Strong Finish for Erik Jones and Sport Clips Team with Second-Place Finish at Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega Superspeedway

Date: October 4, 2020 

Event: YellaWood 500 (Round 31 of 36)

Series: NASCAR Cup Series 

Location: Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile Oval)

Format: 200 laps (3 Stages: 60 laps / 120 laps / 200 laps)

Start/Finish: 16th/2nd (Running, Completed 200 of 200 laps)


Race Winner: Denny Hamlin     

Stage 1 Winner: Chris Buescher    

Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. 


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1 – 60)

·        Erik Jones and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team started Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway from 16th and finished stage one in sixth place.

·        With several quick cautions to start the race Sunday afternoon, Jones was able to make his way in to the top 10 before the fourth caution flag waved on lap 25 for the scheduled competition caution. With no handling issues for the No. 20 team, Jones pitted for right-side tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 30 with the team in eighth place.

·        Making moves, Jones was able to lead the race for the first time on lap 35, but shuffled out of the lead to sixth before the caution waved on lap 57 for a multi-car accident. The race remained under yellow-flag conditions to end the stage on lap 60. Jones pitted for four tires, adjustments and fuel. 


Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61 – 120)

·        Jones started the second stage from the fourth position and finished the stage in 13th place.

·        The second stage started on lap 65 with Jones in the fourth position, but the race was quickly slowed again on lap 68 for a single-car incident. Jones opted to stay out under the caution and restarted the race from third on lap 74 before retaking the lead on lap 75. 

·        Crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones from the lead to pit road on lap 87, but before Jones crossed the commitment line to enter pit road, the caution flag was displayed. To avoid a penalty for pitting when pit road was closed, Jones returned to the track. When pit road opened, Jones pitted for left-side tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 92 with Jones in 15th.

·        On lap 108, a multi-car accident put the race back under yellow-flag conditions. While not getting any damage to the Sport Clips Camry, Jones did slide his tires in an effort to miss the mayhem. NASCAR displayed the red flag for clean-up and once the race returned to yellow-flag conditions and pit road opened, Jones pitted for four tires, adjustments and fuel. The race restarted on lap 113 with Jones in the 10th position.

·        The stage ended on lap 120 with Jones in the 13th spot. Gayle called Jones to pit road for fuel only. 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 121 – 200)

·        Jones started the final stage from the third position and finished the race with a second-place finish.

·        The final stage of the race started on lap 125 with the Sport Clips team in the third positon.

·        On lap 148, the race was slowed for another multi-car accident. Gayle called Jones to pit road from the fourth position for his planned final stop for two tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 152 with the No. 20 team in third.

·        A late-race caution on lap 182 gave the No. 20 team an opportunity to work on the Sport Clips Camry and prepare for a three-lap shoot-out finish. Gayle made the call for right-side tires and fuel before sending Jones back on track.

·        The race restarted on lap 187 for the first attempt at a green-white-checker finish. Jones restarted the race from 20th, but the caution was again quickly displayed. In an effort to avoid damage, Jones locked up his tires. Following a second red flag, Jones pitted for four tires and fuel. 

·        With two more attempts at a green-white-checker finish, Jones was able to advance from 16th on lap 192 to a strong second-place finish.

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

Finishing Position: 2nd

How was your race today?

“It was good. Obviously, wish we could have won it there at the end. We had to throw a big block and got in the wall, but still came back and finished second. Good day. The car was strong. The Sport Clips Camry had good speed and we led a lot of laps. Just didn’t totally play out at the end. You can’t ask for a lot more. We were there and coming to the line with a shot to win.”


Additional Notes:  

·        Jones led the race five times for 13 laps. 

·        With his second-place finish, Jones scored his season-best finish.

·        Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin won the race, Martin Truex Jr. finished 23rd and Kyle Busch finished 27th.


Up Next: The NASCAR Cup Series now heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete on the Roval on Sunday, October 11, 2020. The race broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NBC, PRN radio and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.


- JGR -