Date: October 25, 2020
Event: AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (Round 34 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Texas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile Oval)
Format: 334 laps (3 Stages: 105 laps / 210 laps / 334 laps)
Start/Finish: 17th/21st (Running, Completed 333 of 334 laps)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 1 Winner: Clint Bowyer
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 105)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team started the race at Texas Motor Speedway from the 17th position and finished stage one in third place.
- Under cloudy skies Sunday afternoon, the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500 got underway and Jones settled in to the top 20.
- With the handling starting to come around, Jones was scored in the 16th position when the second caution flag of the race waved on lap 21. With NASCAR opting to utilize the caution as the scheduled competition caution, Jones pitted for left-side tires, fuel and a small adjustment to help tighten up the handling of the Sport Clips Camry. The race restarted on lap 27 with Jones in 11th.
- Moving in to the top 10, Jones was running third when the red flag was displayed on lap 52 for weather and NASCAR was forced to postpone the remainder of the race.
- Three days later, on Wednesday afternoon, the race resumed with teams taking the green flag again on lap 56.
- Jones quickly found himself in second place following the restart and was able to stay up front to finish the first stage in third place. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and a small adjustment.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 106 – 210)
- Jones started the second stage from the fourth position and finished the stage in 25th place.
- The race restarted on lap 111 with the No. 20 team in the fourth position.
- Jones slipped to 10th before the caution waved on lap 134. Gayle again called Jones to pit road for left-side tires, fuel and adjustments to snug up the handling of the Sport Clips Camry. Jones restarted the race on lap 138 from eighth.
- Running the high line, Jones got loose and lost valuable track position and was scored in the 18th position on lap 150.
- As green-flag stops cycled the field, Jones was able to lead the field late in the stage, but was forced to pit before the end of the stage for fuel and was caught one lap down in 25th when the caution waved on lap 210 to end the stage. Jones pitted during the caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 211 – 334)
- Jones started the final stage from the 26th position and finished the race with a 21st-place finish.
- The final stage went green on lap 216 with the Sport Clips team in 26th, one lap down.
- Unfortunately, the final stage ran its entirety under green-flag conditions. Unable to get his lap back and return to the lead lap, Jones was scored with a 21st-place finish in the AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 500.
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch won the race followed closely by Martin Truex Jr. in second and Denny Hamlin in ninth.
Up Next: Heading in to the final two races of the 2020 season, the NASCAR Cup Series now turns their attention to Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, November 1, 2020. The race broadcast will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC, MRN radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.