BUSCH: Homestead race summary for Craven, Jones

Performance Summary: Since there are many similarities between the Phoenix and Homestead track, the ...

Performance Summary: Since there are many similarities between the Phoenix and Homestead track, the #19 Yellow/Pameco team decided to prepare the same car they raced in Phoenix and head to Florida. During practice, the crew worked hard to find the best set-up for driver, Ricky Craven, who had been battling a tight handling race car. Ricky was the 49th of 56 drivers to go out and qualify on Friday afternoon. The lap time of 36.724 seconds would not be enough to make the field.

"The car was still way too tight," Craven described. "You really shouldn't let off the accelerator much at all through the turns and I knew I was giving up way too much in the middle of the corner. It's definitely disappointing to end a season this way, but I do have to commend the crew for working so hard on Friday morning to try many set-up combinations during practice. It's that same drive that will help them build a successful team next season."

PJ Jones Quote: "I'm really thankful I received an opportunity to work with Phoenix Racing this weekend," Jones stated. "Crew chief, Mark Reno and the crew worked hard to put together a strong car that allowed us to hold our own on the track. The heat really changed the track conditions and the #1 Yellow Exact Express Chevy was pretty loose at the end. We were still making progress, and had been in the top-20 for awhile when we got a leak in the oil line. It may have been an early end to the day, but to run competitively made it a fun day for me."

Performance Summary: Starting 37th, Jones didn't waste any time making his way up the field. By lap 13, Jones had moved taken the 31st position and on lap 14, made a spectacular move to avoid a wreck in turn two involving the #20 car of Scott Wimmer. Thankfully, Jones did not flat-spot the tires, and was able to stay out on the track until the next caution came on lap 29. Jones was already up to 23rd when he brought the #1 Yellow Exact Express Chevy into the pits for tires and fuel. The race restarted and by lap 46, Jones had passed the #43 car to grab the 22nd spot. Temporarily, the pendulum swung the other way and Jones began to fall back, telling the crew the car was very loose. He held on and on lap 104 made a green-flag pit stop for tires and adjustments to tighten up the car. Returning to the track 31st, Jones had his work cut out for him. A caution on lap 126 allowed the field to come into the pits again for fresh tires and fuel. The crew did an excellent job getting PJ back out on the track. When the race restarted on lap 131, Jones was 23rd. Jones knew he could get even more, and by lap 138, he had already taken two positions to hold the 21st spot. After passing the #59 car, Jones had made his way into the top-20, and on lap 165, passed the #34 car for 19th. Just as the team was looking at a potential top-ten finish, smoke coming out of the back of the car indicated different fate. A leak in an oil-line forced Jones to take the car behind the wall, finishing 37th , with Jeff Gordon taking the win.

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Drivers Jeff Gordon , Ricky Craven , Scott Wimmer
Teams Phoenix Racing