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ERIK JONES

 

THE MODERATOR:  We're now joined by Erik Jones, who finished third in today's race in the No. 20 Craftsman Toyota.

            We'll go straight to questions for you.

 

            Q.  In the last couple of races you have been on a run, not finishing any worse than eighth.  How good does that feel with the season you've had?

            ERIK JONES:  That's nice.  I think we've had our share of ups and downs.  Definitely more ups in the last month and a half than downs.  So that's good.

            We're doing what we're supposed to do, up and running in the top five each and every week.  I think Vegas even we could have run in the top five had things worked out a little bit differently at the end of the race.

            We're right there.  We want to win a race bad.  We just haven't had quite enough speed at some of these places to really cap it off.  Today we got kind of lucky with the pit call there at the end and got some good track position with new tires.

            Overall, though, it feels good.  I'm still hunting to finish up my plans for next year.  I think every good run doesn't hurt.  Can only make things a little easier.

 

            Q.  What do you attribute these better finishes to?  Do you feel like you're running better or things are falling your way?

            ERIK JONES:  I think things are just falling our way.  Our cars have been a little bit better, but it's nothing light-years ahead of anything we've done all year really.  I just think we had some crazy circumstances through the year.  Some of it was our own doing, some of it was just mistakes on pit road or mistakes on my part.

            The last month has just been smooth.  We haven't made any mistakes really.  We've had some things not go our way, but we've had some things that did and made up for mistakes or things that didn't go our way early in the race.

            Even today, the car didn't start before the race, had to start dead last, drove up to the front.  Got caught behind the 2 when he spun out, lost a ton of track position.  Drove back up front again.

            I don't know.  I think there's definitely some better things that are falling for us, whatever that may be.  I don't know that we're really doing anything a whole lot different than what we've done.

 

            Q.  You mentioned this recent string of finishes.  Do you think it's too late in the game for these finishes to mean anything for next season or do you think it's never too late to try to get some better runs?

            ERIK JONES:  I don't think it's ever too late.  I think any time you can help your stock is good.  I've ran good on every style of track.  Talladega and Bristol, Las Vegas, the road course today.  I don't know.  Obviously I wish I would have won 'em all.

            I don't know what more to do.  Sometimes we run really strong, I feel like I hope I get a good ride next year.  Still working hard at it.  Still trying to work things out.  But we're heading in the right direction on a lot of things, too.

            It's frustrating sometimes when you think about it.  You run up front, I know we haven't won a race this year, but it's tough sitting in this spot being out of a ride, not having one set up so far.

 

            Q.  You've been really good with us in the past about telling us, when you could, how things were going to be.  Do you have any type of estimate or timeline of when you'll be able to let us know what your plans are for 2021?

            ERIK JONES:  Yeah, I mean, to be completely as transparent as I can be, I really think we'll have something done this week.  Not saying that that means we're going to announce anything.  We're definitely really close I think of working something out.  Hopefully we can get that done.

            I think that would be good.  We're getting there for sure.  I obviously can't say everything.  I wish I could be totally open, but there's some things you can't say.  We're getting close, though.  I can tell you that.

            THE MODERATOR:  Erik, good luck next week in Kansas.  Thanks for joining us.

            ERIK JONES:  Yup.  Thanks, guys.

 

 

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