Erik Jones Finishes with Strong Third-Place Finish at Phoenix International Raceway

 

Box Score Info:

RACE:  NASCAR XFINITY Series – DC Solar 200

TRACK:  Phoenix International Raceway

DRIVER:  Erik Jones

CAR:  No. 20 Reser’s Main St Bistro Toyota Camry

START: 2nd                                         

FINISH: 3rd

LAPS:  200/200

LAPS LED: Four Times for 65 Laps

OWNER’S POINT STANDINGS: 6th (63 points out of 1st)

 

Post-Race Highlights:

·        Returning to the No. 20 Reser’s Main St Bistro Toyota Camry, Erik Jones qualified in the second position for the DC Solar 200 and dominated stage one before falling to third at the end of the 200-lap race at Phoenix International Raceway.

·        With the green-flag in the air on Saturday afternoon, Jones started the race from the second position, but quickly took over the lead from rookie William Byron before the first caution on lap 12. Jones reported that his Camry was “pretty good” and the team opted to stay on track under the caution. The race restarted on lap 17 with Jones leading the field back to green.

·        The race remained green until lap 60 when the caution flag was displayed to signal the end of stage one. With Jones leading at the end of stage one, he was credited with winning the stage and securing a playoff point.

·        Under the scheduled caution period, Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and a small adjustment to help with the handling of the No. 20 Camry. The race restarted on lap 70 with Jones in the second position.

·        On lap 84, the caution was again displayed for an on-track incident. Jones radioed the 20 team from the fourth position that he was losing ground to the leaders and couldn’t keep up with the lead cars. The team opted to leave Jones on the track and he restarted the race from fourth on lap 91. With the car in front of Jones holding his line up on the restart, Jones lost multiple positions before settling in to the seventh position on lap 93.

·        As the race continued, Jones was able to move back into the top five on lap 110 where he remained at the end of segment two on lap 120. Under the scheduled caution, Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments to help with the handling of the Reser’s Main St Bistro Camry. With a solid stop by the 20 team, Jones restarted the race from third on lap 129.

·        The caution was quickly displayed on lap 132 and following a quick caution period, the race restarted on lap 137 with Jones fourth.

·        With coaching from crew chief Chris Gabehart and spotter Rick Carelli, Jones settled in to the fourth position and focused on catching the leaders.

·        As the laps clicked off, the race was again halted on lap 155 for an on-track incident. Under the caution and with most of the leaders pitting, Gabehart called Jones to pit road from fifth place for right-side tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. Another solid stop by the team gained Jones several positions to restart the race from third on lap 163.

·        Quickly moving to the lead, Jones led one lap before settling back in to second as the caution flag waved on lap 167. Opting to stay out during the caution, the 20 team restarted the race on lap 172 from second and immediately retook the lead. Jones slipped to second on lap 182 and remained in the position when the caution waved on lap 183. The race restarted on lap 188, but before the field completed the lap, the caution and red flag were displayed.

·        The race was restarted for the final time with four laps to go. Jones crossed the finish line with a strong third-place finish.

·        Justin Allgaier won the race followed by Ryan Blaney, Jones, Byron and Elliott Sadler. 

·        The XFINITY Series now heads to Auto Club Speedway for the XFINITY 300 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 with Erik Jones in the No. 20 Toyota Camry.