Mechanical Issue Shortens the Day for Devin Jones at Rockingham
UARA-STARS Round Three – Life at “The Rock”
Devin Jones Racing headed into round three of the UARA-STARS tour at the historic Rockingham Motor Speedway with confidence and new sponsor, VeriStor, on the car. The track, which is a little over a mile, would also be reopening to host the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series the same weekend, making for a very festive event.
Friday practice only had two rounds. So the Devin Jones Racing team needed to hit the set up quickly.
“The first round of practice the car was very good,” said Jones. “But then we learned that we were blistering the right front tire after just 30 laps. We made some adjustments and in the second round of practice the car has a substantial push that we could never get rid of. So that meant that what we got is what we had to qualify with.”
On Saturday the UARA tour went straight into qualifying, no practices, and then into the race.
“When we went out to qualify, to my surprise, the car was wicked loose,” said Jones. “The last lap of qualifying, coming out of four, I tagged the wall slightly which pretty much guaranteed that it wouldn’t be the qualifying results that we needed.”
Jones earned a 16th place starting position based on his first qualifying lap. The team made the decision to work on the car to see what damage there was. Based on UARA rules, working on the car after qualifying puts you back to the rear of the field for the start.
“Obviously starting in the back wasn’t an ideal place to be but I knew we could have made something out of it,” said Jones. “It’s a good thing we checked the car. The exhaust was broken and the front was toed three quarters of an inch in. At an abrasive track like Rockingham that wouldn’t have worked.”
The start of the race was fairly uneventful. By the first caution Jones said the car was still loose, but he opted not to pit. After making forward progress, he wanted to maintain track position. On the restart, Jones felt a huge vibration and the car just shot up the track to the right. He quickly came in to pit to check to see where the vibration was coming from. To the pit crew’s surprise, the left front hub was broken.
“We were very lucky,” said Jones. “If that hub would have just disintegrated completely at a mile track, averaging 140 MPH, it would have completely destroyed the car and our story of the day would have been very different.”
“It was nice to have our new sponsor VeriStor at this big event,” added Jones. “The VeriStor crew are a great bunch of people. We look forward to seeing them again at Kingspor
"I also want to say thank you for all the hard work from Chase Pistone and his team," said Jones. "They worked hard all weekend to get us where we needed to be."
“Having the opportunity to race UARA-STARS in conjunction with the NASCAR Camping World Trucks on a mile-long high-banked track was a great opportunity,” concluded Jones. “Everybody drove smart, and it was a great car count, and an even better fan turn out. I can’t wait to have the opportunity to race a car on a mile and a half.”
Next up for Devin Jones Racing will be the UARA-STARS fourth race at Kingsport Speedway in Tennessee on Friday, May 4.