Recap – 2018 Consumers Energy 400
August 13, 2018
Erik Jones Rebounds from Early Spins to Finish 13th at Michigan International Speedway
Box Score Info:
RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Consumers Energy 400
TRACK: Michigan International Speedway
DRIVER: Erik Jones
CAR: No. 20 Doosan Machine Tools Toyota Camry
POINTS STANDINGS: 13th (596 points, -390 points out of 1st)
- Racing in front of his home crowd, Byron, Michigan native Erik Jones and the No. 20 Doosan Machine Tools Camry team qualified in the fourth position for Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway and after two early spins, fought hard to come back and finish the Consumers Energy 400 in the 13th position.
- Under sunny skies, Sunday’s race got underway and Jones immediately radioed the team that he was “plowing.” Losing several spots in the opening laps, Jones was the cause of the first caution on lap eight when he spun off of turn four. Keeping the Doosan Machine Tools Camry from hitting anything, Jones pitted under the caution for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the handling. The race restarted on lap 13 with Jones scored 39th, one lap down to the leaders. Fortunately for the 20 team, the second caution of the race occurred several laps later and Jones was able to return to the lead lap. The race again restarted on lap 19 with Jones 37th. Gaining track position, Jones was running 26th when the caution waved on lap 25 for the competition caution NASCAR set due to rain overnight in the Irish Hills. Still struggling with the handling of the No. 20 Camry, Jones pitted for fuel and adjustments. With teams on varying strategies, the No. 20 team restarted the race from 12th on lap 28. Stage one ended on lap 60 with Jones scored 16th. Jones pitted under the caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help tighten the Doosan Machine Tools Camry.
- The second stage started on lap 66 with the No. 20 team in the 21st position. Battling for position, Jones had contact with a competitor on lap 70, but had little damage and was able to continue on track. The caution waved on lap 74 for the 31 car and the team made the call to stay out under the caution and restart the race on lap 79 from fourth. Fighting hard for position, Jones had contact with another competitor on lap 84 resulting in the No. 20 Camry going for its second spin of the race. The team called Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and to assess any damage from the contact and spin. With coaching from both spotter Rick Carelli and crew chief Chris Gayle, Jones gathered himself and started his march towards the front after restarting from 33rd on lap 86. When the stage ended on lap 120, Jones had worked his way to 15th and felt the No. 20 Camry was better than it had been most of the day. Hitting pit road for a routine stop, Jones overshot the pit box and had to back up before taking on four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. Losing five positions on pit road due to the mishap, Jones restarted the final stage from 20th on lap 126.
- Focused on picking off one car at a time, Jones moved up to 17th before the final caution of the race waved on lap 132. The team opted to pit under the caution for four tires and fuel. The race restarted on lap 142 with Jones 17th. Forced to make green-flag stops, most of the field pitted around lap 170 with Jones waiting until lap 186 to pit from second for fuel only. Returning to the track, Jones was scored 18th and gained several positions in the closing laps to finish the 200-lap race in the 13th spot.
- Kevin Harvick won his seventh race of the season followed by Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney.
- Teams now head to Bristol Motor Speedway for a night of racing under the lights on Saturday, August 18, 2018.