Date: September 27, 2020
Event: South Points 400 (Round 30 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile Oval)
Format: 268 laps (3 Stages: 80 laps / 160 laps / 268 laps)
Start/Finish: 13th/8th (Running, Completed 268 of 268 laps)
Race Winner: Kurt Busch
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 80)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 Today’s the Day Toyota Camry team started Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from the 13th position and finished stage one in 14th.
- With the race under way Sunday afternoon, Jones made his way to 11th before the competition caution on lap 25. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and the first set of adjustments to improve the handling of the No. 20 Toyota Camry.
- The race restarted on lap 30 with Jones in the 12th position and continued under a long green-flag run until the caution waved on lap 80 to end the stage. Radioing the team that he need more rear security, Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and another set of adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81 – 160)
- Jones started the second stage from the 13th position and finished the stage in 18th place.
- The race restarted on lap 86 for stage two with Jones in the 13th position.
- In the middle of three-wide racing and with the handling not to his liking, Jones was scored 16th when the team called him to pit road on lap 118 for a scheduled green-flag pit stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
- Dropping as low as 25th during the cycle of pit stops, Jones made his way back to 18th before the caution waved on lap 160 to end the stage. Jones pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the handling and lack of rear grip.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161 – 268)
- Jones started the final stage from the 15th position and finished the race with an eighth-place finish.
- For the final stage of the race, Jones restarted the race from 15th on lap 166.
- Slipping to 18th following the restart, Jones was running in the 17th position when the caution waved on lap 90 for debris. Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and another set of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 196 with Jones in 14th.
- As the race continued, Jones advanced to seventh before making another scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 233. Unfortunately, before the field cycled through pit stops, the caution flag waved and trapped the team a lap down. The team took the wave around to get back on the lead lap and restarted the race on lap 242 from 17th place.
- Several laps later the caution flag was again displayed on lap 249 for the No. 38 car spinning on the track. In an effort to avoid hitting the No. 38 car, Jones moved up the track and “pancaked” the right-side of the No. 20 Camry when he made contact with the No. 47 car. Jones pitted for four tires, fuel, adjustments and to repair right-side damage. Following the extended stay on pit road, Jones restarted the race from 22nd on lap 255.
- With less than 15 laps remaining in the race, Jones focused on the leaders and made his way to 11th before the caution waved on lap 260. Opting to stay out, Jones restarted the race on lap 266 for the first attempt at a green-white-checker finish from the 11th spot.
- Gaining several positions in the closing laps, Jones crossed the finish line in the eighth position.
ERIK JONES, No. 20 Today’s The Day Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 8th
How was your race tonight?
“It was kind of an up-and-down day. We started off and I didn’t think that our Toyota Camry was really where it needed to be. We were struggling with rear grip in the heat and couldn’t really get the thing going in the right direction. Towards the end, got some track position and had some good restarts and got the car a lot better. We got caught a lap down with the pit cycle and had some contact there with another car trying to avoid the 38 (John Hunter Nemechek) and had to come in and pit and fix some damage. It put us behind there with six laps to go, but still good to come home eighth. Top-10, we will take that and move on.”
- Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin finished third, Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth and Kyle Busch finished sixth.
Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, October 4, 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.