Box Score Info
- RACE: NASCAR XFINITY Series – PowerShares QQQ 300
- TRACK: Daytona International Speedway
- CAR: No. 19 Juniper Networks Toyota Camry
- START: 19th
- FINISH: 10th
- LAPS: 143/143
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Juniper Networks team traveled to Daytona International Speedway for the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season kick-off for Saturday afternoon. This was Jones’ debut with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and his fifth start on the superspeedway. Saturday’s NXS race ended up in a wreck fest under the lights with five overtime tries. Jones survived the 12 cautions, but did receive some battle damage during a couple of the wrecks and a slide through the grass. He spent some time on pit road with the No. 19 Juniper team which never gave up as they made repairs that kept Jones competitive as he fought hard to finish 10th in his first race for JGR.
Jones started the PowerShares QQQ 300 from the 19th position and was involved in the first multi-car wreck on lap 11 on the frontstretch receiving right front-end damage. Crew chief Chris Gabehart called Jones down pit road for front-end repairs. The 19 team jumped into action and got Jones back out on the lead lap in 29th position. Jones came down pit road a couple more times to continue repairs on their Juniper Networks Toyota. They finished stage one in the 13th position.
There were no cautions during stage two, but the final stage became a race for the survival of the fittest. Jones survived eight more cautions with the remaining field bumping and banging, and eventually having five overtime attempts. On the 23rd lap of overtime the checkered flag flew and Jones crossed the start/finish line in his No. 19 Juniper Networks Toyota Camry for a hard fought 10th place finish.
The team now heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Rinnai 250 on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Jones will make his first start of the year in the No. 19 Menards Jeld-Wen Toyota Camry.
What was the race like today?
“I’ve never had a race like this before at Daytona – this was a pretty crazy race. Heck of a race with our guys for the first time. I thought we were going to end up in the back there and not have a great day, but we ended up with a top-10 and that says a lot about this organization and a lot about what Toyota does for us. It was pretty incredible to pull off a top-10 off after looking at this car here today. All in all I enjoyed working with the team and Chris Gabehart (crew chief) and the guys. Looking forward to Atlanta because I think that’s where it’s really going to show and we will get some good performance out of this thing.”
What was it like to get through your first race with JGR with a top-10 finish?
“That was the craziest Daytona I’ve ever had, unreal. Just goes to show how much effort these guys put in – never gave up on our car all week. It was great to be a part of JGR this year and also to have Toyota on the car. Lots of development and lots of help from those guys and really, really proud to be a part of it. We have some momentum built up for Atlanta next weekend and I’m looking forward to see what it holds for us and hopefully 10th will be an even better finish next week.”