks ago when we ran the Winchester 100,” said Jones. “Temperatures will be cooler probably, but Mike (Garvey) has raced here a lot and likes this place as much as I do. With the competition that will be there, my goal is to be competitive in the race for 400 laps. I’ve raced most of these drivers before at different tracks, and anytime you have a big event, it just comes down to a lot of pre-race excitement. I like that a lot and it will be a lot of fun!”
Garrett Jones to Earn Rookie-Of-The-Year Award at Southern Super Series Finale
Jones Needs Only to Attempt to Qualify to Secure Honors at Five Flags Speedway
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 23, 2015) – While the 2015 Southern Super Series may be coming to an end this weekend at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., 15-year-old driver Garrett Jones still has a lot to look forward to. Jones, who is currently in his first year of racing Super Late Models, has all but locked up the Rookie-Of-The-Year award, as he is currently 115 points ahead of second place rookie, Harrison Burton.
This weekend, Jones is determined to reach Victory Lane in the No. 1 Yellow Goodson Racing machine, not only because it is the last Southern Super Series race of the year, but also because of how close he came to winning at the series’ last race at Montgomery Motor Speedway. Jones sat on the pole for the Alabama 200, dominating the first half of the race, but was taken out in the second half of the race after contact from a competitor sent him into the outside wall.
“We had a fast car all weekend at Montgomery, starting on the pole and leading some laps, which was great!” explained Jones. “I always try to look at the bright side of things. While this was our first DNF of the year and I had to watch guys we were faster than racing for the lead at the end, it made me want to get back in the car more then ever! Pensacola this weekend is the last race of the Southern Super Series season, and I have very high expectations for the weekend. I can’t wait for another chance at the win!”
Jones has raced at Five Flags Speedway multiple times this season with mixed results but is excited about his chances this time around. With Mike Garvey serving as the crew chief, Jones is confident the pair can get it done.
“We tested Goodson Racing’s No. 1 car about a month ago at Five Flags Speedway, and I was happy with how it handled,” said Jones. “We ran some fast laps during that race. It will be a tough race as a lot of out-of-town racers are coming to compete since it's the last race at Five Flags before the Snowball Derby, so the field will be pretty full. As long as we make it to the end of the race and have some tires left we should be in great shape for that first win in the Southern Super Series!”
Being 115 points ahead of second place rookie driver, Harrison Burton, all Jones has to do on Saturday is attempt to qualify for the race to win the Rookie-Of-The-Year Award. This achievement is something he does not take for granted, as Jones has worked hard to be competitive at every race during his first year in Super Late Models.
“I would say I had a very consistent rookie season,” said Jones. “The Rookie-Of-The-Year title was hard-earned and I couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone who I worked with this year.”
Garrett Jones Returns to Southern Racing Roots at Montgomery Motor Speedway
Jones Looking for Third Consecutive Top-5 Finish in the Southern Super Series
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 10, 2015) – Garrett Jones will make his return to the Southern Super Series this weekend at Montgomery Motor Speedway after competing in a couple different racing series during the past few weeks. Jones, who recently raced in both the CARS Tour and CRA Super Series, will be making his second start at Montgomery Motor Speedway in a Super Late Model on September 13 under the guidance of Goodson Racing’s Mike Garvey.
The 15-year-old driver is thrilled to be back in the series he’s been focusing on all year long. Jones previously secured a 13th place finish during the series’ first trip to Montgomery.
“I'm super excited about getting back to Montgomery in Goodson Racing’s No. 1 car this weekend,” explained Jones. “It will feel a lot like returning home since I've been racing farther north lately. Concord and Winchester were both great learning experiences and tons of fun, but I'm definitely ready to see how we stack up against the Southern Super Series competition in the last race at Montgomery this year!”
Returning to Montgomery, Jones looks to continue his Top-5 streak in the series. The past two Southern Super Series events have resulted in third and fourth place finishes for him.
