Erik Jones Finishes Third in Daytona 500 Joe Gibbs Racing Finishes 1-2-3

DAYTONA, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2019)

Nascar-2018-Racing-ImageBox Score Info:

Date: February 17, 2019

Event: Daytona 500 

Series:  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Track:  Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile Superspeedway)

Format: 200 Laps (Stages: 60 laps / 60 laps / 80 laps)

Start/Finish: 28th/3rd (Running, 207 of 207 laps)

Point Standings: 5th (35 points, -17 points out of 1st)

 

Race Winner: Denny Hamlin 

Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 Winner: Ryan Blaney 

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60)

·        Erik Jones started the race from the 28th position and finished stage one in 10th.

·        With the 61st running of the Daytona 500 underway Sunday afternoon, Jones and the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team turned their attention to the leaders and began making their way to the front. 

·        The caution waved on lap 20 with crew chief Chris Gayle calling Jones to pit road on lap 22 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help tighten the No. 20 Toyota Camry. The race restarted on lap 24 with Jones 26th. 

·        Finding a dancing partner, Jones was able to fall in line with a pack of cars to make the bottom line work and moved in to the top 10 on lap 35. Staying close, the first seven cars were able to break away from the field before a caution on lap 49 bunched the field up for the end of the stage. Opting to stay out under the caution, Jones restarted the race from fourth on lap 53.

·        The stage concluded on lap 60 with Jones shuffled back to 10th.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61 – 120)

·        Jones started stage two from the 21st position and ended the stage 14th.

·        Making his way back in the top 10 on lap 68, Jones was able to move in to fifth on lap 75 after cars began making green-flag stops.

·        With a six-car break away, the leaders were able to continue making time on the field, catching the back of the field on lap 100.

·        The caution waved on lap 106 and Jones pitted for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 110 with Jones ninth.

·        The stage ended on lap 120 with the No. 20 Sport Clips Camry scored 14th. The team opted for fuel only before the start of the final stage.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 121-207)

·        Jones started the final stage from 10th and after multiple incidents, finished the Daytona 500 in the third position.

·        The caution waved on lap 159 with Jones scored 12th. The team called Jones to pit road under the caution for fuel and right-side tires. The race restarted on lap 167 with Jones ninth.

·        Making his way up to third, Jones with poised for a strong run when he radioed the team on lap 178 that he had no fuel pressure. Jones dropped out of line and pitted, but the team found no issue and he returned to the track one lap down in the 31st position. 

·        Jones was able to get back on the lead lap when the caution waved on lap 187, but was quickly caught up in the “Big One” on lap 191. Following a red-flag and repairs to the No. 20 Camry, Jones restarted the race on lap 194 from the 18th position, one lap down to the leaders. With a quick caution, Jones was able to return to the lead lap on lap 194 following another multi-car accident.

·        Following several late-race cautions and a second red-flag, Jones was able to cross the finish line in the third position with a mangled No. 20 Sport Clips Camry.

 

Additional Notes

·        Denny Hamlin won his second Daytona 500 and Joe Gibbs Racing’s third victory of The Great American Race. 

·        Joe Gibbs Racing finished the 61st Daytona 500 1-2-3 with Hamlin winning followed by Kyle Busch and Jones.

 

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

Finishing Position: 3rd 

How were you able to come back and finish third tonight?

“It was a weird day. The Sport Clips Camry had a lot of speed in it early and we kept finding ourselves towards the front. We were up there where we wanted to be with Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin) and I’m like, ‘Man, we’re in a great spot to get to the last 15 laps or so and race for it.’ I don’t know. We just lost fuel pressure and we came to pit road and came back. We didn’t change anything, fired it up and went back. Got back on the lead, got caught up in a wreck and got pretty significant amount of damage and we were just trying to get it fixed enough to get minimum speed. As more of the race happened and more and more people wrecked we found ourselves upfront. A day of never giving up and never giving in and it worked out great. It’s definitely the most perseverance I’ve had in a race in NASCAR. I had a lot of fun.”

 

Do you enjoy racing at Daytona winning here in July and now a third-place finish in the Daytona 500?

“Definitely the last two times have been pretty good to me. I wish we would’ve had one more lap. It was actually really fast still and I was having a lot of fun and wish we could’ve got up there with Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin). Great for JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) with a one-two-three. You never would’ve guessed we would’ve made it one-two-three there by the end, but an awesome day and a good start to the season.”

 

Next Race: Teams now turn their focus to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. The race will be broadcast live Sunday, February 24, at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.