Click photo to enlarge
Erik Jones gets into his truck before qualifying for a NASCAR truck race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Friday, June 6, 2014. Tonight's race falls on the same day as Jone's high school senior graduation however, he chose to forego the opportunity to walk across the stage with his fellow classmates to drive in the race. (AP Photo/Ralph Lauer)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Erik Jones skipped his high school graduation ceremony to drive in the NASCAR Truck series at Texas Motor Speedway.

On the night of his graduation ceremony in Swartz Creek, Michigan, the 18-year-old Jones was instead at the track making his first national-level start on a 1 1/2-mile oval.

Before driver introductions, "Pomp and Circumstance" played while Jones went across the stage wearing a cap and gown. He then received his actual diploma from TMS President Eddie Gossage.

Last November at Phoenix, Jones became the youngest winner in truck series history, winning at 17 years, 4 months on the mile track. The race at Texas came a week after his 18th birthday, making him eligible to race on the bigger tracks.