Mechanical Woes Slow Run in Richmond

Date: April 12, 2019

Event: ToyotaCare 250 (Round 8 of 33)

Location: Richmond Raceway (.75-mile oval)

Format: 250 laps (Stages: 75 laps / 150 laps / 250 laps)

Start / Finish: 8th / 33rd (Engine, completed 175 of 250 laps)

Point Standing:  12th   

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-75)

  • NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying at Richmond Raceway was canceled because of inclement weather and the field was set by the rule book.
  • Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Juniper Networks team started the 250-lap race Friday night under the lights from 8th, but fell back to 12th by lap 5.
  • The first caution flag flew on lap 64 and Jones reported to his Crew chief Jeff Meendering that his Toyota Supra was too tight in the center and had no rear grip.
  • Meendering called for a wedge adjustment, four tires and fuel.
  • Racing resumed on lap 69 and Jones was in 13th place.
  • Jones finished stage 1 in 10th gaining a stage point.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 76-150)

  • Jones started stage 2 on lap 80 from the 10th position, but fell back to 16th by lap 105.
  • He advised his Juniper Networks team that he was still too tight in the center and loose exit.
  • The caution flag flew on lap 126 for fluid from the 51 car.  There was also the threat of rain in the area.
  • Several strategies went into play and Jones pitted for more air, wedge adjustments, fuel and four tires.  Several cars stayed out and Jones ended up in the 17th position when racing went green on lap 137.
  • Jones worked his way up to 12th when the caution flag flew again on lap 142. 
  • When the green-white checker flew to end stage 2 Jones had finished 9th,gaining two more stage points.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 151-250)

  • Jones started the final stage in 9th place on lap 160.
  • On lap 175 the spotter reported smoke coming from Jones’ Toyota Supra and Meendering called him down pit road for evaluation.
  • Unfortunately, Jones had to take his Juniper Networks Toyota to the garage.  Their day ended early and he finished in the 33rd position.

What happened to take you out of today’s race.

“Our Juniper Networks team was having an okay day. I think we definitely could run inside the top 10. I came off turn four and truthfully thought I had kind of a bad corner at first because I just didn’t really get past seven thousand RPMs and then it was like it almost took off again. I came back and I thought we’re okay, but then all of a sudden I felt it go back down again. I’m sure we lost a valve or something. All in all these last two weeks have been a little tough on us, but we’re going to keep going. Talladega is normally pretty good to us if you can miss the big one and then we’ve got some more tracks too that are pretty good coming up. We’re going to keep plugging away and keep doing what we’ve been doing all year long which has been running in the top 10, top five and we’ll see what happens next week.”

Next Up: Next week the NASCAR Xfinity Series is off.