AUSTIN HILL DRIVES TO CAREER-BEST FIFTH IN XFINITY SERIES RACE AT KANSAS
Brandon Jones earns top-10 finish after getting involved in late-race incident
KANSAS CITY (October 17, 2020) – NASCAR Truck Series regular Austin Hill (fifth) led Toyota with a career-best fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway on Saturday evening. Brandon Jones drove to a ninth-place finish after running in the top-two for most of the race. With about 30 laps to go, Jones was involved in a late-race accident, but his Joe Gibbs Racing team patched up his Supra and he was able to drive to a top-10 finish. He holds a nine-point advantage over the cutline heading into Texas Motor Speedway.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS)
Race 30 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Chase Briscoe*
2nd, Daniel Hemric*
3rd, Ryan Sieg*
4th, Justin Haley*
5th, AUSTIN HILL
9th, BRANDON JONES
11th, HARRISON BURTON
22nd, TIMMY HILL
25th, MATT MILLS
30th, RILEY HERBST
31st, VINNIE MILLER
35th, STEPHEN LEICHT
AUSTIN HILL, No. 61 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Supra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
Finishing Position: 5th
How did you pull off the top-five finish tonight after running top-three in the Truck Series race earlier in the afternoon?
“Just a great organization and a great team backing me. Everybody back at the shop – Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and all the guys back at HRE (Hattori Racing Enterprises), they’ve been really working hard on this Xfinity program to get the results that we feel like we deserve. It’s been a little bumpy road here and there. We’ve had some decent runs, we ran pretty good at Darlington and then to be able to come out here tonight and come home with a top-five is really good. It shows how hard this team really works and how good this organization is. Our Toyota Tsusho Supra was good. It fired off on the tight side. We kept working on it, got it a little better and then we had a little strategy there at the end to get a little track position and it kind of woke the car up a little bit there. It wasn’t as fast as Xfinity internet tonight, but it was pretty good.”
BRANDON JONES, No. 19 Toyota Service Centers Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 9th
Before the incident with 30 laps to go, did you feel you had a car capable of beating Chase Briscoe as you ran second to him much of the race?
“It’s so tough to tell because he (Chase Briscoe) would not fire off the way that he needed to. I think that we were by far the Supra to beat on our fire-off speed, but as the run would go, I think they would just start their car so loose that it would take their car a while, but once the tire fell off and the pace fell down a little bit, that’s where they would come to life. I knew I was always better in one and two than he was. He was able to just roll a little more overall speed than I was through three and four. I kind of battled that all day just trying to figure it out and pinpoint exactly what we needed to be a little bit better in that area. I wish we would have had a chance to do that. I think strategy was correct and everything was correct and ran an almost perfect day. I think some things just happen that are out of your control and that’s what makes you a champion is when you can get through days like this and still had a really strong race, had a really strong day. Looking forward to getting to Texas.”
How do you feel heading to Texas and then Martinsville as it relates to making it to Phoenix to battle for the championship?
“I think Texas is going to take care of it for us, I really do. We had Kyle (Busch) run earlier this year and I think we have a really good notebook off of him and some things we can do as drivers that will help us out a little bit. That was going to be a big, helpful thing that we had versus the competition was having him run that car earlier this year. We’re bringing I think our Darlington race car to Texas and obviously we won there and had a really good car at Darlington. I’m pretty excited about that. I just think we’re going to have a really good day there. I honestly think Martinsville is going to be fun. I said it a few times, but we’ve got that truck race and I truly believe that’s going to give us a little bit of a one-up on those guys going into that race is just having those extra laps on the track. The only thing that you worry about there is stuff like today that’s out of your control. Things can happen, guys can get a little too aggressive and want to make moves that aren’t there. That’s the only little area that we have to worry about. But we want to go get Texas and not have to worry about it.”
RILEY HERBST, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 30th
Can you talk about your view from the accident?
“I pitted with the three fastest cars. Me, the 19 (Brandon Jones) and the 98 (Chase Briscoe). We had new tires. I restarted 10th with 30 laps to go. We had to make up some time, but I’m just so disappointed. I’m so bummed out about missing the Round of 8 last week. I just can’t thank everybody at Monster Energy enough. My whole team, Dave Rogers and the guys, everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. I’m going to get a win here before the years end, I can promise you that much.”
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