Leading a majority of a race than finishing 30th is a tough way to finish. This is what happened to Brandon Jones last week at the Xfinity race in Fontana, California. However, Jones did not let that drag him down as he responds with a victory at Phoenix a week later. Better yet, he did it by passing defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch with 24 laps to go. This was Jones’ first win in 2020 and second of his career.
This was a chaotic race with seven cautions and a lot of pit strategy was involved. This was prevalent for Justin Allgaier who made a decision on pit road that would come back to bite him in the end. After winning stage 1 and battling with Busch for the lead in stage 2, he decided to stay out during a caution. Then, Allgaier goes to the pits early in the final stage and only takes fuel. This would end up costing him as he would finish 12th after a strong start to the race.
Busch, who was the heavy favorite to win the race according to DraftKings, was in control during stage 3, but was caught by Jones, and Harrison Burton and wound up with a third-place finish. Busch said after the race that he has had problems with his front tires all weekend and he and his team weren’t able to do anything to fix that for this race.
Speaking of Burton, he followed up a victory last week with a runner-up finish. He struggled to start as he finished stages 1 and 2 ninth and eighth respectively. He gained momentum off restarts and was able to climb his way up to second place.
Brad Keselowski and Justin Haley completed the top five.
Chase Briscoe led some laps in stage 3, but plummeted to the bottom half of the top 10 after a rough restart and finished sixth. Noah Gragson, this year’s Daytona winner and stage two winner, finished seventh. Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain and Riley Herbst rounded out the top 10.
This was a great race for the drivers to figure out the kind of car they want for this track as this will be the location of the championship race in November. This race allows the teams to work out issues from today and make sure they are fixed for the big race in November. This was also a big race for Toyota as not only as they finished 1-2-3 in the race, but also picked up their 500th NASCAR national series win.
Side note: The teams of Brandon Brown and Dillon Bassett were involved in an altercation on pit road after the race due to making contact during stage two.
Next week, the Xfinity Series will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the EchoPark 250.