Sport Clips in the News

Erik Jones / No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry Preview Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2018)

Nascar-2018-Racing-ImageNo. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry News and Notes:

·        JONES AT DARLINGTON: Erik Jones will make his second-career Cup Series start at ‘The Lady in Black’ this Sunday for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. In his only Cup Series start at the South Carolina track, Jones qualified 10th and finished a strong fifth. In his two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the track, Jones recorded a sixth-place finish in 2016 and a fourth-place last season.

·        JGR AT DARLINGTON: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 80 total starts at Darlington Raceway in Cup Series competition earning six wins, 22 top-five finishes, 47 top-10 finishes and one pole starting position. The team has led 1,387 laps, completed 26,820 of 27,529 attempted laps (97.4%) and earned an average start of 14.5 and an average finish of 11.6. Denny Hamlin has two wins for the team including last season with Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards each having one win with JGR at the historic track.    

·        THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 CAMRY: For this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Sport Clips returns to the No. 20 Toyota Camry with Erik Jones. Keeping in tune with the weekend and the newest tradition of Darlington Raceway, the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry team will throw it back to Rick Carelli’s No. 6  REMAX truck scheme from 1996-1999. Carelli currently serves as the spotter for Jones and the No. 20 team, his second year filling the role with the 22-year-old driver. 

·        BRISTOL RECAP:  For the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Erik Jones and the No. 20 Toyota Camry team qualified in the 14th position and ran most of the 500-lap race in the top 10 before finishing fifth. 

·        POINT STANDINGS UPDATE: Jones remains 13th in the points standings following his fifth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. With his win at Daytona International Speedway on July 7, 2018, Jones is locked in to the 2018 Playoffs.   

·        RACE INFO: The Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, September 2, 2018. Coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Darlington Raceway: 

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

1

0

1

1

0

0

10.0

5.0

 

Jones 2018 Season NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

24

1

5

12

0

88

10.7

13.5

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

63

1

10

26

1

399

12.8

16.0

From the Driver’s Seat:

Erik Jones: “Darlington is a good track and it’s a fun weekend overall with the throwback weekend. The Southern 500 is a cool race in itself, and as a driver it’s one we all want to win at some point in our career. Getting there, it’s a challenging race, it’s a long race, tough to stay in the game all night and make the right changes to keep up with the track. Overall, we have a good baseline from last year to go off of finishing fifth. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going we’ve had the last couple of months and come out of Darlington with another top five or a shot at the win and have a good weekend.”

From the Pit Box:

Chris Gayle: This is a really cool throwback weekend that NASCAR has created at Darlington Raceway. It adds a little to make the event stand out from the others and it’s also such a unique old school race track that it fits well. Darlington is a tough place with lots of tire fall off and an abrasive track surface that heavily wears the tires. It also makes it really tough to have a car that is well balanced for the entirety of a tire run. The balance on overall grip level of the car change a ton, which makes it really hard for the driver or crew to evaluate what is needed from the car. Short run speed and balance verse longer run speed and balance at the sacrifice of the short run. This makes it tougher on younger less experienced drivers as well. It’s always tough to have a realistic expectation of what the car should drive like as the tires get hot and wear out. Erik did an great job at this in his first Cup start at Darlington last year, but if he’s honest I think he’d tell you he was surprised about how little grip and how much the car changes thru the race and even thru a single tire stint. I don’t expect this to be any different this year. So, this will be a very challenging event for the 20 team. We’ll have to stay on top of the car balance, and what’s needed from short to longer runs, and also manage tires well all night to have a good finish.”