Eric Jones Previews The STP 500

Erik Jones

No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry News and Notes:

·        JONES AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: Heading to the historical Martinsville Speedway, Erik Jones will make his fifth-career Cup Series start at the track on Sunday piloting the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota Camry. In his previous four Cup Series starts at the track, Jones has a best finish of 12th in 2017 in his first Cup Series start at the track. In addition to his Cup Series starts at the track, Jones has five starts at the track in the Truck Series with his best finish coming in 2015 when he earned a third-place finish in the March event. Jones made his first-career NASCAR start at Martinsville Speedway in 2013 at the age of 16 driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports.

·        200 AND COUNTING… When Jones takes to the Virginia short track Sunday afternoon, the start will mark his 200th-career start across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Across his 199 starts in the three series, Jones has 17 wins, 72 top-five finishes, 119 top-10 finishes and 25 pole starting positions. Jones also earned the 2015 Truck Series championship and was the first driver to win Rookie of the Year in all three of the top NASCAR Series completing the accomplishment in three consecutive seasons (2015-2017).

·        FAN APPEARANCE: Jones will be at the Pre-Race Fan Experience on the Martinsville Speedway Start/Finish Sunday, March 24, from 11:00 a.m. ET to 11:15 a.m. ET for a fan Q&A.

·        JGR AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 130 total starts at Martinsville Speedway in Cup Series competition. In those starts, the team has earned 10 wins, 45 top-five finishes, 70 top-10 finishes and nine pole starting positions. The team has led 4,892 laps, completed 62,953 of 64,978 attempted laps (96.9%) and earned an average start of 13.2 and an average finish of 13.1. Denny Hamlin leads the team with five wins followed by Busch and Tony Stewart with two wins each and Bobby Labonte with one trip to victory lane to claim the famous Grandfather Clock trophy.

·        THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 CAMRY: This weekend the No. 20 Toyota Camry will carry the popular and familiar yellow and black DEWALT paint scheme. This will mark the second race of the season for DEWALT.

·        AUTO CLUB RECAP: Qualifying in the 18th position for the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, Jones was able to run as high as third before a tight-handling condition late in the race dropped the team to a 19th-place finish. 

·        RACE INFO: The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, March 24, 2019. Coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Martinsville Speedway:

StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

Jones 2019 Season NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

Jones Career NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

StartsWinsTop 5Top 10PolesLaps LedAvg. StartAvg. Finish

From the Driver’s Seat:

Erik Jones: “I’m looking forward to getting back to MartinsvilleSpeedway this weekend. This isn’t a track where we have run well in the past so we will look at our notes from the previous seasons and see where we can improve to make our CRAFTSMAN Camry better this time around. Even though it hasn’t been one of my better tracks in the past, Martinsville will always hold a special spot as the place where I made my first NASCAR start in the Truck Series and now to go back there this weekend to make my 200th start across the three series is a pretty neat deal. This is a great weekend to turn things around and get back to running up front and finishing up front where we belong.”   

From the Pit Box:

Chris Gayle: “This has easily been one of the worst race tracks for the 20 team and Erik. We’ve struggled in all the events to find the right balance of speed and long run verse short run, and helping the car turn enough without being loose off the corners at the end of runs. We will have a little more downforce than we’ve had in the past with the same body style and rules package that the Cup Series used in Phoenix. Martinsville is a pretty slow place, so the added downforce won’t have a huge impact, but any increase may help change the racing and help us find a package that’s a little better for Erik. Other than that, it’s a good weekend to make improvements from last year. It’s a tough place to race, and the right mix of patience is super important to running well. So we’re looking forward to the challenge of something completely different this weekend.”


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