After a difficult two weeks Erik Jones and the No. 77 SiriusXM Toyota team look to rebound at Pocono Raceway where they earned their best finish to date.
The Furniture Row Racing driver finished third in the June 11 Pocono 400 in his career-first series start at the unique three turn, 2.5-mile track.
Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 will be just the fourth time Jones will compete at Pocono in NASCAR’s national series. He earned the pole position and finished second in last year’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race and, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, finished sixth in 2014 and earned the pole and finished 10th in 2015.
“We ran top-five most of the day and had good strategy and it worked out,” said Jones. “The last restart played out right into our hands. It was definitely a good day for us. We didn’t have the winning car but we stuck to our guns and worked at it hard all day, which can be tough to do sometimes. We got the finish I felt like we deserved.”
Jones and the No. 77 Toyota team did not finish the races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 16), despite sixth- and 10th-place qualifying efforts, respectively. A cut tire and heavy contact with the wall at New Hampshire ended the team’s day after just 40 laps and a multicar crash with less than 20 laps remaining did the same at Indy.
“Yeah, it’s been the story of our season,” said Jones. “We’ve run well, run up front, just haven’t been able to close the races out whether it’s our own fault, bad luck or circumstance, so we know we can take a lot away from it.”
The Pennsylvania 400 is the fourth of seven races SiriusXM will be the primary sponsor of the No. 77 Furniture Racing Toyota this season. Still on the schedule are Richmond Raceway (Sept. 9), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1), and Martinsville Speedway (Nov. 5).
Jones is 17th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after 20 races. He is three points behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for 16th place and 22 behind Ryan Newman for 15th.
The 21-year old is second in the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. His 196 points are nine behind Daniel Suarez (205) and 26 ahead of third-place Ty Dillon (170).
The 200-lap, 400-mile Pennsylvania 400 will consist of three stages of 50/50/60 laps (laps 50/100/160). Sunday’s race will air live beginning at 1 p.m. MT (3 p.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM 90 and MRN. Qualifying (multi-car, three rounds) is also scheduled for Sunday at 9:30 a.m. MT (11:30 a.m. ET) on NBCSN, SiriusXM 90 and MRN.