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Jones drives Charger to victory at Talledega

by Bill Cawthon on

The No. 22 Uncle Ray’s Potato Chips Dodge Charger was first across the finish line in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 that ran at the Talladega Superspeedway Friday night.

Rookie Blake Jones, 18, who will graduate from high school next week, took his first-ever checkered flag in the Cunningham Motorsports Charger. This was just the second restrictor-plate race in Jones’ career.


This is the first Dodge win of the 2015 ACRA Presented by Menard’s season but the it’s the brand’s second consecutive win at Talledega. Tom Hessert, driving the No. 77 CareGard/ Dodge, was the winner of last year’s race.

Jones, of Sevierville, Tennessee, clinched the win on the last lap of the race when his Cunningham Motorsports teammate Tom Hessert ran out of gas in the No. 77 Barbera’s Autoland Dodge.

Hessert, who led the race for 60 laps, was going for his second consecutive Talladega win and his first win since the Federated Car Care Fall Classic 200 last September at Salem Speedway. A late caution stretched the race by three laps and Hessert couldn’t make the fuel last long enough. Hessert finished 15th.

Bo LeMastus in the No. 42 Crosley Brands/T&T Construction-Glad Precision Charger had his best finish of the season as he finished ninth.

Bobby Hamilton Jr., driving the No. 97 Nitroforce Industries Titan 1000 Dodge for Carter2Motorsports, finished 22nd, two laps down from the leaders. Scott Edwards was two cars behind in the No. 95 Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge.

Eric Caudell’s No. 40 Carter 2 Motorsports Dodge had electrical problems and had to drop out after Lap 37.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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