Larson hangs on for XFINITY triumph at Auto Club
RELATED: Results " Larson on pole for Sunday's race " Detailed breakdown FONTANA, Calif. -- Kyle Larson kept pole-sitter Joey Logano at bay after a restart with four laps left in Saturday's Service King 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Auto Club Speedway and held on to win by .127 seconds. Larson and Logano had swapped the lead on three successive laps before Brandon Jones plowed into the outside wall on Lap 142 to bring out the seventh and final caution of the afternoon. The lead cars pitted for fresh tires under the yellow flag, with Larson exiting pit road first and Spencer Gallagher grabbing the second spot with a two-tire stop. That proved Logano's undoing, as his No. 22 Team Penske Ford was pinned behind Gallagher's GMS Racing Chevrolet for the restart on Lap 147 of 150. Logano chased Larson to the checkered flag but couldn't prevent the driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet from scoring his first victory of the season, his second at Fontana and the sixth of his career. "The racing there at the end with Joey was awesome," said Larson, a California native who got his first NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at the 2-mile track. "I had just a couple-lap fresher tires than he did, and I was able to chase him down. That was a lot of fun. WATCH: Larson overcomes speeding penalty to win "I wish that last caution wouldn't have come out, because it would have been easier for me to win, I think. But a heck of a race. I honestly didn't think we would be here yesterday. I was struggling bad in practice. Fought the balance a lot throughout the race, too. Finally, the last few runs, we hit on it and it felt good for the short run and throughout the long run." MORE: Larson fast, atop Monster Energy Series standings Both the winner and the runner-up had obstacles to overcome. Larson recovered from a pit road speeding penalty to win the race. Logano sped on pit road and subsequently fell to the back of the field when the jack on the left side of his Ford dropped prematurely during an extended stay on pit road. But Logano -- who led six times for a race-high 70 laps -- was in prime position at the end, though he acknowledged that Gallagher's two-tire call deprived him of the chance to overtake Larson. "What's his number? 23?" Logano asked. "Yeah, I don't know about that move. That wasn't a good move. I don't know what they were thinking, but that maybe wasn't the best play at this race track. I knew he was going to spin them (his tires). There's no way he couldn't. It wasn't his fault. "He was a sitting duck and I was a sitting duck behind him that lost too much track position on that restart being too far behind Kyle. If not for that, we would have probably been door-to-door across the line bumping and banging or something. We were able to catch Larson the last few laps. We were definitely faster, but I needed another lap, maybe two." Kyle Busch led 55 laps and finished third after scraping the wall on Lap 122 while in pursuit of Logano, who was leading at the time. Erik Jones ran fourth and Sunoco rookie William Byron fifth as the highest-finishing series regular. The action-filled race wasn't without a number of hard crashes. Paul Menard's Chevrolet nosed hard into the outside wall after contact from Jones, who appeared to misjudge his Turn 4 exit on Lap 94. WATCH: Fiery hit for Menard at Auto Club "I don't know if he tried to push me or if he was just crossing over," Menard said after leaving the infield care center. "Definitely had a brain fart." Cole Custer took a wild ride when he clobbered the Turn 1 wall with an assist from Ryan Sieg -- and was upset when he exited the car. "I just got hooked going into the corner," Custer said. "I think I hit him (Sieg) a tick just on my side-draft going off of (Turn) 4, and then he decided just to hook us going into Turn 1 and wreck us. I thought we could have competed for a win there. We had a bad pit stop. We were going to work our way back up there, but just got our day ended by a clown move." The incident left him with a wrecked car for the second straight week. "Last week it was all my fault and I'll take that all on me," said Custer, who finished 35th. "Today it was just a clown. I don't understand what his reasoning was to pay us back that much, but that's just a joke." Notes: Byron is second in the series standings, 17 points behind seventh-place finisher Elliott Sadler… Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth for the fourth-straight race… Busch won both the first and second stages of the race, earning a total of two playoff points toward the owner's championship. Contributing: Staff reports </p>
Brendan Gaughan is like Brandon Jones' (much older) big brother
Having a little brother can be cool. More often, it's annoying. Little brothers get a kick out of being pests, as 41-year-old Brendan Gaughan is learning this year with his 19-year-old Richard Childress teammate, Brandon Jones . Ready to head out to 2nd practice like pic.twitter.com/7KyKGsvQZn — Brandon Jones (@BrandonJonesRac) November 4, 2016 That's Jones in Gaughan's firesuit ... with perhaps a little extra padding. Gaughan, of course, declared payback is coming. Oh I can't wait... the payback is going to be EPIC! @BrandonJonesRac https://t.co/KDc4guknFx — Brendan Gaughan (@Brendan62) November 5, 2016 Thing is, this isn't the first time Jones has worn a filled-out version of Gaughan's suit over his wiry frame. Ready to carry the @southpointlv colors this weekend at @MonsterMile . @Brendan62 thanks for the suit! #TheChase pic.twitter.com/65lmoZXnHE — Brandon Jones (@BrandonJonesRac) September 26, 2016 And guess what? Gaughan vowed vengeance then, too. Oh you are SO gonna pay for that @BrandonJonesRac ! https://t.co/RaOQojg05L — Brendan Gaughan (@Brendan62) September 26, 2016 That means that Gaughan has had well over a month to plan his payback, which will undoubtedly be awesome. Why? Because -- call it experience -- big brothers always get the last prank.
