Recap – 2019 Digital Ally 400
May 13, 2019
Strong Third-Place Finish for Erik Jones and the DEWALT Team at Kansas Speedway
Box Score Info:
Date: May 11, 2019
Event: Digital Ally 400 (Round 12 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track: Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile Tri-Oval)
Format: 267 Laps (Stages: 80 laps / 80 laps / 107 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/3d (Running, completed 271 of 271 laps)
Point Standings: 14th (308 points, 170 points out of 1st)
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski
Stage 1 Winner: Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Winner: Chase Elliott
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80)
- Erik Jones and the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry team started from the sixth position and finished stage one in the ninth spot.
- Starting the Digital Ally 400 from the sixth position at Kansas Speedway, Jones slipped to 10th before the competition caution waved on lap 30. Radioing the team that the DEWALT Camry was really loose, crew chief Chris Gayle called Jones to pit road for right-side tires, fuel and adjustments to help with the handling. The race restarted on lap 35 with Jones in the fifth position.
- With the field racing tight following the restart, Jones had contact with a competitor causing damage to the right side of the car, but not enough to bring Jones to pit road under green.
- Closing in on the end of stage one, the caution flag was displayed on lap 60 for teammate Denny Hamlin. Under the caution, Gayle called Jones to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and to repair the damage to the right front fender. Following the extended stop on pit road for repairs, Jones restarted the race on lap 65 from the 29th position.
- Over the final 15 laps of the stage, Jones was able to make his way back in to the top 10 to finish stage one in the ninth spot. The team again made a routine four tire and fuel stop under the stage break.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160)
- Jones started stage two from fourth and ended third.
- With a fast stop on pit road during the stage break, Jones was able to gain five spots on pit road to restart the race from the fourth position on lap 86.
- Maintaining his position in the top five, Jones made his first green-flag stop of the race on lap 121 from the third position for four tires and fuel. Once the field cycled through green-flag stops, Jones returned to the third position.
- The caution flag was displayed on lap 160 to end stage two. Pretty comfortable and happy with the handling of the DEWALT Camry, Jones pitted for four tires and fuel during the stage break.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161-267)
- Jones started the final stage from the third position and finished the race in third.
- With 100 laps left in the race, the DEWALT team restarted the race on lap 167 from the third spot and as the laps ticked off, Jones radioed the team that he was starting to get too tight during the run.
- Gayle called Jones to pit road on lap 216 from the sixth position for his second green-flag stop of the day. The team changed four tires, added fuel and made a round of adjustments to help with the tight-handling condition. While Jones was leaving his pit stall, the caution flag was displayed for a loose tire on pit road. The timing of the caution caused some confusion with the lineup, but ultimately, Jones restarted the race on lap 228 from the eighth position.
- With debris spotted on the track, NASCAR displayed the caution flag on lap 239. Jones pitted from the sixth position for four tires and fuel. With most of the leaders opting to stay out, Jones restarted the race on lap 244 from the eighth position as the first car with four fresh tires.
- Moving in to the top five following the lap 244 restart, Jones took over second on lap 261 and was poised to make a run at the lead before the caution flag waved on lap 263 and set up a green-white-checker finish. The race restarted on lap 269 with Jones in second and after hard racing on the final laps, the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry team came home in the third position.
- The finish marked the third top-five finish and fifth top-10 finish of the season for Jones.
- The finish moved Jones and the No. 20 Toyota Camry team up two positions in the point standings to 14th.
- Teammate Hamlin finished 16th with Martin Truex, Jr. finishing 19th and Kyle Busch finishing 30th.
ERIK JONES, No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
What were the closing laps of this race like?
“It was kind of all over the map. When it started, we were kind of off and then we got better. Then we got off again and got better at the end. It was a good night and it was nice to have a shot at the win. The DEWALT Camry was for sure capable of winning. We just weren’t in the right situation and didn’t have some runs work out and the caution at the end. Just didn’t have the right push. Not a lot more you can ask for other than the win. Everybody did a great job, but it’s good momentum going on to two weeks now having good runs and having shots to run up front, it’s been nice after a rough month. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
What was the racing like tonight?
“That was scrappy. With this package you just have to be really scrappy and really fight for every spot. They’re just really valuable and really tough to get. We had a good car on top of that, it was a weird day. It was really up and down, but at the end of the day we had a good enough DEWALT Camry to win. Just weren’t able to get to the right spot. We ran out of time and ran out of getting the right runs and the right positions. Just didn’t quite work out, but a good car.”
Are you encouraged by this race tonight?
“Last week was just a real low-key week for us where we ran good, but we didn’t have anything big happen. Today we were really up and down. We had a really good car, then a really bad car and then we ended with a good car. We were kind of all through the field a couple times so it’s encouraging to know we can come back from those things.”
Next Race: Teams now head to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The star studded event and race will kick off at 6:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1 and SIRIUS XM Channel 90.