Ed Jones ‘Still Learning How Aggressive to Be’ After Xfinity Top-Five

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

Road course ringers in NASCAR competition often have to find out just how aggressive to be. Although he scored a top-five finish at Portland International Raceway, Ed Jones is still learning just how aggressive he needs to be.

Ed jones scored a top-five finish despite still learning just how aggressive to be in the nascar xfinity series.
(Photo by Matt Thacker/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

The British driver from the United Arab Emirates was in uncharted territory in the Pacific Office Automation 147. Jones ran strong in his only other NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Circuit of the Americas before a crash ended his day. Portland offered a chance for him and his Sam Hunt Racing teammate Sage Karam to shine.

Both drivers started at the rear of the field and made quick work to climb up the running order. A stack-up on the penultimate restart effectively ended Karam’s day. Meanwhile, Jones maneuvered his No. 24 Synergy Modular Toyota GR Supra to stay inside the top-10. The 29-year-old was ahead of a multi-car pileup that set up the final restart of the race.

Jones muscled his way up to sixth on the final restart. As the laps clicked off, he picked up another spot when Sam Mayer cut a left rear tire. All the while Jones battled with Xfinity regulars A.J. Allmendinger, Josh Williams, and defending champion Cole Custer. When the checkered flag waved, the Sam Hunt Racing driver crossed the line in fifth.

“We rolled off the truck pretty good,” Jones said. “Obviously, practice is so short, but we got a good feel. Our car wasn’t the best for qualifying, a single-lap run, but we felt comfortable that we had a good car in the long run, and it proved its case in the race. Started mid-pack and gradually worked out way up the field every stage to inside the top-10 for the final stage.

“For the last two restarts, it was all about going full attack. Again, I’m still learning how aggressive to be. It’s been an experience, it’s great to get a full race experience in, and even better, to be in the top-five. Just thank you to the team and Toyota for helping me prepare for the weekend. And Synergy for being in the car. Looking forward to Sonoma in a few days’ time.”

Ed jones scored a top-five finish despite still learning just how aggressive to be in the nascar xfinity series.
#24: Ed Jones, Sam Hunt Racing, Toyota Racing Development Toyota Supra. (Photo by NKP/Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Like Allmendinger (back-up car), Karam, and others, Jones dropped to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments. He followed his teammate as they worked their way up the running order. Jones ended the first stage of the 75-lap race inside the top-20. He finished Stage 2, earning one additional Stage point.

The fifth-place finish was Jones’ first career top-five in NASCAR competition in just his third career start. He is the 28th internationally born driver to score a top-five in NASCAR’s three National Touring Series, and the 18th to do so in the Xfinity Series.

The top-five finish moved the Sam Hunt Racing No. 24 Toyota GR Supra up to 43rd in owner points. If there are more than 38 entries at Sonoma Raceway, Jones will once again have to qualify on speed. He made both the races at Circuit of the Americas and Portland comfortably.

Although it was on a different configuration, Jones has two starts in the NTT IndyCar Series at Sonoma Raceway with a best finish of 10th.

The next race for Jones is the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 at Sonoma Raceway on June 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on both the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *