Box Score Info:
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series – US Cellular 250
- TRACK: Iowa Speedway
- DRIVER: Brandon Jones
- CAR: No. 19 Menards / Tide Toyota Camry
- START: 9th
- FINISH: 12th
- LAPS: 257/257
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Menards/Tide team started the weekend off on the .875-mile short track at Iowa Speedway with high expectations. They were coming off a big finish at New Hampshire and going back to a track that Jones finished in the top-five in June. Jones qualified ninth and ran very strong in the first two stages finishing seventh in the first stage and improving to fourth in the second stage. He led one lap and fought his way up to second place in the final stage poised to fight for the lead in the final laps. Jones was caught up in a wreck in overtime on the last lap in turn 4 while putting up a pretty impressive fight for the lead. He kept his Camry on the lead lap and posted a 12th place finish.
Jones and the No.19 Menards/Tide team started the Cellular 250 Saturday afternoon from the ninth position and ran strong in the top-10 in the first stage. He advised crew chief Chris Gabehart that he was tight and needed more rear grip. The second caution in stage 1 came out on lap 55 and ran yellow until lap 60 ending the stage. He fought hard and earned stage points with a seventh place stage finish.
Gabehart called Jones down pit road after the first stage ended for some minor air and wedge adjustments along with four tires and fuel. When the green flag waved Jones started stage 2 from ninth and raced his way back to the front picking off five positions finishing the second stage in fourth. Jones started the final stage from sixth, but had a great restart propelling him up to fourth. By lap 180 he had captured the third position and was up to second on lap 195. Jones was able to lead lap 201 and on lap 202 Gabehart called Jones down pit road for a green flag pit for minor adjustment. Jones survived two late cautions starting from second fighting for the lead both times.
On lap 250 the final caution flag flew for fluid in turn 1. This set the stage for an intense and much anticipated restart. NASCAR called for the red flag which lasted over 17 minutes, building even more anticipation. When the final green flag flew for the overtime finish there was a mad dash with the top-five cars all fighting for the lead on the final lap. Jones restarted second and was in a great position to capture the lead, but unfortunately on the final lap in overtime the 21 car was pushed into Jones in turn 4 causing him to hit the wall. Jones was able to stay on the led lap and bring home a disappointing 12th place finish.
Christopher Bell won the race followed by Justin Allgaier, Kyle Benjamin, Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek.
Talk about your race today?
“So pretty much all weekend long we struggled a little bit. I didn’t think we were going to have a shot to win the race. I thought we were at least a solid top-10 car. Then we came in today and actually had a really good qualifying effort. I had some phenomenal passes. Really late to a run our car was really coming alive there and I was able to make good ground up. I had some pretty good stage points throughout the day as well as having a shot at the end. I guess that’s all I could really ask for. I wish we came back here again. This is one of the tracks that I enjoy. We are going to look forward and take this momentum we built up today. Unfortunately, we don’t get a top-five or a win out of it, but like I said we are going to build on a day like today and take it to the next one.”