Box Score Info
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series; ToyotaCare 250
- TRACK: Richmond Raceway
- CAR: No.19 ToyotaCare Toyota Camry
- START: 18th
- FINISH: 10th
- LAPS: 250/250
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 ToyotaCare team traveled to Richmond for their second consecutive short track of the 2018 season. Jones was coming off a career-high run by leading 106 laps at Bristol and was looking forward to tackling one of his most challenging tracks. The team had a lot of confidence and momentum, but the car was sluggish off the hauler. The ToyotaCare 250 was the first night race under the lights this season. They qualified 18th, but Jones immediately started getting faster and was the fastest car in the field for several laps, fighting his way into the top-10 on lap 61. Jones was battling a loose Camry and finished eighth at the end of Stage 1.
Strategies started to come into play as five cars stayed out for the restart of the second stage, setting up a field with the leaders on older tires for the start. Jones started the second stage in 12th after crew chief Chris Gabehart called for fuel, four tires and an air adjustment. Jones started fighting his way through traffic and was moving forward through a long green flag run, making it up to seventh by the end of the stage. During the pitstop at the end of Stage 2, the No. 19 ToyotaCare team was penalized for having a crewmember over the wall too early.
NASCAR advised Jones to drop back from eighth to 21st at the rear of the field before green flag racing resumed for Stage 3. Jones started his charge back toward the front picking off cars one-by-one until he broke back into the top-10 with seven laps remaining. He battled down to the last lap and crossed the start/finish line after earning a hard fought 10th place position and capturing his second consecutive top-10 finish along with his best-career finish on the Richmond short track.
Talk about you race today?
“That definitely was not the day I think we could’ve had here. I think we were one of the top four cars to beat out there on the long run. It took us a little bit to get going on our shorter runs, but once we got going that was our sweet spot. All in all, it was a great day by the guys. I know we had that little hiccup on pit road that kind of got us back there some in traffic, but drove right back up inside the top-10. It was pretty good day for the guys and for Toyota as well. Hopefully, when we come back we’ll improve on it a little bit. For one of my worst tracks, I think that’s a pretty solid finish for us.”