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NASCAR Xfinity: Brandon Jones leads JGR 1-2-3 at Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 07: Brandon Jones, driver of the #19 Menards/Turtle Wax Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway on March 07, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Brandon Jones claimed his second-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway. The win was the 500th for Toyota in NASCAR national-level competition.

If we keep bringing stuff like this, I would not want to go into battle with anybody but the guys I have behind me right now,” Jones said in victory lane. “We have a family on the 19 team and we can see it right now in victory lane.”

Jones’ win was the second-straight for Joe Gibbs Racing, with teammate Harrison Burton claiming his first series win a week earlier at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. It also led a JGR one-two-three at Phoenix, with last weekend’s winner taking runner-up honors and reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch in third.

“I thought we were going to run 10th today, but we got third,” Busch said.

Busch dominated the race, running up front for 78 of the 200 laps that made up the race. Jones took his race-winning lead from Busch on lap 181. With about 10 laps to go, Burton got by Busch for second.

“Good to be a one-two-three is how we could do it,” Burton said. “Proud of our guys, proud of our effort. Wasn’t quite enough, but we’ll be back with the DEX Imaging Supra. Hopefully, we’ll win the championship.”

Although Busch dominated the race, he also failed to claim a stage wins. Those went to JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson, with Allgaier winning the first 45-lap stage and Gragson the second and lap 90.

Gragson was in the top-10 at the finish, in seventh, but Allgaier was 13th at the checkered flag after leading 51 laps as a result of a pit strategy gone wrong. Allgaier stayed out while almost everyone else pitted and took their last sets of new tires during a lap-128 caution.

After staying out, Allgaier was up front, still with a set of new tires in the pits. Still needing to make a stop for fuel, he pitted for fuel only during a caution for Dillon Bassett and Brandon Brown on lap 137. Allgaier never used that last set of tires, and after his stop was mired outside the top-10.

The Bassett-Brown incident led to an altercation on pit road that also involved Bassett’s brother Ronnie Bassett, after the race. Both Bassett brothers approached Brown’s car, and punches were thrown before Brown exited his car.

Both drivers were able to continue after their on-track incident, with Brown finishing on the lead lap in 12th and Bassett 18th, the first driver one lap down.

Brad Keselowski finished fourth in Saturday’s race, and Justin Haley rounded out the top-five.

“We started off, and we were really tight,” Keselowski said. “We made some adjustments and got to that next-to-last restart and got wrecked. Recovered from that and drove through the field. I think we would have had a shot to win if we didn’t have to come from so far behind. The team on the XPEL Ford worked pretty hard and got us in position, there, at the end. We gave it our all. I gave it all I had; it just wasn’t enough.”

Finishing sixth through 10th were Chase Briscoe, Gragson, Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain and Riley Herbst.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway:

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Posted by on March 8, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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