Devin Jones Runs Strong at Hickory

by Devin Jones Racing
on 26 June, 2013

Jones and Young’s Motorsports Show Strong Speed in Banjo Matthews Memorial 150 at Hickory

Devin Jones and his Young’s Motorsports team headed to Hickory Motor Speedway for the 5th annual Banjo Matthews Memorial 150.

Jones qualified the #35 VeriStor Systems Ford in the fifth position, and raced his way to as high as second before the handling went away on a late race restart. Jones was able to hang on to a top-ten finish. 

During the Friday practice sessions, Jones and team would focus on getting the VeriStor machine handling well on longer runs. 

“I felt good about the changes we made,” said Jones. “We tried some different things that I thought really helped the drivability of the car.”

Going into race day Jones felt confident in the car. The team bolted on new tires and made a mock qualifying run in the final UARA-STARS practice, however the car did not react well to the fresh tires. The Young’s Motorsports team then went to work trying to get more speed out the car. The adjustments paid off and Jones qualified a strong 5th for the 150 lap event. 

“After our mock run in the final practice I thought we may not have the car that would qualify up front,” said Jones. “The guys we able to make some small changes to the car and we ended up starting in a strong position for the race, I was proud of the team’s hard work.” 

In front of a great crowd at Hickory, Jones would make his move early to get track position. The #35 VeriStor Ford would ride in the second spot for about 40 laps. Jones maintained a top-five position for about 135 laps, until a late race restart changed the handling of car. Adjusting his line, Jones would be able to salvage a top-ten result.  

“We were so solid for ¾ of the race, I was able to just ride and still run up there in the top-five,” said Jones. “That late restart hurt us a little bit, with the set-up we had it just overheated the right front tire, once that happens you just have to search for a place the car will work the best and get all you can.” 

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After a rained-out race at Dillon Motor Speedway in May where Devin Jones tied for second in qualifying, the DJR team was ready to again show the speed of the #35 VeriStor Ford during the Clarks Signs & Graphics presents the Courtesy Chevrolet 150 at Lonesome Pine Speedway on June 1.

Jones rolled off the truck for Friday’s practice looking for a chance to capitalize on the momentum he started two weeks before.

“We were running strong at Dillon and if the race hadn’t rained out, I knew we would have had a car that could contend for the win,” said Jones. “I was eager to get back to the track and finish off what we started at Dillon.”

Friday practice showed that Jones hadn’t lost a beat from the success he and the team had found at Dillon. He finished the practice day in the 4th spot and the team’s crew chief, David King, had some ideas to gain a little more.

Saturday started off strong, with Jones on a roll in the top spot during both practice sessions. Jones would nearly stay there as he tied the qualifying position for 3rd, putting him in 4th for the start.

“The car was solid for qualifying, but with so many fast cars the times were tight,” said Jones. “We were happy with our starting position and knew we had a car that could be in contention for a win.”

Just as the race was about to get rolling, a small rainstorm passed over the track. For a moment, teams feared they may be looking at a repeat disappointment of a rain-out. But the rain passed quickly, the warm Virginia air had the track dry in no time and the race got started without haste.

The start was racy, with everyone in the top eight jockeying for position. All came out clean and the race would go green without caution for nearly 50 laps. Jones was running up front, but as the laps went on, the #35 VeriStor Ford’s handling went away.

A late race caution at lap 148 put the field in position for a one chance at a green-white-checkered restart. The restart had the top eight in the field battling for a top five spot. Jones went three-wide into turns one and two. Then, on the white-flag lap everyone got out of shape, two cars slid up the track in turn three, and the rest charged to the line to take the checkered. Jones crossed the line side-by-side with the 4th place car to take 5th by only a nose.

“I was going to get a top five out of this night at any cost,” said Jones. “During the final green-white-checkered I planned to get into the top five or end the night on the wrecker. I wasn’t going to settle for anything less.”

“With the car we had, this finish was a great success,” added Jones. “I was pleased to put VeriStor on the front stretch for post-race ceremonies and plan to keep them there for the remainder of the season. I’m very happy with how our team has jelled this year. As we work more together I am confident that we will be a dominant team for all the races yet to come.”

Jones looks to continue on his strong-finishing roll at Anderson Motor Speedway for the UARA-STARS 150 race on June 15.





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