Early Exit After Challenging Race in Daytona

Date: July 5, 2019

Event: Circle K Firecracker 250 (Round 16 of 33)

Location: Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile superspeedway)

Format: 100 laps (Stages: 30 laps / 60 laps / 100 laps)

Start / Finish: 17th / 31st (Completed 76 of 100 laps)

Point Standing:  11th 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30)

  • The start of the Circle K Firecracker 250 was delayed two hours and 35 minutes for rain. 
  • Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Menards / Orca Coolers team started the 100-lap race from 17th.
  • Jones was involved in the first caution with seven other cars on lap nine in Turn 4 when the 90 car got loose and came down the track clipping Jones’ Toyota Supra in the right rear and then the 36 car came down across the hood of Jones causing considerable right front end damage.
  • Crew chief Jeff Meendering called Jones down pitroad for repairs and fuel. The Menards crew jumped into action working on the right front. When racing went green on lap 13 Jones was in 30th.  
  • On lap 17 Jones had a right tire rub and had to pit under green for repairs.  The crew worked on the front and changed right-side tires only, sending Jones back on the track on lap 27 in 37th two laps down.
  • On lap 23 the caution flag flew and Jones pitted for more right side repairs and right-side tires this time. 
  • Stage 1 ended on lap 30 and Jones was in 36th place two laps down.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60)

  • Jones pitted for more right side repairs and fuel and started stage 2 from the 37th position.
  • On lap 45 Jones advised Meendering that his car was good and could keep up with the pack. 
  • Meendering brought Jones down pitroad on lap 49 to top off and advised him to save fuel. 
  • On lap 60 stage 2 ended and Meendering advised Jones to stay out and take the wave around and get one of their laps back.  Jones finished stage 2 in 34th and one lap down.

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 61-100)

  • Jones started the final stage from the 34th position and immediately started fighting for the Lucky Dog position.
  • On lap 74 an eleven car accident on the backstretch brought out a caution and Jones had fought his way back on to the lead lap after capturing the Lucky Dog position.
  • Racing went green and Jones reported that something had broken in the rear of his Menards / ORCA Toyota and Meendering advised him to come down pitroad so they could assess the damage.
  • Jones and the 19 team’s day came to an early end with a rear shock failure and they finished 31st.

How was the race and what happened that ended your night early?

“I thought we had something going there at the beginning. We missed a big wreck and unfortunately, we got caught up in one of them. It wasn’t too bad really. We got into position there where the guys kept coming down pit road and working continuously. I’m really proud of this group. I wouldn’t want anyone else out there fighting for me on the track other than these guys. They kept continuing to put BearBond on the front of this thing to get it taped up. There were moments there where I was running 20% throttle and still able to keep up with the draft. Just trying to save some fuel and it was going to work out perfectly. Got the wave-around, got back on the lead lap and in the end there we lost a rear shock mount. I hate it. We had my cousin, Sgt. Aaron Jones’ unit on the car and had his patch inside – I think that’s what kept us going tonight. Great job for Menards as well and we had Orca on the hood as well. All in all, a good day and I just wish we could have finished it out and been there at the end.”

Next Up: The team now heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Alsco 300 on Friday, July 12, 2019. Jones will be piloting the No. 19 Menards / Swiffer Toyota Supra. The race starts at 7 30p.m. EST with live coverage provided by SiriusXM, PRN and NBCSN.