Erik Jones Rebounds From One Lap Down to Finish 12th in Watkins Glen Debut

Box Score Info

RACE:  NASCAR XFINITY Series – Zippo 200

TRACK:  Watkins Glen International

DRIVER:  Erik Jones  

CAR:  No. 20 GameStop Rock Band Rivals Toyota Camry 

START: 13th

FINISH: 12th

LAPS: 82/82


Post-Race Highlights:

·        For the first of three road courses on the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule, Erik Jones qualified the No. 20 GameStop Rock Band Rivals Toyota Camry in the 13th positon for the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International and after 82 laps, crossed the finish line in the 12th position in his first-career start at the track.

·        With the wave of the green flag and the Zippo 200 officially underway, Jones focused on finding a rhythm and looking to advance his position on the 2.45-mile track. Jones moved up to 12th on lap three and remained in the position until the caution waved on lap nine. The team opted to leave Jones on track during the caution and the race restarted on lap 13 with the No. 20 team in the 11th position.

·        The race was quickly slowed on lap 14 for several competitors spinning and a car stalling on the track. Crew chief Chris Gabehart made the call to bring Jones to pit road for fuel and an adjustment. With varying pit strategies in play, Jones restarted the race on lap 16 from the 13th position. Immediately following the restart, a multi-car wreck brought the caution back out before NASCAR displayed the red flag to clean the track. Following a 14 minute red flag, the race returned to caution conditions and Jones was immediately told to start saving fuel. The race restarted on lap 21 with Jones in the eighth position.

·        Picking off one position at a time, Jones moved up to fifth on lap 30 before the caution was displayed again on lap 34. The race restarted on lap 39 with Jones in fifth.

·        As the race continued and pit strategies played out, Jones was scored in the second position on lap 49 when Gabehart radioed Jones to pit on the next lap. Unfortunately, Jones ran out of fuel before making his way back around the 2.45-mile track and the caution was displayed on lap 50. Unable to get to pit road on his own power, Jones was pushed to pit road where the team changed tires and refueled the No. 20 GameStop Rock Band Rivals Toyota Camry. When the race returned to green on lap 55, Jones was scored one lap down in 24th place and had to restart at the tail end of the longest line for pitting before pit road opened.

·        Racing in the “Lucky Dog” position, the caution waved on lap 57 and Jones was able to return to the lead lap. With nothing to lose, Jones pitted for fuel only under the caution. The race restarted on lap 61 with Jones scored 24th.

·        Focused on the front of the field, Jones moved back in to the top 15 on lap 64 and was able to gain a few more positons in the closing laps to finish the Zippo 200 in the 12th position. 

·        Joey Logano won the Zippo 200 followed by Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Trevor Bayne.

·        Jones remains fourth in the point standings, 55 points behind leader Elliott Sadler.

·        Up next for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the second road course of the year, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, on Saturday, August 13. The Mid-Ohio 200 can be viewed on USA Network at 3:30 p.m. ET.