Race: "Lysol 200" Race date: Sunday, June 25 Finish: 9th , on lead lap Laps/miles: 82 laps/200 miles Started: 4th Monies: $8,900 PJ Jones: "What a great day for the ...
Race: "Lysol 200"
Race date: Sunday, June 25
Finish: 9th , on lead lap
Laps/miles: 82 laps/200 miles
PJ Jones: "What a great day for the #19 Yellow/Pameco team. Actually, when you're that dominant, we expected to win. I was definitely strong in turn five, but turn one was the best. We were using AP brakes this weekend after using them in an earlier test session and they were great. I could pass three cars and then stop on a dime if I needed to. It was great to return to Watkins Glen and get that same 'chance to win' feeling I had when I raced here in IMSA GTP. The #30 car took away our shot to win. I gave him room but he drove like I wasn't even there. The car was ruined after that. It made it so much more difficult to turn. I'm glad I was able to hang on and finish in the top-ten. This should build some great momentum for the team and we are definitely looking forward to Milwaukee."
There is one word to describe the #19 Yellow/Pameco team at Watkins Glen: DOMINANT! From the moment PJ Jones got on the 2.45-mile road course, his fellow competitors knew he was a threat to win. Starting fourth, Jones had taken over the third position on lap three and by the first turn on lap four had moved into second. With no pressure from behind, Jones found his rhythm and began his quest for the lead. Each lap, Jones would gain ground on the leader, Ron Fellows. At the first caution on lap 11, Fellows decided to pit and Jones remained on the track, taking the lead. Jones held the point position until the #20 car of Tom Hubert slipped by him on lap 20. Jones attempted to retake the lead several times before pitting on lap 30. Since most teams were coming in at different times for their pit stops, the #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy was shown in 33rd upon returning to the track, but that wouldn't last long at all. By lap 38, Jones had already advanced to 28th before another caution. Several teams pitted and Jones moved up to eighth.
As soon as the race went back to green on lap 40, Jones took over in turn one and passed two cars to take the sixth position, passed the #57 car of Jason Keller on the next lap and took fourth when he passed the #92 car in turn one. PJ Jones owned turn one. It seemed as if drivers would simply let him go by - Jones made it look that easy. Then, the yellow flag returned on lap 45. Jones brought in the #19 Yellow/Pameco Chevy for one final pit stop. The crew flew through their two-tire pit stop and even though several cars did not pit, PJ would restart 11th. The team was confident he could make his way to the front, and he did. Again, turn one was the place for Jones to shine and by lap 53, he had already captured the fourth position. The caution came out on lap 57 and the #3 car pitted, allowing Jones to move up to third. Restarting on lap 59, Jones immediately passed the #2 car of Kevin Harvick and was on the hunt to take the lead from Butch Leitzinger. Jones was right on his bumper and began to make the pass at the entrance to the esses, when Leitzinger smacked the left side of the #19 Chevy, sending Jones into the guardrail. Skillfully, Jones saved the car, got back on the course and continued on, losing only five positions.
By lap 62, Jones had slipped to eighth, but was still able to maintain good lap times. Amazingly, Jones held on to the end, relinquishing only one more position to finish ninth for the day. When the team got a chance to look at the car, they couldn't believe the damage. The right front suspension had suffered quite a bit of damage and the bent sheet metal was inches away from cutting three of the four tires. Jones had proven he was a survivor - handling the car at its best and worst to claim his career-best Busch Series finish and a season-best finish for the team.
The next event in the NASCAR Busch Series takes place Sunday, July 2 at The Milwaukee Mile.