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Erik Jones makes back to back Top 10 finishes after coming home & surviving “The Big One” in 8th at Talladega

Erik Jones started from 15th followed a mixed qualifying performance from the previous day.

The first 5-10 laps began off slow then stayed on the bottom & moved up to 10th by the time Jeffrey Earnhardt spun out.

He made to pit road under caution new tires & adjustments before restarting in the same spot.

However, his next run began to get worse where E.Jones struggled to cope with tight handling.

It did cost him a few spots down in 19th before finishing the first installment in 15th.

Stage 2

During the stage break, he’s hopeful for a better next run as his crew applied adjustments to the No.20 Toyota.

Having restarted from 7th, E. Jones couldn’t still overcome a handling issue.

Following on from 12th after the Jimmie Johnson spin, he remained battling in & out of the Top 20.

Though, he did move back up to 11th towards the halfway distance thanks to the Kyle Larson spin on Lap 103.

Stage 3

Despite making some necessary treatment during the 2nd stage break, he had a bummer on pit road.

NASCAR officials, unfortunately, busted E. Jones to the tail in 29th over two violations:

  • Speeding in Section 9
  • Unapproved Fuelling

He made up lost time by patiently working his way up to the Top 15 for the majority of the final stage.

Thanks to the tire debris on Lap 160, he stayed out having made his previous stop under yellow for fuel only.

That’s where Jamie McMurray spun out a while ago on Lap 136.

Towards the end of the race, Erik Jones returned to the Top 10 & stayed there before coming home in 8th after Overtime.

Erik Jones’ 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season so far.

  • 31 Races
  • 8164 of 8567 laps completed, 95.3%
  • 88 Laps led
  • One Win, 3.2%
  • Seven Top 5, 22.6%
  • 16 Top 10, 51.6%
  • Average Start: 10.6 & Finish: 13.7
  • DNFs: Three, Crash (Daytona 500, Talladega & Las Vegas 2).
  • He sits 16th in the Drivers’ Standings with 2108 points.

Results

  • 36th, Daytona 500
  • 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
  • 5th, Bristol 2
  • 8th, Darlington
  • 2nd, Indianapolis
  • 40th, Las Vegas 2
  • 11th, Richmond 2
  • 30th, Charlotte Roval
  • 4th, Dover 2
  • 8th, Talladega 2

Conclusion

At last, he’s blessed to survive “The Big One” after making his first Talladega Cup finish on a high.

Despite dealing with stiff handling for some time, it’s good to at least finish inside the Top 10.

A few yellows here & there including three through the final stage helped Erik Jones move up through the field.

That includes Overtime where he’s able to pull off from 13th to 8th towards the checkered flag.

As always, he’s one of the best late race finishers regarding this sport at the top flight.

The way he executes, in the end, brings plenty of much-needed points with back to back Top 10s coming from the backhand of 4th last Sunday in Dover.

Credit to the No.20 Crew, Chris Gayle & Rick Carelli on getting the No.20 Toyota home with the fantastic strategy in mind.

Next time, they’re hopeful of saying goodbye of a stiff Handling issue & move on towards another Top 10 finish.

Even a Top 5 and race win would be the icing on the cake.

All it matters is a fast race car to help Erik Jones execute further nicely on a front row finish.

There’s still time to improve with five races to go in 2018.

It’s all about ticking off Erik Jones’s personal best and making consistent runs in the Top 10 every weekend.

For now, He & the No.20 Team gets a well-deserved rest before returning to the Joe Gibbs Racing HQ tomorrow.

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References

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