Jones Settles for 14th in Silverado 350 at Texas Ft. Worth, TX: Eric Jones drove the Team EJP Chevrolet Silverado to a 14th-place finish in the Chevy Silverado 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, October 11.
Jones Settles for 14th in Silverado 350 at Texas
Ft. Worth, TX: Eric Jones drove the Team EJP Chevrolet Silverado to a 14th-place finish in the Chevy Silverado 350 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway Saturday, October 11. Jones, who started from the 16th position in the 146-lap event, fought his way as high as eleventh in the late stages of the race and was closing on tenth position when a caution flag, and NASCAR's new caution flag rules, ruined his hopes for a top-10 finish. Brendan Gaughan was the winner of the event, his fourth consecutive win at the Texas track.
"On the first long green flag run, we were loose," Jones said. "We lost some ground to the leaders, but we were still on the lead lap. We made a green flag pit stop and just like Charlotte the caution came out and it put us a couple of laps behind. We got a set of tires there that had a bad vibration. Luckily, we caught another caution and replaced them. From there on, the truck was great. We were flying, running right with the leaders. We were two laps down at the time, but we were passing some lead lap trucks without a lot of effort. It was a matter of time until we caught Bobby Hamilton for tenth, but then that last caution came out and it just killed us."
As the race wound to a conclusion, only nine trucks were on the lead lap, and none were just one lap off the pace. Jones trailed Hamilton, who was the first driver two laps off the leader's pace. According to NASCAR's new rules, the first driver not on the lead lap when the caution flag comes out is allowed to pass the leader and regain a lost lap.
"It would have been really good to pass Hamilton and regain that lap, because it would have guaranteed us a top-10 finish," Jones said. There was no one else on that lap, so unless something happened, we weren't going to get passed by anyone. Everyone has been talking about the pros and the cons of the new caution flag rules. It's probably a good idea not to race back to the caution anymore, but I am not so sure I like the other part of that rule. Maybe sometime it will work in our favor, but it sure cost us a chance at a great finish today.
"As it was, we had a bad restart there at the end. We got three wide and it closed up on me. We had to back out of it to keep from crashing and lost four positions. We were only able to get one back. But, it felt good to run with those leaders. We thought we could have finished tenth or eleventh, but things didn't work out that way. Still, we ran all day, kept the truck in one piece and learned more for next time.""
Jones and the Team EJP Racing Team will make their next appearance on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour at the season finale at the newly reconfigured Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"We have a strong 1.5-mile program right now," Jones said. "I can't wait to get down there and see just how fast that place is. It sounds like it is going to be pretty quick, and hopefully the way they have configured the banking will allow some passing for the fans. We are going to go down there and finish off the season on a very positive note."