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Friday, January 21, 2022

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    Michigan native Erik Jones finishes busy week in home state with 18th place finish at MIS

    Brooklyn — Erik Jones made his first run at Michigan International Speedway while driving for the legendary Richard Petty, a seven-time Cup series champion, in the famed No. 43 Chevrolet on Sunday afternoon.

    And, Jones — the 25-year-old Byron, Michigan native — was coming off a season-best seventh-place finish last weekend on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

    Kyle Larson, left, leads the field to start the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Michigan International Speedway, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Brooklyn, Mich.

    Top-10 finishes have been hard to come by for Jones, who wasn’t offered a contract extension last year by Joe Gibbs after winning two races in three years at JGR, finishing 15th (2018), 16th (2019) and 17th (2020) in points and failing to make the playoffs last season.

    After his three years with the highly-funded JGR team, which includes drivers Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jones is finding things are tougher on a lesser-funded team, especially while trying to find chemistry with a new team during the pandemic world with no practice or qualifying.

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