Press Updates

March 26th, 2019 |

Erik Jones – No. 20 CRAFTSMAN Toyota Camry Preview (MENCS) – Texas Motor Speedway

  1. 20 CRAFTSMAN Toyota Camry News and Notes:
  • JONES AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Erik Jones will make his sixth-career start at Texas Motor Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this weekend for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. In his previous five Cup Series starts at the track, Jones has earned two top-five and three top-10 finishes. His best finish is fourth in both races last season. Having seen success at the Fort Worth track across all three national series, Jones has earned one win (out of three starts) in the Truck Series and three wins (out of six starts) in the Xfinity Series.
  • JGR AT TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 108 total starts at Texas Motor Speedway in Cup Series competition. In those starts, the team has earned seven wins, 29 top-five finishes, 47 top-10 finishes and five pole starting positions. The team has led 1,822 laps, completed 34,688 of 35,992 attempted laps (96.4%) and earned an average start of 15.1 and an average finish of 15.1. Kyle Busch leads the team with three wins followed by Denny Hamlin with two wins and one win each for Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.
  • PUBLIC APPEARANCE: Erik Jones will be at the Joe Gibbs Racing merchandise trailer in the fan zone at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, March 29, from 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. CT. Stop by and pick up the latest swag and meet the driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry.
  • THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 CAMRY: This weekend the No. 20 Toyota Camry will feature the CRAFTSMAN brand for the second time the season.
  • MARTINSVILLE RECAP: Qualifying in the 18th position for the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Jones showed promise early in the 500 lap race, making his way to the top 10 early in stage two. Unfortunately, the 20 team had their day derailed on a restart on lap 319 where contact from a competitor caused left-side damage to the DEWALT Camry. Jones lost several laps while the team made repairs and finished the race in the 30th position.
  • RACE INFO: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 31, 2019. Coverage will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET on FOX, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.


Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Texas Motor Speedway:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
5 0 2 3 0 64 15.8 10.4


Jones 2019 Season NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
6 0 1 2 0 0 17.8 16.8


Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
81 1 15 34 2 410 12.8 15.9


From the Driver’s Seat:

Erik Jones: “Texas is one of my favorite tracks and one of the tracks that I’ve run well at in Trucks, Xfinity and the Cup Series. We’ve had a few bad weeks, but we’ve had speed and good cars, just some bad luck along the way. This weekend should be a good race to turn things around and get our season back on track. I think between what we’ve learned so far this season with new package and how I’ve run at Texas in the past, we’ve got a great shot of adding another Texas hat to our collection.”


From the Pit Box:

Chris Gayle: “Texas was a very good track for the 20 team in 2018, finishing inside the top 5 in both events. Although the rules have changed considerably we hope to carry some of that performance over to 2019. The 2019 aero package has really changed qualifying which will be very important with a track like Texas that has been recently repaved, so passing may be tougher. We’ll spend all day on Friday trying to help our performance in qualifying with this new aero package. I think we showed very good speed in the Fontana race with the new rules, but we’ve yet to put a complete, good race together for the full length. We’ll try to make Texas the place we get back on track for 2019.”

Read More

March 24th, 2019 |

30th-Place Finish for Erik Jones and DEWALT Team at Martinsville Speedway

 Box Score Info:

Date: March 24, 2019
Event: STP 500 (Round 6 of 36)
Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Track: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile Oval)
Format: 500 Laps (Stages: 130 laps / 260 laps / 500 laps)
Start/Finish: 18th/30th (Running, completed 491 of 500 laps)
Point Standings: 14th (140 points, 133 points out of 1st)

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski
Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-130)

  • Rolling off 18th in the DEWALT Camry at Martinsville Speedway, Erik Jones finished the first stage in 17th position.
  • The team made their first stop of the race under the lap 65 caution period for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Jones restarted the race from 17th on lap 71 and remained in the position when the stage ended on lap 130.
  • Pretty happy with the handling of the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry, Jones pitted from the 17th position for a routine stop during the caution at the end of stage one.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 131-260)

  • Jones started the second stage from 15th and ended the stage in the 11th position.
  • Moving up to 12th following the start of stage two, Jones was able to move in to the top 10 throughout the stage before the caution waved on lap 260 to end the stage.
  • Not needing many changes, the team again made a routine stop and returned to the track in ninth place.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 261 – 500)

  • The DEWALT team started the final stage from the ninth position and finished the STP 500 in 30th place.
  • Jones reported to the team he was too loose in the opening laps of the final stage and with a caution on lap 312, the team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and to reverse the previous air-pressure adjustment. The race restarted on lap 319 with Jones in 13th.
  • Unfortunately, contact from a competitor on the restart caused left-side damage to the No. 20 Camry causing the left-side tires to go flat. With no caution, Jones limped his way around the track to pit road for fresh tires and to make repairs to the damaged DEWALT Camry. Jones returned to the track eight laps down in 32nd.
  • As the race continued, Jones was able to advance two spots to finish the race in 30th-place.

