Jones Nabs His Seventh Career Xfinity Win in a Dominating Fashion
Erik Jones might be a rookie in the NASCAR Cup Series, but when it comes to Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) the driver of the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry has already graduated more than once, literally and figuratively.
Jones made his NASCAR Truck Series debut at the very fast l.5-mile Texas tri-oval on June 6, 2014. The then eighteen-year-old had to bypass his high school graduation ceremonies to participate in the event so Texas Motor Speedway conducted a personal ceremony for him on the pre-race stage.
With Jones wearing his Swartz Creek High School red cap and gown over his firesuit, track president Eddie Gossage presented him with both his high school diploma as well as one for “graduating” to become age-eligible to compete at 1.5-mile tracks, something he wasn’t able to do just the week before his May 31 birthday. He went on to qualify fifth and finished the race in 11th place.
“The graduation ceremony Eddie Gossage and the track staff did for me was special,” Jones said. “It was the actual night of my high school graduation back home so it meant a lot to me for them to go out of their way to do something like that.”
Although he races full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Jones did double duty in Texas. He dominated the day to win Saturday’s My Bariatric Solutions 300 XFINITY Series race at TMS. Driving the #No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing .
Jones gained two seconds over Ryan Blaney on his final trip to pit road, and that was all he needed for a convincing victory in the ‘My Bariatric Solutions 300. NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Erik led the race-high total of 112 of 200 laps in all. He also won the first 45-lap stage of the three-stage race. It was his seventh career Xfinity win.
Can't hang our heads about today. Keep working hard and having fast cars like that our time will come!! Thanks 21 team. Happy off week!— Ryan Blaney (@Blaney) April 9, 2017
Lap length: 1.5 miles
(Starting position in parentheses)
- (2) Erik Jones, Toyota, 200 laps.
- (4) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 200.
- (14) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 200.
- (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
- (6) Cole Custer, Ford, 200.
- (8) Darrell Wallace Jr., Ford, 200.
- (5) William Byron, Chevrolet, 200.
- (12) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
- (19) Matt Tifft, Toyota, 200.
- (10) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 199.
- (9) Ryan Reed, Ford, 199.
- (15) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 199.
- (20) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 199.
- (16) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 199.
- (13) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 199.
- (18) Blake Koch, Chevrolet, 198.
- (23) Dakoda Armstrong, Toyota, 198.
- (17) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 198.
- (24) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 198.
- (34) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 197.
- (28) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 197.
- (27) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 197.
- (22) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 197.
- (38) David Starr, Chevrolet, 196.
- (29) Ray Black Jr., Chevrolet, 195.
- (35) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 195.
- (30) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 194.
- (33) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 194.
- (21) Jeb Burton, Toyota, 192.
- (32) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 188.
- (37) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 179.
- (7) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 172.
- (11) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 148.
- (1) Joey Logano, Ford, engine, 145.
- (36) Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, clutch, 137.
- (40) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, suspension, 114.
- (25) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, accident, 66.
- (26) Casey Mears, Ford, rear gear, 50.
- (39) Carl Long, Toyota, steering, 24.
- (31) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, electrical, 17.
- Average Speed of Race Winner: 131.563 mph.
- Time of Race: 2 hours, 16 minutes, 49 seconds.
- Margin of Victory: 0.512 Seconds.
- Caution Flags: 6 for 31 laps.
- Lead Changes: 11 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-19; E. Jones 20-48; W. Byron 49-57; D. Suarez 58-59; R. Blaney 60-84; W. Byron 85-92; E. Jones 93-130; R. Blaney 131-148; D. Wallace Jr. 149; B. Jones 150-154; D. Suarez 155; E. Jones 156-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): E. Jones 3 times for 112 laps; R. Blaney 2 times for 43 laps; J. Logano 1 time for 19 laps; W. Byron 2 times for 17 laps; B. Jones 1 time for 5 laps; D. Suarez 2 times for 3 laps; D. Wallace Jr. 1 time for 1 lap.
Doing a little testing the next couple days pic.twitter.com/2cEthtSosZ— Erik Jones (@erik_jones) April 11, 2017
Next Xfinity Race: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, Saturday, Apr. 22 / 1:00 PM ET, Bristol Motor Speedway
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