“You definitely learn a lot at every track you go to,” Jones said. “As driver this year I have learned a few things that should help me as the race goes on this weekend. Being with a different team and a different car than our last trip there means some of the set-up we learned last time won’t be relevant, but I think Garvey has a pretty good piece ready to get around Montgomery.”
With only two races left in the Southern Super Series, Jones is proud of what’s he accomplished over the past year. The experience he has gained in his rookie season of racing Super Late Models has been invaluable for helping in the progression of his career.
“It has been a good rookie year for me in Super Late Model racing,” said Jones. “We haven't captured a win yet, but we are knocking on that door lately and have captured multiple Top-5 and Top-10 finishes.”
“Also, just getting to race with some short track ringers like Bubba Pollard and Daniel Hemric has taught me a lot. Partnering with Mike Garvey, another incredible short track driver, is unbelievable. I’ve learned so much about what I need in the car for the end of the race. Lots of people can make a car go fast for a few laps, so to be able to get the feel for a long run car has been awesome and something that will help me in the years to come.”
Garrett Jones Returns to CARS Tour with Momentum on His Side
Jones to Make Second Start in the Series After Back-To-Back Top-5 Finishes
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 27, 2015) – Garrett Jones will be making his return to both the CARS Tour and his blue No. 88 Super Late Model this weekend as the series takes on Concord Speedway. The 15-year-old driver, who is in the midst of his debut year racing Super Late Models, is coming off of two back-to-back Top-5 finishes in the Southern Super Series and looks to continue that streak in the CARS Tour.
Jones made his debut start in the CARS Tour back in May during the Don’t Tread on Me 250 in Kenly, N.C. During the event, he ran in the Top-10 all night, qualifying ninth and finishing eighth.
“The competition in the CARS Tour is tough!” said Jones. “There are a few competitors that also race in the Southern Super Series, so it will be cool to have some drivers that I am used to racing and others that I have not raced as much in the field this weekend. It keeps me on my toes as a driver. Add that to our momentum from our finishes in Mobile, and I am excited about our possibilities and believe we have a real shot to be competitive enough to win.”
In order to reach Victory Lane, Jones will need to first conquer Concord Speedway, a track he has never competed on before.
“I’ve never raced at Concord. I have never been to a tri-oval either, so I'm really looking forward it and experiencing the dogleg for the first time!” explained Jones. “From what I hear, the place can be tough and you have to be aggressive and careful at the same time. I’ll have good help though, as Mike Garvey will be my crew chief for the event.”
Even though he hasn’t been racing in the CARS Tour all year long, Jones has been keeping tabs on the series’ news, as evidenced by his thoughts on its recent switch in tires.
“With the series switching to Hoosier tires, I believe it may give us an advantage or at least remove the disadvantage from not having much experience with the American Racer tire,” Jones said. “Overall I have high expectations for this race because I'll be back in my own car, so it will feel more like I'm back at ‘home.’”
Saturday’s race will also serve as the conclusion for a busy week for the young driver. Jones returned to school on Monday and will now have to work hard to balance his academic and racing careers.
“I just started sophomore year this past Monday,” said Jones. “When I'm doing schoolwork, I focus and work hard to keep good grades so that when its time to race, I can afford to focus totally on racing. Missing days from school makes it challenging at times. I try to stay a step ahead when I know I'm going to miss, and I do a lot of work in the hauler when I am traveling to an event.”
Learn more about Jones and follow his weekend competing in the CARS Tour by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Garrett Jones Secures Third Place Finish in Wild Southern Super Series Race
Jones Picks Up Third Top-5 Finish at Mobile International Speedway This Season
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 24, 2015) – Garrett Jones and his Goodson Racing team endured an action-packed race to earn a third place finish at Mobile International Speedway this past Saturday. Under the guidance of Mike Garvey, Jones survived four cautions in the final 50 laps of the race to secure his career-best finish in the Southern Super Series and his ninth Top-5 finish of his debut year racing Super Late Models.
