Erik Jones Hits The Reset Button For Martinsville

Erik Jones
Erik Jones and the No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota team look to hit the reset button at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500.

After a wreck and 36th-place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway two weekends ago and a Talladega-type wreck and 35th-place finish last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the 21-year-old series rookie sees the cozy confines of Martinsville’s 0.531-mile oval as the perfect place to refocus for the final four races of the season.

“It’s definitely been a tough couple of weeks both on the track and off,” said Jones. “What happened at Talladega was almost inevitable. Last week I just got loose and then lost it. I hated it for the guys because we were running up front and looked like we were heading for a top-five finish.

“It will be good for all of us to get to Martinsville for some classic short track racing in the SiriusXM Toyota. There are some good tracks left on the schedule for us to get strong finishes and this weekend should be one of them.”

Jones qualified 15th and finished 12th at Martinsville in April which, at the time, was the Furniture Row Racing team’s second-best finish of the early season. It was a day of ups and downs for the Jones who finished eighth in Stage 2 but then had to battle back from getting caught up in a wreck with fewer than 100 laps remaining.

“We learned a lot at that first Martinsville race,” said Jones. “We went two laps down, had to pit under green, had a tire rub and then got caught up in an accident. But we stayed focused, got back on the track and the handling of the car the rest of the race was the best it had been all day. The entire day taught us you just can’t give up.”

Jones is 19th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings after 32 races. He trails Joey Logano for 17th place by 53 points and is ahead of Daniel Suarez in 20th place by 48 points. Jones leads the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings with 257 points, six ahead of Suarez (251) and 69 ahead of Ty Dillon (188).

The 500-lap, 263-mile First Data 500 will consist of three stages of 130/130/240 laps (130/260/500). 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 Sunday at 10:05 a.m. MT (12:05 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 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
30 10/8 Charlotte 38 17 337/337 0 Running 20 19
31 10/15 Talladega 23 36 26/188 0 Crash 1 19
32 10/22 Kansas 7 35 197/267 0 Crash 8 19
TOTALS/AVG. 15.2 17.3 8123/9163 310 757

 

 

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.
Fabricator Jim Watson, Greenfield, 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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