Box Score Info:
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series; Sport Clips VFW 200
- TRACK: Darlington Raceway
- CAR: No.19 Hope For The Warriors Toyota Camry
- START: 39th
- FINISH: 12th
- LAPS: 147/147
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Hope For The Warriors team traveled to Darlington for the Labor Day weekend. The No. 19 team went retro for the weekend sporting a “Throwback” Darrell Waltrip No. 11 paint scheme. The weekend started out with some obstacles when NASCAR penalized the No. 19 car Saturday afternoon for failing pre-qualifying inspection four times. As a result, the team wasn’t allowed to qualify and had to start at the rear of the 40-car field. Jones also had to serve a pass-through penalty after the green flag which immediately put him a lap down. The team is no stranger to adversity and they always pull together as a team to fight for the best results. After carving his way up from 39th to 13th in the first stage and dropping back to 25th in the second stage, Jones was able to fight his way up to 11th for the end of stage 2. The last stage Jones fought hard on “The Track Too Tough to Tame” and claimed a 12th place finish.
The Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 started at 3:45 p.m. E.T. Jones started from the rear of the field because of a NASCAR penalty for failing inspection. He served his pass-through penalty and went down a lap. The team immediately had some good luck when the first caution flag flew on the first lap and Jones captured the Lucky Dog position. He was back on the lead lap when the race went green on lap nine. When racing resumed, Jones started carving through the field picking off 27 cars to finish 13th at the end of stage 1.
Jones started stage 2 from 11th after taking four tires, fuel, and minor adjustments called for by crew chief Chris Gabehart to tweak a tight condition. On lap 77 Jones spun in turn 2 and dropped back to 25th. On lap 81 Jones started his race back toward the front. He moved into the top-20 on lap 83, fought hard and grabbed a spot in the top-15 on lap 86 to finish 11th at the end of stage 2.
Gabehart advised Jones to pit for four tires, fuel and more adjustments to free their Toyota Camry up. The Hope For The Warriors team struggled on the pitstop with the front air hose. Jones would start his final charge to the front from 24th place. Jones fought hard and moved into the top-15 on lap 110 and was able to finish 12th when he crossed the start/finish line at the end of the 147-lap race.
How did your race go?
“We overcame a lot of obstacles this whole weekend really with our penalties that we had yesterday night. We had to overcome a couple things on pit road there. We had to come from the back a couple times, so I think to drive up through the field especially at Darlington, a place where it’s really tough to pass, says a lot about how good our race car was. Had a couple of times to be up in the top 10. This place just gets so greasy especially when it’s 95 degrees like it was today – really hot. This place was really slick. It was just kind of who saved their tires the best if you managed it, but all in all a great day for everyone.”