After qualifying 10th, Jones, a 15-year-old driver from Mooresville, N.C., knew he would have to make his way up to the front of the field quickly in order to have a shot at the win. Unfortunately, a fellow competitor got into Jones’ left-rear quarter panel, forcing him to be more careful about moving up and saving his equipment until the end of the race.
“The start of the race was really hectic,” said Jones. “As we went into Turn 3 on Lap 1 someone caught my left rear quarter panel and got me out of shape so I dropped back early. With it being a 150-lap race everyone was trying to save for the end, but since I fell back a few spots I had to go hard for a few laps to get some track position back. After I got to fifth I slowed down and saved as much as possible for the end.”
Jones would fight his way up to third before the competition caution came out, giving him and Mike Garvey a chance to set their car up for the final 50 laps of the race.
Once the green flag was back in the air, Jones found himself in second place, racing Donnie Wilson for the win. While he wasn’t able to capture the win, Jones’ smart racing from earlier on helped him secure his third place finish.
“A big challenge in the race was saving my tires for the end,” Jones explained. “We needed to get back track position, but we also needed to slow down and just ride a little until it got closer to the checkered flag. I took a gamble to get our spots back when I did, but it worked and helped us get our third place finish!”
“It was a great weekend overall! We had a super fast car off the trailer, and I can't thank Mike Garvey and Tracy Goodson enough for letting me drive their car!”
With the momentum Jones has picked up in the past few races, he is looking to compete in his next event sooner rather than later. He will be back in his blue No. 88 Super Late Model on Saturday, August 29, as Jones looks to mix things up with the CARS Tour at Concord Speedway.
Learn more about Jones by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Garrett Jones Setting His Sights On Victory Lane at Mobile International Speedway
Jones Previously Secured Two Top-5s and Four Top-10s at the Short Track
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (August 20, 2015) – Garrett Jones is ready for a trip to Victory Lane this weekend when he and his Goodson Racing team make their return to Mobile International Speedway with the Southern Super Series. The driver of Buddy’s Home Furnishing Yellow No. 1 car has not finished outside of the Top-10 in his four visits to the track this year.
Jones’ past two trips to Mobile International Speedway have resulted in two Top-5 finishes. Both have been under the guidance of Goodson Racing’s Mike Garvey, who Jones believes to be key to his great finishes.
“Mike Garvey has been a huge help to me at the track. He knows it and knows how to get around there well,” said Jones. “I've raced at Mobile a good bit before and ran well, but I’ve never had the success there that I have had at Pensacola. After working with Mike, he showed me some great techniques to getting around here and they have worked.”
While Jones and Garvey have just begun working together, Jones says the communication between them is great and that he’s learned a lot from the racing veteran.
“Mike and I have really great chemistry and he's teaching me a lot,” Jones explained. “Working with him is not only easy but fun too. When we aren't working on the car I like to get him to tell me about some of his past races. It is fun to hear him tell the stories, and he has a lot of experience to lean on. Just the other day he had sent me a picture of one of his ASA wins back in 2000. I had to tell him that I wasn't even a year old at that time. That's just how it is with me and Mike!”
With Garvey’s coaching, Jones believes that this weekend’s race is one of his best shots at a securing win this season.
“We ran our best race of the year at Mobile, and I think we have a good shot at a win this weekend!” said Jones. “The Southern Super Series is so competitive that really all you can ask for is to have a shot at the end. You have to stay out of trouble and save your tires, and that can be really hard to do. But I'm sure the car will be great, and I'm really confident going into this weekend.”
Additionally, this weekend is an exciting one for Jones due to the addition of a new partner, Bonfire Ministries. Bonfire Ministries, in cooperation with the Christian Rock band Jeremiah's Passion, is a ministry that has found a unique way to minister to young people through an event called School Release. This is an opportunity for middle and high school public school students to leave class during a school day and visit a local facility where they will experience a concert and the life changing power of the Gospel. For more information on the group, please call (704) 880-5391.
