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July 3, 2013

Veteran standout Jones calls it quits

Kokomo Speedway's Fourth of July show is tonight.

(Continued)

He noted before the season that he had won championships, a lot of races and met some great people and that he really didn’t feel like he had anything left to prove.

Feeling that way, coupled with the grind of trekking to bullrings around the country week after week with a family and small child at home, probably made the decision easier to make. Also, in the wake of the recent race-related deaths of peers Jason Leffler and Josh Burton, if his heart wasn’t in it, why risk his health?

With all of his success, there were many fans who seemingly would show up to the track just to boo him, but everyone who witnessed his prowess would be lying if they said they weren’t impressed with his ability.

The thing I liked most about Jones was that even with his laundry list of accomplishments, he never took himself too seriously or the success for granted. He was just as hospitable to the fans and the media after his seven titles as he was when he was just a fresh-faced teenager hoping for success.

In a press release, Jones noted that he was looking forward to spending time with his family and in his family’s business. His family owns a handful of Rural King stores in Illinois and he used to joke that when he wasn’t racing, there were days he would be cleaning the bathrooms at one of the family-owned stores.

Here’s a tip of the hat to a sure-fire future Hall of Famer who opted to step away with class while he was still on top and on his own terms. Best of luck to him in the future and hopefully he might well return to the sport one day again, maybe as a team owner.

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