Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR XFINITY Series – Sport Clips VFW 200
TRACK: Darlington Raceway
DRIVER: Erik Jones
CAR: No. 20 Reser’s Main St Bistro Toyota Camry
· The NASCAR XFINITY Series unloaded at Darlington Raceway for the yearly NASCAR Throwback weekend. Erik Jones paid tribute to the late Davey Allison with his No. 20 Reser’s Main St Bistro Toyota Camry. Jones qualified his Toyota Camry 11th and battled in the top-five for most of the race before crossing the finish line fourth.
· Under clear sunny skies, Jones rolled off 11th, but quickly worked his way into the top-10 and was listed ninth when the first caution flag flew on lap three. Crew chief Chris Gabehart left his driver on the racing surface under the caution period and Jones restarted eighth. He continued his march toward the front of the field and was listed sixth when the caution flag waved again to signal the end of stage one. Under caution Jones informed his team that his No. 20 Reser’s Camry was way too free. Gabehart summoned his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and around of adjustments to help with the loose-handling condition.
· After a quick pit stop by the Reser’s over-the-wall crew, Jones took the stage two restart in the top five. He battled for the lead on the restart, but the loose-handling conditions returned and Jones did all he could to keep his Camry in the top five. When the caution flag waved on lap 92 to signal the end of stage two, Jones was listed fifth.
· Gabehart once again summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and major adjustments to help with his loose-handling conditions. The 21-year-old driver restarted fourth for the final stage of the Sport Clips VFW 200. Jones seemed pleased with the adjustments and began to focus on the leaders. With 15 laps remaining, Jones battled Joey Logano for third before the caution flag flew with 11 laps remaining. Jones hit pit road for four tires and fuel before taking the restart fifth.
· Another caution flag flew before the end of the race, giving Jones one last chance to battle for the lead. Jones got a solid restart, but was unable to get close to the leaders. He crossed the finish line fourth.
· Teammate Denny Hamlin won the race followed by Logano, Kevin Harvick, Jones and William Byron.
Post-Race Thoughts: Erik Jones
How was your race?
“Well, it was okay. We had a decent car and we stayed up in the top-five for most of the day and the Reser’s Camry was good. We just – we never quite found the speed we needed to run with the 18 (Denny Hamlin) and maybe the 22 (Joey Logano). The 41 (Kevin Harvick) was really fast too. There was one long run where I thought we had a shot to maybe get up there and do something before that last restart, but just didn’t have a short run car for sure and we came down to that and just didn’t work out.”