Erik Jones Looks To Continue His Top Ten Streak

Erik Jones
Chicagoland Speedway is not the home track for Michigan native Erik Jones but his confidence leading into Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 is as if it were.

The Furniture Row Racing rookie driver and his No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota team earned their sixth straight and 11th overall top-10 NASCAR Cup Series finish this season with last week’s sixth-place result at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. Jones’ brief yet very successful history at Chicagoland Speedway boosts his confidence even further.

The Byron, Mich., rookie has two victories and two other top-10 finishes in just four starts at Chicagoland Speedway. Jones finished seventh in his track debut in the July 2014 XFINITY Series race. In June 2015 he earned his first victory there in the XFINITY Series and finished sixth that September in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Last September the now 21-year-old captured his second Chicagoland victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“Any time you can go back to a track where you’ve been successful, whichever series you’re racing, you’re always going to have a little more confidence,” said Jones. “Chicagoland Speedway is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule because we’ve won there twice in the XFINITY Series so I’m excited to see what we can do there in the 5-hour ENERGY Toyota.

“I like the fact that you can move around at Chicagoland, run the bottom, middle and the top lane. The asphalt is worn out, a little bit slick. I think all that combined feeds into my driving style so, again, I have a lot of confidence there.”

Jones is 18th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after 26 races and the top 16 playoff points reset. He is 10 points behind Clint Bowyer for 17th. Jones leads the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 245 points, 14 ahead of Daniel Suarez (231) and 67 ahead of Ty Dillon (178).

“One of the goals we set at the beginning of the year was to get a win so the primary focus for these final 10 races is to get one and close the year out strong,” said Jones. “We may take an extra risk here or there but they’re relative to what’s going on at a specific time in the race. This 5-hour ENERGY team has really come together strong for the past couple of months now so we’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing, minimize our mistakes and, hopefully, that creates the opportunity to win one of these things.”

The 267-lap, 400-mile Tales of the Turtles 400 will consist of three stages of 80/80/107 laps (laps 80/160/267). Sunday’s race will air live beginning at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN. Qualifying (multi-car, three rounds) is scheduled for Friday at 4:45 p.m. MT (6:45 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and MRN.

Erik Jones

2017 NASCAR Cup Series Results

No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry

 

 

No.

 

Date

 

Event

 

St

 

Fn

 

Laps

Laps

Led

 

Status

 

Points

 

Rank

1 2/26 Daytona 34 39 103/200 0 Crash 1 37
2 3/5 Atlanta 23 14 325/325 0 Running 26 29
3 3/12 Las Vegas 8 15 267/267 0 Running 22 20
4 3/19 Phoenix 8 8 314/314 0 Running 33 18
5 3/26 Fontana 14 12 202/202 0 Running 34 15
6 4/2 Martinsville 15 12 500/500 0 Running 28 13
7 4/9 Texas 36 22 333/334 0 Running 15 14
8 4/24 Bristol 14 17 499/500 0 Running 33 12
9 4/30 Richmond 20 38 4/400 0 Crash 1 16
10 5/7 Talladega 14 33 168/188 0 Crash 7 20
11 5/13 Kansas 33 22 267/267 2 Running 17 19
12 5/28 Charlotte 5 7 400/400 0 Running 39 18
13 6/4 Dover 7 15 405/406 0 Crash 27 18
14 6/11 Pocono 15 3 160/160 20 Running 39 16
15 6/18 Michigan 14 13 200/200 0 Running 24 16
16 6/25 Sonoma 30 25 109/110 0 Running 12 16
17 7/1 Daytona 17 9 163/163 9 Running 28 17
18 7/8 Kentucky 14 6 274/274 0 Running 40 14
19 7/16 New Hampshire 6 39 40/301 0 Crash 1 17
20 7/23 Indianapolis 9 31 148/167 10 Crash 13 17
21 7/30 Pocono 9 8 160/160 4 Running 4 16
22 8/6 Watkins Glen 6 10 90/90 0 Running 33 18
23 8/13 Michigan 8 3 202/202 5 Running 47 16
24 8/19 Bristol 1 2 500/500 260 Running 50 15
25 9/3 Darlington 10 5 367/367 0 Running 37 14
26 9/9 Richmond 10 6 404/404 43 18
TOTALS/AVG. 14.6 15.9 6604/7404 310 654

 

 

2017 No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Team

 

Over-the-Wall Crew

Front-Tire Changer John Royer, Otis, Kan.
Front-Tire Carrier Richard Coleman, Orlando, Fla.
Rear-Tire Changer Brian Eastland, New Bern, N.C.
Rear-Tire Carrier Blake Haugland, Mount Ayr, Iowa
Jackman David O’Dell, Springfield, Ill.
Gasman Matt Tyrell, Plantation, Fla.

 

Road Crew

President Joe Garone, Denver, Colo.
Crew Chief Chris Gayle, Little Rock, Ark.
Car Chief Todd Brewer, Manassas, Va.
Race Engineers James Small, Melbourne, Australia

Jeffrey Barber, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Engine Tuner David McClure, Carmichael, Calif.
Engine Builder Toyota Racing Development (TRD)
Spotter Rick Carelli, Arvada, Colo.
Shock Specialist Alex Michie, Woodslee, Ontario, CANADA
Tire Specialist Scott Simmons, Cambridge, Ontario, CANADA
Front-end Mechanic John Furino, East Meadow, N.Y.
Underneath Mechanic Cesar Villanueva, Parsippany, N.J.
Floater Mechanic Henry Katzke, Wausau, Wis.
Transportation Mike Clementson, Cambridge, Md.

Jason Taggart, Castleton, Vt.

Dave Shano, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Behind the Wall Support Gene Cornwell, Rock Hill, S.C.
Coach Driver Henry Benfield, Taylorsville, N.C.
IT Support Eric Cragun, Pleasant View, Utah

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.