Already slated to run a limited amount of Xfinity Series races for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota, Erik Jones climbed into the team’s No. 54 Toyota Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and finished 13th in place of the injured Kyle Busch.
Jones, who also competes full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, made an early move into the Top 10 but fell back due to a tight condition. Also hindering him were a pit road penalty following a Lap 87 stop under yellow (crew went over the wall too soon) and later contact with Elliott Sadler shortly after the 50-laps-to-go mark.
“It was just a long day overall with a lot of factors that went into it – really just started too tight,” Jones said. “The Monster Energy Camry was good at the end. I just wish we could have been on the lead lap and in contention, so (it was) just unfortunate the way it worked out. I wish we could have been up there.
“I felt like we had a better car than that, but just a lot of things that weren’t going for us today. You can’t always have a great day at the race track, but we’ll come back and be better and be stronger next time.”
JGR has not yet determined who will drive the No. 54 car for next weekend’s Xfinity race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. David Ragan has been named to run Busch’s No. 18 Sprint Cup car for at least the next several weeks, starting with tomorrow’s Folds of Honor/QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta; Ragan starts 17th for that event.
Meanwhile, Jones will now turn his focus on today’s Truck Series 200-miler at Atlanta, which is scheduled to begin shortly after 5:30 p.m. ET. Jones will start on the front row with Ben Kennedy after Brad Keselowski’s apparent pole-winning run was disallowed earlier today by NASCAR.