Erik Jones Earns Hard Fought 13th-Place Finish at Richmond International Raceway in Toyota Owner’s 400

(Apr. 22, 2018)

Sport Clips Racing logoBox Score Info:

RACE:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Toyota Owner’s 400

TRACK: Richmond International Raceway

DRIVER:  Erik Jones  

CAR:  No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry

START: 7th

FINISH: 13th

LAPS:  402/402

POINTS STANDINGS: 12th (-182 points out of 1st)

Post-Race Highlights:

·        For the first Saturday night race of the season, Erik Jones and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team qualified in the seventh position for the Toyota Owner’s 400 at Richmond International Raceway. After falling a lap down early in the race, the No. 20 team rebounded to finish 13th.

·        With the lights on and teams geared up for 400 miles of Saturday night short-track racing, the Toyota Owner’s 400 got under way with the No. 20 team rolling off from the seventh spot. 

·        As the first stage continued under a long green-flag run, Jones began dropping through the field with an ill-handling Camry. By lap 65, the leader passed Jones who was running in the 29th position. The first caution waved on lap 100 to end stage one. Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments to improve the handling of the Sport Clips Camry. Jones restarted the race on lap 111 from 25th. 

·        Stage two ran caution free with the caution flag waving on lap 200 to end the stage with Jones in 21st place. Continuing to struggle with handling, the team called Jones to pit road for another stop of four tires, fuel and adjustments. The race restarted on lap 213 with the No. 20 team scored 20th as the first car one lap down.

·        Ticking laps off one by one, teams were forced to make multiple green-flag pit stops during the final stage. Gayle called Jones to pit road on lap 272 and again on lap 329 for green-flag stops, each time changing four tires, adding fuel and making adjustments to improve the handling of the No. 20 Camry.

·        With less than 50 laps to go in the Toyota Owner’s 400, the caution waved for a multi-car accident on lap 353. The No. 20 team made the decision to take the wave around to return to the lead lap. The race restarted on lap 361 with Jones 14th. 

·        Three more late-race cautions provided opportunities for the team to continue improving on the No. 20 Camry. The final caution of the race forced the Toyota Owner’s 400 in to overtime and after 402 laps, Jones crossed the finish line in the 13th position.

·        Kyle Busch won his third consecutive race followed by Chase Elliott, teammate Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick to round out the top five. 

·        Teams now head to Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

Post-Race Thoughts:

ERIK JONES, No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing

How was your race?

“Just a really tough day. We really just didn’t have the right car from the start. I wasn’t too sure about it during practice, but once we fired off we realized it was going to be a pretty big struggle all day. We hung with it and fought hard and came home with an okay finish, but just need to get a lot better for the next one.”