Brandon Jones Caps Kansas Triple Header With Surprise Xfinity WIn
(KANSAS CITY, KS - JULY 25, 2020 - RIS) Brandon Jones surprised the field with a seventh-to-first charge on a late race overtime restart to take his second race win at Kansas and his third career series win. Austin Cindric dominated the race, leading 131 laps of the 175 total. Leading only the last two laps, Jones said that the win was due to being "just in position there. I didn't think the bottom was going to roll like it did. The top was pretty dominant all day. Just kind of depended on how your balance was and it really fired off the best we have all day. It was a group effort there, it wasn't just me right there. It was an adjustment made and I think it really shows that we continue to make speed and keep our heads in the game."
Michael Annett started from the pole but Brandon Jones took the lead by the first lap, with Kaz Grala and Austin Cindric in chase, with Cindric getting into second before the fourth lap. Fellow INEX alum Grala held onto third place for several laps until Ross Chastain got around by running the high line, then Chase Briscoe moved into fourth only to lose the position back to Grala. Cindric took the point on lap 10 and held it over Jones to the competition yellow on lap 20, with a lead of nearly four seconds at the flag.
Cindric eased away from the field on the restart, followed by Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and Grala with Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier and Daniel Hemric moving into the top five quickly.
Stage One went to Cindric, with Ross Chastain second, with Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones, Justin Allgaier, Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric, Brett Moffitt, Riley Herbst and Kaz Grala the top ten at the green and white checkered flag. Cindric beat out Chastain on pit road, then Burton raced into second, chased by Allgaier and Brandon Jones as Haley dropped to fifth.
Harrison Burton closed to within a fraction of a second behind Cindric late in the stage, until with four laps left, lapped traffic caused the gap to grow to a half second and Cindric went on to his seventh stage of the season, with Allgaier third, Chastain, Haley, Jones, Briscoe, Herbst, Hemric and Gragson the top ten at the break.
Cindric was chased by Allgaier on the restart with Allgaier trying an inside pass but falling back behind Cindric and into second with Burton in pursuit of second place. With the vibration cleared up on Cindric's No. 22 Ford, he moved ahead to a lead of nearly a second in just a handful of laps. In spite of the vibration, Cindric's lead over Burton kept increasing, reaching a second and a half over Burton and seven and a half seconds over third place Justin Allgaier.
Pitting under green brought Cindric and Burton down pit road at the same time, with pit stall position paying off for Cindric, plus a slow right rear change on Burton's car, roughly doubled the gap between the two before the stops. Following the lead pair's pit stops, Ryan Sieg, Noah Gragson and Kaz Grala ran first through third, with Alex Labbe separating them from the charging Cindric. The gap between Cindric and Burton kept closing as they moved through traffic. One by one, the lap leaders pulled into the pits for their final scheduled servicing, finally ceding the lead to Cindric with 21 laps left in the race with Burton 0.8 second behind Cindric but kept closing on the No. 22 Mustang.
With ten laps left, Harrison Burton eased up on Cindric, 'stealing the air' off the Ford and Cindric tapped the wall as Burton moved into the lead and Cindric started to fade back to almost a one second gap in just three more laps.
A late caution with three laps to go for Joe Graf's hit on the wall opened up an overtime green-white-checker finish with teh entire lead pack pitting for tiires. Burton and Cindric both got four tires with Cindric ahead of the field leaving the pits, thanks to his pit stall position at the exit of pit road while Burton's crew gave him a slower pit stop, with Ryan Sieg staying on the track and inheriting the lead.
The restart had Jesse Little spin off the second turn, bringing out another caution. Ross Chastain looked for the outside line advantage on the restart before Little's spin, but according to the timing loops, Sieg led Cindric with Chastain third, Daniel Hemric fourth and Burton back in fifth. The restart got delayed so that a truck could push Alex Labbe's car into the pits after it ran out of fuel on the track. enxt restart saw Sieg play it well but Cindric moved into the lead as Brandon Jones swept ahead of Cindric from a seventh-place restart position to take his third career win, Cindric second and Burton third. Jones had run the truck race earlier Saturday and the Friday night ARCA race at Kansas Speedway this weekend.
