Erik Jones triumphs in Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway

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Erik Jones dominated the first stage and the final 100 laps to win the My Bariatric Solutions 300 in the Xfinity Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones led 112 laps and took the No. 20 Toyota to victory lane for his first NASCAR win of 2017. It’s his seventh career Xfinity victory. It’s his second at Texas, where he claimed his first series win in 2015.

Jones was followed by Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Cole Custer.

“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 said. “I tiptoed a lot there in the (early) segments and ended up letting (Blaney) catch us and pass us, but then I was just super aggressive the whole time in traffic just trying to make passes as quick as I could … and it paid off. I think we were probably a little slower than him for the last few laps – he had so many lapped cars to get around that there was no way he was going to get to us.”

Pole-sitter Joey Logano led 19 laps Saturday but didn’t finish because of a mechanical problems.

Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth for the fifth race in a row, giving him the second-longest streak in series history of finishing in the same spot in the top 10. Jack Ingram finished second in six straight race in 1983.

“I really fought hard there and did look with about nine laps to go where I was and got it mixed up between us and the 9 and we were sixth,” Wallace told Fox Sports. “Unreal. Shout out to my guys. My pit crew was on it all day and all year. They put us in the game there on the green-flag stop. I saw we came out a couple spots ahead of the guys we were behind and I knew it would be a good day.”

Stage 1 winner: Erik Jones

Stage 2 winner: William Byron

MORE: Xfinity point standings

MORE: Race results

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Cole Custer was the top finishing Xfinity regular, placing fifth for his first top five of the season. … Matt Tifft finished ninth for his first top 10 of the season. … William Byron finished seventh after earning his first stage win of the season. … Daniel Suarez finished 12th after early contact with the wall and a spin two laps later.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Daniel Hemric was running in second on Lap 12 when he got loose and backed into the outside wall. He finished 32nd, 28 laps down. … Casey Mears, in his second Xfinity start of the year, finished 38th after dealing with a rear-brake problem that dropped oil on the track. … Brennan Poole finished 37th after a multicar wreck with 25 to go in Stage 2. He went to the garage for damage, which ended his day. … Joey Logano’s three-race win streak in the No. 12 car ended with a lost cylinder, which sent him to the garage with 53 laps left in the race for his first DNF of the year.

NOTABLE: Erik Jones is the sixth different winner through the first six races of the season. Jones has finished in the top five in of his five Xfinity starts at Texas.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “What a blast out here today. Man, Texas is tough now. Giving up that bottom groove is like pulling teeth.” – Darrell Wallace Jr. on racing at Texas after a repave and reconfiguration.

WHAT’S NEXT: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 12:30 p.m. ET on April 22 on Fox Sports 1.

Danica Patrick has a Daytona 500 team: Premium Motorsports

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The first piece of the “Danica Double” has been fully confirmed.

According to the Associated Press, Danica Patrick will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports in next month’s Daytona 500. The AP reported that the car will be locked into the field through a charter and will receive engineering support from Richard Childress Racing.

Patrick entered NASCAR driving the No. 7 for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series from 2010-12. For the Feb. 18 race, she also will be reunited with crew chief Tony Eury Jr., who helped guide Patrick to her career-best NASCAR finish of fourth in a 2011 Xfinity race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The car will be sponsored by GoDaddy, which announced last week that it would sponsor Patrick in both this year’s Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500. Patrick has yet to reveal which team she will drive for in the Indy 500, which will conclude her racing career.

She already has made history in both events.

As a rookie in 2005, she became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 before taking fourth (and became the highest-finishing female in the race’s history with a third in 2009).

In the 2013 Daytona 500, she became the first woman to win the pole position and lead a race in NASCAR’s premier series.

New details of road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway

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CONCORD, North Carolina — The Sept. 30 Cup race on Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course will be on a slightly altered 2.28-mile circuit.

The race, which airs on NBC, will serve as the conclusion of the first round of the playoffs. It is the first road course race in the 14-year history of the playoffs.

