Recap – Gander Outdoors 400
July 30, 2018
Fifth-Place Finish for Erik Jones and the No. 20 Reser’s Toyota Camry team at Pocono Raceway
Box Score Info:
RACE: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Gander Outdoors 400
TRACK: Pocono Raceway
DRIVER: Erik Jones
CAR: No. 20 Reser’s Toyota Camry
LAPS LED: One Time for 11 Laps
POINTS STANDINGS: 14th (533 points, -358 points out of 1st)
· For the second visit of the season to Pocono Raceway, Erik Jones and the No. 20 Reser’s Toyota Camry team qualified in the third position and led 11 laps before finishing fifth in the Gander Outdoors 400.
· With the race under way Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway, Jones and the No. 20 team maintained their position in the top five before making their first stop of the day on lap 23 under green-flag conditions for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help tighten the car. Jones returned to the track and moved his way back in to the top five before making his second stop of the race on lap 47. Returning to the track, Jones was scored 18th when the caution waved on lap 50 to end stage one. Opting to stay out under the caution, Jones led the field back to green to start stage two.
· Jones was able to lead 11 laps before being passed by Kevin Harvick on lap 64. With spotter Rick Carelli coaching Jones around “The Tricky Triangle,” he was able to remain second before making a green-flag pit stop on lap 76 for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. As the field cycled through green-flag stops, Jones was scored ninth when the caution waved on lap 83 for a single-car incident. Staying on track during the caution, the Reser’s team restarted the race from third on lap 87. Opting to pit with three laps remaining in the stage, Jones pitted on lap 97 for four tires, fuel and to go back on the previous set of adjustments after the No. 20 Camry was too tight during the run. The stage ended on lap 100 with Jones in the 27th position.
· The final stage of the Gander Outdoors 400 started on lap 105 with Jones in fourth place. Quickly moving up to second following the restart, Jones was in third place when the caution waved on lap 120. Reporting the Reser’s Camry was still too tight in every corner, Jones hit pit road under the caution for four tires, fuel and a round of adjustments. The race restarted on lap 124 with the Reser’s team fourth. A quick caution after the restart dropped Jones to sixth for the lap 132 restart. The race was slowed and eventually red flagged on lap 154 for a single-car incident. Jones was scored fourth at the time of the red flag and after opting to not pit, restarted the race from fourth on lap 157. One lap later the field was under caution for a multi-car incident. With the race being pushed in to overtime, Jones restarted the race on lap 162 from third. Looking for the lead, Jones made it three-wide following the restart, but was unable to make it stick and slipped back in to position behind teammate Daniel Suarez. Slipping two more spots in the closing laps, Jones crossed the finish line in fifth place for his third top-five finish of the season.
· Teammate Kyle Busch won the race followed by Suarez, Alex Bowman, Harvick and Jones.
· With five races remaining before the 2018 playoffs, teams now head to Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 5, 2018.