Erik Jones and the No. 43 Petty’s Garage Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team finished in the 32nd-place in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) Cook Out Southern 500 at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Sunday, September 5.
The lineup for the 367-lap event was determined by using NASCAR’s competition-based formula, which takes into account finishing positions from the previous race (weighted 25% owner and 25% driver, 11th-place Daytona), the ranking in team owner points (35%, 24th-place) and the fastest lap from the previous race (15%). Jones started at “The Lady in Black,” located in Darlington, S.C., from the 22nd-place on Row 11.
After the competition caution on Lap 25, Jones restarted in the lead on the inside, but with worn tires was regulated to the seventh-place. At the end of Stage 1 on Lap 115, Jones was scored in the 25th-place. By the end of Stage 2 on Lap 230, he was in the 32nd-place. Under caution, crew chief Jerry Baxter made the strategic call not to pit and take the ‘wave around.’ Mechanical issues ended Jones’ race early at the 1.366-mile track “Too Tough to Tame” with 264 laps completed.
The 25-year-old Byron, Michigan, native was scored as high as the first-place, leading a total of two laps, at the Darlington Raceway.
“Just a tough day for our Richard Petty Motorsports team. Our No. 43 Petty’s Garage Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE never had the balance all night. Then unfortunately we had a motor issue that ended our day just as we started to make some gains on the handling.”