Erik Jones and Sport Clips Team Finish 23rd in Rain-Shortened Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway

DAYTONA, Fla. (Jul. 7, 2019)

Sport Clips Racing logoBox Score Info:

Date: July 7, 2019 (Postponed from July 6, 2019)

Event: Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Race 18 of 36)

Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Track: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile Superspeedway)

Format: 160 Laps (Stages: 50 laps / 50 laps / 60 laps)

Start/Finish: 17th/23rd (Completed 125 of 127 laps)

Point Standings: 18th (430 points, 270 points out of 1st)

Race Winner: Justin Haley        

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano  

Stage 2 Winner:  Austin Dillon  



Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-50)

·       Erik Jones and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team started the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway from the 17th position and ended stage one in 28th.

·       With weather in the area Saturday afternoon and evening, NASCAR was forced to postpone the Coke Zero Sugar 400 from Saturday under the lights to Sunday afternoon.

·       Rolling off 17th for the race, Jones quickly made his way to the back of the field to 33rd where he settled in and radioed crew chief Chris Gayle that the Sport Clips Camry was too tight and not handling to his liking. 

·       With the stage continuing under a long green-flag run, teams began making scheduled stops on lap 36 with Gayle calling Jones to pit road on lap 37 for fuel only.  

·       The caution flag waved on lap 50 to end stage one with Jones 28th. The team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Noticing damage to the right rear, Gayle called Jones to pit road for a second stop to repair the damage. The race restarted on lap 55 with Jones 31st.


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 51-100)

·        Jones started stage two from 31st and ended the stage 18th.

·        The caution waved on lap 58 for a single-car spin. Jones pitted for fuel only on lap 60 and restarted the race from 22nd on lap 62.

·        Focused on staying out of trouble, Jones again dropped to the back of the pack. After several laps, he radioed the team to let them know the Sport Clips Camry was more secure after the previous set of adjustments, but still needed more help with handling. 

·        The caution waved on lap 75 for an on-track incident. Jones pitted from 26th for four tires, fuel and another set of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 78 with the Sport Clips team scored 23rd.

·        The race was slowed again on lap 82 for a multi-car accident. Jones stayed out and restarted the race from 21st on lap 86.

·        The caution waved on lap 100 to end stage two with Jones scored 18th. The team opted to pit for right-side tires, fuel and adjustments. With the quick stop and strategy play, Jones restarted the race from third on lap 105.


Stage 3 Recap (Laps 101-127)

·        Jones started the final stage from third and finished the race in 23rd.

·        With the final stage underway and weather approaching the speedway, Jones quickly moved to second following the restart where he remained until lap 117 when he was caught in the middle with no help and dropped through the field.

·        As the lead cars battled for position, several made contact and caused a multi-car accident on lap 119. Jones made his way through the melee, but not without receiving damage to the Sport Clips Camry. Gayle called Jones to pit road multiple times during the caution for repairs and he returned to the track in the 23rd position, two laps down.

·        As NASCAR prepared to go back to green-flag racing, lightning in the area forced the field to pit road and the red flag was displayed on lap 127. With lightning and rain continuing at the track, NASCAR was forced to call the race with 127 of the 160 laps completed. 

·        Jones was credited with a 23rd-place finish. 


Additional Notes

·        Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch finished 14th, Martin Truex, Jr finished 22nd and Denny Hamlin finished 26th.


Next Race: Teams now head to Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, July 13, 2019 for the Quaker State 400. The race is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.