NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas 2017 Results: Erik Jones Dominates for 1st Win

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2017

FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 08:  Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop/GAEMS Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Erik Jones captured the checkered flag Saturday in the 2017 My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. It's the first victory of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season for the driver of the No. 20 Toyota.

Ryan Blaney finished second as the only other contender within 20 seconds of Jones at the end. Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Cole Custer rounded out the top five.

The race featured 11 lead changes, involving seven different leaders, and six cautions.

Let's check out a complete list of the top finishers from the season's sixth race:

2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series: My Bariatric Solutions 300
PlaceDriverCar No.
1Erik Jones20
2Ryan Blaney22
3Kevin Harvick41
4Austin Dillon2
5Cole Custer00
6Darrell Wallace Jr.6
7William Byron9
8Ty Dillon3
9Matt Tifft19
10Elliott Sadler1
NASCAR.com

And here's a look at the updated Xfinity Series standings:

2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series: Point Leaders After Race 6
RankDriverCar No.Points
1Elliott Sadler1225
2William Byron9-6
3Ryan Reed16-42
4Darrell Wallace Jr.6-49
5Justin Allgaier7-51
6Matt Tifft19-86
7Daniel Hemric21-89
8Brennan Poole48-91
9Michael Annett5-95
10Blake Koch11-95
NASCAR.com

The challenges of attempting to conquer a newly repaved Texas Motor Speedway were on full display during the opening phase of the race. Multiple drivers fell out of line around the first two turns, which underwent additional changes to decrease the banking, and lost several spots in the process.

Avery Hage had a flashback to 15 years ago after watching the early action:

Jones was among the drivers to suffer an early setback. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie dropped out of the top five for a brief time after starting second, but he made a steady climb back up the leaderboard and took over the top spot to win the first stage of the race.

NASCAR Xfinity highlighted the No. 20 machine taking the lead as Joey Logano lost grip around Turn 2:

The second turn remained an issue throughout stage No. 2, with half of the phase's four cautions happening in that corner of the track. It will be interesting to see whether that carries over to the Cup Series and how much of a benefit taking part in the Xfinity race provides for Cup regulars.

Meanwhile, Xfinity rookie William Byron used some pit strategy to win the stage. JR Motorsports spotlighted the decision-making process:

The final stage finally brought some extended racing under the green flag, including a complete cycle of pit stops. The longer the run went on, the more Jones started to pull away from the pack after regaining the lead with just under 50 laps to go.

His lead eventually swelled to over three seconds, and without a late caution to bring the field back together, he cruised to the finish line for his seventh career Xfinity win.

Kaitlyn Vincie of Fox Sports 1 provided an interesting tidbit about the triumph:

NASCAR Xfinity spotlighted his celebration:

Fox Sports NASCAR passed along post-race reaction from Jones:

Looking ahead, the Xfinity Series is off next weekend for the second time in three weeks. It returns to action Saturday, April 22, for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.

The series will return to Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4 for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, which is part of the playoffs' round of eight.

 

All race statistics courtesy of NASCAR's official website.