Jones wins at Texas, Cup drivers sweep top-four


By Dominic Aragon
April 8, 2017

Erik Jones led the final 45 laps en route to victory in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 XFINITY Series race Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones’s margin of victory over Ryan Blaney was .512 seconds. The top-four finishers in the race were Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars, with Kevin Harvick third and Austin Dillon fourth.

“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. “We really didn’t make many adjustments. [Chris] Gabehart did a great job last night trying to get the car freed up for today.

“The track was definitely a lot tighter. Just cool to get the Game Stop Camry to victory lane.”

STAGE ONE (LAPS 1-45)
Joey Logano, the pole sitter, started alongside Erik Jones. Logano led the opening 19 laps of the race.

Daniel Hemric brought out the first caution of the race with a spin with contact into the wall in Turn 1 on lap 13.

Erik Jones won the stage with Ryan Blaney second and Logano third. The highest finishing XFINITY Series regular was William Byron in fourth.


STAGE TWO (LAP 46-90)
With 25 cars on the lead lap, William Byron and Ryan Reed led the field to the green to start the second stage.

Daniel Suarez, who worked his way to the lead on lap 58, made contact with the wall while leading out of Turn 2. Suarez lost the lead to Ryan Blaney, eventually spinning out in Turn 2 on lap 62 while running second.

On lap 66, contact between Tyler Reddick and Darrell Wallace Jr., who were both running inside the top ten, caused Wallace Jr. to spin in Turn 3. Justin Allgaier, Suarez and Brennan Poole were also involved in the incident.

Damage to Poole’s No. 48 was too extensive to continue the race. He finished 37th.

With seven laps to go in the stage, a Garrett Smithley single-car spin off of Turn 2 brought out the fifth caution of the race.

Ten drivers, all XFINITY Series regulars, elected not to pit under caution, with William Byron and Ryan Reed restarting in row one with three laps to go.

William Byron won the second stage with teammate Elliott Sadler finishing second and Reed in third.


STAGE THREE (LAP 91-200)
27 cars restarted the stage on the lead lap.

Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr. led the field to the green to start the third stage.

Jones led the first 38 laps of the stage with Blaney taking the lead on lap 131.

Jones reclaimed the lead after a cycle of green flag pit stops, leading the final 56 circuits and a total of 112 for his first XFINITY Series win of 2017.


OVERALL
The win was Jones’s seventh of his XFINITY Series career.

Cole Custer was the highest finishing XFINITY Series regular driver in fifth.

Nine cars finished on the lead lap, the fewest of any race in the series this season.

Elliott Sadler unofficially holds a six point lead over second place William Byron heading into the seventh race of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway in two weeks.

SOURCES
NASCAR Media Group
Racing-Reference.info
Toyota Racing

IMAGES
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Which double-duty driver will finish highest Sunday at Texas?
No. 4 Kevin Harvick
No. 21 Ryan Blaney
No. 22 Joey Logano
No. 77 Erik Jones
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