Monday, December 11, 2017
Sports

Erik Jones wins Xfinity race in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — Erik Jones skipped his high school graduation ceremony three years ago to run in a NASCAR trucks race at Texas, where he was presented his actual diploma before the event.

Two years ago, he went to Victory Lane at Texas Motor Speedway for the first time in the Xfinity series.

On Saturday, the 20 year old won again at the 1½-mile track that was completely repaved and reconfigured in Turns 1 and 2 before this season opened.

"Yeah, it's been a good track for me," Jones said. "The first time I came here, it's funny, it really wasn't that good to me, but after that it just kind of clicked and I felt really good here ever since."

Jones led 112 of 200 laps in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 for his seventh career Xfinity victory, four of them coming on 1½-mile tracks. Jones starts 36th in the 40-car field for today's O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 in the Monster Energy Cup series.

Jones finished Saturday's race a half-second ahead of Ryan Blaney, another full-time Cup series driver and the second-place qualifier for today's race.

Blaney led 43 laps and went into his final pit stop still with the lead before Jones went back in front for good on lap 156.

Kevin Harvick, the pole-sitter for today's race, finished third, more than 21 seconds off the lead, ahead of Austin Dillon and Cole Custer.

Only nine drivers finished on the lead lap.

INDYCAR: Helio Castroneves won the pole for today's Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.). Castroneves needed a record lap of 1 minute, 06.22 seconds on the street course to win the pole for the third straight year. Scott Dixon qualified second followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe.

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