The alterations shorten the original 2.4-mile, 13-turn layout of the circuit. The track is now 2.28 miles and 17 turns after the removal of two of the last three infield turns. There will be more than 35 feet of elevation changes between Roval Turn 4 – the lowest point in the track – and Roval Turn 9, the highest point.

A chicane has also been added to the backstretch right before the entrance of Turn 3 of the oval. The track is adding 440 temporary rumble strips.

The distance for the race will be announced at a later date.

NASCAR held a test on the road course last October with Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Hemric and Jamie McMurray. Busch suggested the elimination of those turns in order to “speed up the track.”

“There are a lot of slow sections with Turns 5, 6 and 7,” Busch said. “Those are good rhythmic corners. … (But) a 3,500-pound car going 35 mph too many times isn’t too exciting.”

Truex was part of Monday’s presentation and gave his thoughts on the change.

“The lap times were so long that we were going to be looking at a race that was, I don’t even know how many hours,” Truex said. “Way too long. Basically taking out those two turns cut out quite a bit of lap time off the laps. It’s more so like a regular road course like Watkins Glen … we’ll be in kind of that realm.”

Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief racing development officer, said that the race could be held at night if pushed back for various reasons. The race is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET.

“We’re working with the track who we believe will have something in place,” O’Donnell said. “Goodyear will be ready with rain tires if we had to make some adjustments.’’

There will be a Goodyear tire test in March and an open test for Cup teams in July.

O’Donnell said NASCAR is “comfortable” with the current layout of the course and that no changes are expected to be made following the tests.

NASCAR on NBC analysts Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton took a few laps around the new layout and shared their thoughts on Facebook Live.

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ThorSport Racing partners with Ford in Truck Series

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ThorSport Racing has partnered with Ford in a multi-year deal in the Camping World Truck Series, the team announced Monday.

The team’s announcement comes a week after it revealed the mutual decision to part ways with Toyota.

“With 23 years in the NCWTS, we look forward to our new partnership with Ford Performance in NASCAR,” team owner Duke Thorson said in a press release. “Our pursuit of wins and championships remains at the forefront of our objectives.”

ThorSport, based in Sandusky, Ohio, had been paired with the Toyota for six years, winning two titles with Matt Crafton.

“We’re excited that ThorSport Racing has decided to switch to a F-Series truck for the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports in a press release. “ThorSport is a proven championship-level team in the series, and we look forward to providing them the aero and simulation technical support that will ensure they remain at the top level of the Truck Series.”

In 2017, Brad Keselowski Racing fielded the only two full-time Ford entries in the series. That team shut down following the end of the season.

Crafton will be returning to ThorSport for his 17th season – and 14th consecutive – with the team. The rest of the team’s driver lineup will be announced at a later date.

The Truck Series season begins Feb. 16th at Daytona International Speedway.

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D.J. Kennington to attempt to qualify for Daytona 500 with Gaunt Brothers Racing

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Canadian driver D.J. Kennington will try to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Gaunt Brothers Racing for the second year in a row, the team announced Monday.

Kennington, a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, will drive the No. 96 Toyota sponsored by Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol.

The team, sponsor and driver combination made the 2017 edition of the race, making Kennington the first Canadian driver to compete in the Daytona 500 in 29 years.

Kennington started 28th and finished 36th following a multi-car crash at the start of Stage 2.

“Last year was an awesome experience for my sponsors, Lordco and Castrol, and me,” Kennington said in a press release. “We knew once it was over, we wanted to do it again. (Team owner) Marty (Gaunt) and everybody at GBR is pulling out all the stops for us this year. I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Lordco/Castrol Toyota Camry and seeing the difference a year makes.”

The 40-year-old driver has five Cup starts with a best finish of 26th in last November’s race at Phoenix.

Gaunt Brothers Racing does not own a charter, meaning Kennington is not guaranteed a starting spot in the Feb. 18 Daytona 500.

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