March 7, 2021

by a NASCAR fanatic - not affiliated with NASCAR

For the second week in a row, the Toyota rookie drivers finished near each other after very different days.

Erik Jones once again ran up front all race, only to have a loose tire on pit road cost him a top five finish. He ended up 12th.

“We just don’t complete the races that well so we have to go to work and get a little bit better and figure out how to execute well all day,” Jones said. “I have a lot of confidence in the Furniture Row Racing team. We’re a new program but we’re a talented group so it’s just a matter of time before we start hitting on all eight cylinders.”

In every race since the Daytona 500, Jones has placed his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota up front but failed to get a top-10 finish each week outside of Phoenix.

On the contrary, Daniel Suárez hasn’t had his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at the front of the field very often this season, but he just scored back-to-back top-10 finishes.

Suarez hasn’t changed his thinking after a bit of success, he’s still focused on learning and getting better.

“We learned some good stuff,” Suarez said. “But there is some stuff out there that we have to still work on and get better at and trying to just, you know, get faster. Overall, just find more speed as a team. But we are getting there.”

The rookies will get a big change from the intermediate tracks this weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway.

“I think the Cup car is going to be way, way different than the truck,” Jones said. “I have ran the truck there a couple times. It’s been a lot of fun. But definitely it’s still a lot of things I have to get better at. It’s one of those race tracks that I feel like I need to be better at.

“Hopefully I can do my homework right and ask my teammates, you know, for some advice. Just trying to be competitive. Is one of the races that track position is super important. Hopefully, we can have good track position, and I learn as much as I can.”

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Auto Club 400 Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, CA USA Sunday 26 March 2017Michael Kyle Larson World Copyright: Rusty Jarrett/LAT Images ref: Digital Image 17FONrj_5551

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