“My family attends Peninsula Baptist Church in Mooresville. That's where I got introduced to this group, and I thought it'd be great if I could put them on the car to help them spread the Word!” explained Jones. “I'd like to welcome them to our team, and I hope we can help them accomplish their mission!”
Follow Jones’ weekend at Mobile International Speedway by visiting his Garrett Motorsports page on Facebook, following him on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Garrett Jones Earns Fourth Place Finish in Southern Super Series Doubleheader Weekend
Jones Posts Best Finish of Season in Goodson Racing Machine with Mike Garvey
MOORESVILLE, NC (July 27, 2015) – Garrett Jones had double the racing action this weekend, as he and Goodson Racing competed at both Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway. The 15-year-old Super Late Model driver, racing the Buddy’s Home Furnishing Yellow No. 1, rebounded from a 16th place finish the first night at Five Flags Speedway to collect a fourth place finish at the weekend’s conclusion in Mobile, Alabama. As Jones’ first weekend in the Goodson Super Late Model came to a close in Mobile, AL Saturday night, both Mike Garvey and Jones were ecstatic about the team’s early success.
While the effort in Pensacola did not provide the results the team was expecting, it was business as usual in the pits and on the track with Garvey listening to the driver’s feedback and getting a baseline for communication. Likewise Jones tried to build upon the pair’s communication from their previous Pro Late Model outing a few weeks ago. After initially moving up through the field, Jones faded at the end, finishing 16th.
“Pensacola is an important track to me and although I am disappointed in my finish, I am very optimistic about the future,” said Jones. "It was refreshing to work with Mike as he listened to what I had to say and coached me on what he thought would help me on track. We didn’t get it right here in Pensacola tonight, but this is a team effort. Mike and I both are winners and nothing short of victory lane will satisfy either of us. We will chalk Pensacola up as a learning experience and move on to the next race."
Once the team got to Mobile International Speedway, the natural chemistry between Jones and Garvey became apparent. With practice once again cut short due to weather, the team quickly ran through several changes. The adjustments proved to be on-point with Garvey at the helm. Jones posted his best finish in the Southern Super Series to-date when he finished fourth.
“I got to save my tires a little bit more at Mobile, which definitely helped out our race there. My car was fast and we were just starting to catch Grissom in 3rd when we ran out of steam,” said Jones. “I fell back to 4th where I finished. I probably went to hard a little too early. These SSS races are tough. You never know who is saving and who is going all out. I dropped the hammer about five laps too early!"
“Overall we had a strong run, which takes some pressure off of me and the team because we now know we can run well together,” said Jones. “We left Pensacola knowing what we needed to do to get better and score a solid finish at Mobile. Having been successful at that I feel that it was a good weekend overall. Definitely gets me excited for the next Southern Super Series race at Mobile on August 22!”
Fans can follow all of Jones’ racing action during his next Southern Super Series race at Mobile International Speedway on August 22 through his social media channels. Updates can be found on Facebook at Garrett Motorsports, on Twitter at @GarrettJones88 or Instagram via @GarrettJones88.
Garrett Jones Returns to Goodson Racing for Doubleheader Weekend
Jones Seeking Victory Lane at Five Flags and Mobile International Speedway
MOORESVILLE, NC (July 22, 2015) – This weekend Garrett Jones is set compete for Goodson Racing for the second time this year. The driver will be racing the Buddy’s Home Furnishing Yellow No. 1 at Five Flags Speedway and Mobile International Speedway during this weekend’s doubleheader in the Southern Super Series (SSS). Mike Garvey will be calling the shots for Jones from the pits.
Jones recently visited the two tracks at the end of June during his debut start with Goodson Racing and managed to secure a second place finish before the weekend was over. Despite the great finish, Jones says he’s still searching for more.
“A Top-3 is my personal goal this weekend. If we don’t win somewhere then we are always looking at what we can improve on so we can get ourselves to Victory Lane,” said Jones. “Having raced at these two tracks recently does help. Anytime you can get laps at an upcoming track on the SSS schedule is an advantage – especially since I am racing against some real veterans of short track racing!”
