MARTINSVILLE, VA. — Brandon Jones had one of the best drives of his career as he grabbed a win from Ty Gibbs in overtime and jumped to the No. 4 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff seed.
Jones led 27 laps and then the final lap when he muscled by Gibbs for his fifth career NXS win. He earned five playoff points for the overall win and one playoff point for winning stage one. He also moved into a position to earn three more playoff points as he moved from seventh to fourth in the regular-season points.
Jones is no stranger to winning races where a fight breaks out as his first career NXS win was marred by a fight between Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick at Kansas in Oct. 2019 – and Friday night was no different.
After Jones muscled by teammate Ty Gibbs, Gibbs dropped back and was bumped by rival Sam Mayer in turn four on the final lap.
Gibbs bumped Mayer on the cooldown lap then pushed Mayer on pit road and walked away. Mayer walked over to Gibbs, which is when a yelling-and-shoving match boiled over into a brawl set off by Gibbs – helmet still on and all – punching Mayer who took off his helmet. Gibbs was shaken and Mayer had a black eye while a NASCAR official was stretcher-ed away following the brawl. The official was later checked and released from the infield care center.
The fight aside, Gibbs retained the No. 1 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff seed with an eighth-place finish – plus a stage one win and a playoff point – that allowed him to maintain second in the NXS regular-season points and the No.1 seed. Gibbs, however, did not win after leading 197 of 261 laps Friday.
Sam Mayer maintains the No.6 seed after finishing fifth and holding onto sixth in the regular-season points.
AJ Allmendinger holds the No. 2 seed after finishing third and missing the mayhem at the end.
Allmendinger finished behind teammate Landon Cassill, who earned a career-best second-place finish and moved into a playoff spot at the No. 12 seed.
Sheldon Creed held the No. 12 seed after Richmond but dropped to 15th in the regular-season points and out of a playoff spot, for now.
Creed was collected in a massive frontstretch pileup during the second overtime which dropped him to finish 30th, one lap down.
Finishing one position ahead of Creed, in 29th, was Justin Allgaier who dropped from fifth to seventh in the regular-season points and from sixth to ninth in the playoff standings, as a result.
Allgaier was running second when he wheel-hopped and hit the wall going into turn one. He was unable to recover and was even collected in the same massive pileup that involved Creed and more than ten others.
NOTE: Playoff points for a driver’s regular season points position are only accrued at the end of the regular season
E.g., Ty Gibbs has earned 17 playoff points for his three race wins (15) and two stage wins (2) but he has not earned 10 playoff points for being second in the regular season points yet – he would earn those points if he was second in points at the end of the regular season.
The playoff points and seeding in the table below are determined by what it would look like if the regular season ended today.
|Playoff Seed||Driver||Playoff Points||Base Points||Points Position/Points||Points for Wins (5/Win)||Stage Points (1/Stage)|
|1||Ty Gibbs||2027||2000||10 for 2nd||15 (Las Vegas, Atlanta, Richmond||2 (Richmond – Stage 2, Martinsville – Stage 1)|
|2||A.J. Allmendinger||2022||2000||15 for 1st||5 (COTA)||2 (Atlanta – Stage 2, COTA – Stage 1)|
|3||Noah Gragson||2016||2000||8 for 3rd||5 (Phoenix)||3 (Las Vegas – Stages 1 and 2, Phoenix – Stage 2)|
|4||Brandon Jones||2013||2000||7 for 4th||5 (Martinsville)||1 (Martinsville – Stage 2)|
|5||Josh Berry||2007||2000||6 for 5th||0||1 (Atlanta – Stage 1)|
|T-6||Austin Hill||2006||2000||1 for 10th||5 (Daytona)||0|
|T-6||Sam Mayer||2006||2000||5 for 6th||0||1 (COTA – Stage 2)|
|8||Daniel Hemric||2005||2000||3 for 8th||0||2 (Daytona – Stages 1 and 2)|
|9||Justin Allgaier||2004||2000||4 for 7th||0||0|
|10||Ryan Sieg||2002||2000||2 for 9th||0||0|
|T-11||Riley Herbst||2000||2000||0 for 11th||0||0|
|T-11||Landon Cassill||2000||2000||0 for 12th||0||0|
PLAYOFF PICTURE (bold – virtually locked into playoffs with win)
1. AJ Allmendinger 342 points (1 win)
2. Ty Gibbs -20 points to Allmendinger (3 wins)
3. Noah Gragson -42 (1 win)
4. Brandon Jones -94 (1 win)
5. Josh Berry -107, +62 to Alfredo
6. Sam Mayer +49
7. Justin Allgaier +47
8. Daniel Hemric +41
9. Ryan Sieg +41
10. Austin Hill +40 (1 win)
11. Riley Herbst +26
12. Landon Cassill 201, +15 to Alfredo
13. Anthony Alfredo -15 to Cassill
14. Brandon Brown -27
15. Sheldon Creed -29
16.Jeb Burton -44
17. Brett Moffitt -62
18. Jeremy Clements -72
19. Alex Labbe -80*
20. Myatt Snider -88
21. JJ Yeley -88
*Labbe is ineligible for the playoffs due to not attempting every race
The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is Saturday, April 23 for the Ag Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway (4 p.m. ET; TV: FOX; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
In last year’s rain-shortened spring Talladega NXS race, Jeb Burton earned five playoff points and his first career NXS win. Justin Haley earned one playoff point for winning stage one and Noah Gragson earned one playoff point for winning stage two.