Posted: February 24th, 2019

Box Score Info:

Date: February 24, 2019
Event: Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 (Round 2 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track:  Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.5-mile Oval)
Format: 325 Laps (Stages: 85 laps / 85 laps / 155 laps)
Start/Finish: 15th/7th (Running, 325 of 325 laps)
Point Standings: 7th (68 points, -19 points out of 1st)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski+
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson
Stage 2 Winner: Kevin Harvick

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-85)

  • Erik Jones started the race from the 15th position and finished stage one 17th.
  • Under sunny skies Sunday afternoon, Jones and the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry team rolled off the grid from the 15th position and quickly found themselves in the middle of three-wide and four-wide racing. Radioing the team, Jones relayed he was too tight to run the preferred line and needed to handle better throughout the run.
  • The race was slowed on lap 35 for a competition caution due to rain in the area Saturday night. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. Jones restarted the race from 15th on lap 40.
  • The stage concluded on lap 85 with Jones in the 17th position. Continuing to need improvements with the handling of the No. 20 DEWALT Camry, the team took a “big swing” at adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel during the caution period.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 86 – 170)

  • Jones started stage two from the 12th position and ended the stage eighth.
  • With a long green-flag run, teams were forced to make green-flag pit stops halfway through stage two. Jones pitted on lap 127 for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments to continue improving the handling of the No. 20 Camry. Once green-flag pit stops cycled through the field, Jones was scored eighth.
  • Stage two ended on lap 170 with the No. 20 DEWALT Camry in the eighth position. The team called Jones to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and another round of adjustments before starting the final stage of the race.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 171 – 325)

  • Jones started the final stage from 11th and finished the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 in the seventh position.
  • Moving in to the top 10 with 125 laps remaining in the race, Jones was able move up to eighth before making his second green-flag stop of the race on lap 221. Pitting for four tires, fuel and small adjustments, Jones was caught one lap down to the leaders when the caution waved while Jones was on pit road for his stop. Returning to the track, Jones was able to take the wave around to return to the lead lap and restart the race from 17th on lap 227.
  • Continuing under another long green-flag run, Jones pitted for the last time on lap 270 for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. Unfortunately, the caution again waved before the field cycled through stops trapping all but two cars one lap down. With most of the field taking the wave around, Jones restarted the race from 15th on lap 282.
  • Making gains in the final laps, Jones was able to cross the finish line on lap 325 in the seventh position.

Additional Notes

  • Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex, Jr. finished second, Kyle Busch finished sixth and Denny Hamlin finished 11th.

 

ERIK JONES, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 7th

It seemed like for Atlanta, this race was a bit slower with worse aero push.

“It’s not really a lot different honestly than what I thought old Atlanta was a lot like. I don’t think there was any more passing, I don’t think there was any less passing. I think it was kind of the same. It’s just different. Just a different way of going about it. Our DEWALT Camry was pretty good, but just a different race for sure than it has been.”

Next Race: Teams now head west to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the third race of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The race will be broadcast live Sunday, March 3, at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.