Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR XFINITY Series – Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200
TRACK: Phoenix International Raceway
DRIVER: Erik Jones
CAR: No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry
LAPS LED: One Time for Five Laps
- Unloading at one of his favorite tracks on the circuit, Erik Jones and the No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry team snagged their first pole of the season at Phoenix International Raceway with teammate Daniel Suarez starting second and Kyle Busch third. After 200 laps around the one-mile Arizona track, the team finished second. The finish marked Jones’ third consecutive top-three finish and third top-three finish of the season.
- With the green flag in the air to start the fourth race of the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season, the field was quickly slowed for a caution when a car spun on the track on lap one. The team opted to stay out under the caution.
- The race restarted on lap five and this time Jones had teammate Busch on the outside in second place. Busch was able to get around the No. 20 Reser’s Camry and took over the lead on lap six.
- As the leaders worked through traffic, Suarez closed in on Jones and took over second place on lap 20.
- Continuing to report a tight-handling Camry, the team was able to make their first set of adjustments during the lap 57 caution period. The team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 65 with the Reser’s team in the fourth position. Following the restart, Jones jumped to second on lap 66.
- The second caution of the race waved on lap 95 and Jones immediately radioed the team about the handling of his Camry and where he needed help on the one-mile track. Pitting for four tires, fuel and adjustments, Jones lost five positions to teams opting for two-tire stops. The race restarted on lap 101 with the Reser’s Camry in seventh.
- Focused on the front, Jones moved up to fifth on lap 102 and returned to second behind leader Busch on lap 116.
- With 50 laps to go, Jones began closing in on Busch for the lead and was able to get to his bumper before being forced to make a green-flag stop on lap 177. Taking two fresh right-side tires, Jones returned to the track behind Busch, but lost two seconds to Busch during the pit exchange. As the laps ticked off, Jones maintained second place for his best career finish at Phoenix International Raceway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
- For the third week in a row, Busch won the race followed by Jones, Suarez, Justin Allgaier and Chase Elliott.
- Jones currently sits sixth in points, 18 points behind teammate Suarez who maintains the points lead.
Erik Jones’ Post-Race Thoughts:
Can you talk about your race today?
“Yeah, a good day overall. Working from the start really we had a second place car for the most of the day and then towards the end there before the last stop, I thought we were a little bit better than the 18 (Kyle Busch) and started to work him over and that’s when we came to pit road and just lost too much ground overall leaving pit road and trying to stay with him. After that we were too tight really to try and run him back down. But, overall a good day for the Reser’s Camry. A strong showing and a nice mistake free day for the first time here. We had a shot at it, just got to get a little bit better overall.”
What did you need a little more of to get past Kyle Busch to win today?
“That second to last run there with 15 or 20 to go – whatever it was – I thought we were just as good as them if not better and started to work underneath him (Kyle Busch) and then with the pit stop we lost some ground coming off pit road. After that I was too tight and he started to run away. It wasn’t until about seven or eight to go that we were matching his lap time and really was able to start working back toward him. So, just lost too much ground there, but overall a good day for the Reser’s Camry and did a nice job of keeping on the adjustments and the track changed a lot and to keep up with it the best we could and at least give ourselves a shot this week.”