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NASCAR: Erik Jones ready to send message to the front-runners as he chases regular challenges in the Top 3 at Phoenix this weekend

Erik Jones left off a few days ago with another Top 5 finish in 4th place at Texas.

Thanks to the multiple cautions seen in Stage 3; he’s always capitalized the overtime run with many points on the board which became one of his greatest strengths.

Now he has three Top 5s & four Top 10 in his last five races, A win is next on his list of targets over the final two weeks of this season.

His Phoenix Cup Series Record

Eight months ago, he came home on a positive note which is at least a Top 10 finish in 9th.

From the back of earlier this year, E. Jones finished 4th during the previous Fall race 12 months ago followed by 8th in March 2017.

The only Top 10 he didn’t secure was when he filled in for Matt Kenseth in the seat he eventually took back in November 2015.

Despite starting from 7th, he came home in 18th, one lap down.

Summary

  • Four Starts
  • 1156 of 1157 Laps Completed, 99.9%
  • One Top 5, 25%
  • Three Top 10. 75%
  • Average Start: 8.8 & Finish: 10

His XFINITY Series Phoenix Starts

Out of his seven starts in Arizona, he scored each of the Top 10s for the entire time.

He came 6th in his debut run back in November 2014 followed by a first Top 10 finish at P5 four months later.

Not long after he posted his Top 5, he turned into back to back finished in that feat when he finished 3rd in November 2015.

During his lone full-time year, He finished 2nd despite winning the pole in the Spring followed 10th at the Fall events respectively.

And at last this time as a part-timer, E. Jones managed to strike 3rd twice on both March & November races last year.

Summary

  • Seven Starts
  • 1406 of 1406 Laps Completed, 100%
  • 109 Laps Led
  • Five Top 5, 71.4%
  • Seven Top 10, 100%
  • Average Start: 2.1 & Finish: 4.6

His Truck Series Phoenix starts.

He made back to back wins during November 2013 & 2014 when he drove the No.51 Toyota Tundra.

Although, he came ninth in November 2015.

Despite that average finish, E. Jones went on and captured his Championship moment in Trucks a race later at Homestead-Miami.

Summary

  • Three Starts
  • 426 of 426 Laps Completed, 100%
  • 304 Laps Led
  • Two Wins & Top 5, 66.7%
  • Three Top 10, 100%
  • Average Start: 1.3 & Finish: 3.7

Erik Jones’ 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season so far.

  • 34 Races
  • 9262 of 9671 laps completed, 95.8%
  • 88 Laps led
  • One Win, 2.9%
  • Nine Top 5, 26.5%
  • 18 Top 10, 52.9%
  • Average Start: 10.8 & Finish: 13.5
  • DNFs: Three, Crash (Daytona 500, Talladega & Las Vegas 2).
  • He sits 13th in the Drivers’ Standings with 2204 points.

Results

  • 36th, Daytona 500
  • 11th, Atlanta
  • 8th, Las Vegas
  • 9th, Phoenix
  • 7th, Fontana
  • 17th, Martinsville
  • 4th, Fort Worth
  • 26th, Bristol
  • 13th, Richmond
  • 39th, Talladega
  • 18th, Dover
  • 7th, Kansas
  • 19th, Charlotte
  • 29th, Pocono
  • 15th, Michigan
  • 7th, Sonoma
  • 6th, Chicagoland
  • 1st, Daytona 2
  • 7th, Kentucky
  • 16th, New Hampshire
  • 5th, Pocono & Watkins Glen
  • 13th, Michigan 2
  • 5th, Bristol 2
  • 8th, Darlington
  • 2nd, Indianapolis
  • 40th, Las Vegas 2
  • 11th, Richmond 2
  • 30th, Charlotte Roval
  • 4th, Dover 2
  • 8th, Talladega 2
  • 4th, Kansas 2
  • 26th, Martinsville 2
  • 4th, Texas 2

Conclusion

It’s great that Erik Jones remained in the Top 5 & 10 for most of the time.

Plus credit to the fast No.20 Toyota which allowed him to execute the areas he’s after and stay ahead of the pack.

Stage 1 looked mostly great inside the Top 5 before Stage 2 & the early portion of Stage 3 looked alright inside the Top 7-10.

But when a few cautions came out on that final installment, it gave him & the No.20 Team some pep talk to make some changes.

They needed that badly in which did happened for a change of tactics before the restart or a time-out as similarly used by football teams in NFL or college level.

Then they sit back and help E.Jones achieve that voila moment at the checkered flag.

The car looks all good to take it all way to the end as he came home in 4th instead of 6th if the race finished under green.

You see he has fought back and improved a lot better since E.Jones couldn’t get that Second Round Playoffs spot.

After the hard he has rebounded in the last few races, now it’s time for him to target that race win again.

As long as the No.20 Toyota looks red-hot fast, then he can pull it all the way and challenge for a front row spot.

It what makes this young talented racer feel motivated and energetic to deliver results that fit the Joe Gibbs Racing DNA.

At times, he has fit in this statement of intent very well which does delight Team Owner, Joe Gibbs himself.

If you see Denny Hamlin sitting in 11th at the Drivers’ Standings right now despite not making to the Second Round, it’s still possible for Erik Jones to break inside that mark too.

Plus if he can get a win or two before this season shuts at Homestead, then watch out for 2019 when he knocks Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. on the door.

Follow him on Social Media!!

Make sure you stay up to date with Erik when you visit his website here as well as via:

References

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