Erik Jones, Martin Truex Jr. complete Joe Gibbs Racing sweep at Pocono

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For Erik Jones, “all there’s left to do” for him in 2019 is to finally win a race.

“We’ve done everything we can but win a race here the last month,” Jones said Sunday after his second-place finish at Pocono Raceway.

Jones finished between Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., earning his third consecutive finish in the top three. It is the second time JGR has finished 1-2-3 this year, the first coming in the Daytona 500.

What kept Jones from visiting victory lane for the first time this season?

The decision by the No. 20 team to save as much fuel as possible while Jones led, which resulted in him losing the lead to Hamlin with 17 laps to go in the scheduled distance.

“When it was still green, I was hoping they would all run out (of gas), that was my only opportunity with having to save as much as I was,” Jones said. “The caution came out (with eight laps to go), looking back on it, man, I wish we would have just ran hard. Because if we ran hard we wouldn’t have given up the lead and we would have been in the lead on the restart and probably wouldn’t have given up the lead there.”

Playing a factor in the decision to conserve fuel was Jones’ position in the points (14th entering Pocono) and how well he’s run recently.

“If we have a day where we run out of fuel because we were trying to push and get a win and we don’t make it, that’s a pretty bad day if we finish 25th coming down to get fuel and lose all these points we’ve gained here in the last month,” Jones said. “We’re in a spot now where we’re almost a race up on the cutoff line, which is a good feeling. It took a long time to get there and we don’t really want to give it up all at once.”

The runner-up result is Jones’ best finish of the year. He has eight top 10s in the last 11 races.

“Man, it’s a bummer,” Jones said. “We’re close every week.  … We’re right there.

“We’re doing great building points, but it would be great to knock a win out. We’re just so close, it stings a little bit more when you get close to it.”

Meanwhile, Truex lost his opportunity at a win thanks to a bout of indecision and lapped traffic.

The indecision came when Truex was running second to Jones with Hamlin right behind him.

“I mean, had I been able to keep him behind me, (Jones) was starting to back up and save more,” Truex told NBCSN, adding he kept asking himself “Should I pass him yet? Should I pass him yet?”

But he never got the chance.

A lapped car slowed Truex on the frontstretch, allowing Hamlin to overtake him. Truex said the lapped car was a “game changer.”

“Once the caution came out, (Hamlin) had the restart on the outside,” Truex said. “You can’t do anything about it. Inside on the front row is just sitting ducks.”

Truex’s third-place finish is his first top five since he won at Sonoma on June 23rd and follows a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire.

Sioux Chief to sponsor ARCA Showdown, East Series to race at Nashville Fairgrounds

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ARCA announced Saturday that Sioux Chief Manufacturing will be the entitlement sponsor of its 10-race ARCA Menards Series Showdown in 2020.

Sioux Chief Manufacturing is a Missouri company that designs and manufactures rough plumbing products, parts, and accessories for residential, commercial, industrial and government applications

Sioux Chief has been involved in ARCA since 2015 as a race event sponsor and special awards program sponsor and sponsored ARCA’s former Short Track Challenge.

As part of the deal, a newly increased point fund, combined with race purses, owner plan, and contingency awards, will offer teams a chance to compete for a share of over $920,000 in posted awards throughout the series.

The Sioux Chief Showdown will bring together the best drivers from the ARCA Menards Series, the ARCA Menards Series East and ARCA Menards Series West, formerly known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Those events, held on oval tracks 1.25-miles in length and under and road courses, offer drivers who may not be able or eligible to run the full 20-race ARCA Menards Series schedule the opportunity to run for a championship. Combined with the overall ARCA Menards Series championship, and the East and West championships, drivers will have four separate championships to compete for in 2020.

The announcement was made at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis. Also present was promoter Bob Sargent of Track Enterprises, who announced that the ARCA Menards Series East would compete at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 2.

The Tennessean reported this week that the Nashville Fairgrounds was negotiating with Sargent to promote at least three races at the short track in 2020. Sargent’s involvement in the track comes after Nashville’s Fair Board voted to terminate its agreement with Formosa Productions to run the track over outstanding debt.

The ARCA Menards Series has competed at the Fairgrounds the last five seasons. The ARCA Menards Series East, formerly known as the K&N Pro Series East, competed there from 2007-08.

GMS Racing reveals full-time driver-crew chief lineup, number assignments

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GMS Racing has announced its full-time driver-crew chief lineup for the 2020 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season and number assignments for its trucks:

– Chad Norris has been named crew chief for Brett Moffitt and the No. 23 Chevrolet team. Moffitt drove the No. 24 in his first season with the team. Norris has been with GMS Racing for two years and directed the effort that delivered the team its 2018 Xfinity Series win at Talladega.

– Chad Walter will lead Tyler Ankrum and the No. 26 team. 2020 will be Ankrum’s first season with GMS Racing. Walter served as an engineer for Ankrum this season at DGR-Crosley. Walter has five wins and 42 top fives in 208 Xfinity Series starts as crew chief.

– Kevin “Bono” Manion is paired with Zane Smith on the No. 21 Chevrolet. 2020 will be Smith’s first full-time Trucks season after competing part-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. Manion has 24 wins as crew chief across all three national series since 2003. He led Martin Truex Jr. to his two Xfinity Series titles.

– Jeff Stankiewicz will remain as the crew chief for the No. 2 team piloted by Sheldon Creed.

Social Roundup: How NASCAR drivers are spending their offseason

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NASCAR’s Champion’s week is now behind us and we are firmly in the offseason.

Well, sort of.

The NASCAR world never really stops, which is evident simply due to the continued announcements for the 2020 season.

But with Joey Logano testing the Next Gen car at Phoenix earlier this week and Dale Earnhardt Jr. helping clean up North Wilkesboro Speedway for iRacing, it’s been anything but quiet.

Here’s a look at what else happened in the NASCAR community this week.

Someone needs to check in on Jimmie Johnson, he could be in his own version of Mr. Mom.

Chris Buescher is home again.

The 2015 Xfinity Series champion is back at Roush Fenway Racing for the 2020 Cup season and he’s got the firesuits and cars to prove it.

Brad Keselowski recently became father to a second daughter.

He’s now learning some important life lessons.

Former Front Row Motorsports driver Matt Tifft is now off the market after getting married to his fiance, Jordan. Now they’re on their honeymoon.


Matt DiBenedetto showed off one of the perks of being a Wood Brothers Racing employee.

Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace went somewhere warm to start their holiday.

Joey and Caitlin Gase welcome twin sons

Joey Gase
Joey Gase Twitter
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Xfinity Series driver Joey Gase and his wife Caitlin are now parents to twin boys

The babies were born on Wednesday. Their names are Jace and Carson.

More: Brad and Paige Keselowski welcome second daughter