Additional Notes

  • Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch finished third with Denny Hamlin finishing fifth and Martin Truex, Jr. finishing eighth.

Next Race: Teams now head to Texas Motor Speedway for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 31. The race will be broadcast at 3:00 p.m. ET on FOX, Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.

Read More

March 23rd, 2019 |

Martinsville Qualifying Report

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers took to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday, to tackle the first short track of the 2019 schedule. After two initial practice rounds Erik Jones and the No. 20 DeWalt Toyota Camry qualified into the second round of pole position qualifying sessions then locked in his 19th place speed for Sunday’s row-10 start on the famed “paper clip.” With an abbreviated NASCAR race weekend schedule the young 22-year old and his Joe Gibbs Racing team will go straight to race start on Sunday for 500 laps of fast race action. Of the full field at Martinsville Speedway, Jones is recorded as NASCAR’s fifth highest in green flag passes so the action is sure to be exciting. Tune in at 2:00pm EST Sunday for more notes from Martinsville Speedway airing on FS1.

Read More

March 20th, 2019 |

Erik Jones – No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry Preview (MENCS) – Martinsville Speedway

No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry News and Notes:

  • JONES AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: Heading to the historical Martinsville Speedway, Erik Jones will make his fifth-career Cup Series start at the track on Sunday piloting the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry. In his previous four Cup Series starts at the track, Jones has a best finish of 12th in 2017 in his first Cup Series start at the track. In addition to his Cup Series starts at the track, Jones has five starts at the track in the Truck Series with his best finish coming in 2015 when he earned a third-place finish in the March event. Jones made his first-career NASCAR start at Martinsville Speedway in 2013 at the age of 16 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • 200 AND COUNTING… When Jones takes to the Virginia short track Sunday afternoon, the start will mark his 200th-career start across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Across his 199 starts in the three series, Jones has 17 wins, 72 top-five finishes, 119 top-10 finishes and 25 pole starting positions. Jones also earned the 2015 Truck Series championship and was the first driver to win Rookie of the Year in all three of the top NASCAR Series completing the accomplishment in three consecutive seasons (2015-2017).
  • FAN APPEARANCE: Jones will be at the Pre-Race Fan Experience on the Martinsville Speedway Start/Finish Sunday, March 24, from 11:00 a.m. ET to 11:15 a.m. ET for a fan Q&A.
  • JGR AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 130 total starts at Martinsville Speedway in Cup Series competition. In those starts, the team has earned 10 wins, 45 top-five finishes, 70 top-10 finishes and nine pole starting positions. The team has led 4,892 laps, completed 62,953 of 64,978 attempted laps (96.9%) and earned an average start of 13.2 and an average finish of 13.1. Denny Hamlin leads the team with five wins followed by Busch and Tony Stewart with two wins each and Bobby Labonte with one trip to victory lane to claim the famous Grandfather Clock trophy.
  • THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 CAMRY: This weekend the No. 20 Toyota Camry will carry the popular and familiar yellow and black DEWALT paint scheme. This will mark the second race of the season for DEWALT.
  • AUTO CLUB RECAP: Qualifying in the 18th position for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, Jones was able to run as high as third before a tight-handling condition late in the race dropped the team to a 19th-place finish.
  • RACE INFO: The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 24, 2019. Coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

 

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Martinsville Speedway:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
4 0 0 0 0 0 14.2 20.2

 

Jones 2019 Season NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
5 0 1 2 0 0 17.8 14.2

 

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
80 1 15 34 2 410 12.8 15.8

 

From the Driver’s Seat:

Erik Jones: “I’m looking forward to getting back to Martinsville Speedway this weekend. This isn’t a track where we have run well in the past so we will look at our notes from the previous seasons and see where we can improve to make our CRAFTSMAN Camry better this time around. Even though it hasn’t been one of my better tracks in the past, Martinsville will always hold a special spot as the place where I made my first NASCAR start in the Truck Series and now to go back there this weekend to make my 200th start across the three series is a pretty neat deal. This is a great weekend to turn things around and get back to running up front and finishing up front where we belong.”

