This article is part of our NASCAR Barometer series.
Erik Jones finally joined his teammates by scoring a 2019 win in Sunday night's rain-delayed Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Jones ran strongly throughout the race distance but truly came to the forefront in the final stage when he took charge of the lead from Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson at lap 283. From that moment he went on to lead 79 of the last 84 laps. He weathered challenges from both Larson and Busch, as he found the grit and determination he needed to stay out front to claim another win at an iconic track.
This week the series heads to another icon in Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This is the first time Indy will play host to the final round of the regular season, which will make a win there even more special for whoever takes it. Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez sit on the cusp of making the playoffs, both tied on points at the cutoff line. Jimmie Johnson will need a small miracle to make it through 18 points behind. Still, there is everything to play for and Indianapolis is a place where strategy could throw out a surprise victor.
Erik Jones – Jones joined the rest of the Joe Gibbs Racing garage with a win in 2019 in a gritty display in Sunday night's Southern 500. It was Jones' 100th start in the series and the 13th win for the JGR team this season. The victory gives him valuable momentum with just one more