Box Score Info:
- RACE: NASCAR Xfinity Series; Go Bowling 250
- TRACK: Richmond Raceway
- DRIVER: Brandon Jones
- CAR: No.19 Juniper Networks Toyota Camry
- START: 9th
- FINISH: 8th
- LAPS: 250/250
Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Juniper Networks team traveled to Richmond for the first race in the Round of 12 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) 2018 Playoffs. Jones was coming off two consecutive top-10 finishes and the Juniper Networks team was looking forward to tackling one of Jones’ most challenging tracks. The team had a lot of confidence and momentum going into the race weekend, but struggled with a tight Toyota Camry for the entire 250-laps, running between eighth and 18th the entire 187.5 miles under the lights. Jones and the No. 19 Juniper Networks team never gave up and were able to make a final charge to the front, capturing their third consecutive top-10 and a hard fought eighth place finish.
Jones had a strong qualifying run and started the Go Bowling 250 from the ninth position at 7:37pm ET. He advised his crew chief Chris Gabehart that his Camry was way too tight during the first two stages. Jones finished 15th at the end of stage 1 and 2 and Gabehart brought Jones down pitroad for big adjustments to loosen him up. Unfortunately, NASCAR penalized the team for the jackman being over the wall too soon. Gabehart advised Jones to go to the tail end of the lead lap. As long as they were at the rear of the line, Gabehart brought Jones back down for some more adjustments to help loosen him up.
When the final stage went green on lap 156 Jones was in the 18th spot. He made his final charge to the front and was able to fight his way back into the top-10 on lap 227. When he crossed the start/finish line, Jones had earned an eighth place finish, his third consecutive top-10 and 13th top-10 finish for the 2018 season.
Jones’ teammate Christopher Bell won the race followed by Ross Chastain, Daniel Hemric, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Tifft.
How was your race today?
“I think we had a phenomenal day today with it being a one-day show – practice, qualifying and race all packed in together. The car was great and I think we qualified really well too. We didn’t really have the long run speed and that’s kind of what we had in the spring. The short run speed was there, but just had so many long runs tonight so that didn’t really play into our favor too well with that. That late-race restart played into our favor a lot because we were able to make some gains a little bit. We stayed in the fight all day long and finished in the eighth place and all in all, I think we have to keep doing that to keep advancing to the next round. Hopefully next weekend at the Roval goes well for us.”