NASCAR Cup Series

Jones Looking To Get Back into Playoffs

JOLIET, Illinois — Sunday’s Camping World 400 was a race that left something to be desired for Erik Jones, who ended the day in the seventh position.

The afternoon started with a climb to the front that wasn’t fast enough for the No. 20, who finished Stage 1 in 13th, without any points earned. It would not get any better in Stage 2, as Jones would actually fall two positions to 15th, and again failed to help his effort to make the playoffs.

Stage 3 though would prove to be their best run of the day, as they were finally able to get into the top-10 before seeing a checkered flag to bring a close to his day.

“Yeah, I mean it was up and down,” Jones told POPULAR SPEED. “We ran up front there at the end, but it took time to get back there. We had a bad run, second to the last run and lost some track position. But overall a good day, overall the Camrys fast, the thing is probably a top five-ish car but just couldn’t quite get back there the last run. So, a solid day for us and felt pretty good overall with it, but just need a little bit more.”

On a positive note for the No. 20 team, the problem-filled day did end with a shorter gap between 17th and the cutoff, as they are currently 15 points outside

“Well you know I think we’ve got to keep improving our stuff,” Jones said. “It looks like the Hendrick cars were really fast this weekend and we’re going to have to keep working to keep up with them. So, you know a different type of race track, a mile and a half wide, Chicago is kind of its own animal and takes it a little bit different race package to run well here. So we just need to keep working on it, and keep getting it better and figure out what we need to do to get up and compete with the top couple guys.”

Next weekend, he will look to repeat as the winner of the Coke Zero Sugar 400, where he will again need to have a strong day and hope for the best as he tries to close that gap to those inside top-16.  With the veteran experience of around the cutoff in Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer, Jones will be forced to put off his best in an effort to make a playoff push.


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By Mitchell Breuer

Mitchell Breuer, is a 22-year-old Minnesota native who is currently attending Winona State University to obtain a degree in Mass Communications-Journalism. In addition to POPULAR SPEED, Mitchell is currently the sports editor at WSU's student paper, The Winonan.