Despite facing some adversity throughout the day, Erik Jones quietly earned another top-10 finish for his PettyGMS No. 43 team. This top-10 finish was his third top-10 in the last four races and his 13th of the season.
Rolling off in the 22nd position, Jones had not made much progress by the end of the first stage, finishing in the 21st spot. This was after overcoming an early pitstop error where he slid a bit too far forward in the pit stall, causing him to have to back up a bit losing some valuable time on a green flag stop. The pit stall was “a lot slicker than I thought,” Jones said.
At the halfway point of the race, and after a long pitstop that saw big adjustments to the right front, Jones’ car was still not handling quite as he would like, fighting loose in the rear and struggling on long runs. By the end of Stage 2, Jones had advanced to the 18th spot.
As the race was nearing its conclusion, Jones was cautioned by spotter Rick Carelli that at the restart with 16 to go “It’s gonna get aggressive, be ready for it.”
Jones must have indeed been ready for whatever was expected to happen at the end of the race, navigating his FOCUSFactor Camaro to an 8th-place finish.
“We had a good, uneventful day in Las Vegas with another solid top-10 finish. We had speed all weekend, didn’t qualify where we wanted, but were able to adjust on our FOCUSfactor Chevy all race to improve throughout the day,” Jones said. “We were there at the end, just needed a little more to get upfront and be in the mix for the win. We’ll head to Homestead next weekend where I feel like we made gains at the test a few weeks ago and see what we can do.”
Sunday afternoon, the South Point 400 at Las Vegas wasn’t the only race that held the attention of many race fans. The 51st running of the Winchester 400 took place Sunday afternoon in Winchester, Indiana, as well.
Why mention Winchester and Erik Jones together?
Flashback to the World’s Fastest Half Mile Oval this same week in 2015, when Erik Jones brought his late model home for a third Winchester rifle and a check for $100,000, one of the biggest purses in Championship Racing Association (CRA) history. Jones was able to claim this bonus purse by winning the CRA Triple Crown of Berlin Raceway, Anderson Speedway and Winchester.
Jones beat out other NASCAR notables that day including Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton.