On Friday Drew Herring stepped into the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota to fill in for Erik Jones while he was racing the truck at Iowa Speedway. Herring was fast in spite of just being a practice driver. He had the #54 7th in the first practice and 4th in the second practice.
Erik Jones won the Truck race and came to Chicagoland Speedway to qualify the car and race. Jones stepped right into the car making it to all three rounds to start the race in the 11th position. He did not have to start the race from the rear of the field because he qualified the car.
The race had been scheduled to run on Saturday night but a massive storm made that impossible. The race was run on a beautiful day on Sunday. The pole sitter, Austin Dillon led the field to green on his way to leading 28 laps. He finished the race third.
Jones first took the lead on lap 40 and looked like he was the class of the field but Ryan Blaney was also impressive. Blaney had to start at the rear of the field due to going to a backup car because he wrecked in qualifying. He was 7th by lap 20 and fourth, two positions behind Jones by the competition caution on lap 25.
Erik Jones led most of the laps from lap 40 to lap 150, only Ryan Blaney appeared to be the driver who could take it from him and did a few times.
With 50 to go there was a mistake where the drivers were told on the radio that pit road was open yet the pit road light was red signifying pit road was closed. Erik Jones pitted from the led and Ryan Blaney did not. At that point it looked like that mistake would cost the Jones a win.
Jones restarted the race 10th with 41 laps to go and was second, right behind Blaney with 19 to go. On the final restart with 11 to go Erik Jones went to the lead and didn’t look back.
Erik Jones led 94 laps followed by Ryan Blaney with 43 and the pole sitter Austin Dillon 28.
Daniel Suarez was the highest finishing rookie of the year candidate finishing seventh. Ross Kenseth, also a rookie, finished sixth.
“It’s pretty awesome to get this Monster Energy Toyota back to victory lane. It’s two weeks in a row for these guys. That’s three wins this week for me – that’s pretty awesome. It was a rough go for a while, but we came back at it now. It’s just cool to be back here – thanks to Kyle Busch Motorsports for Friday, Joe Gibbs Racing for today and Port City Race Cars for Tuesday, XFINITY for doing this for us, the fans and – man, what a day, what a day.” Jones added, “Thanks to Drew Herring who shook this thing down for us two days ago and got it right and we took it to victory lane today.”
Erik Jones sweeps the NASCAR weekend at two distinctly different race tracks to get his first win of the season in the No. 54 Monster Energy Car.
Feature Photo Credit: 309754 Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images