Date: February 23, 2020
Event: Pennzoil 400 (Round 2 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 267 laps (Stages: 80 laps/80 laps/107 laps)
Start/Finish: 16th/23rd (Running, Completed 267 of 267 laps)
Point Standings: 20th (38 points, 47 points out of 1st)
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Stage 1 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 80)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 Irwin SPEEDBOR Toyota Camry team started Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 16th position and finished stage one in 25th place.
- Initially moving up to 13th on the opening laps of Sunday’s 267-lap race, Jones quickly started falling in the field after reporting he was heavily hitting the splitter on the track.
- On lap 25, the caution waved for a scheduled competition caution and crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road from the 27th position for the first attempt to make the No. 20 Camry handle better. The crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a round of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 30 with Jones in the 31st position.
- Continuing to struggle with the handling of the Irwin Camry, Jones was scored in the 25th position when the caution waved on lap 80 to end the stage. Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. The team made a second stop under the caution period to continue making changes to improve the handling.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81 – 160)
- Jones started the second stage from the 27th position and finished the stage in 18th.
- Stage two started with Jones in the 27th position and soon after returning to green-flag racing, Jones reported he was still hitting the splitter.
- On lap 123, Gayle called Jones to pit road for a green-flag stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Jones retuned to the track and was scored in the 26th position.
- The caution waved on lap 158 for a single-car incident and to end the stage on lap 160. Jones pitted from the 18th position for four tires, fuel and adjustments. The team made a second stop to change shocks in hopes to help the handling of the No. 20 Camry.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161 – 267)
- Jones started the final stage from 27th and finished the race in 23rd.
- The final stage went green on lap 166 with Jones in the 27th position and he immediately found himself in the middle of three-wide and four-wide racing.
- Jones moved in to the 18th position before the caution waved on lap 176 for teammate Martin Truex Jr. With the handling improving, Jones pitted for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 181 with Jones in 21st.
- Continuing under a long green-flag run, Jones made a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 216 for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. Returning to the track, Jones was scored 19th when the caution waved on lap 220 in the middle of pit stops. Gayle opted to take the wave around to put the No. 20 Camry back on the lead lap in the 18th position for the lap 226 restart.
- With less than 10 laps remaining in the race, the caution waved on lap 261 for a single-car incident. Jones pitted from 18th for right-side tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 265 with the No. 20 team in the 11th position. Unfortunately, while fighting for position and tight racing, Jones made contact with a competitor and sustained right-rear damage and a cut tire. Jones crossed the finish line 23rd.
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch finished 15th, Denny Hamlin finished 17th and Truex finished 20th.
Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series stays on the west coast and now heads to Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.