The NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs continue with a race at Texas Motor Speedway on October 16 (3 p.m. ET, NBC). Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones will fight for a spot in the championship race while simultaneously reaching a career milestone. He will make his 200th start in the Xfinity Series.
The 24-year-old Georgia native has spent seven years in the series — six as a full-time driver. He started part-time with Richard Childress Racing in 2015, making five starts in the No. 33 Chevrolet, before joining the team full-time in 2016 and 2017. Jones switched to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 and kicked off a four-year run.
The driver of the No. 19 has achieved considerable success with JGR. Jones has made the playoffs each season while posting 29 top-five finishes and winning four times. His 2020 season, in particular, featured a career-high three wins and a career-best finish of sixth in the championship standings.
Jones Will Now Strive To Surpass His Best Finish at Texas
While Jones has yet to win in 2021, he remains in the hunt for the championship trophy. He reached the playoffs by virtue of points and made it through the first round. Now Jones will head to Texas with the opportunity to reach the championship four for the first time in his career.
The driver of the No. 19 JGR Toyota Supra has made 11 starts at the Fort Worth track in his Xfinity Series career and finished in the top-10 five different times. His best runs were a fourth-place finish in the 2019 playoff race and a fifth-place run in the 2021 spring race, but crashes in four races have dropped his average finish to 17.3.
Jones is currently below the cutline heading toward the first Round of Eight playoff race. He sits 14 points below JR Motorsports driver Noah Gragson, who holds onto the final spot. JGR teammates Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton, as well as Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley, all sit with Jones below the cutline.
Jones Will Join His Teammate in the Starting Lineup
Making up points will not be a simple task for Jones. He will have to navigate his way through the field and avoid on-track incidents that have plagued his recent trips to Texas Motor Speedway. He will also line up near the rear of the playoff drivers.
NASCAR set the starting order ahead of the October 16 playoff race, awarding Charlotte Roval winner AJ Allmendinger the pole position. The Kaulig Racing driver will lead the field to the green flag while defending champion Austin Cindric joins him on the front row. Hemric and Haley will make up the second row while Gragson and Justin Allgaier line up on the third row.
Jones and Burton will round out the group of playoff drivers. They will start the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 Xfinity Series race next to each other on the fourth row, putting them at an early disadvantage compared to the other playoff drivers. Though Jones will have 200 laps to fight for his fifth consecutive top-10 finish and fourth top-five in the past five races, which will only help him track down his peers.