12th-Place Finish in Wild Race at Daytona

Box Score Info:

  • RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series – Coca-Cola Firecracker 250
  • TRACK: Daytona International Speedway
  • DRIVER: Brandon Jones
  • CAR: No. 19 Comcast NBCUniversal Salute to Service Toyota Camry
  • START: 10th
  • FINISH: 12th
  • LAPS: 105/105 (overtime)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series headed to Daytona International Speedway for the 4th of July weekend on the 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway. It was scheduled for Friday, July 6, under the lights. After a severe thunderstorm hit the Superspeedway, NASCAR canceled the Xfinity Series qualifying and set the field per the NASCAR rule book, lining the 40 car field up based on owner’s points. Jones and the No. 19 Comcast NBCUniversal Salute to Service Toyota Camry team started from the 10th position.

Still under the threat of Mother Nature and more thunderstorms the Coca-Cola Fire Cracker 250 started on the scheduled time at 7:49 PM ET. Jones started from the 10th position and reported his Camry was pretty good. The field kept shuffling back-and-forth and at the end of Stage 1 Jones was scored in 17th.

At the end Stage 1, Jones pitted and crew chief Chris Gabehart called an audible to gain track position by taking left-side tires only. This put him in 8th position when Stage 2 started on lap 34. The race stayed green throughout the stage and at the end of Stage 2 Jones spun out on the frontstretch through the grass on lap 60 receiving minimal damage. Gabehart called him down pitroad to check for damage, and get four tires, fuel and minor adjustments. Unfortunately, they went down a lap and when racing resumed they were in a dog fight for the Lucky Dog spot. On lap 73 the third caution flag flew and Gabehart advised that the Camry and tires were in good condition and they would take the wave around to get back on the lead lap.

On lap 81 the much anticipated “Big One” happened with 17 cars involved in the wreck in turn 1. Jones narrowly avoided the wreck and survived with a little front end damage. The field was frozen for over 12 minutes under red flag conditions and finally went green on lap 87. Jones survived two more cautions and close calls. The race went into overtime on lap 102 for a green-white-checker finish. The No. 19 Comcast NBCUniversal Salute to Service Toyota Camry fought hard on the superspeedway and finished the race in the 12th position.

Kyle Larson won the Coca-Cola Fire Cracker 250 followed by Elliott Sadler, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney and Kaz Grala.

How was your run tonight?
“We had nine lives tonight this evening. For some reason, plate races have been like that for us lately. We’ve been near the action and miss it. I just needed a little more help to help advance our position in that final restart. But we made some great moves tonight. Had some really good runs and avoided the massive ones somehow. Pretty great night for us considering. It was cool for Comcast to come onboard with the Salute to Service. I really enjoyed representing them tonight. We’re not too bad. We have a pretty good race car here and it’s not destroyed. We can build on it and I am looking forward to the next one.”