 

From the Pit Box:

Chris Gayle: “This has easily been one of the worst race tracks for the 20 team and Erik. We’ve struggled in all the events to find the right balance of speed and long run verse short run, and helping the car turn enough without being loose off the corners at the end of runs. We will have a little more downforce than we’ve had in the past with the same body style and rules package that the Cup Series used in Phoenix. Martinsville is a pretty slow place, so the added downforce won’t have a huge impact, but any increase may help change the racing and help us find a package that’s a little better for Erik. Other than that, it’s a good weekend to make improvements from last year. It’s a tough place to race, and the right mix of patience is super important to running well. So we’re looking forward to the challenge of something completely different this weekend.”

Read More

March 20th, 2019 | charlotteobserver.com

NASCAR’s best young driver this season is the one least-talked about

NASCAR driver Erik Jones has always had potential to be great, but is finally earning the results to back that up. JOHN RAOUX AP

If you’ve never heard of Erik Jones, you’re probably not alone — but you will soon enough.

Jones doesn’t get the same publicity Chase Elliott does, with his Hall of Fame dad to follow and one “Most Popular Driver” award under his belt. And no, Jones’ presence in the NASCAR Cup Series isn’t as historic as Bubba Wallace’s, given the latter is the sport’s first full-time African-American driver in decades. And being from Michigan, he doesn’t get any sort of “homegrown” bonus that William Byron and Daniel Hemric do as Charlotte-area locals.

But that’s all fine.

Because the one thing Jones does absolutely have going for him?

The kid can flat-out race.

And really, isn’t that what matters most?

Still just 22 — he turns 23 a few days after the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May — Jones is currently the best of NASCAR’s top young drivers this season … even if he’s the one you’ve heard least about. He finished third at the Daytona 500 despite heavy damage, and then followed that up by finishing seventh at Atlanta. His 13th-place finish at Las Vegas last week was, comparatively, disappointing.

Never mind that a handful of his peers in age and experience don’t even have one finish that strong.

So yes, being tops among the young’uns is a point of pride for Jones.

“I mean, those are the guys you kind of set the bar against,” Jones told the Observer via phone this week. “You want to be the top guy out of that group. So for me, yeah, I look at them and try to set myself on that same level and want to be the best of that group.

“It’s nice so far to this point in the year to be atop that, so we need to keep it rolling, but it’s been good so far.”

Of Jones’ peers — Elliott (23), Wallace (25), Byron (21), Hemric (28), Ryan Blaney (25) and Alex Bowman (25), to name a few — he’s currently highest in the Cup Series points standings in ninth. That will fluctuate as the season progresses, but it doesn’t mean Jones’ hot start in his third Cup season should be neglected.

“We’re settled in at (Joe Gibbs Racing), which is nice. I feel good about things,” Jones said. “It’s a matter of putting it all together.”

Given the caliber of talent overall at JGR, it’s important that Jones has had some quick success to distinguish himself. Between former champions Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., not to mention Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, beating his own teammates is as challenging as anything else Jones does on a weekly basis.

Jones has just one win in his Cup career, last July at Daytona. But his early results and comfort with NASCAR’s new aero package (which he tested twice this offseason) fuel Jones’ confidence that he will quickly add to that total.

“You want to be a three-, four-win guy — that kind of signifies you as one of the top guys in the sport, I feel like,” he said. “Our teammates — Kyle has had some really good years the last couple of years, and now Martin being over here, Martin’s had some really good years — we want to be on the same level as them. They definitely are setting the bar for us, and we want to be in that same spot.”

Even if Busch and Truex start reeling off wins like they did last year, Jones figures to remain in the mix going forward.

If he does, maybe he’ll finally start seeing more headlines and well-deserved publicity.

Not that it matters much to Jones if he doesn’t.

“I’m more content with (letting my racing do the talking),” Jones said. “Kind of been like that always for me, since my early time in racing. I didn’t come from a racing background of any kind so I didn’t always get the press, so just always had to go out and race hard and make it work.

“Doesn’t really bother me.”

Read More

Thanks to my guys for giving me a good car, got caught up in a restart and ended up 30th in the @DEWALTtough #Camry

Very nice job to the UC Irvine ANTEATERS big moment for my bracket.

Reunited with my boy finally. Been a long three weeks without him!

LOAD MORE