Erik Jones Views Charlotte As Another Major Opportunity

Erik Jones
Erik Jones views his last race at Charlotte Motor Speedway as a major step forward in his 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season and the driver of the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota sees Sunday’s Bank of America 500 as another opportunity to progress.

It was the Coca-Cola 600 in May that Jones and the Furniture Row Racing team earned its first top-five qualifying position (5th) and second top-10 finish (7th) of the season. Jones sees it as a turning point in his and the team’s rookie campaign.

“The 5-hour ENERGY team has progressed a lot since we were at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May,” said Jones. “Charlotte was the first track we got to race on (for the All-Star race) and then go back to for the 600. It gave us our own information to work from which was huge. The 600 was one of our first races where I felt competitive all day and we ran up front.

“As a team we’ve gotten a lot better since then, especially the past couple of months. We’ve come a long way to becoming more competitive week in and week out. I think we’ve taken what we’ve learned all year and are right there at the next step of getting better.”

Jones has found his first season in the NASCAR Cup Series to be an almost continuous learning experience, something he didn’t expect at the beginning of the year.

“I’ve never experienced in my career where I have to run so hard every lap,” said Jones. “There are so many little things that the drivers in the series are good at. I now get so much more data to work with and I found out that my competitors are really good at things I wasn’t really paying attention to because I always had fast cars and trucks to make up any shortcomings. It’s being perfect on pit road, restarts, and navigating traffic. It’s all the little stuff added together that makes a big difference.”

Jones is 19th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after 29 races. He trails Clint Bowyer for 17th place by 22 points. Jones leads the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 254 points, 12 ahead of Daniel Suarez (242) and 72 ahead of Ty Dillon (182).

The 334-lap, 501-mile Bank of America 500 will consist of three stages of 90/90/154 laps (90/180/334). Sunday’s race will air live beginning at noon MT (2 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and PRN. Qualifying (multi-car, three rounds) is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. MT (7 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and PRN.

 

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 0 Running 43 18
27 9/17 Chicago 24 33 259/267 0 Running 4 19
28 9/24 New Hampshire 8 6 300/300 0 Running 45 19
29 10/1 Dover 10 12 400/400 0 Running 25 19
TOTALS/AVG. 14.5 16.0 7563/8371 310 728

 

 

2017 No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Team

 

Over-the-Wall Crew

Front-Tire Changer David Mayo, Byron, Ga.
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!

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