Brandon Jones Wins Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 As Hamlin And Chastain Tangle At Darlington Racewayby Hunter Thomas September 5, 2020 0 comments
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Brandon Jones won his third NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season on Saturday at Darlington Raceway after Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain tangled in the closing laps while battling for the lead.
Hamlin had been the fastest driver all afternoon in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 as he won both, Stages 1 and 2; however, in the closing laps, he found himself running second to Chastain. As the two drivers battled for the lead in the closing laps, Hamlin dove underneath Chastain in Turn 3 with two laps to go, but he overdrove the corner and bounced off the outside wall in Turn 4. With nowhere to go, Chastain also hit the wall and ran into the back of Hamlin. Jones, who was running third took advantage of the opportunity and passed both drivers for the race-winning move.
“I mean, look at the right side of this thing. I think everybody’s looks like this and that is what is so much fun about this track,” Jones said. “This is a tough place to get around. You saw them really racing hard, and I knew I was catching them. We knew we was going to pull that big slider and that’s what you have to do sometimes to clear them . All-in-all, we had the Robert Huffman paint scheme. This is so big for Toyota. Myself, oh my gosh, this place is huge on so many levels on Southern 500 weekend. We will take it. Three wins this year. We will keep going. I think more to come.”
The win marks 23-year-old’s third of the season. He also won at Phoenix Raceway in March and Kansas Speedway in July.
“This is, man,” Jones said. “You see us, I think, every single weekend. We have some bad races, but we rally back, and we don’t give up and get back in victory lane, where we need to be.”
Chastain held on for a runner-up finish, followed by Ryan Sieg who showed speed in the final stage. Riley Herbst finished fourth, and Denny Hamlin limped his car around the track to finish fifth.
Rounding out the top-10 was Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, Michael Annett, Austin Hill and Myatt Snider.
There were 17 lead changes among six drivers on Saturday. Chase Briscoe led a race high of 55 laps, but on lap 119, he spun while leading due to fluid on the track. Briscoe finished a disappointing 11th after running so strong throughout the afternoon.
There were seven cautions for 37 laps throughout the race.
A four-car accident kicked the race off on the first lap, when Anthony Alfredo slid up the track exiting Turn 2 and made contact with the outside wall and Daniel Hemric, who then collected Sieg. Brandon Brown bounced off the wall too.
Noah Gragson and Dexter Bean spun in Turn 3 to conclude Stage 2.
Austin Cindric leads Briscoe in the standings by 54 points.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will visit Richmond Raceway on Friday, September 11 for the Go Bowling 250. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on NBCSN and MRN at 7 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com