NXS: Jones Wins My Bariatric Solutions 300
The NASCAR XFINITY field dealt with a slippery surface during the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. When the checkered flag flew after 200 laps were completed, it was Erik Jones who grabbed his seventh career victory in only four starts. In addition to winning stage one the 20-year-old driver of the No. 20 Game Stop/GAEMS Toyota led 112 laps, the most on the day.
“I think we just had to look at what the track was doing over the race and kind of how the track changed what our car did,” Jones said after his win. “We really didn’t make any adjustment. (Chris) Gabehart (crew chief) did a great job last night trying to get the car freed up for today. The track was definitely a lot tighter.”
Jones was dominant today at TMS, a 1.5-mile track that has recently undergone a repave but it hasn’t always been that way for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie contender. “The first time I came here, it’s funny, it really wasn’t that good to me,” he said. “After that it just kind of clicked and I’ve felt really good here ever since.”
Jones played it a little safe in the first two segments. At the end, he was still able to hold off Ryan Blaney. “I tiptoed a lot there in the segments and ended up letting the (No.) 22 catch us and pass us, but then I was super aggressive the whole time in traffic just trying to make passes as quick as I could and get as many cars as I could between myself and Ryan and it paid off.”
Blaney finished second in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford to earn his second NXS top 10 of 2017. He led a total of 43 laps. “I thought our car was pretty good all day,” Blaney said. “The (No.) 20 seemed to be a little better than us for 35 or 40 laps. We passed him before the last pit stop and I thought our car was pretty decent right there. We didn’t come out with the lead and that hurt us.”
While Kevin Harvick failed to lead a lap, he still rounded out the top three in the No. 41 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford. “I thought our day was really good when the car wasn’t beat up like it was in the end,” he said after the race. “We had better speed. We were okay after the crash but for the second time out and six weeks in and everything that we have going on, putting both cars in the top five is a huge day for us.”
Harvick’s Stewart-Haas teammate Cole Custer had finished a respectable fifth in the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford. “We just had to bide our time,” he said. We kept getting stuck on the outside on the restarts and had to wait until we got track position on the bottom.”
Custer had praise for his team. “I can’t thank everybody enough who made this happen,” he said. I feel like I am getting more and more comfortable as I get experience and used to racing everybody.”
There are only six NXS races in the books this season and Darrell Wallace Jr. has finished in the sixth position in all of them. “I really fought hard and did look with about nine laps to go where I was and got it mixed up between us and the (No.) 9 and we were sixth,” the driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford explained. “My pit crew was on it all day and all year. They put us in the game there on the green-flag stop. I saw we came out a couple spots ahead of the guys we were behind and I knew it would be a good day.”
Joey Logano started on the pole but unfortunately with only 53 laps to go, he went to pit road and then to the garage with engine issues and would be done for the day. “I think we dropped a valve or something like that,” the driver of the No. 12 PPG Ford said upon returning to the garage. “It was just a matter of time before it was going to make a big explosion and wreck our race car.”
Logano was having a good run before things went south. “It is unfortunate because we were running third and really good on the long run,” he explained. “We weren’t good on the short run and we lost a lot of time there. I was hoping for a caution at the end and a good pit stop to put us in position to win. Things happen sometimes. It is a part of racing.”
JR Motorsports currently has a stranglehold on the top two spots in the NXS driver standings. After today’s race Sadler still holds the points lead over Byron, who won stage two, by six points.
Today's event featured a total of five cautions for 25 laps. The race lasted for two hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds.
After the Easter break, NASCAR XFINITY Series resumes action April 22nd at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Stage 1 Results
- Erik Jones
- Ryan Blaney
- Joey Logano
- William Byron
- Ryan Reed
- Daniel Suarez
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
- Tyler Reddick
- Austin Dillon
- Kevin Harvick
Stage 2 Results
1. William Byron
2. Elliott Sadler
3. Ryan Reed
4. Justin Allgaier
5. Brandon Jones
6. Erik Jones
7. Ryan Sieg
8. Blake Koch
9. Brendan Gaughan
10. Darrell Wallace Jr.
1. Erik Jones
2. Ryan Blaney
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Austin Dillon
5. Cole Custer
6. Darrell Wallace Jr.
7. William Byron
8. Ty Dillon
9. Matt Tifft
10. Elliott Sadler
Coming off the ranch, I didn’t have a motorsports background but my passion was and still is very strong. My first taste of NASCAR came at the age of seven while waiting for music videos to come on the old TNN network. As I grew up, I pursued other interest but eventually rediscovered cars going left when I found the SPEED channel during the 2011-2012 offseason.
I didn’t decide I wanted to pursue a career in NASCAR until the summer of 2012. I’m not a wrench head or strong enough for a pit crew so media was the next best thing. At the beginning of 2013, I started going to races and making connections within the sport. I also studied Motorsports Management at Sports Management Worldwide. Although I love what happens on the track, I’ve always been interested in what goes on behind the scenes and I’ve gotten to know many people throughout the radio, TV and digital media world.
While I’m a long time writer, 2015 was my first year actually covering the sport with www.nascarfemale.com . I also became a media correspondent for Raceline. I’ve been able to help the TV show gain recognition on social media. My current goal is to acquire more experience in covering NASCAR and move up the media ladder. Outside of motorsports, I have been an equine-sports statistician for 16 years.
I currently reside in Gillette, WY where I’m still involved with horses. I enjoy riding them, rodeo, swimming, traveling and meeting people.