PJ Jones: "Every effort was made to improve the handling of the ...
PJ Jones: "Every effort was made to improve the handling of the #19 Chevy this weekend. We made some fairly major adjustments to loosen up the car and there would be no significant response - it was puzzling for all of us. I was very impressed with the crew this weekend. Even when we needed to make those adjustments, the #19 Yellow/Pameco team would still get me out a few positions ahead of where we started. That's the kind of progress we like to see and after a week off, I'm sure we'll see those same improvements in the performance of the car."
Realizing the importance of track position at IRP, driver, PJ Jones, quickly moved ahead from his 35th-place starting position to make his way closer to the front. By lap 16, Jones had advanced to 30th and after the event's first caution, Jones was 27th. The #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy looked great in turns three and four, where Jones could catch his competitors from the outside and inside. Only teams that had gone into the pits for fresh tires were able to pass Jones who slipped to 33rd before the next caution on lap 59. The #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy came into the pits for tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help loosen up the car. The pit crew's performance was flawless and Jones returned to the track 30th. The race returned to green on lap 66, and PJ quickly grabbed the 29th spot from Derrick Gilchrist on lap 67. Jones radioed the car had become very tight. Before the next caution on lap 119, Jones fell back to 32nd. Crew chief, George Church, prepared the team to make major adjustments on the car, including tire pressure and three turns down on the right rear. After fresh tires and fuel, Jones returned to the track and the race went green on lap 127. Jones tried everything he could to get the car to maneuver more smoothly in the turns. The adjustments should have loosened up the car, yet Jones continued to struggle moving up the field. When another caution came at lap 142, Church brought Jones in for a third time to offer more adjustments. Jones was 27th at the restart on lap 151. Four laps later, the #17 hit the inside retaining wall, but the caution did not come out. As the rest of the field checked up, the #21 car hit Jones from behind causing the #19 Chevy to spin. Skillfully, Jones saved the car, avoiding all contact and remaining on the track in the same position - 27th. More cautions would take fellow competitors out of the field but Jones would hang on and finish 26th. It was obvious Jones was a survivor - of both a tough track and challenging racecar. Ron Hornaday took the win, his second of the season. The next event in the NASCAR Busch Series takes place Saturday, August 19th at Michigan Speedway.
Race: "Kroger 200" Laps/miles: 200 laps/250 miles Race date: Friday, August 4 Started: 35th Finish: 26th, 1 lap down Monies: $8,580