Date: August 22, 2020
Event: Drydene 311 (Round 24 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover International Speedway (1.0-mile Oval)
Format: 311 laps (3 Stages: 70 laps / 185 laps / 311 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/12th (Running, Completed 311 of 311 laps)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 70)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 DEWALT ATOMIC Toyota Camry team started the Drydene 311 at the Dover International Speedway from the 13th position and finished stage one in 18th place.
- With the first race of the doubleheader weekend underway, Jones was running 11th when he was involved in an incident on lap seven that brought out the first caution and forced Jones to pit road for repairs. With damage to the left rear quarter panel, the team focused on making repairs before sending Jones back out on track to restart the race on lap 11 from the 39th position.
- Focused on bouncing back from the early incident, Jones moved up to 25th before the competition caution on lap 25. The team called Jones back to pit road for four tires, fuel and a set of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 31 with the No. 20 team scored 22nd.
- The caution flag waved for the third time on lap 70 to end stage one with Jones in the 18th position. The team again called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71 – 185)
- Jones started the second stage from the 16th position and finished the stage in the 14th position.
- The race restarted on lap 77 for stage two with the DEWALT ATOMIC team in the 16th position.
- With the stage running its entirety under green-flag conditions, Jones made a green-flag pit stop on lap 135 for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
- The caution flag waved on lap 185 to end the stage with Jones in the 14th position. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with loose-handling conditions.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 186 – 311)
- Jones started the final stage from the 13th position and finished the race with a 12th-place finish.
- For the last stage of the 311-lap event, the race restarted on lap 192 with Jones and the No. 20 team in the 13th position.
- As the stage continued under a long green-flag run, the handling of the No. 20 Toyota Camry turned to the loose side. The team called Jones to pit road for a green-flag pit stop on lap 255 for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
- Once the field cycled through green-flag stops, Jones returned to the 12th position where he remained for the rest of the 311-lap race.
- Jones earned a 12th-place finish in the first race of the doubleheader weekend at Dover International Speedway.
ERIK JONES, No. 20 DEWALT ATOMIC Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 12th
How did the damage change your day?
“I mean, it hurt it. First off, I want to apologize to Kurt (Busch) and the whole 1 team. I got into him on lap 1 or 2. That’s my mistake. I got tight and it ended their day really quick. I feel bad. I’ve raced with Kurt now awhile, and we have never had an issue and raced really well, so I want to say sorry to him first. Our day was kind of tough from then on, we had to cut the left rear quarter-panel off after that and I think that hurt our balance a little bit. I mean, it’s not like night or day, but it definitely didn’t help. The DEWALT Camry went back and forth. It was mostly loose all day. We tightened it up, but never seemed to be able to make a difference on it. Hopefully, we can use the same car and come back tomorrow.”
What are your initial thoughts on if you are going to be able to run this car tomorrow or have to go to a backup?
“Yeah, it’s kind of a 50/50 shot. The other three don’t have any damage, so hopefully, we can put all of our hands on our car and get a left rear snapped on it. I guess I’m going to go find out in the next couple minutes, but hopefully, we can get it patched up and not have to start from the back.”
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin won the race followed by teammate Martin Truex Jr. in second and Kyle Busch in third.
Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series stays at Dover International Speedway for the second race of the double header weekend. Teams will again compete on Sunday, August 23, 2020. The race broadcast will begin at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBCSN, MRN radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.