Box Score Info:
Date: October 27, 2019
Event: First Date 500 (Race 33 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track: Martinsville Speedway (.526-mile Paperclip)
Format: 500 Laps (Stages: 130 laps / 130 laps / 240 laps)
Start/Finish: 8th/20th (Completed 499 of 500)
Point Standings: 16th
Race Winner: Martin Truex, Jr.
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex, Jr.
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex, Jr.
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 CRAFTSMAN Toyota Camry team started Sunday’s First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway from the eighth position and finished stage one in 11th place.
- Early in the stage, Jones slipped a few position before he reported to the team that he was too tight to make moves, but was able to maintain his position in the top 15.
- The first caution of the race waved on lap 29 and Jones quickly told the team that he was still too tight in the center. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 34 with Jones 11th.
- Continuing to struggle with the handling of the CRAFTSMAN Camry, Jones was able to hold on to his position to finish the stage in 11th when the caution waved on lap 130. Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260)
- Jones started stage two from the 12th position and ended the stage in ninth.
- The race restarted on lap 139 for stage two with Jones in the 12th position. Jones immediately radioed the team that he was too tight and over the next 10 laps dropped to 16th.
- With handling worse than stage one, Jones was scored in the 16th position on lap 176 when the caution waved for an incident on the front stretch. The team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 184 with Jones in 12th.
- The caution waved again on lap 251 for the 14 car and Gayle opted to have Jones pit from the 10th position for four tires and fuel. With a shootout to end the stage, Jones restarted the race from ninth on lap 256.
- The caution waved on lap 260 to end stage two with the CRAFTSMAN team in the ninth position. The team opted to stay out under the caution with only four laps on the tires.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 261-500)
- Jones started the final stage from the eighth position and finished the race 20th.
- The race restarted on lap 268 for the final stage with the No. 20 team in the eighth position.
- On lap 292, Jones reported a left-rear tire down and was forced to pit under green. Loosing several laps on pit road, Jones returned to the track in the 29th position, three laps down to the leaders.
- The caution waved on lap 346 and with the leaders all pitting, Jones stayed out and took the wave around to get one lap back. The race restarted on lap 352 with Jones in the 29th position, two laps down to the leaders.
- On lap 361, the caution waved for a multi-car accident on the front stretch. With the leaders staying out, Jones pitted for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 372 with Jones scored 27th, two laps down to the leaders.
- Staying focused and making up ground over the remainder of the race, Jones finished 20th as the first car one lap down.
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex, Jr. dominated to win the race, Denny Hamlin finished fourth and Kyle Busch finished 14th.
Next Race: Closing in on the end of the 2019 season, teams now head to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, November 3, 2019 for the AAA Texas 500. The race is scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN and PRN Radio.