Team Interstate: Impressive Debut, Heartbreaking Finish
18-year-old Erik Jones turned a lot of heads in his Sprint Cup Series debut Saturday night at Kansas Speedway. Unfortunately, a late-race wreck ruined what was an impressive night.
Erik qualified his No. 18 M&M’s Red Nose Day/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry in the 12th position. After losing several spots in the first green-flag run due to technical issues with his radio, he quickly made up lost positions with guidance from spotter Tony Hirschman.
Erik was scored 11th when NASCAR issued a red flag at lap 98 for inclement weather. After a two-hour rain delay, racing resumed and Erik began his charge into the top 10.
He was running fourth on lap 196 when he lost control of his car and spun, making heavy contact with the wall. The team worked fast in the garage to make repairs, and Jones was able to return to the track on lap 221. He finished the race 40th, 25 laps down.
“I just lost it, and it’s too bad,” Erik said. “I had such a good night going. We had a fast M&M’s Red Nose Day Camry, and it’s just a matter of trying to get a little better on my end and figuring out where the limit is. Unfortunately, we found it there and we’ll try to get a little better and see if we can get another shot in this thing.”
Jimmie Johnson won the SpongeBob SquarePants 400.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Charlotte Motor Speedway (Non-points Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race)
- NASCAR Xfinity Series – Iowa Speedway (Erik Jones will drive the No. 20 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota)
- Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – Sacramento, Calif.