Erik Jones / No. 20 GameStop Rock Candy Toyota Camry Preview

No. 20 GameStop Rock Candy Toyota Camry News and Notes:

·         NEW YEAR, NEW FACE: Embarking on their eighth year with Joe Gibbs Racing, GameStop will have Erik Jones as their driver for 10 races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season with the No. 20 Toyota Camry team. Following a two-year stint that concluded with a trip to victory lane at the 2014 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, veteran Matt Kenseth hands the reins over to 18-year-old Jones beginning with this weekend’s Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

·         JGR AT DAYTONA INTETNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 64-career NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the famed Daytona International Speedway with four wins, 19 top-five finishes, 27 top-10 finishes, six poles, and an average start of 10.6 and an average finish of 15.9. The team has led 530 laps and completed 93.4 percent of laps attempted (6,683 of 7,155 laps). Four different drivers have earned wins for the team at the 2.5-mile track, starting with Tony Stewart in 2008 followed by Denny Hamlin completing the JGR sweep that season, Joey Logano in 2011 and Matt Kenseth in 2013.

·         THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 GAMESTOP TOYOTA: ROCK CANDY: Color is Expression. Express your cool and calculating nature with a Rock Candy gaming controller. Rock Candy is designed to deliver comfortable ergonomics, smooth and uncomplicated aesthetics, matchless mechanical reliability and all the essential controller functions without loading the design down with lots of extraneous design flourishes. Rock Candy gaming controller is officially licensed for Xbox One.

·         DOUBLE DUTY: Wasting no time, Jones will kick off the season at Daytona with his first weekend of double duty action. Jones will compete in Friday night’s Truck Series race where he will be behind the wheel of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra, starting his first full-time season running for Rookie of the Year and the Series championship. On Saturday, Jones will transition to the No. 20 GameStop Rock Candy Toyota Camry where he will make his first start of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

·         MOVING UP: This year the No. 20 Toyota Camry team will have a new leader calling the shots from the pit box as Mike Wheeler takes on the new role of crew chief. Wheeler has been with JGR since December 2002 and served as the race engineer on the No. 11 Cup team since the team’s formation in 2005.

·         RACE INFO: The Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on FoxSport 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. 

From the Cockpit:

Erik Jones: “I’m really excited to get to Daytona and finally get the season started. After running partial schedules over the last two seasons, I’m ready to compete for a championship in the Truck Series and wins in the XFINITY Series. Daytona is definitely a track that has unknowns, but I know we’ll unload with a fast GameStop Toyota Camry and have no doubt we’ll be up front during the race. It’s really cool to have GameStop come on board with me and the No. 20 team at Joe Gibbs Racing for 10 races. I’m looking forward to representing their partners, starting with this weekend at Daytona with Rock Candy. This year is shaping up to be an exciting one and I can’t wait to be back in the driver’s seat competing for wins.”

 

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Superspeedway racing, like Daytona, always produces a lot of mixed feelings for me and most of the guys in the garage area.  Everyone loves having the ability to run up front and at some point of the day, getting to run top-five or top-10. At the same time, everyone has equally experienced running up front and getting shuffled out to the back of the pack or even worse, being involved in a wreck.  It’s not unheard of to be running top three on one lap and the next lap you’re done after being caught up in an accident that may have been completely out of your control.  Daytona is one track that is fairly easy to setup as the track is pretty smooth and has enough grip, but the variations while racing in a pack of cars is very hard to predict and adjust for during the race.  Knowing that, the drivers have to do their best to cope with the situations and adapt to what they have, as well as avoid situations that are out of their control.  All in all, it’s great to go to Daytona. A lot of guys have a chance to win and I’m looking forward to seeing what Erik can do this weekend and throughout the season. I watched Denny Hamlin win his first Superspeedway race at Daytona (Bud Shootout in 2006), and I’m looking forward to seeing if Erik can do the same.”