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October 4, 2020

Erik Jones

Talladega, Alabama

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our second‑place finisher, Erik Jones, driver of the No.20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Erik, walk us through the finish.
ERIK JONES: Yeah, it was kind of up and down for us. We led some laps early at the midpoint of the race, felt like we had a pretty fast car. Got up front there towards the end and tried to lock on with the 21, push him all the way to the tri‑oval, have a shot to win at the end.
Didn't work out. We had to put a block on the 17, got in the fence. Still came home second, so we'll take it. Obviously we want to win here. Feel like I've been really close a few times and haven't quite got it done.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open up the floor for some questions from the media for Erik.

Q. After a race like this, there's discussion already about whether the yellow line rule should be in place or if there should be something toward the end of the race. As a competitor, would it change things if the rule went away or was modified for the end of a race?
ERIK JONES: I think you'd probably see more wrecks without it, guys being able to dive down there, trying to make big moves. You'd probably see more accidents than what we have now.
I don't know. I don't honestly know what to do to make it better. I know it's unfortunate when it comes down to the end of the race, it becomes a judgment call. I'm not totally sure what happened between the 11 and 21 that caused the penalty at the end, I haven't seen it.
It is unfortunate when you have to make those calls, put people out of the race for something like that. But I honestly don't know what I would change if I was in that position to make it any better.

Q. You've had quite a last month, strung some strong races together. What does a race like today do for your hand as you try to find a ride for next year? Where exactly are you as far as finding a new situation?
ERIK JONES: I'm still working for 2021. There's still some things I'm trying to work out, get locked in for next year.
I don't know that it really changes my hand at all with them. The teams I'm in discussion with I've been in discussion with a for a while anyway. I don't know that this is going to change it.
I've told teams here in the last few months, I know I can do it, I've won a couple of these races and feel like we could have won more along the way. Haven't always had it click here. I've enjoyed my time at JGR, but wish we could have won more races along the way.
I don't know, this last month has been awesome as a driver, running strong, run up front. I don't know it changes too much what I've got going.

Q. Are you a little frustrated these are the kind of runs you would have rather had at the beginning of the year when contract discussions came up with Joe Gibbs?
ERIK JONES: I mean, yes and no. I think their decision was somewhat made already beyond how I would have ran. I don't know that would have changed it. Obviously I wish we could have ran better all year, been in the Playoffs. I think the way we've been running, our Playoff run so far would have been fairly strong.
I don't know that it would have changed the decision that JGR made to make a change, having me move out of the 20 car. I don't think that would have changed.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Erik, for taking the time to join us.
ERIK JONES: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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