Quiroga: ‘It’s Not An Easy Decision’ to Spin Erik Jones
“It’s really unfortunate what happened, (he’s) a Toyota truck and we were all battling really hard,” Quiroga said after his second place finish. “He drove very deep into Turn 1 and then he got sideways in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 and he kept on going sideways. Once we got to the straight he was still sideways and he was coming toward me and with how tight it is (there), if someone brakes everyone just runs over everybody.
“It’s not an easy decision. It wasn’t a hard hit for us, fortunately the truck was fine, but it’s unfortunate what happened. I don’t feel good about it but it’s one of those deals where you’re involved and there’s nowhere to go.”
It was on a restart with seven laps remaining, after having already made contact with rookie John Hunter Nemechek that cut his tire while the two battled for third, Quiroga spun Jones coming off Turn 2. He had been looking for the lead and his first career win. Jones took a hard hit to the inside wall while Quiroga inherited the top spot.
It was short lived however, as Jones’ Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Darrell @BubbaWallace quickly overtook him on the restart and drove away to the victory. For Qurioga, it’s his best career finish and first top-five of the season. The difference being that he could make time through the corners, but felt the No. 77 Net 10 Wireless Toyota from Red Horse Racing was lacking speed down the straightaways.
“I wish it was first and not second. We were really strong. We ran out of fuel, we came through the field, but it was good. My truck was really, really fast,” he said. “I’m really happy for everyone at Red Horse Racing. We finished second and third (with teammate @TimothyPeters17), which is pretty good for our comeback for the championship points.”
Quiroga was one of the strongest trucks on Saturday after starting ninth. The team however, nearly took themselves out of contention when he ran out fuel during a cycle of green flag pit stops. This coming week the team will diagnose what happened as Quiroga was told he would be good for two more laps.
After receiving the lucky dog, he worked his way back from outside the top-15 to the top-five by Lap 130 of the race’s scheduled 160. The pit crew keeping him in the game by gaining spots on pit road, which set up for the late race charge.
“I think everybody got really excited at the end,” he said. “We were defending our position, I saw an opportunity to win my first race and I didn’t want to let it go, so I drove as hard as everyone else. We were fortunate to be out of any accidents.”
Quiroga sits sixth in points heading into Kentucky on June 26.
“We were close to being what we wanted but I’m happy for everybody at Red Horse and Net 10 Wireless and everybody in Mexico, my hometown. We’re getting there. We’re getting closer to a win.”
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