BUSCH: Buckshot Jones - Once too aggressive, now cautiously aggressive
(Spartanburg, S.C.)--- Loose cannon, menace, hothead and overly aggressive were once some of the terms used to describe NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Buckshot Jones and his on-track behavior. "My eagerness and ...
(Spartanburg, S.C.)--- Loose cannon, menace, hothead and overly aggressive were once some of the terms used to describe NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Buckshot Jones and his on-track behavior. "My eagerness and aggressiveness probably hurt me early on in my career," said Jones. "A lot of times it caused me to end the race with a torn-up race car." For a period, in 1997, it seemed as if trouble followed Buckshot's every move. No matter what he did, Jones was unable to avoid the situation and steer clear of controversy. "You always look back and say, I should have done this or that," explained Jones. "There were times I was too aggressive and probably could have made some better decisions, but there were also times during 1997 no matter what happened, I was somehow brought into the picture. I could have been at the opposite end of the track, as far away from the crash as possible and my name would be mentioned." People first began to use the words 'patience' and 'Buckshot' in the same sentence after Jones captured his second career Busch Series victory at New Hampshire International Speedway in 1998. During that race a patient Jones overcame a broken radiator and drove from last place to win the race. By exhibiting the kind of patience he did during the race, Jones was able to silence those critics who accused him of lacking maturity and restraint. "The New Hampshire win helped me to realize there are specific times to be patient and times to be aggressive," Jones said. "Being patient allowed me to avoid the other five or six caution flags during the race and when it was time to go, I went." Now, in his fifth season of racing in the Busch Series, the driver of the No. 00 Cheez-It Chevrolet seems to have shed his 'bad boy' reputation and operates with a much more subdued and mature attitude on and off the track. The single largest contributor to Jones' maturity has been the time spent inside of the race car. "Track time has definitely been the key to me growing up," explained Jones. "With each passing race, decisions are made that you learn from and store into your memory. "Prior to 1998, I competed in 25 or 30 races and since then I have more than 100 starts. You start to realize the consequences of your decisions and then you remember no one lap counts more during the race than the final lap." Looking back at the results, one might notice that Jones' last Busch Series win was in fact more than two years ago at New Hampshire International Speedway and that his other victory came in 1996 at The Milwaukee Mile. Another glimpse at the results from the last three seasons would show how many more races Jones has finished in relation to 1996 and '97. Has learning to be patient and maturity caused Jones to be less productive on the track? According to Jones, not at all. "By no means have I lost my aggressiveness," said Jones. "I still get in that car and want to run it as fast as it will go for as long as it will go. Now it's just more of a controlled aggressiveness." Throughout the past few seasons Jones has learned that patience is the only tool a driver really has that will get him to the end of the race and it's not always the fastest car which wins the race.
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