Erik Jones has watched his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates celebrate on 10 different occasions this season. See, JGR has won 10 of the first 19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races in 2019 with all three of his teammates having won at least twice.
Meanwhile, Jones had a rough start to his year. Through the first 10 starts of the year, Jones had scored just three top 10 results. That marred him back in the standings, as he had a fight on his hands just to get back to the good side of the playoff bubble.
For a driver in a contact year, it wasn’t a good look.
But, over the last nine races of the season, Jones has crawled back out of that deficit that he put himself in. Last Saturday night in Kentucky, Jones brought his No. 20 Toyota home in third. It was his third top eight finish in his last four starts on the season and sixth top 10 in his last nine starts on the year overall. That has brought him back to the good side of the playoff standings as he entered Saturday night’s race 13 points down. He left two points up now.
“Well, it’s good that we’re ahead of it now and we just need to keep it going,” Jones said on his playoff chances. “We built ourselves a big deficit through some misfortunes and bad luck and we’re digging out of it now but we’re doing a good job at it and doing the best we can. Getting back on the good side of it’s a good start, we just need to keep it rolling and hopefully get a win here soon.”
Now it’s to New Hampshire where Jones has just one top 15 finish in three career tries. He needs stage points and another solid top 10 result on Sunday afternoon. But, I think he can get more – he can get a win in fact.
Joe Gibbs Racing has won this race in three of the last four years. They also have three of their four drivers starting in the top six in Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 (3 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Jones included.
He was quickest in every metric on Saturday morning and will start fourth on Sunday.