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.
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.
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 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.
Brandon Jones lands full-time XFINITY ride with RCR
SPARTA, Ky. -- Brandon Jones will be with Richard Childress Racing ’s NASCAR XFINITY Series program in 2016, but this time, he will have a ride all his own. RCR announced the news on Friday afternoon that the 18-year-old Georgia native will have a full-time ride in the series for next season. The team noted in a release that his crew chief and team will be named at a later date. “It's going to be awesome," Jones told NASCAR.com at Kentucky Speedway . "Been looking forward to that for awhile." Jones has gotten his feet wet in the XFINITY Series this year in the team's No. 33 Chevrolet, which is also driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars Austin Dillon and Paul Menard . The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Kentucky Speedway marks his fifth start in the series, with his best finish -- an eighth-place result -- coming in his series debut in May at Iowa Speedway . In Friday's opening practice, Jones was third-fastest on the speed chart (177.194 mph). " Brandon's performance in his limited schedule with RCR this season has been very impressive," Richard Childress, chairman and chief executive officer of RCR, said in a team release. "We're thrilled to provide him an opportunity in 2016 to showcase his talents over an entire XFINITY Series season." In addition to his XFINITY seat time, Jones has run a pretty steady schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for GMS Racing in the No. 33 Chevrolet. He has two top fives this season in 11 starts this season, including a runner-up showing at Iowa in June. The young driver thinks his learning curve will be a bit accelerated with his Truck Series experience at most of the tracks that the XFINITY Series runs at. "I think there's going to be five or so tracks I haven’t been to, but that won't be bad at all," Jones said. "I'm pretty excited being able to go back to some of these tracks in an XFINITY car." For Jones, the deal took some time to come together, but now that it is in place, he is ready to get going. "We've been trying to kind of get a deal together for awhile now," Jones said. "I've been talking to a couple different programs and seeing what our best option was and it all just came together over there. Really proud of everybody that has worked on that so hard and got us going."
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.
Brandon Jones shows how a 19-year-old does Las Vegas
Imagine you are a 19-year-old NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie spending the weekend in Las Vegas, site of the series' third race of the year, the Boyd Gaming 300 (4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "Sin City," the "City of Lights," the "Entertainment Capital of the World," except you are not of age to partake in the gambling at Las Vegas' many casinos. Brandon Jones , driver of the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, took to RCR's Twitter account on Friday night to show off how a 19-year-old makes the most out of Nevada's adult playground. What ensued was something you would not have seen in "The Hangover." It was a night that included making it rain… tickets in Skeeball as well as playing "UNO" at a Steak 'n Shake. The real question is who had to Draw Four? The security guard said the next open seat won't be avail for two years. #19inVEGAS pic.twitter.com/dgkEEyxlJM — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016 Nothing like a nice, strong…Shirley Temple. Make it a double. #19inVEGAS pic.twitter.com/EbAGtp1D2c — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016 In a busy casino it's always good to find a table…draw four. #19inVEGAS pic.twitter.com/tksrLAdx0k — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016 Making it rain…tickets. #19inVEGAS #LasVegas #MakeItRain pic.twitter.com/h9j9nEZ7XK — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016 Told the old lady to find another machine. I'm on a heater. You never walk away when you're on a heater. #19inVEGAS pic.twitter.com/lw21oaIjpA — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016 #Winning . Now what the hell do I do with this?? #19inVEGAS pic.twitter.com/o1czfyZwda — RCR (@RCRracing) March 5, 2016
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."
XFINITY rookie Brandon Jones to tackle Auto Club
FONTANA, Calif. -- The sprawling and lightning fast Auto Club Speedway can be a little daunting for rookie drivers. Just ask NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie Brandon Jones . "The first time I pulled up here a couple hours ago -- man, this place is really big," Jones said on Friday at the speedway. "It looked a little intimidating when you pulled up at first." But while Jones is contending for Sunoco Rookie of the Year, his performance on-track isn't reminiscent of a beginner. In his four starts this season, Jones, 19, has finished 11th or better in every race in his No. 33 Richard Childress Chevrolet, making his XFINITY debut on all four tracks. For Jones, the new tracks have been opportunities to be a student of the sport, studying as much as he can as a young driver. "The biggest thing is just trying to learn these places I haven't been to yet," Jones said. "We kind of kicked off with a pretty tough schedule going from Daytona to pretty bumpy Atlanta. ... So some of these places that I haven't seen so far, it's been kind of tough to learn right off the trailer. "(But) every time we've unloaded so far, we've been top 10 on the speed charts, so I've been really happy about where we've been firing up at these places." He'll hit the books again this weekend, as he makes his debut at Auto Club Speedway in Saturday's TreatMyClot.com 300 (4 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM Radio). There's uncertainty that comes with the tricky seams and speed characteristic of the California track -- but there's also confidence that comes from having strong teammates. "I know a couple of our RCR teammates -- Brendan Gaughan being one of them -- (have) finished pretty high up," Jones said. "I've been talking to him a little bit at the race track, going back and watching a couple videos to see how they run over the seams. Like you said, that's a pretty big deal, so learn how to take that to your advantage during the race, making your car better over those is going to be a big key. "I'm just going to try to go out there this first practice session and learn the place as best I can, get behind some people that have been here a lot and try and follow them and see if I can pick up a couple things. But I think we'll be just fine -- I think we'll be pretty fast right off the hauler and we'll start going to work on our Nexteer Chevy."
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