"We're never out of this thing, that's what I love about these guys," smiled Jones after the race. "We keep our head in the game, we don't get excited during these races. We continue to make changes. My feedback I think was pretty good. It's been a long two days, I feel exhausted and obviously the heat is big here.
"This just shows that we've still been running good. Every time we haven't finished a race or something has happened, we've been taken out or we've had mechanical failure. Just goes to show the speed. Menards/Swiffer Supra, this is just great."
Asked about the racing conditions today, he commented that: "I think a lot of it is aerodynamics. You get behind a guy and you really lose a lot of momentum. Really just put grip in the car and that was the main thing. We were really sliding around all day and when we got some grip in the thing, we took off pretty good.
"This helps so much," with momentum said Jones. "We started so strong and really were strong in the middle-half too and just have had some stuff happen to us that shouldn't have and I think we would have had a lot more of these by now if the other stuff hadn't happened."
Austin Cindric, interviewed after the race, commented that there were " about 20 things I feel like I should have done differently. It was difficult because up higher was preferred all day and you could usually generate momentum. I didn't know that we didn't quite get the right adjustment there at the end, so I was probably tighter than I needed to be, but, overall, watching the replay he got a hell of a run on the bottom and I knew he had some momentum. I mean, if I maybe would have known he was coming from the bottom, I probably would have pulled down to slide myself into one and two and been able to fight for it in three and four, but, overall, congrats to him. He earned it. He went from seventh to the lead in two laps. It's like the third or fourth time we've lost on a green-white-checker after being the leader at the line. There are a thousand different things you can do right and wrong and you've got to trust your gut and trust the car is gonna stick. Overall, it just wasn't in the cards for four in a row."
Commenting on the late race restarts, Cindric said: "I think the restart would have been a lot more fair, if I'm gonna be blunt. I got a penalty at Indy for being a couple feet in front of the leader at the line and the 39 went way before the restart zone. You could see that with no one else being able to anticipate the push, so I feel like the restart itself wasn't very conventional and I'd like to understand that a little bit more, but, overall, I'm probably just a little salty I didn't win. I wasn't a big fan of that as far as from the sportsmanship standpoint."
"I felt like as we got more rubber on the track I thought Harrison was the best car and he proved it. He passed me under green and I don't think anybody had anything for him. I'd say we were the best car for the first half of the race and he did a great job to drive up through and pass us under green. That was a fun battle. He made me earn every tenth that I tried to put on him and that's fun racing. That's hard racing and he's earned my respect this year as far as how he races and the way he conducts himself. He doesn't give an inch, but, at the same time, you can trust him to put it on his door. Kudos to him I know it's not the win he wants, but, overall, it's fun racing. We got a gimme there with that caution and wasn't able to take advantage of it."
After his late race impact with the wall, Cindric said that it did not really change the car: "No, it wasn't that hard of contact. We know these bodies bounce out pretty quick. I looked at the right side of the car and it was just a bit of a scuff, so maybe it looked worse on TV, but racing for the win, you can't put anything on the line. If I stay on his quarter panel long enough to make him lift, that changes the complexion of the race. Granted, there was a caution, but I felt racing him that hard was my shot knowing the risk and outweighing the reward and going for a win."
