By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
For Brandon Jones, the Boyd Gaming 300 was eventful resulted in a top-10 finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Jones finished seventh after one of his best NASCAR Xfinity Series races since last season.
Jones ran up front throughout the entire race, putting close to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch. As the duo battled, their cars collided. Busch hit Jones’ No. 19 Menards Toyota Camry in the drivers’ door. Jones returned the favor in the passenger door. The damage was minimal, and Busch let his displeasure be known on the backstretch.
The top-10 run was the first at an intermediate track for Jones since Kansas in 2016. His move from Richard Childress Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing has shown an increase in performance just three races into the 2018 season.
“Our 19 Menards Toyota Camry was pretty fast all day,” Jones said. “I was really happy with it. I think all we had to do all day was some tire adjustments and stuff to kind of fine-tune. It wasn’t like we had to throw big changes at it. We were really close in our setups, I think we could have gotten just a little bit closer. I think our car was a lot better on the long run than it was the short run. You could really see that, like a couple guys would get past me on a restart and their tires would fall off and we’d pass them. I wish we had just a little bit more to get going on the restarts and stuff. All in all, fabulous day for us in the points. I’m excited to get to the next track.”
The seventh-place finish was Jones’ second in three races this season. It also moves him up from 10th in the Championship Standings to seventh. The battles throughout the 300-mile race left Jones up front when the first two stages ended. He earned nine stages points, helping him move up in the standings.
Vegas marks the first race of NASCAR’s “West Coast Swing.” All three tracks on the “West Coast Swing” have been some of Jones’ best. Now Jones will try to carry the momentum from his top-10 finish into the DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway on March 10.
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