Post race presser with Erik Jones, driver of the #21 GameStop Toyota and his crew chief and team owner after winning 2017 My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway!Posted by The SkyBoat on Saturday, April 8, 2017
Written by Ryan Musich
(Ft. Worth, TX) On a warm and beautiful day in Ft. Worth, the NASCAR Xfinity Series took center stage, with a big question hanging over their heads. Would the driver aggressive out of the gates? Or would they choose to be passive because of the new track modifications? If the first 45 laps would be a sign of things of come? We were going to have a fun day of racing.
Out of the gate, Joey Logano was looking fantastic. Logano led the first 19 laps of the race, and had a pretty convincing lead early. But a caution flag would come out as #21 Daniel Hemric would wreck and bring out the early flag. That caution would hurt Logano, and would benefit #20 Erik Jones who would lead the rest of the 1st stage, and would take stage 1. During the caution between stages 1 and 2, Casey Mears would have a massive oil leak that would cover the entire track, causing the red flag to be waved, putting a complete halt to the race. The red flag would last for 10 minutes while maintenance would go around the track to clean it up. Right after that red flag and caution subsided, a few laps passed and then another yellow flag showed its ugly head, as #18 Daniel Suarez spun out on lap 62. Caution went by, and then another accident occurred on lap 66. The wreck involved 5 different cars as they went around turn 3 headed into turn 4. William Byron would go on to win stage 2. After that bunch of wrecks happened, some great racing went on. The drivers were answering questions with great clarity.
The big question was answered with a resounding yes. These drivers were aggressive and were showing how bad they wanted this race. Drivers were not waiting for their time to pass and weren’t going to let the new pavement and modifications to turns 1 and 2, keep them from being aggressive and getting these standings points. Usually, 6 cautions would deter or throw someone off their game plan, but these drivers were determined to break through their concerns with the track, and make some aggressive moves on 3 and 4 wide alignments on the outside.
A key moment down the stretch would come with 50 laps to go. Joey Logano would have to leave the race and go back to his garage with mechanical errors. Though he would be eligible to return since it wasn’t anything more than mechanical errors, Logano would end up with his first DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season. Tough to see for the pole setter after such a great day of racing. With 20 laps to go, we were coming down the stretch here in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Erik Jones had a 3 second lead over 2nd place Ryan Blaney in the 22 car. Ever since the end of the 2nd stage, Jones held the lead. Blaney would have times where he would come close, but never could seem to pull ahead of the #20 car. Erik Jones would lead for 112 laps out of 200 laps, and would be your winner of the 21st Annual My Bariatric Solutions 300 in Ft. Worth. 2nd career win at Texas Motor Speedway. A pretty dominating performance for Jones.
After the race was over, Erik Jones spoke to the media. Jones was ecstatic about the win, and had positive things to say about the race track and his car. “I was happy with the car. Never had to fight it today.” “How can I not like this track”, Jones said. “We’ve always won at this track, so I guess you can say I’ve liked both (new and old pavement)”. Jones definitely showed that this is his track. This is his 2nd career win, but has finished very well at this track.
This race was filled with excitement, wrecks, cautions, and sweet victory for Erik Jones. The race overall was fantastic. The race included 6 cautions with the biggest wreck involving 5 cars. And the overall racing was truly great to see. Drivers were doing great being aggressive and forcing the race. Everyone at the speedway will be hoping tomorrow’s race will have just the amount of excitement or more. Signing off from today’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, once again your winner in dominating fashion is #20, Erik Jones. Have a great night everybody.
Written by Ryan Musich
(Ft. Worth, TX) There are numerous questions surrounding the newly renovated track this weekend here at Texas Motor Speedway, and NASCAR’s Xfinity Series gets the first crack to compete in a race environment. Drivers all weekend including Monster Energy Series pole setter Kevin Harvick have not had many positive words for the new pavement, and modifications to turns 1 and 2. Star drivers Elliot Sadler, William Byron, and Justin Allgaier will look to withstand the pains that have come with the renovations to the track. Darrell Wallace Jr and Ty Dillon ran the best times in practice, and seem to be the early odds-on favorite for Saturday’s race.
Elliot Sadler will be looking to extend his lead in the points standings today, but it may not be so easy with the new tracks mods. Sadler will have to contend with some legitimate threats to his points lead this weekend, in drivers such as Will Byron, Darrell Wallace Jr, and Justin Allgaier. Byron is the biggest threat to Sadler’s point lead, as Byron has only a minimal climb to reach the top. Byron would end up starting ahead of Sadler, as Sadler barely made it past the first round of qualifying. Drivers Mike Harmon and Stephen Leicht did not make it out of the first round of qualifying. In the 2nd round of qualifying, Jeb Burton would wreck out and help bring the caution flag out. Burton would be okay though, and noted that he would try his hardest to get the car fixed before the race. Points leader Elliot Sadler would advance to the final round by placing 2nd place in the 2nd round. Will Byron would finish in 4th place to advance to the final 12. Your pole setter for the My Bariatric Solutions 300 is #12 Joey Logano. Logano also won the pole last week in California. Elliot Sadler would finish 10th, and William Byron would start in the 5th position.
It will be interesting to see how this track treats these drivers. It’s the first race on this newly renovated track, and we’ve heard a lot of different views on the track this weekend from the drivers. Will it affect how these drivers drive? How many accidents will the elements of new track cause? Should be interesting and we will definitely get these answers.
Prediction: I have Darrell Wallace Jr. winning this race. His car looked exceptional in practice this weekend, and it looked really well in qualifying finishing 8th. Wallace finished 6th place in 4 out of the 5 NASCAR Xfinity Series races this year. He’s bound to break through in one of these next few races, and with what I’ve seen this weekend, this could very well be the week Wallace Jr reaches victory road. I’ll be back shortly after the race with your post race report. Enjoy the race everybody!