Box Score Info:
RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Ford EcoBoost 400
TRACK: Homestead-Miami Speedway
DRIVER: Erik Jones
CAR: No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry
POINTS STANDINGS: 15th
For the final race of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, teams headed to south Florida to Homestead-Miami Speedway where Erik Jones and the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry team scored the seventh starting position. Poised for a strong run, Jones had misfortunes mid-race and finished in the 27th position, three laps down to the leaders.
Rolling off the starting grid from the seventh position, Jones maintained his position in the top 10 throughout a long green-flag run and a round of green-flag pit stops before the caution waved on lap 80 to end stage one. Jones reported to the team that the DEWALT Camry fired off tight, but after 10 to 15 laps, the handling came around and was better throughout the run. The team opted to bring Jones to pit road for four tires and fuel. The race restarted with stage two on lap 86 with Jones in the sixth position.
Reporting to crew chief Chris Gayle and the team that he was really tight during the run, Jones fell to the last car on the lead lap before contact with the outside wall caused a tire to go down on the No. 20 Camry and brought out the caution on lap 139. Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and to assess the damage. The team made a second stop to repair the damage and restarted the race from 18th on lap 144 from the rear of the field for pitting when pit road was closed. The caution waved on lap 160 to end the stage with Jones in 18th. Still reporting a tight-handling Camry, Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments to help improve the handling. The team also worked on the damage to the car to try to keep debris and too many fumes from getting inside the car. The race restarted for the final stage on lap 166 with Jones in 18th.
With the handling improving and running fast lap times, Jones was able to make his way to 10th before the caution waved on lap 193. Pretty happy with the handling of the DEWALT Camry, Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to keep up with the changes to the car. The race resumed on lap 199 with Jones scored 11th.
Unfortunately, while working his way towards the front, Jones had another tire go down and was forced to pit road under green-flag conditions for four tires and fuel. The unscheduled stop dropped the team to 24th, two laps down to the leaders. Unable to gain the laps back, Jones finished the race in the 27th position, three laps down.
Joey Logano won the race followed by Martin Truex, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.
With his win, Logano captured the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Jones finished the 2018 season with one win, nine top-five finishes, 18 top-10 finishes, one pole starting position and 99 laps led.