Brandon Jones excited about partnering with sponsor Nexteer
Brandon Jones talks about Richard Childress Racing's partnership with Nexteer and looking toward a successful future with them on the No. 33 Chevrolet.
BK Racing, Gaulding add SunFrog as sponsor
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix BK Racing announced Wednesday that apparel printing company SunFrog has joined the team as a primary sponsor for multiple Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this season. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Gray Gaulding will drive the No. 23 SunFrog Toyota this weekend at Phoenix Raceway, site of Sunday's Camping World 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Gaulding helped to unveil the car's colorful look Wednesday on FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR Race Hub" program. "I'm very excited to be a spokesman for SunFrog, and represent them on and off the track," Gaulding said in a news release provided by the team. "NASCAR is an excellent way to drive brand awareness, and I'm happy that they've chosen the No. 23 Toyota to carry their brand." Gaulding, 19, is in his first season of Monster Energy Cup competition. After sitting out the season-opening Daytona 500, he has finishes of 37th (Atlanta) and 34th (Las Vegas). SunFrog -- headquartered in Gaylord, Michigan -- has also sponsored entries driven by Brandon Brown this year in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series.
Brandon Jones extends deal with RCR in XFINITY
WELCOME, N.C. -- Brandon Jones , 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase contender and Rookie of the Year candidate, has signed an agreement to remain with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) as the driver of the No. 33 Chevrolet Camaro in the XFINITY Series for the 2017 season. " Brandon has shown he has the talent behind the wheel to run up front and compete for championships in the XFINITY Series, and we are pleased he will continue to do so in an RCR Chevrolet," said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. "We are proud of everything he has accomplished this season, including leading laps, making the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase and contending for the Rookie of the Year title. Brandon has also been an excellent spokesman for our sponsors and does an exceptional job representing our brand. We can't wait to see what Brandon can do in his second full XFINITY Series season." In his first full year with RCR, Jones has recorded 11 top-10 finishes through the first 26 races and earned a spot in the XFINITY Series Chase. The 19-year-old driver scored an impressive sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , and also led 36 laps at Talladega Superspeedway in April. "I am honored to return to Richard Childress Racing for the 2017 season," Jones said. "RCR is such a storied NASCAR organization and it's a great opportunity to be a part of the team. Racing full-time in the XFINITY Series this season has been a valuable learning experience. I believe we have what it takes to compete for the championship throughout the Chase this season and make another run at the title in 2017. The teamwork and support from RCR, ECR Engines and Chevrolet have been second to none and instrumental in my development as a driver. I've also enjoyed representing several partners including Menards, Nexteer, Chevrolet, Okuma, Cometic, Roland and Rain-X." Before joining RCR as a full-time driver in 2016, Jones ran five XFINITY Series races in 2015, earning one top-five and two top-10 finishes, along with 16 laps led. The Atlanta, Georgia, native, has 30 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, recording five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He also has one NASCAR K&N East Series win and three ARCA Racing Series victories.
Brandon Jones, Brendan Gaughan get 'Annoying'
Richard Childress Racing drivers Brandon Jones and Brendan Gaughan are taking their talents to YouTube. The pair of NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers made guest appearances in the hit online show "Annoying Orange," which is certainly among the most unique things you'll ever see. And, well, just watch.
