Chris Graythen/Getty Images
April 8, 2017
Erik Jones captured the checkered flag Saturday in the 2017 My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s the first victory of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season for the driver of the No. 20 Toyota.
Ryan Blaney finished second as the only other contender within 20 seconds of Jones at the end. Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Cole Custer rounded out the top five.
The race featured 11 lead changes, involving seven different leaders, and six cautions.
Let’s check out a complete list of the top finishers from the season’s sixth race:
|2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series: My Bariatric Solutions 300|
|6||Darrell Wallace Jr.||6|
And here’s a look at the updated Xfinity Series standings:
|2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series: Point Leaders After Race 6|
|4||Darrell Wallace Jr.||6||-49|
The challenges of attempting to conquer a newly repaved Texas Motor Speedway were on full display during the opening phase of the race. Multiple drivers fell out of line around the first two turns, which underwent additional changes to decrease the banking, and lost several spots in the process.
Avery Hage had a flashback to 15 years ago after watching the early action:
Avery Hage @AveryHage
If you guys remember when they repaved Texas in 2002, the racing was very similar to today.
4/8/2017, 5:58:00 PM
Jones was among the drivers to suffer an early setback. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie dropped out of the top five for a brief time after starting second, but he made a steady climb back up the leaderboard and took over the top spot to win the first stage of the race.
NASCAR Xfinity highlighted the No. 20 machine taking the lead as Joey Logano lost grip around Turn 2:
NASCAR XFINITY @NASCAR_XFINITY
NEW LEADER: @erik_jones moves to the point! #NASCARonFOX https://t.co/jkQvfEUQ74
4/8/2017, 6:02:15 PM
The second turn remained an issue throughout stage No. 2, with half of the phase’s four cautions happening in that corner of the track. It will be interesting to see whether that carries over to the Cup Series and how much of a benefit taking part in the Xfinity race provides for Cup regulars.
Meanwhile, Xfinity rookie William Byron used some pit strategy to win the stage. JR Motorsports spotlighted the decision-making process:
JR Motorsports @JRMotorsports
Crew chief Dave Elenz tells @WilliamByron that he will get him fixed up after the end of Stage Two. Team stayed out and start P1.
4/8/2017, 7:03:29 PM
The final stage finally brought some extended racing under the green flag, including a complete cycle of pit stops. The longer the run went on, the more Jones started to pull away from the pack after regaining the lead with just under 50 laps to go.
His lead eventually swelled to over three seconds, and without a late caution to bring the field back together, he cruised to the finish line for his seventh career Xfinity win.
Kaitlyn Vincie of Fox Sports 1 provided an interesting tidbit about the triumph:
Kaitlyn Vincie @kaitlynvincie
.@erik_jones wins the @XFINITYRacing event @TXMotorSpeedway – the same place he received his HS diploma back in ’14 🏁🎓
4/8/2017, 8:09:29 PM
NASCAR Xfinity spotlighted his celebration:
NASCAR XFINITY @NASCAR_XFINITY
@erik_jones got it done at @TXMotorSpeedway! #NASCARonFOX https://t.co/zIynLezohH
4/8/2017, 8:15:25 PM
Fox Sports NASCAR passed along post-race reaction from Jones:
FOX SPORTS: NASCAR @NASCARONFOX
.@erik_jones has a full notebook heading into Sunday’s main event after a dominating @NASCAR_XFINITY performance at @TXMotorSpeedway. https://t.co/wuuuWWnx2c
4/8/2017, 8:37:26 PM
Looking ahead, the Xfinity Series is off next weekend for the second time in three weeks. It returns to action Saturday, April 22, for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
The series will return to Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4 for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, which is part of the playoffs’ round of eight.
All race statistics courtesy of NASCAR’s official website.