Erik Jones out early after contact with Kasey Kahne

BY Tom Jensen • April 30, 2017

Rookie Erik Jones is one of the rising stars of NASCAR, but his afternoon came to a very quick end Sunday in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

On Lap 1 of 400 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, Jones’ No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota made contact with the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Kasey Kahne.

Just three laps later, the left-front tire on Jones’ car failed, throwing into the wall. And under NASCAR’s new damage rules, because Jones couldn’t drive his Toyota back to pit road, he was officially out of the race, with the rookie finishing last in the 38-car field.

It was not the day Jones wanted, for sure.

“Well, we got three-wide right on the start and then the 5 (Kasey Kahne) ran us up into the fence,” said Jones. “I was trying not to wreck everybody and we got run into the wall by the 5 and then a couple laps later we cut a left front, so it’s really unfortunate. We only made five laps, 10 laps of the race and we’re already out, so it’s just really a heartbreaking day. It’s not what we wanted, but we but we’ll just have to come back next week, bring another fast race car and try to run up front again.”

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