Brandon Jones' Texas ride carrying MLB team's logo
RELATED: Buy tickets for Texas Worlds will be colliding as Brandon Jones will sport the colors of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers during next weekend's NASCAR XFINITY Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 (Friday, April 8, 8:30 p.m. ET, FS1) at the 1.5-mile track. Jones' No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will carry the logo of the defending American League West division champions on the hood of the car. Watch how it came together below. ⚾️ meets ! Introducing the #Rangers33Car to be driven by @BrandonJonesRac on April 8th @TXMotorSpeedway ! pic.twitter.com/KwzmJQX71D — Texas Rangers (@Rangers) March 30, 2016 Jones is in his first full season in the XFINITY Series. The 19-year-old Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate ranks fourth in the series standings with three top 10s through the series' first five races. The scheme's running coincides with the opening week of the Major League Baseball season. A tripleheader of games kicks off the season this Sunday, April 3, with the traditional "Opening Day" for most of the other teams on Monday afternoon. Texas Motor Speedway is located in Fort Worth, Texas, while the Texas Rangers play in nearby Arlington.
Experience surrounds Brandon Jones' rise at RCR
RELATED: Series standings " See how the XFINITY Chase Grid looks Photo credit: (HHP/Gregg Ellman) For any rookie there is always a bit of a learning curve, but for Brandon Jones he has several veterans surrounding him to help guide the way in his first full NASCAR season. One of the younger drivers in the garage, 19-year-old Jones pilots the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He's fifth in the standings with seven top 10s ahead of next weekend's Subway Firecracker 250 (July 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). At RCR, Jones has a stable of teammates with a variety of experience in Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Chevrolet) and the brothers Dillon, Ty (No. 3 Chevrolet) and Austin (No. 2 Chevrolet) as well as Paul Menard (No. 2 Chevrolet) to lean on for advice and guidance. "The biggest thing everybody's helped me out with is not coming so much to the tracks I've been to in the past, but the tracks that we haven't seen so far," Jones said at Iowa Speedway last week . "People like Brendan and all the teammates really they help me out a lot. We've got a lot of notes from previous years from everybody that goes to driver debriefs so I have that to kind of go over and look through. They are just always there to help me out if they see something." Gaughan, who has 20 years of NASCAR experience, shares an easy rapport with the young Jones as evidenced by their willingness to play off their similar first names and their exchange when the elder statesman of the RCR team asked Jones how old he was during a recent press conference. When Jones answered, 40-year-old Gaughan buried his head in his hand. Just past halfway in the regular season of the XFINITY Series, Gaughan likes what he has seen from Jones. "When he goes out and runs top 10 just about every week, it's not like you need to keep giving him a lot of coaching," Gaughan said. "You just want to try to keep the head on straight, keep him pointed in the right direction -- and he does a good job of that already to begin with." Jones also has the experience to draw on from crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. atop his pit box. Hillman comes from a racing background but he used another sport to describe how the young driver gets ready, especially for a track that's new to him. Coming into this season, Jones, a Georgia native, had 30 NASCAR national series starts split between the XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series. "It's kind of like being a quarterback; he watches a lot of game film, a lot of in-car camera stuff and the races that have been run at the racetracks before to try and be on top of it before we ever get here," Hillman told NASCAR.com at Iowa. Hillman notices the cool and calm demeanor with which Jones carries himself. The duo bonded away from the track as well and Hillman, age 37 and a father of three, has welcomed Jones into his family. "To have the age difference between the two of us, but to have a lot of things in common and enjoy a lot of things outside of racing, it's really cool to be able to hang out and grow together," Hillman said. Hillman, a New York native, brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from working primarily in the Camping World Truck Series and winning two championships with Todd Bodine , as well as working with young drivers such as Kyle Larson , Jeb Burton , Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes . Last season, Hillman was atop the pit box for Brian Scott and the No. 2 team at RCR in the XFINITY Series. Under Hillman's guidance, Jones is in a comfortable position to be one of the 12 drivers competing in the debut of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, which begins Sept. 24 at Kentucky Speedway . While Jones has been consistent in averaging a finish of 11.4 -- fifth-best among XFINITY Series regulars -- he has yet to record a top-five finish in 2016, and has been out front for just 36 laps (all coming at Talladega in April) . Those are among the next steps Hillman wants to see Jones make as the series gets closer to the postseason. "We have to take our eighth-, ninth- and 10th-place finishes and make them fourth, fifths and sixths," Hillman said. "And then once we do that, we can start making them firsts, seconds and thirds, and just take it a step at a time. Hopefully, if we keep doing that and progressing the way we are, by the time we get to the Chase, we're in a spot to be in contention."
Chase driver Brandon Jones involved in costly incident
Brandon Jones is involved in a costly incident with Justin Marks, becoming the first Chase driver sent to the garage at Kentucky Speedway.
Brandon Jones slips up early in NXS practice
Brandon Jones makes contact with the wall at Kentucky Speedway during practice for the ALSCO 300, forcing him to a backup car for the race.
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