Erik Jones focused on stage points at Auto Club
By Matt Courson
March 17, 2018
FONTANA, Calif.—Erik Jones enters Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway having gained only one stage point so far in 2018.
“We’ve just haven’t ran well enough early in these races to score those points and last year we were kind of opposite—we weren’t finishing well, but we were scoring lots of stage points, so it’s a little bit reversed,” Jones said.
Stage points are awarded to the top 10 at the end of each stage, and ultimately contribute to a driver’s position in the standings. Jones attributes the lack of stage points to the team’s position in points (15th).
“I think that’s been a big thing that’s held us back a little bit in the points here early on, so hopefully this weekend we can run up towards the top-five here early in the day and kind of keep that momentum throughout the day and earn some good stage points,” Jones said.
“That’s something I have seen and focused on and it’s definitely going to be – personally at least for me – it’s been kind of a point of emphasis here for this weekend.”
The driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing qualified fourth for Sunday’s event in Southern California.
2018 marks Erik Jones’s sophomore season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. He earned rookie-of-the-year honors in 2017 with Furniture Row Racing.
Joshua A. Hill/TRE