Unofficial Results, Kansas Lottery 250, Kansas Speedway: 1.5 - Mile Paved
Fin) St, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 2, Brandon Jones, No. 19 Menards/Swiffer Toyota, 175, 4, 6, 2, 10, 5, 52, Running
2) 4, Austin Cindric, No. 22 XPEL Ford, 175, 1, 1, 3, 131, 2, 55, Running
3) 5, Harrison Burton #, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 175, 3, 2, 1, 8, , 51, Running
4) 16, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 CMRRoofing.com Chevrolet, 175, , , 2, 25, , 33, Running
5) 7, Ross Chastain, No. 10 Dyna-Gro Seed Chevrolet, 175, 2, 4, 1, 1, , 48, Running
6) 12, Justin Haley, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 175, 6, 5, , , , 42, Running
7) 9, Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, 175, 7, 9, , , , 36, Running
8) 1, Michael Annett, No. 1 TMC Chevrolet, 175, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 8, Riley Herbst #, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota, 175, 9, 8, , , , 33, Running
10) 11, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 175, 5, 3, , , , 41, Running
11) 22, Brandon Brown, No. 68 bmsraceteam.com Chevrolet, 175, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 17, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Repairables.com Chevrolet, 175, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 3, Kaz Grala, No. 21 ruedebush.com Chevrolet, 175, 10, , , , , 25, Running
14) 6, Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford, 175, , 7, , , , 27, Running
15) 10, Noah Gragson, No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet, 174, , 10, , , , 23, Running
16) 37, Colin Garrett, No. 26 Rosie Network Toyota, 174, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 13, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 Flexfit 110 Chevrolet, 174, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 28, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 174, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 21, Timmy Hill(i), No. 61 ROOFCLAIM.COM Toyota, 174, , , , , , 0, Running
20) 24, Josh Williams, No. 92 Sleep Well/Verve/Alloy Chevrolet, 174, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 19, Alex Labbe, No. 90 Larue Industrial Snow Blowers Chevrolet, 174, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 33, Myatt Snider #, No. 93 The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, 173, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 27, Bayley Currey(i), No. 74 Mutt and Jeff Porkskins Chevrolet, 173, , , , , , 0, Running
24) 15, David Starr, No. 07 Wilkerson Crane Rental Chevrolet, 173, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 30, Ryan Vargas, No. 15 Cranio Care Bears/FACES Chevrolet, 173, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 32, Matt Mills, No. 5 JF Electric Toyota, 171, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 29, Kody Vanderwal #, No. 52 ADVANCED DAIRY SERVICE Chevrolet, 171, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 34, Joe Graf Jr #, No. 08 Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet, 171, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 31, Chad Finchum, No. 13 James Carter Attorney at Law Toyota, 171, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 36, Vinnie Miller, No. 78 Koolbox Chevrolet, 171, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 20, BJ McLeod, No. 6 TeamJDMotorsports.com Chevrolet, 171, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 26, Ja Junior Avila, No. 99 Art General Contractor Toyota, 170, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 14, Jesse Little #, No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet, 165, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 23, Brett Moffitt(i), No. 02 KNOCKAROUND Chevrolet, 91, 8, , , , , 0, Oil Leak
35) 18, Dexter Bean, No. 36 Genteel Coatings Chevrolet, 43, , , , , , 2, Power
36) 35, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 #Backtheblue Chevrolet, 33, , , , , , 1, Battery
37) 25, Stephen Leicht, No. 66 JANIKING Toyota, 26, , , , , , 1, Transmission
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie
Race Length: 175 laps, 262.5 miles
Time of Race: 2 hrs, 4 mins, 37 secs.
Average Speed: 126.388 MPH
Margin of Victory: .405 Seconds
Stage 1 Top 10: 22, 10, 20, 19, 7, 11, 8, 02, 18, 21
Stage 2 Top 10: 22, 20, 7, 10, 11, 19, 98, 18, 8, 9
Race Comments: Brandon Jones won the Kansas Lottery 250 at Kansas Speedway, his third victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: No. 44 (Unapproved Adjustments).
Caution Flags: 5 for 22 laps;
Laps: 22-25 (Competition );
42-46 (Stage 1 Conclusion );
82-86 (Stage 2 Conclusion );
165-168 (No. 08 Incident Turn 4 );
170-173 (No. 4 Incident Turn 2 ).
Lead Changes: 9 among 5 drivers;
M. Annett 0;
B. Jones 1-9;
A. Cindric 10-126;
R. Chastain 127;
R. Sieg 128-144;
A. Cindric 145-157;
H. Burton # 158-165;
R. Sieg 166-173;
A. Cindric 174;
B. Jones 175.
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Brandon Jones, No. 19
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Harrison Burton, No. 20
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.