Jones has a long history at both tracks he will visit this weekend. It’s this experience that he will lean on during his pursuit for a win.
“Five Flags is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. I’ve had more laps around there than any other track,” he said. “It’s like no other track we ever go to! It’s so weather sensitive that you always have to be on your game to keep up with the track and be ready to jump in and race.”
While he may not have as many laps at Mobile International Speedway, Jones appreciates the track’s challenges and characteristics.
“Mobile is fun because there are no walls around the speedway. That gives you a little more room to run on and avoid any wrecks,” he said. “It helps a lot, even if it means going through the grass.”
Jones’ racing weekend will begin at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on Friday, July 24. The action continues the next day at Mobile International Speedway in Mobile, Alabama.
“The doubleheader weekend races are really exciting! It’s a lot of fun to race two nights in a row. Double the chances to win!”
Garrett Jones Makes Debut Start for Goodson Racing
Jones Overcomes Wrecks and Weather to End the Weekend with a Second Place Finish
MOORESVILLE, NC (June 30, 2015) – It was a busy weekend for Garrett Jones, as he had the opportunity to compete in pro late model races at Five Flags Speedway and Mobile Speedway driving for Goodson Racing. After overcoming damage from a wreck he was the unlucky victim of and starting from the back of the field due to a rained out qualifying session, Jones’ momentum in Mike Garvey’s Buddy’s Home Furnishing Yellow No. 1 grew over the weekend, resulting in a second place finish in the feature race in Mobile.
Jones’ weekend started out on Friday, June 26 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. He was fast from the start, qualifying fifth and finishing sixth in the first 20-lap feature. He then started 13th in the final 30-lap feature due to the inverted start. Even with trouble at the front of the field, Jones still managed to pull off an 18th place finish.
“The front row had issues on the initial start that bunched the field up behind them. The second attempt to start the race got me,” he said. “With the second place car jumping the start in turn three by a mile, the leader initially went and then slammed on brakes. The whole inside row ran into each other and I got the worst end of the deal. My radiator had a hole in it and I could not return.”
After a quick stop at the Goodson Racing shop for repairs, the team rolled in to Mobile Speedway early Saturday morning. Due to rain, the field voted to have another short practice rather than a qualifying session, which caused Jones to start from the back of the field for the first 20-lap feature since he had no points to fall back on. With Garvey’s fast setup on the car, he managed to race all the way to fourth before the feature was over.
After the invert, Jones started the final 30-lap feature from 11th. Right from the start, he knew he had a great shot at the win.
“The car would go anywhere I wanted. I knew if I was going to win the 30-lap dash I had to go right from the start,” said Jones. “On the restart after the lone caution of the race, a car got into my left quarter coming out of turn four and nearly turned me around, but I held on to it. It broke my momentum and caused Wayne Niedecken Jr. to fly past us and take the lead.”
“I still had some laps left and thought I could catch him. I passed the second place car and set my sights on Niedecken. I knew if I did catch him, I’d have a shot for the win.”
While he was unable to catch Niedecken and the lead, Jones finished one spot behind him and as the one of the two fastest cars on the track. Jones has nothing but gratitude for the experience Garvey gave him this weekend.
“You race with the cards you were dealt and I think we did an awesome job of that this weekend. I can’t thank Tracy Goodson, Mike Garvey, Tim Goodson, Irvin and Billy enough for their help this past weekend,” he said. “I learned a lot. I couldn’t have done any of it without the support of my team back at shop in Mooresville. I think that shows what our team is all about. Seat time is important, and I got to have fun and race!”
Jones’ next scheduled races will see him return to both Pensacola and Mobile with the Southern Super Series on July 24 and 25.
Garrett Jones Rallies to 13th Place Finish at Montgomery Motor Speedway
Jones Battles Through Engine Problems to Secure Top-15 Finish
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (June 21, 2015) – It was a tough weekend for Garrett Jones at Montgomery Motor Speedway, but he and his team persevered through engine problems to grab a 13th place finish at the latest Southern Super Series event this past Saturday.
