Erik Jones Returns to Winning Ways at Iowa Speedway
NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie collect third win of 2016
NEWTON, Iowa (July 30, 2016) – During Saturday’s qualifying session, Daniel Suárez held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and Dakoda Armstrong to earn the Sukup “First in the Field” award for the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because it was the 10th time in 19 races this season a JGR car has sat atop the pole. But it’s only the second time championship points leader Suárez earned a pole this year. However, when the checkered flag waved at Iowa Speedway it was Jones who drove into Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane.
Jones showed once again why he’s comfortable racing at Iowa Speedway. Jones led 154 of 250 laps in Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 and passed Ty Dillon with 15 laps to go to capture his third victory and 12th top-10 finish of 2016.
“Once the sun went down, I felt like our car was really good,” Jones, a two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner (2014, 2015) at Iowa Speedway said. “It was cool to do it at Iowa. It’s by far one of my favorite tracks and places to get to come to during the year.”
Dillon, driver of the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet, led 83 laps and looked poised to win before Jones passed him and didn’t look back. Dillon’s second-place finish was his fifth top-10 in six races at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet.”
JR Motorsports’ Elliott Sadler came home third and recorded his 12th top-10 finish in all 12 starts at Iowa Speedway.
The win for Jones was his first since his father passed away.
“I know he’s riding along with us and it’s hard not to think that this one was for him,” Jones said.
Dillon also finished second in the NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen on June 19. Dillon said because he felt like he had an opportunity to win, the second-place finish hurt.
“I’m just going to let it hurt until I drive out of this place, and then we’re going to move on to Watkins Glen,” Dillon said. “Proud of our guys. Felt like we were second place car and had a chance to win.”
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 6 (1:00 p.m. CT, CNBC).