Race Weekend Central

Erik Jones Dominates XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas

Erik Jones dominated and his second XFINIT Y Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 Saturday afternoon, leading 112 laps along the way to a half-second margin of victory over Ryan Blaney.

“We really didn’t make many adjustments. (Chris) Gabehart (crew chief) did a great job last night trying to get the car freed up for today,” Jones said, describing his race-winning car. “The track was definitely a lot tighter. Just cool to get the Game Stop Camry to victory lane. Just an awesome day and couldn’t do it without GameStop, Reser’s, Hisense, Interstate Batteries, Toyota, JGR Engines and NASCAR and the fans. Just an awesome day to get back to victory lane.”

Kevin Harvick finished third, nearly 21 seconds behind the top two, followed by Austin Dillon. Cole Custer in fifth was the lone XFINITY Series driver to break up the Cup driver party inside the top 5.

“We had an awesome Haas Automation Mustang, we just had to bide our time,” Custer said about his best finish of the season. “We kept getting stuck on the outside on the restarts and had to wait and wait until we got track position on the bottom. We had a really strong run. I can’t thank everybody enough who made this happen.

“I feel like I am getting more and more comfortable as I get experience and used to racing everybody. We are making strides, both me and the team.”

Darrell Wallace Jr. scored his fifth straight sixth-place finish when he emerged from a last-lap, spirited battle with William Byron, who rolled home seventh.

“We were on the free side pretty much every race and I haven’t had enough to lean on to run with those fast guys up there for most of the year. We had some good calls and good strategy today,” Wallace explained after the race. “The 42 got into us there in entry. Just a racing deal. I was a little pissed off at first but you have to remember there are rookies out here and I am still learning myself.

“What a blast out here today. Texas is tough now. Giving up that bottom groove is like pulling teeth. I really fought hard there and did look with about nine laps to go where I was and got it mixed up between us and the 9 and we were sixth. Unreal. Shout out to my guys. My pit crew was on it all day and all year. They put us in the game there on the green-flag stop. I saw we came out a couple spots ahead of the guys we were behind and I knew it would be a good day. Thanks to Leidos and Ford and Jack Roush, we are making gains.”

Ty Dillon, Matt Tifft, who scored his first top-10 finish of the year, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top 10.

The first half of the race was marred by six cautions for 31 laps but ended with a 103-lap green-flag run that resulted in just nine drivers finishing on the lead lap.

Daniel Hemric, who started seventh, brought out the first yellow on the day just 13 laps into the race. Though the team made repairs in enough time to get restarted before the damage clock ran out, the car rolling on the splitter saw the No. 21 Chevrolet suffer from multiple flat tires before the appropriate repairs were made. Hemric ended up 32nd, 18 laps down.

The second yellow flew for the end of Stage 1 but was extended – and also included a short red flag period – due to rear gear oil dropped on the track and in the pits by Casey Mears. The driver of the No. 98 Ford was forced to retire to a 38th-place result.

Two of the cautions – the third and fifth – were triggered by single-car spins in Turn 2, while the big on happened in Turn 3 when contact from Tyler Reddick loosened Wallace’s car and triggered the melee.

Elliott Sadler, who was the first car one lap down in 10th, leads the point standings by six markers over William Byron. Ryan Reed sits a distant third, 42 points behind the leader and seven ahead of Wallace in fourth. Justin Allgaier rounds out the top 5.

The XFINITY Series will take next weekend off for Easter before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, April 22. The Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 will run at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

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