Jones Prevails at Bristol

ErikJones

Erik Jones picked up his second straight win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on Saturday going to Victory Lane in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Erik Jones came back from an early race penalty to win Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jones outraced Ryan Blaney in a race to the checkered flag after a late restart to score his second straight series win after his Texas triumph two weeks ago. He’s the first driver to score a repeat win this season and Jones made it two straight spring race wins at Bristol.

He was penalized for speeding on pit road on lap 230 but was able to get back to the front, which included making contact with race leader Blaney in the late going. 

"That's part of racing. I knew I pushed the issue," Jones explained of the contact.

From that point he stayed at the front and outraced Suarez in a three-lap shootout to the checkered flag.

"I didn't think we had the car to do it, especially after the speeding penalty but the cards fell our way,” Jones said.

Blaney was forced to settle for third, but his car was found to be too low in post race inspection. The team will face penalties announced later this week. Joe Gibbs Racing suffered a similar infraction earlier the season, which resulted in a 10 point penalty, $10,000 fine and a crew chief suspension of one race.

“He was looking at the 3 and I kind of dove in there hard,” Blaney said of the contact from Jones with 20 laps to go. “I was trying to get to the bottom. I tried to get into 1 a little bit deeper, trying to protect but he was so much better than us on the short runs.

“He wasn’t going to back down and I wasn’t going to back out either. Just hard racing, that’s what that was.”

Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top five.

Hemric’s finish helped him claim the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus that was up for grabs in Saturday’s race.

Ty Dillon, Kyle Larson, Brennan Poole, Blake Koch and Michael Annett completed the first ten finishers.

Larson and Hemric won the first two stages of the afternoon.

There was a red flag for rain that lasted one hour and thirty-eight minutes. During the down time, Ross Chastain and Jeremy Clements were involved in an altercation on pit road when the two drivers became physical with one another after getting out of their cars.

It appeared Chastain hit Clements, who was seen later wearing sunglasses. Both drivers were summoned to the NASCAR hauler.

“Somebody grabbed me by my shoulders and kind of pushed me,” Chastain told FS1.” I just turned around and saw who it was. I hope he realizes now that he can talk, we can talk, but you can’t grab someone by the shoulders. That happened before and I said right then I wouldn’t let it happen again. What’s done is done.”

The race was slowed by caution for 85 laps.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series now heads to Richmond International Raceway next Saturday afternoon. That race will also be a Dash 4 Cash event.

 

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