Points Finish 15th, 1 Wins, 9 Top Fives, 18 Top Tens, 28 Top Twenties, 14.0 Average Finish, 14.3 Average Running Position, 99 Laps Led, 84.66 Driver Rating
Erik Jones is a very capable performer on many different track types. In 2019 I would look for him to be at his best at intermediate tracks, big flat tracks, road courses and Bristol.
This upcoming season I think we’ll also see natural improvement from Erik Jones across the board. He’s becoming a more season driver and he’ll be entering year #2 of his Joe Gibbs Racing tenure.
Erik Jones won at Daytona last summer, but overall plate racing hasn’t been a strength for him. In 62.5% of his races on that track type he’s wrecked.
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – A-
Erik Jones is a strong intermediate track driver who should be high on your fantasy NASCAR radar. On this track type he’s capable of performing at an extremely high-level at 1.5 mile tracks, 2.0 mile tracks and the “skill” intermediate tracks.
In 2018 on this track type he was strong throughout the season and closing out the year outside of the “Big 3” he was arguably the best. In the second half of the season (Chicago and onward) minus Las Vegas #2 and Homestead (problems in both races), he had a 6.6 average finish and a 10.6 average running position.
In 2019 I would look for the good times to continue. On a weekly basis in incident free races I would look for Jones to finish in the top ten and potentially compete for a top five.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – A-
Erik Jones could be primed to have a big season at flat tracks. He’s a strong performer at both the shorter flat tracks and the big flat tracks.
Last year at the big flat tracks he ran well and finished in the top ten in two of the three races.
In 2018 his best race at the big flat tracks was at Indy where he finished runner-up. In 2017 at Indy he was top ten good but wrecked.
Pocono is the other big flat track track and he’s been competitive there. Minus the race last spring when he had a misleading result he has a 5.3 average finish. Last summer he finished 5th. In the spring he was likely low-double digits good until he had problems which led to his asterisk mark 29th place finish. In 2017 he had results of 8th and 3rd.
At the shorter flat tracks I think of him as a low-double digits driver who’ll compete for a top ten. Last season at those venues minus New Hampshire where he crashed he had a 12.5 average finish and a 14.0 average running position.
Short Track Fantasy Value – B+
At short tracks, Erik Jones is near elite at Bristol, good at Richmond but should be avoided at Martinsville.
At Bristol, he’s had some very competitive performances. Last summer he ran well and finished 5th. Last spring he ran well but finished a misleading 26th. He finished 6th in Stage #1, was in 5th at lap 170 but around lap 200 he got into the wall. His performance in summer 2017 was very impressive. In that event he earned the best driver rating, finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating and led a race high 260 laps. Additionally, he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 5th in Stage #2. In spring 2017 he ran well but finished a misleading 17th. In that race he finished 3rd in Stage #1, and 6th in Stage #2 but got into the wall hard with 80 laps to go while running in 8th.
At Richmond he’s been solid. Minus his first career start where he only completed four laps he has a 10.0 average finish and a 13.7 average running position. Last year he finished just short of the top ten and had results of 11th and 13th. In fall 2017 he had his best result and finished 6th.
Martinsville just hasn’t been a good track for him to date. Hopefully another year of experience will help him improve. At Martinsville over his three combined starts he has a 20.3 average finish. Last year he had results of 17th and 26th.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – B
When Erik Jones finishes races at plate tracks, he’s finishes well. That said in 5 of his 8 races on this track type he’s finished in the 30’s.
Erik Jones highlight of the 2018 season came at Daytona in July when he led 1 lap, but it was the final lap and it propelled him to his first career win. In summer 2017 he also finished in the top ten and finished 9th. In both his Daytona 500 races he’s wrecked.
At Talladega last fall he finished 8th. In his other three starts he’s wrecked and has finished 33rd or worse every race.
Road Course Fantasy Value – A-
Erik Jones is a capable road course driver and in 3 of the last 4 races on this track type he’s finished in the top ten. In 2019 with another year of experience under his belt I would look for him to compete for a top ten every race.
Watkins Glen has been his best road course and he’s a perfect 2 for 2 in terms of finishing in the top ten. Last year he finished 5th, in 2017 he finished 10th.
At Sonoma last year he was solid and finished 5th.
At Charlotte when the road course made its debut he had a rough weekend and finished 30th.