Box Score Info
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series – Boyd Gaming 300
- TRACK: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
- CAR: No.19 Menards Bali-Blinds Toyota Camry
- START: 16th
- FINISH: 7th
- LAPS: 200/200
- POINTS POSITION: 7th in the driver point standings
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Menards Bali-Blinds team traveled across country to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the third race of the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity season. Jones piloted the No. 19 Camry to the 16th starting spot for Saturday’s 200 lap race at the 1.5-mile race track.
After starting 16th, Jones quickly worked his way into the top-10 by lap 18. While running ninth on lap 26, the 21-year-old driver informed his crew chief Chris Gabehart that his Camry was a little too tight in traffic. Despite the handling conditions, Jones was able to work his way into seventh before the end of Stage 1.
Under the caution, Gabehart summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment. Unfortunately, loose lug nuts on the left rear forced Jones back down pit road to correct the issue. The Atlanta, GA native restarted Stage 2 from 20th. However, with a fast racing Camry, Jones worked his way into 13th by lap 53, 10th by lap 57 and was back in the seventh position when the caution flag waved to end Stage 2.
Once again, Jones hit pit road for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment. After a lightning-fast pit stop, the young driver took the final stage restart fourth. With a Camry that was still a little tight in traffic, Jones fell back to eighth by lap 102 and remained there until the caution flag flew on lap 133. Another fast four-tire pit stop by the Menards crew allowed Jones to restart sixth on lap 138.
With 50 laps remaining in the race, Jones found himself running 10th but still had a super-fast race car. On lap 184 the fifth caution flag flew for a single car incident allowing Jones to hit pit road for fresh tires and fuel. A small mishap on the pit stop put Jones in 11th for the restart on lap 189. Jones battled to the end and crossed the finish line seventh. This was Jones’ second top-10 of the 2018 season. He now sits seventh in the driver point standings.
Kyle Larson won the race followed by Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney and Elliott Sadler.
How does it feel to have a solid run in Las Vegas?
“It was, our 19 Menards Toyota Camry was pretty fast all day. I was really happy with it. I think all we had to do all day was some tire adjustments and stuff to kind of fine-tune. It wasn’t like we had to throw big changes at it. We were really close in our setups, I think we could have gotten just a little bit closer. I think our car was a lot better on the long run than it was the short run. You could really see that, like a couple guys would get past me on a restart and their tires would fall off and we’d pass them. I wish we had just a little bit more to get going on the restarts and stuff. All in all fabulous day for us in the points. I’m excited to get to the next track.”