Sunday, April 9, 2017

Erik Jones scores Xfinity win at Texas

credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs   
by Lisa Janine Cloud

Erik Jones knows his way around Texas Motor Speedway. Even though the track has changed significantly since NASCAR’s last visit, the 20-year-old Michigan native handily won the NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 Saturday afternoon at the track where he received his high school diploma in June 2014.

The victory is his first of the year in the Xfinity Series, his second career win at TMS. His racing resume also includes a win at the Great American Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series.

“It’s been a good track for me, and the first time I came here was my graduation and that wasn’t really a great day. I didn’t think this would be a track that I would enjoy, and then ever since then it’s just clicked,” Jones said.

“I always felt really comfortable on the old track, and really felt like I knew what I needed the car to do and was able to communicate that well and honestly, even with the new surface here, felt like I was able to get back what the car needed. Definitely more challenging on the new surface than the old surface, but a good day of learning and a good day from JGR of getting our cars a lot better.”

credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs 
The repaved and reprofiled track at Texas Motor Speedway dominated the race, unforgiving of the young Xfinity drivers’ desire to run wide open, three-wide on the single-groove surface. The first two stages included four cautions, not counting the stage conclusions, most of which resulted from overdriving the track. 

Jones lead three times for a race-high 117 laps, taking the Stage 1 win in addition to the checkered flag. The No. 20 GameStop/GAEMS Toyota took the lead during the last round of green-flag pit stops and finished 0.512 seconds in front of Ryan Blaney and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford. Only one other Toyota finished in the top 10, the No. 19 of Matt Tifft in ninth.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41, piloted by Kevin Harvick, finished third with Austin Dillon putting his Ruud Chevrolet in fourth, and rookie Cole Custer rounding out the top five in the Haas Automation Ford.

Custer felt like he was finally starting to get comfortable in the car.

“We had an awesome Haas Automation Mustang," Custer said. "We just had to bide our time. We kept getting stuck on the outside on the restarts and had to wait and wait until we got track position on the bottom. We had a really strong run. I can’t thank everybody enough who made this happen. I feel like I am getting more and more comfortable as I get experience and used to racing everybody. We are making strides, both me and the team.”

Unofficial results:


Pos.
Car No.
Driver
Mfg.
1
20
Erik Jones
Toyota
2
22
Ryan Blaney
Ford
3
41
Kevin Harvick
Ford
4
2
Austin Dillon
Chevrolet
5
0
Cole Custer
Ford
6
6
Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Ford
7
9
William Byron
Chevrolet
8
3
Ty Dillon
Chevrolet
9
19
Matt Tifft
Toyota
10
1
Elliott Sadler
Chevrolet
11
16
Ryan Reed
Ford
12
18
Daniel Suarez
Toyota
13
7
Justin Allgaier
Chevrolet
14
23
Spencer Gallagher
Chevrolet
15
33
Brandon Jones
Chevrolet
16
11
Blake Koch
Chevrolet
17
28
Dakoda Armstrong
Toyota
18
39
Ryan Sieg
Chevrolet
19
62
Brendan Gaughan
Chevrolet
20
5
Michael Annett
Chevrolet
21
51
Jeremy Clements
Chevrolet
22
14
J.J. Yeley
Toyota
23
4
Ross Chastain
Chevrolet
24
99
David Starr
Chevrolet
25
7
Ray Black, Jr.
Chevrolet
26
52
Joey Gase
Chevrolet
27
78
B.J. McLeod
Chevrolet
28
90
Alex Labbe
Chevrolet
29
24
Jeb Burton
Toyota
30
0
Garrett Smithley
Chevrolet
31
40
Timmy Hill
Chevrolet
32
21
Daniel Hemric
Chevrolet
33
42
Tyler Reddick
Chevrolet
34
12
Joey Logano
Ford
35
1
Harrison Rhodes
Chevrolet
36
8
Jeff Green
Chevrolet
37
48
Brennan Poole
Chevrolet
38
98
Casey Mears
Ford
39
13
Carl Long
Toyota
40
93
Jordan Anderson
Chevrolet
Top 10 in Stage 1: # 20, 22, 12, 9, 16, 18, 6, 42, 2, 41
Top 10 in Stage 2: # 9, 1, 16, 7, 33, 20, 39, 11, 62, 6

0 comments :

Post a Comment