Jones felt that he had a fast car from the start but wasn’t able to show that in his qualifying efforts when he wound up 17th. After the green flag waved, he quickly worked his way up through the field to 12th before a caution fell at Lap 31.
“After we went back green, I was super loose on the exit of both corners and couldn't touch the gas. It seemed as if everyone was having this problem, but our car seemed to have it the worst,” said Jones. “I tried multiple lines during the race and found the top groove felt the best, but it was too late in the race to make up enough time to get towards the front. I had been running the low groove all night because the top groove was real dirty with speedy dry from the previous race. As the laps winded down there were enough cars that moved to the top to get the top groove worked in.”
Around Lap 60, the motor in Jones’ car started cutting in and out as the race went on. Unsure of what the exact problem was, he and his team worked with what they had in order to finish the race. The motor completely quit on Jones as he was coming to the checkered flag, forcing him to coast back to the trailer.
“I think we had a fast car and if I'd tried that high line sooner, I believe we'd finished much better than 13th place,“ said Jones. “I'm not going to lie these past couple of races have been really disappointing. I know I have the equipment and team to finish better. We started the year real strong but have hit a bit of a rough spot. We are all in this together. The whole team is working harder than ever. I'm certain that our hard work will pay off big soon! We will keep our heads up and get prepared for the next race in the coming weeks.”
Jones’ next race in the Southern Super Series is Friday, July 24 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.
Garrett Jones Returning to Familiar Grounds at
Montgomery Motor Speedway
Jones Shooting for Eighth-Straight Top-10 Finish This Season
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (June 17, 2015) – With the Southern Super Series making its first stop of the season at Montgomery Motor Speedway, Garrett Jones looks to use his past racing experience at the track to secure his eighth-straight Top-10 finish this year.
While this may be Jones’ first year racing a super late model, it’s not the first time he’s visited the half-mile track. He competed in two pro late model races at the track earlier in his career, finishing second both times to track veterans in the field. It’s this experience that the 15-year-old driver will utilize this weekend.
“I’ve been there twice with a pro late model. I love the track. It has got characteristics similar to Martinsville; it’s just a little bit tighter in the corners,” said Jones. “It has always been good to me with the pro cars. We ran second both times we went there, so every time we’ve been there we’ve had a good weekend. It’s a really nice facility.”
Jones is hoping to claim his third Top-5 of the season to help boost his position in the Southern Super Series standings. He is currently ranked fifth, is the leading rookie-of-the-year standings and knows a couple more solid finishes can do the trick.
“We started off the year with two Top-5 finishes and ever since then we haven’t had anything outside of the Top-10 in the Southern Super Series. We also competed in Speedweeks at the New Smyrna Speedway at the beginning of the year and ran really good. With it being my first year in super late models, that was a good experience,” said Jones. “Moving up to this series has been a big step up for me, so Speedweeks was a good learning curve for me as far as just getting to go out on the track every night. Hopefully, we can continue to build on that as the year progresses.”
Now being on summer break, Jones looks forward to being able to focus on racing. While he grew up in Florida racing karts, and quarter midgets, his family knew the move to North Carolina was inevitable if Jones wanted to truly have a shot at a racing career. His family secured a race shop in Mooresville that Jones utilized in 2011 while he raced quarter midgets nationally on the USAC tour as well as for his move into full bodied cars in the late model stock car division in 2012. Jones and his family made Mooresville their home in 2013 to allow the driver not only more opportunities to race but also the very important aspect of learning more about the cars he drives by having access to the shop and crew on a daily basis. Since late 2014 Jones has been working closely with Kelly Bires as his crew chief and driver coach.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know Kelly a little bit better over this break. I’ll be at the shop with him a lot over the summer just helping out and learning as much as I can,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get to hang out on the lake with some friends too every now and then!”
Catch Jones in his next Southern Super Series event when the field competes at the Montgomery Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 20.