Kansas City, KS – Brandon Jones scored his first career Xfinity Series win today after race leaders Chase Briscoe and Christopher Bell took each other out late in the race. Jones took the lead on Lap 191, never looked back and went on to win at Kansas for the first time.
“This is incredible,” Jones said. “I knew this was going to happen – that we were going to come here and have an amazing run like we did today. It’s only because of those guys here. They have fought with me for a long time and this feels way better because it has been tough to get to this point. Everyone that has been a part of my career to this point – Flow was on today, a new sponsor with us, we have had Menards in the past, iK9, Toyota, for all they do. I don’t think I could have done this without the manufacturer. I wish my parents were here. They have been through a bunch of wins with me. All in all, I cannot wait to celebrate with these guys.”
Qualifying was held prior to the race and playoff driver Christopher Bell captured the pole. The stages were 45/45/110 laps to make up the 200-lap race that began the Round of 8 for the Xfinity Series Playoffs.
Stage 1: Lap 1 – Lap 45
It wasn’t all Brandon Jones when the race began. In fact, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Bell had the best car of anyone for Stage 1. However, playoff driver Austin Cindric had his troubles early. Cindric bounced off the wall a couple of times and had to come down pit road on Lap 36. Tyler Reddick also slightly scraped the wall just 10 laps before Cindric did. Ryan Truex who was making his final Xfinity start of the year blew up early and finished last.
There were no cautions during the first stage and it remained green the whole way. Bell led all 47 laps to win Stage 1 followed by Cole Custer, Noah Gragson, Reddick, Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Michael Annett rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Stage 2: Lap 51- Lap 90
While Stage 1 did not see much action, the intensity picked up for Stage 2. Custer took the lead on Lap 64 after slight contact with Bell in Turn 1. The third caution flew on Lap 71 for the No. 18 of Harrison Burton after contact with Cindric in Turn 4. The contact was major enough that Burton had to go to the garage and wound up a disappointing 34th.
Numerous drivers also had incidents in this stage. Cindric continued to have his own problems making slight contact with Nemechek and then having a flat tire, causing him to pit on Lap 79 to fix the damage. The Team Penske driver was back on pit road again on Lap 87 for another flat tire.
Custer took the lead on Lap 62 and for the final time in Stage 2 on Lap 75. Then the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing driver went on to take the stage win that ended on Lap 90. Bell, Reddick, Allgaier, Briscoe, Gragson, Annett, Chastain, Jones and Justin Haley completed the top-10 finishers in Stage 2.
Stage 3: Lap 96- Lap 200
The lead was swapped between Bell and Custer once more before Custer went on to lead from Lap 102 to Lap 151. Then Chase Briscoe came into the mix and took the lead on Lap 152. At this point in the race, Briscoe was the dominant car. Even two cautions for Michael Annett on Lap 146 wouldn’t slow him down.
Under that caution, the race leaders came down pit road but Annett stayed out to assume the lead. However, the strategy didn’t quite work out for the JR Motorsports driver as he would fall back quickly and Briscoe took the lead once again.
A major turning point in the race happened for the leaders on Lap 185. Briscoe and Bell came up on a lap car off Turn 4 and made contact with each other. Both Bell and Briscoe had heavy damage with Bell spinning in the grass. Another caution was also seen with just a few laps left between Noah Gragson and Joey Gase in Turn 1.
Then enter Jones who had never won a NASCAR Xfinity Series race in his career. But, the caution set up a late-race restart that saw Jones on the front row. He took the lead with just 10 laps left and scored his first career Xfinity Series victory in his 134th career start.
“I had a conversation with my dad before this weekend. Dover was a big hit to the head, not even making a lap at that track,” Jones added. “I said to myself, you watch, we’re going to come to this race or even Texas, I know it’s a great track for me as well. We’re going to win one of these races and have a shot to go to Homestead. It doesn’t matter though. This is what we’re trying to do every single week is win these races and run consistent, not have bad things happen to us. It’s unfortunate, but it still shows if we go back and look, we could have made it there. I know the ability is there and the drive is there.”
Jones led one time for 10 laps en route to his first career Xfinity Series victory. There were eight cautions for 41 laps and 12 lead changes among five different drivers.
- Christopher Bell
- Cole Custer, -11
- Tyler Reddick, -12
- Justin Allgaier, -47
- Chase Briscoe, -49
- Michael Annett, -59
- Noah Gragson, -64
- Austin Cindric, -77
- Brandon Jones, led 10 laps
- Tyler Reddick
- Chase Briscoe, led 33 laps
- Michael Annett
- Justin Allgaier
- Jeremy Clements
- Justin Haley
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Ryan Sieg
- Ross Chastain
- Cole Custer
- Christopher Bell, won Stage 1 led 69 laps
- Noah Gragson
- Ray Black Jr.
- Alex Labbe, one lap down
- Dillon Bassett, one lap down
- Gray Gaulding, one lap down
- Brandon Brown, three laps down
- B.J. McLeod, three laps down
- Matt Mills, three laps down
- Josh Williams, three laps down
- Kyle Weatherman, four laps down
- David Starr, four laps down
- C.J. McLaughlin, five laps down
- Austin Cindric, six laps down
- Chad Finchum, six laps down
- Stephen Leicht, six laps down
- Tyler Matthews, six laps down
- Josh Bilicki, six laps down
- Vinnie Miller, six laps down
- Bobby Earnhardt, eight laps down
- Joey Gase, 16 laps down
- Garrett Smithley, OUT, Accident
- Harrison Burton, OUT, Accident
- Bayley Currey, OUT, Suspension
- Landon Cassill, OUT, Vibration
- J.J. Yeley, OUT, Electrical
- Ryan Truex, OUT, Engine
Up Next: The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers take one week off before continuing their Round of 8 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, November 2.