Toyota Racing – Brandon Jones
NASCAR Xfinity Series Quotes
CONCORD, N.C. (September 26, 2019) – Joe Gibbs Racing driver Brandon Jones was made available to media at Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course:
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Juniper Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Is there a big difference between the chicane this year compared to last year?
“A little bit. Last year, you had to carry so much speed back there. It was a third-gear corner. There’s even guys at this point going down to first a few times. I tried that. It just seems a little bit too slow to do it, so in second right now, but you’re hard on the brake. I mean it’s a nine out of 10 pressure-wise. You go into the simulator – I watched (Martin) Truex (Jr.) for a long time Monday. He was at 1400 PSI at a couple of times getting back in there. Different situation with the Cup car, obviously, but at the same time, that just goes to show you how much more that you’re having to get on the brake.”
What is the optimum passing zone here?
“It’s tough. There’s not many. I think you’re going to have to really watch and see if guys mess up. Turn 8 seems to be the one that I’m going to really focus on. That’s getting on to the NASCAR big track there and NASCAR Turn 1. If guys get wide there, you’re able to kind of drive underneath them and have a little bit better grip. That’s going to be a phenomenal place and then you’ll have a lot of momentum obviously when you get on the oval to complete that pass. You’ve got the majority lane for that left-hander getting on the backstretch. I think that’s going to be the best lane, but like I said, wait for people to slip. There’s going to be a lot of corners that people are going to do that in.”
Is there anything you can compare this course to?
“Maybe a little bit of a Mid-Ohio (Sports Car Course). It’s extremely technical. The infield you’re barely on the throttle at times. Sometimes you’re just rolling, free-rolling the corners. No brake or anything. I think that has some characteristics of Mid-Ohio. You’ve got that one big drop off – I think it’s Turn 7 where it falls off really big, so some elevation change in there.”
Do you think the Xfinity Series race will be disastrous?
“No. We’ve already ran the race in the past. We saw what it would do. I know that some guys were slipping and sliding today and getting in trouble in some corners, but everyone is watching that. Everyone is going to back that up and try to be perfect.”
Are you optimistic about tomorrow’s race?
“I am. I think the main thing is for us to understand is that we’re not racing the top-four cars. Those guys have got such a big points lead, so a top-10 finish would be a great day.”
So you think people settle down once they get through the actual craziness of being out on the track for the first time?
“I think so. Even last year, I expected after the Xfinity race, the Cup race to be wild and it wasn’t. People were very conservative. The Xfinity race was even a little bit conservative last year. We watched a lot of practice. People were killing that back chicane whenever it was a little bit different. Everyone takes note of that kind of stuff and all that. Watching that kind of kills your confidence. It makes you back off a lot.”
How was your practice?
“It seemed to be good. I did exactly what I wanted to do. I completed all the laps. We didn’t get ourselves in any trouble. Never spun out once and that was my goal was to finish laps and continue to learn each session. At the end of the day, we were the fastest we’ve ran the entire day and that was also a goal of mine was to continue to build and get faster as the day went.”
How has the track changed from last year besides the chicane on the backstretch?
“Yeah, that’s obviously the biggest. I don’t know. The grip level seems to be a lot better. The last time we were here, the infield section, so the road course part of it, felt really slick. I still see some guys spinning out in (Turns) 5 and 6. I know that was a big section of mine where I struggled last year. I think I actually got in trouble in practice there as well, so I had that in the back of my mind, but the track actually had more grip than what I thought it would.”
What is it about Turns 5 and 6 that is causing people problems?
“You roll a ton of speed there. I’m actually not carrying enough still. It’s a corner that you can almost drive in really deep and then use no brake for a section of it. I think that’s why, but at the same time, the track almost loads up to the left. It’s got kind of a divot in it and it actually grabs the car whenever you hit it just right. I think maybe you can be on the outside of that and be on the looser part. If you stay really tight to the right-side of that curbing, it makes it better.”
Can you confirm that you’ll be back at Joe Gibbs Racing next year?
“No. Not yet. I know that there’s been a lot of stuff that’s been out, but just right now focused on this and I hope so. I hope that’s the case, but I’m sure that you know something will get released if that is.”
What’s it like for you being in Silly Season like this having to answer questions and seeing where other drivers are going?
“It’s still somewhat early, so it doesn’t bother me too bad. I’m still focused on getting to Homestead. I still think that that’s a goal of ours. We still want to get there, so I’m not worried about it right now. That’s something that I don’t ever really deal with anyways and the future is being a part of that sometimes. Keep focused on the race track and try to get to Homestead.”
# # #
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit ToyotaNewsroom.com.