Date: February 16, 2020
Event: Daytona 500 (Round 1 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway)
Format: 200 laps (Stages: 65 laps/65 laps/70 laps)
Start/Finish: 14th/18th (Running, Completed 208 of 209 laps)
Point Standings: 18th (24 points, 26 points out of 1st)
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 65)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry team started the Daytona 500 from the 14th position and finished stage one in 36th place.
- Following a brief rain delay, Jones rolled off the grid in the 14th position and quickly dropped to the back of the field with his Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates and was scored in the 33rd position when rain started again and forced the race in to red flag conditions and its second rain delay. With rain continuing, NASCAR was forced to postpone the remainder of the race until Monday afternoon.
- Racing resumed Monday afternoon under sunny skies with Jones rolling off from the 33rd position. Remaining at the back of the pack, Jones made two routine stops before the caution waved on lap 65 to end the stage. Scored in the 36th position, Jones stayed out during the stage break.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 66 – 130)
- Jones started the second stage from the sixth position and finished the stage in 21st.
- Restarting the race on lap 71 from the sixth position, Jones quickly moved to fourth behind his JGR teammates where he remained until the caution waved on lap 89 for a multiple car incident on the backstretch. Jones pitted for right-side tires and fuel, but an extended stay on pit road after the air hose was caught under the right front tire dropped Jones to the rear of the field. No longer around his teammates, Jones pitted for a second time for left-side tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 95 with the DEWALT team scored 27th.
- Staying at the back of the pack, Jones was scored 21st when the caution waved on lap 130 to end stage two. The team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 131 – 209)
- Jones started the final stage from 18th and finished the race in the same position.
- Partnering with his JGR teammates, Jones was able to make his way to the fourth position where he remained until being shuffled out of the lead pack and dropping to 21st on lap 159.
- The team made a green-flag pit stop on lap 170 for fuel and right-side tires. As the field continued to make scheduled green-flag stops, a competitor slowed in front of Jones and with nowhere to go, Jones made contact with the rear of the car and had contact to the right-rear from another competitor while trying to avoid the contact. Forced to pit road for fresh tires and to assess the damage, the team lost two laps and returned to the track in the 34th position.
- Over the remainder of the race and missing several multi-car accidents, Jones was able to gain one lap back and finish the race in the 18th position.
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 with Martin Truex, Jr. finishing 32nd and Kyle Busch finishing 34th.
Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series now heads west for the first of three races in NASCAR’s West Coast Swing. Teams start the three race stretch at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, for the Pennzoil 400 on Sunday, February 23, 2020.