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Race Recap: The My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas

My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas NascarMedia.com

NASCAR

Race Recap: The My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas

Erik Jones cruised to victory over Ryan Blaney following a late green flag pit stop to win the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas. It was the youngster’s first victory of 2017. In an unusual twist, the race ended with 103 laps of green flag racing. At first, it looked as though Blaney would be the victory. However, Jones and his No. 20 team had other plans.

“I tiptoed a lot there in the segments and ended up letting the [Blaney] catch us and pass us, but then I was just super aggressive the whole time in traffic just trying to make passes as quick as I could and get as many cars as I could between myself and Ryan, and it paid off,” Jones said.

The last pit stops of the day occurred with roughly 50 laps to go. Jones’ team had him pit a pair of laps before Blaney, which allowed him to turn fast laps on new tires before his rival. From there, Jones ran a smart race while passing lapped cars on the treacherous new asphalt, and cruised to victory.

“I think we were probably a little slower than him for the last few laps – he had so many lapped cars to get around that there was no way he was going to get to us.”

In all, Jones led 112 of 200 laps, and won by.512 seconds over Blaney.

Chasing the 20

For his part, Blaney acknowledged the No. 20’s short run speed, saying:

“I thought our car was pretty good all day. The 20 seemed to be a little better than us for 35 or 40 laps. Then I feel like we could start running him down. We passed him before the last pit stop, and I thought our car was pretty decent right there. I needed to turn a little better early in a run. I knew it wasn’t going to be that long for the next stint.

“We didn’t come out with the lead, and that hurt us. I think if we would have come out with the lead, I don’t know if I could have held him off. He was pretty good right away, but we kind of over adjusted and got too free that last run. I felt like we were kind of even with them 10 laps into a run, but then he got so far out ahead that we couldn’t run him down. Just couldn’t get there.”

It didn’t appear as though anyone could. Despite starting on the highly disadvantaged outside lane at the start, Jones lost few positions and quickly made them back up. Not only did he lead over half the laps in the The My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas, but there were just 9 cars remaining on the lead lap at the end. 3rd place Kevin Harvick was nearly 20 seconds behind the leader at race’s end. That’s roughly 2/3 of a lap.

Stages Created Some Strategy Once Again

The newly introduced stages made for some differing strategies between NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers moonlighting in Saturday’s race. With the caution on Lap 84, most of the Cup drivers came to pit road. The XFINITY regulars however, stayed on track to collect points at the end of the second stage. At lap 90, William Byron won the stage to gather the points. He was the first of nine XFINITY regulars in the top 10 in that stage.

Notes

The My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas featured 6 cautions for 31 laps and 11 lead changes among 7 drivers.

Darrell Wallace Jr notched his 5th P6 finish in a row, a first in his career. He had 5 top 10 finishes in his previous 21 starts. He now sits 4th in the point standings.

Elliott Sadler finished 10th, and retained his first place points position despite not being a factor all day.

Rookie Cole Custer was the top finishing Xfinity regular in 5th place.

Of the five Xfinity regulars in the top 10, 3 were rookies: Cole Custer, William Byron (7th), and Matt Tifft (9th).

The Xfinity Series returns to action on April 22nd at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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