Casey Jones poised to make an impact in 2022

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer. Photo By: Mike Frieri

VAN ALSTYNE, Texas — For a racer who truly loves collecting trophies and is working to put his own brand of chassis on the map, earning a feature win on opening day is about as good as it gets. Go out and smoke the field, put that brand in Victory Lane – and get ready to field some phone calls.

For 30-year-old Factory Stock driver and gifted fabricator Casey Jones, that’s exactly how 2022 is going. The proud owner at Royalty Race Cars held off veterans Kenneth Chamberlain and red-hot Michael Bowles to claim the A Main in last Saturday’s Warm Her Up program at Big O Speedway.

“It’s hard to even explain how good that win felt to me,” Jones explained with excitement still in his voice. “It’s unimaginable for a guy like me to be able to stay up front in a field of talent like that. I’m still trying to figure out how to get down off this ‘Cloud 9’ feeling.

“After the race when I headed for Victory Lane, I had a hard time composing myself. As I was climbing out of the car, the tears were flowing. The first person I thought about was my Dad; I hadn’t been to Victory Lane since he passed. So to do that for him, in a car I built myself in late 2020, was incredible. I’ve never felt so overwhelmed, it was just a great experience.”

Jones is a second-generation racer with a terrific story. His father made a name for himself, now he’s carrying on the family tradition of success on the ovals. It’s a legit reason for those tears last weekend.

“I’ll admit it, I did some crying after that win on Saturday,” he said with candor. “That win was for Dad, no question. It’s difficult to go racing with him gone, but I do it to honor his memory and use the skills he taught me. Today’s racing is at a whole new level; it all has to come together to get good results.”

Jones got an early start in the sport, enjoyed a great deal of success then was out of the seat for a while.

“I started out back in 2005 when I was just 12 years old,” he explained. “I raced steady for about four years, then stepped back after my father passed away. I won the Junior Mini championship in 2005. I had a lot of success as a kid, but getting back into it these days has been tough. It’s a lot harder now.”

From his days in Junior Mini’s, Jones advanced to an open-wheel machine to further hone his skills.

“I’d have to say running in Eco Mods was very good for my career. I learned more in a year there about how to race than anywhere else. It’s an excellent place to learn and a great training ground for any driver looking to go Sport Mod racing down the road. It’ll teach some good skills for any division.”

When he got back into racing in 2018, Jones found an entirely different landscape than what he left.

“I was so young when my Dad was teaching me, I just didn’t remember as much as I should have,” he said. “So really it was almost like starting over from Square One. It took a long time to find what I was looking for in the car’s handling. I knew there was a certain feel I needed, and it was eluding me.

“It all changed when I teamed up with Neil Kemp, of Mineral Springs, Arkansas. His knowledge and those Club 20 shocks have really got me pointed in the right direction. They’ve given me that feel I was looking for, and it feels fantastic. Between Neil and my good friend Mark Marr, who taught me how to communicate with Neil on what I need in the car, my program has really hit high gear. Now we’re fast.”

Jones works with metal for a living and is now using those skills to build cars for other racers. As he begins to build Royalty Race Cars into a recognizable brand, his passion for perfection runs deep.

“I’m a welder by trade, and absolutely love to build racing chassis,” he said. “I have huge respect for guys like Justin Gillard at Two Five Chassis, and of course Justin Whitehead at Outlaw Race Cars. They both put out world class products. I’m just trying to make my own way, and do my own thing.

“But I’m also a creative fabricator, and am searching for my own design to provide a competitive advantage. It’s a tough industry to penetrate and gain market share, but I’m working hard at it. I also own Bodies by 32TripleX, which serves racers all over north Texas.”

He didn’t plan to become a car builder, but with advice from a friend, he jumped in.

“It all started when I re-clipped one of Mark’s Sport Mods, and he told me I needed to be building cars. Man, it just took off from there. That’s really my biggest passion now. I’m as excited about building winning race cars as I am about winning races myself.”

Along with his immense natural talent behind the wheel and passion for our sport, Jones also has a few key individuals behind the scenes who make his program so successful.

“First and foremost, I need to thank my wife, Dominique. Without her blessings I couldn’t put in the hours at the shop. I also want to thank Mark Marr, Clay Marr, with Marr Motorsports; Hunter Barton, Tanner Nicks, Kelly Gann, Nathan Gray, Loren Demers and Matt Rollen. I appreciate them so much.

“I also have some great sponsors to thank, including Pristine Towing, of Van Alstyne, TX; Rikki Jones at A Stitch in Time, of Van Alstyne; Xclusive Truck Customs, of Celina, Texas; Muddbones, of Bonham, Texas; Kustom Machine Shop, of Denison, Club 20 Suspension and Demers Performance. I couldn’t compete at this level without their valued support.”

With that first thrilling win behind him and a brand new season ahead, Jones has a few goals in mind.

“From a racing perspective, I want to do well in the Texas Dirt Nationals this year,” he concluded. “I’m really hoping if I can do well enough, I might get a chance to go compete at Bristol, Tennessee. I’m just hooked on short track racing, the bullrings suit my style. I’m hoping to carry this momentum forward.”