Erik Jones didn’t have the outing he expected at Dover International Speedway — and it cost him dearly.
Jones has scored four wins this season — including at Dover in May — but he finished 16th in Sunday’s Xfinity Series race. As the Chase standings line up now, Jones is four points outside of the top eight drivers that would transfer to the next round.
Jones described his performance as embarrassing.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Jones said. “It’s something I would have never saw coming.”
Jones started on the pole. He led 54 of the first 56 laps. On the Lap 69 restart, Jones started second behind race winner Daniel Suarez and lost six positions after radioing to the team about issues with his right front tire.
Jones pitted for service on Lap 100, then dropped to 22nd in the field — two circuits off of the lead lap. In traffic, Jones complained about a lack of grip compared to his competition and it was difficult to race around other cars. Following restart after the fourth caution on Lap 151, Jones had wheeled the car back into the top 10.
The team was hoping for another caution, but the race went green to the finish. With seven laps remaining in the Drive Sober 200, Jones was forced to refuel and dropped to 16th, two laps down.
"I'm disappointed, you know?,” continued Jones. "It's not how we wanted to run, for sure. Not a good day for us. Just frustrated and just really disappointed in how the first couple weeks have gone in the Chase. We've run so strong all year and now to kind of fall on our face here the last couple weeks has been unfortunate. Just need to have a good day at Charlotte. We need to make up four points, get to the next round and start over. Hopefully, we can do that."