The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series traveled to Watkins Glen, New York this week for another different track view, the 11-turn and 2.45-mile historic road course of Watkins Glen International. During two practice sessions on Saturday morning, the No. 20 DeWalt Camry paced the field with top-10 fastest speeds and driver Erik Jones felt good about his strong Toyota Camry. When the qualifying session ensued Saturday night Jones was poised for a good lap, when an on-track incident caused a blown tire and forced the team to obtain assistance from NASCAR to travel the 20 car back to pit road. The team changed the blown tire and the driver returned to his car for another timed-lap attempt at moving into the final qualifying round. The DeWalt Camry scored in the 14th position, a row-seven start for the Sunday main event. After qualifying Jones commented about the incident, “I just missed my mark there. I just got in too hot and locked the right-front up enough that it blew it out. That’s not what you want to do. I kind of thought we were done and I didn’t realize that the rule was that if you don’t complete a lap you get to come back in and change tires. We put another tire on it and the DeWalt Camry had good speed. I was just a little conservative on my lap, which I think you can probably understand why after the first time. Still a good starting spot. It has more speed than that so it’s frustrating in that way, but still nice that we’re starting off better than dead last where we thought we were going to be.” The GoBowling.com race will begin Sunday at 3:00 pm ET and will be broadcast on NBCSN.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series garage returned to Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania for the second race there in 2019 and this time with an abbreviated garage schedule. Over two practice sessions early Saturday, Erik Jones and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Reser’s Team practiced well, at the top of the speed chart in final practice. With that positive momentum they tackled a single car, one lap-qualifying session and earned a row two starting position, fourth quick to start the Sunday main event. After the strong qualifying run, Jones commented on his car, “We have been good. We have had good speed. The Reser’s Toyota Camry has been fast. I thought with that lap we would have it. That’s kind of frustrating. We have a fast car and I thought we had a shot at the pole. But we are starting up front either way, so we will make a good day of it. We were good in race trim and I was pretty happy with it. That’s always a good feeling.” The team will take the green flag Sunday afternoon at 3:00pm ET and the race can be viewed live on NBCSN.
The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series traveled to New England this week to tackle New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. This is an important timeframe, with only a few weeks remaining before the first round of Playoff contenders are finalized. Having moved into the last Playoff qualifying spot last week, 16th in points now, Erik Jones is anxious to keep the positive momentum rolling, coming off a third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Friday afternoon he showed everyone he’s here to battle, with a row-two, fourth-place qualifying spot earned at over 136.189 mph. When asked afterwards about his car the Michigan star commented,“It was kind of a struggle this morning, but actually there in qualifying it felt pretty good. Definitely a lot better than what we had in practice. I missed it a little bit on the lap. It had some more in it. Just didn’t hit it right. The Stanley Camry felt good there, so I think that was the first time all day I’ve had a good feel in the car and if we can kind of transfer that into tomorrow, that’d be a positive.” Jones continued his positive energy on Saturday when he topped the speed charts in practice. The No. 20 Stanley Toyota with Jones behind the wheel will take the green flag Sunday at 3:00pm ET and the race can be seen on NBCSN.Read More
Saturday afternoon the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tackled Sonoma Raceway, the 2.42-mile road course nestled in Napa Valley, California. In a group qualifying format the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Craftsman team and driver Erik Jones aimed for a solid qualifying run, instead discovered a flat left-rear tire towards the end of the timed session. Jones commented after reviewing the car, “I didn’t know it was a flat the majority of the lap, and it finally blew coming down the frontstretch. It is pretty unfortunate; we had a top 15 car for qualifying and now we are starting 32nd. It is the story of the whole year. Nothing has really gone our way to this point, and I guess it’s not really changing this weekend yet. We will get it together for tomorrow and try to come through the field.” The Toyota team will take the green flag Sunday, along with the full field, at 3pm ET on FS1.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage traveled north to Pocono Raceway for “Tricky Triangle” qualifying on Saturday afternoon. After two prior practice sessions Friday when the 20 DeWalt Camry ran top 16 then top eight speeds, the Joe Gibbs Racing unit knew they’d continue to improve through the weekend. Their suspicions were correct as Erik Jones took to the 2.5-mile superspeedway on Saturday and with a single-file qualifying format drove his Camry to a fourth-place qualifying spot at 172.410mph. The team will now prepare for the Sunday race start. When asked about race strategy Jones discussed, “I think strategy calls like two tires, no tires, etc will help with track position in the race. You look at the last couple of years and some of the times we’ve got really good finishes here have been some strategy calls – pitting before the stage ends, taking two tires at the stage breaks or staying out even at the stage breaks. I think there’s going to be a lot of that. The last couple of years it was a mixed bag of who was doing that and who wasn’t doing it, but I think this year you’re going to get a majority of cars who are probably going to play that game and everybody is going to be on that plan. Fortunately for us, we’re starting really well in the top five there in fourth. I think we did a good job there and we just need to keep it. You can’t give that track position up all day now. It’s just going to be tough to get it back.” Sunday’s race will begin at 2:00pm ET and will be broadcast on FS1.Read More
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