Erik Jones wins the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 and the first Dash4Cash event for the NASCAR Xfintiy Series at Bristol Motor Speedway. Jones was able to spoil the Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson Show on the final restart. Jones becomes the first NASCAR Xfinity regular to win this season. He also is the first driver to clinch a spot in the Xfinity Series Chase. This is Jones’ third victory in 33 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. Jones was able to win from the pole position. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Larson, Austin Dillon, and Justin Allgaier. ‘
An emotional Erik Jones explains how he ran his race at Bristol. “It was a great day overall for us. We started off the race really good, and as the race went on we got shuffled back there to third, then on a restart back to fifth It’s funny to think back to those little moments where you’re racing people so hard that those little spots we gained at the end of the day were really what made it happen on that last restart. Pretty proud of all these guys. We’ve grown a lot since Daytona to get to this point, and to get a win here. Beating the 18 and the 42 was a really big day for us, and pretty cool to be the first Xfinity regular to get a win.”
An unhappy Kyle Busch explains his top-five run at Bristol. “I don’t know. Our car was one of the best, if not the best there on that one long run where Larson got by me. That was the race. I don’t know why, but I was getting too tight. On pit road, I was hoping my guys could get it back for me, but we didn’t. You can’t pass here. It used to be a racetrack you could race around three-wide and pass, work traffic really well, and have some fun. Now, it is just frustrating, aggravating.
A disappointed Kyle Larson, who led the race high of 94 laps, explains his performance at the .533-mile oval. “It was pretty fun. I was too loose in the heat race, but it was nice that we had that little break to make adjustments. We probably got ourselves a little too tight for that first run, but that’s still really good long run speed. It really hurt my short run stuff for maybe 10 to 15 laps. Had a lot of fun up there through traffic. I was able to get past Erik (Jones) for the lead, and then probably led like a lap or two when Kyle (Busch) got by me. I just followed his tracks through lap traffic. We got into some really heavy lap traffic, and I jumped to the bottom and he got pinned on the outside, then I got to the lead. That last run where he (Busch) was quite a bit better than where I was. I was doing all I could to stay calm and patient. He ran me really clean. I didn’t want to see that caution because I knew I could probably hold him off in traffic. I knew I was tight on the short runs. I still should’ve won, but I did a really bad job on that restart. I did a really poor job those last three laps. I’m pretty disappointed in myself, and probably won’t forget about this one for quite awhile.”
In the first 50 lap heat, Erik Jones won and led all the laps. The caution flag failed to fly in the heat. Jones and Allgaier would become the two drivers from the first heat to be eligible for the Dash4Cash prize.
In the second 50 lap heat, Austin Dillon won and led all the laps as well. The caution flag also failed to fly during the heat. Joey Logano had problems that followed him into the heat where his car was popping in and out of gear. For the main, Logano had a bungee cord on hand if the problem persisted. Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez were the two drivers who became eligible for the Dash4Cash Prize.
The first heat race saw an average speed of 121.047 mph, time of race of 00 Hrs, 13 Mins, 16 Secs, and a margin of victory: 0.831 Seconds. The second heat saw am average speed of 120.977 mph, a time of race of 00 Hrs, 13 Mins, 15 Secs, and a margin of victory: 1.414 Seconds. The main event saw an average speed of 93.829 mph, the time of race was 01 Hrs, 08 Mins, 10 Secs, and a margin of victory of .416 seconds. There were three caution flags for 23 laps. There were 10 lead changes among four different drivers.
Daniel Suarez holds the points lead over Erik Jones by six points, followed by, Justin Allgaier (-8), Elliott Sadler (-10), and Brandon Jones (-19). Inspection from Bristol Motor Speedway was all clear with the cars of Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier being taken back to the Research and Development Center.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will head to the Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Care 250, the second installment of the Dash4Cash.