Box Score Info
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series – Alsco 300
- TRACK: Charlotte Motor Speedway
- DRIVER: Brandon Jones
- CAR: No. 19 Menards/Jeld-Wen Toyota Camry
- START: 5th
- FINISH: 15th
- LAPS: 204/204
Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 19 Menards/Jeld-Wen Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started out the Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) with a lot of confidence and momentum. He had a very impressive third place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and a dominating win in the ARCA Racing Series. Jones’ and his Jeld-Wen team stayed on a roll under the threat of rain in the Charlotte area by posting a fifth place starting position.
With Mother Nature’s threats of isolated storms looming, Jones started the Alsco 300 at 1:13pm EST from the fifth positon. He was able to charge to third by lap 20 and to second by lap 40. He finished a very strong second after running in the top-three for the entirety of Stage 1. Jones had reported during the run that his Camry was very tight throughout and crew chief Chris Gabehart and the 19 Menards/Jeld-Wen team made adjustments to loosen him up.
Jones started Stage 2 on lap 52 from third and raced into second on lap 79 with the fastest car at times on the 1.5-mile track. Stage 2 ended on lap 90 and Jones finished the stage in third.
The final stage went green on lap 97 and half the leaders stayed out, putting Jones back in eighth. On lap 126 a caution flag flew for rain and NASCAR brought the field down pit road for a few minutes. Jones pitted for fuel, four tires and a wedge and air adjustment. Green flag racing resumed on lap 132. By lap 160 Jones had fought his way back into the third position and ran there until the 10th caution flew on lap 168. The red flag eventually came out for the second rain. This time it poured and NASCAR lost the track and the red flag lasted for over an hour.
When the track was dried and racing resumed, Jones was able to survive the final wreck fest, but with 25 laps to go Jones reported his Toyota Camry was vibrating, plowing and shaking crazy bad and he dropped from third back to 14th. When the 12th caution flag flew in the 300-mile race it put the race into overtime. Gabehart brought Jones down pit road for fuel and four scuff tires. The 19 Camry had had a loose wheel and when racing resumed he was able to charge from 21st into a 15th place finish.
Brad Keselowski won followed by Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, Ty Dillon and Elliott Sadler.
A great start in the first two stages, but you seemed to fade at the end of the race. What happened?
“First two stages were really good. I don’t know if we were as good as the 22 (Brad Keselowski) was. I know they were peaced out all day. The 18 (Kyle Busch) was also really fast. I think we were a top five car there. Sat here in the rain delay sun and I think the wheel was already beginning to come loose. That was the wheel there at the end that caused us to shoot back like we did. That one restart there at the end, the 22 and 21 (Daniel Hemric) I had just hit it a little bit too soon and I had to check up really bad. There at the end we had to come down, fix the wheel a little bit, so that kind of cost us. It’s tough to not execute the way that we should have there at the end, but all in all pretty good day. We ran very consistently up front in the stages, got some good stage points. This whole week’s been phenomenal. We won the ARCA race a couple nights ago, finished third in the truck last week here at Charlotte, so it was a good weekend.”
Did winning the ARCA race and running so well in trucks help to build up your confidence here today?
“Yeah, absolutely and then coming here, qualifying great today – we qualified really well. Qualified fifth and it was awesome. Ran right there all day long, so that’s great. Phenomenal job. We can go to Pocono and then build on that.”