Erik Jones had a challenging run to forget despite a significant recovery towards the end from Sunday at Michigan.
Now he’s hopeful of keeping the No.20 Toyota Camry as speedy as possible in the eye for the rebound at Bristol on Saturday Night.
Despite starting from 4th, Erik Jones felt a lot tight, especially where he doesn’t have enough track bar.
It caused him to lose control at the last turn even though E. Jones reported a vibration beforehand on Lap 9.
E. Jones survived with minor damage as he immediately pitted straight away before restarting from the back had come to pit road too soon.
He continued working back towards the mid-pack for the rest of Stage 1 in 16th thanks to a wedge adjustment added during the Competition Caution Stop via the free pass.
E. Jones restarted 20th after added further treatment alongside tires and fuel during the stage break.
With enough gas & tire wear, he chose to take the wave around up to 4th following Ryan Newman’s spin on Lap 73.
However, he became frustrated yet again when Ryan Blaney tagged the left front tire of his car, causing to lose control at Turn 2.
Second time lucky and E. Jones survived by not making contact with the wall.
Although, he bounced back & finished 15th towards the halfway mark in which the car looks fine except it’s a bit tight at Turn 1.
With the eye of a rebound towards the end of the race, he pitted again for re-fill of gas and new tires in time for the next restart.
He remained towards battling the Top 15 where he pitted again under caution on Lap 140 & one more for fuel only with 13 laps to go.
But despite surviving two near misses, the result does tell a different story disappointingly in 13th.
His back to back Top 5 & 10 run from Pocono & Watkins Glen has come to an end.
And yet the drought of not scoring a Top 10 at his hometown track goes on until at least June next year in which it’s two years to that run where he finished 3rd.
2018 Consumers Energy 400 Loop Data Statistics
- Start: 4th
- Middle: 21st
- Finish: 13th
- Highest Spot: 2nd
- Lowest Run: 39th
- Average Position: 17th
- Pass Difference: 6
- Green Flag Passes: 94, Times Passed: 25
- Quality Passes: 25, 26.6%
- Fastest Lap: Two
- Top 15 Laps: 69, 34.5%
- Total Laps: 200
- Driver Rating: 75.6
Erik Jones’s Bristol Cup Record
Back in April last year, he made his Bristol Cup debut having started from 14th to finishing in 17th with one lap down.
12 months ago, E. Jones performed one of his best races in a short track where he started from pole & led a race-high 260.
However, he fell only short of a race win forcing to settle in a runner-up spot behind Kyle Busch who took out the sweep in winning all three series’ division races on one weekend.
Though four months ago, his latest run with Joe Gibbs Racing performed worse as he came home 26th with six laps down.
- Three Starts
- 1493 of 1500 Laps Completed, 99.5%
- 260 Laps Led
- One Top 5/10, 33.3%
- Average Start: 9 & Finish: 13
- DNF: Zero
What else Erik Jones did well in the lower divisions at this short track?
He’s a two-time winner at Bristol over in the NASCAR XFINITY Series where having first won during his full-time year there in April 2016.
Then he repeated that feat this time as a part-time racer 12 months ago.
Erik Jones’ 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season so far.
- 23 Races
- 5885 of 6162 laps completed, 95.5%
- 88 Laps led
- Highest Starting Spot: 4th, March 2018 in Fontana
- Best Finish: 1st, July 2018 in Daytona
- One Win, 4.3%
- Four Top 5, 17.4%
- Eleven Top 10, 47.8%
- Average Start: 10.6 & Finish: 13.8
- DNFs: Two, Crash (Daytona 500 & Talladega).
- He sits 13th in the Drivers’ Standings with 596 points.
- 36th, Daytona
- 11th, Atlanta
- 8th, Las Vegas
- 9th, Phoenix
- 7th, Fontana
- 17th, Martinsville
- 4th, Fort Worth
- 26th, Bristol
- 13th, Richmond
- 39th, Talladega
- 18th, Dover
- 7th, Kansas
- 19th, Charlotte
- 29th, Pocono
- 15th, Michigan
- 7th, Sonoma
- 6th, Chicagoland
- 1st, Daytona 2
- 7th, Kentucky
- 16th, New Hampshire
- 5th, Pocono & Watkins Glen
- 13th, Michigan 2
Erik Jones felt that the No.20 Toyota Camry did have a fast race car that is Top 10-compliant.
But with two near threats through incidents, it just didn’t flow with a final finish consistently.
Before he spun on Lap 9, he struggled to get through a fast race car in which he did report to his team over a possible vibration.
It’s first thought that the problem could’ve gone a lot worse.
But he did make his way back on the race track.
Despite a great rebound up to the Top midway in Stage 2, another push and shove clash saw his progress demolished into pieces.
Then he had to find another way to rebound again in which did happen towards the checkered flag.
Though, it didn’t make his expectations despite having learned both positive and negative from Sunday.
At least some of the positive signs made at Michigan will carry onto Bristol when he resumes practice tomorrow.
With three races to go before the Playoffs, E. Jones & the No.20 will want another smooth performance before taking the last off-break of the year next week.
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References: Racing Reference (Image & Statistics).
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