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Jeremy Clements receives swollen left eye after punch from Ross Chastain

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Jeremy Clements said he was stunned when Ross Chastain “socked me” during a red flag delay during Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinty race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Chastain and Clements had contact during the race and then Clements hit Chastain during a caution for rain. The race soon was stopped and drivers exited their cars. Clements came up from behind Chastain.

“I put my hand on his back and turned him around,’’ Clements said. “I had no intention of hitting him, and he turned around and socked me. I had no intention of fighting the guy.’’

Said Chastain: “Somebody grabbed me and turned me around and I saw red eyes and a face that wasn’t going to talk.

“It was a reaction on my part. I’ve never punched anybody in my life. I don’t know what I’d do if I could do it all over again. I can’t let people come up and grab me. It’s happened before in NASCAR and out of NASCAR. I felt like I had to stand my ground.’’

Clements went to the infield care center to ice his left eye.

“It was swollen up pretty good,’’ Clements said. “He did punch me.”

He returned and finished 17th. Chastain finished 31st after he was later involved in an accident.

NASCAR met with both drivers after the race and will review the matter to decide if there are to be any penalties.

Chastain and Clements both said they’ve had run-ins with each other through the years.

“I’ve talked to him before and it doesn’t get us anywhere,’’ Clements said after the race and before meeting with NASCAR. “I don’t know what to do. I try to race him clean all the time. He cuts you no slack and sometimes we’re running for 22nd and 23rd and (he) just door slams you. It’s uncalled for.’’

Chastain said they talked it out in the NASCAR hauler and shook hands.

“I feel bad,’’ Chastain said. “We run against each other. We work together. We buy motors from them. They build our motors, so it’s not good for me to do that. We’re good and on to Richmond.’’

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Elliott Sadler leads top-three sweep by JR Motorsports in Xfinity points

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With a season-best fourth-place finish Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Elliott Sadler increased his lead in the Xfinity Series points standings.

Sadler leads JR Motorsports teammate William Byron by 16 points.

Justin Allgaier, who trails Sadler by 60 points, gives JR Motorsports the top three spots in the standings.

The top five is completed by Ryan Reed (76 points behind Sadler) and Daniel Hemric (80 points behind Sadler).

Click here for the full points standings.

Results and stats for Xfinity Series race at Bristol won by Erik Jones

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Erik Jones led the final 21 laps in order to win the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver outran Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez for his second win of the year and his second in a row.

The top five was filled out by Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric.

Click here for full race results.

Erik Jones overcomes penalty to win Xfinity race at Bristol in three-lap shootout

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A speeding penalty against Erik Jones on Lap 230 wasn’t enough to keep Erik Jones from winning the Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway 70 laps later.

Jones outmaneuvered Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suarez on a restart with three to go and raced untouched to win the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the first repeat Xfinity winner of 2017 following his win two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s Jones’ second straight win in the spring race at Bristol.

“It’s a day kind a little bit like last year,” Jones told Fox Sports 1. “Didn’t really know if we had a winning car or not. To come back from a pit road penalty like that, especially with not much green flag racing was a lot of fun. It’s a race I won’t forget for a long time.”

Jones took the lead for the last time when he nudged Blaney out of the groove entering Turn 1 with 20 to go.

“That’s just a racing incident,” Blaney said. “I don’t have any hard feelings about it.”

Rookie Daniel Hemric won the Dash 4 Cash bonus of $100,000 by finishing fifth in the race. It’s his first career top five.

“This makes it real when you’ve got your name on it,” Hemric told FS1 as he was handed a large check. “I was hoping we could get both of them there. Starting on the bottom hurt us those last couple of restarts. All in all, such a great performance from our guys. Coming from a lap down, getting the Lucky Dog. … Every stop was a true testament to my group of guys. Can’t thank everyone enough. Hopefully this is the start of a lot of thing for us.”

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Larson

Stage 2 winner: Daniel Hemric

MORE: Full race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Kyle Larson started from the pole, led 180 laps and finished seventh after rebounding from losing a right-rear tire and a commitment line violation … Elliott Sadler finished fourth for his third top five of the year and his best finish … Blake Koch and Michael Annett finished ninth and 10th respectively. Koch’s result was his first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Ryan Reed finished 38th after his right-front tire rolled off his No. 16 Ford and sent him into the wall on Lap 80 … Brendan Gaughan crashed with 57 to go after Darrell Wallace Jr. caught his left rear exiting Turn 4. Gaughan hit the inside wall. Gaughan, who had been competing for the Dash 4 Cash bonus, finished 35th … Wallace’s day ended on the ensuing restart. Wallace spun after the field bottle-necked ahead of him and he was hit by Garrett Smithley. Both drivers were OK. Wallace finished 33rd, ending his stretch of five sixth-place finishes in a row … Cole Custer‘s damage from the restart incident ended his day in 32nd, his third finish below 30th this year.

NOTABLE: During the first rain delay, Jeremy Clements came up behind Ross Chastain to discuss their issues on the track. Clements turned Chastain around. Chastain responded by punching Clements. Clements went to the infield care center because to ice his swollen eye. He returned to race. … Ryan Blaney’s No. 22 Ford was found to be too low in the left front in post-race inspection.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think that’s three second (place finishes) this year. That’s getting old.” – Ryan Blaney, who has finished second in all three of his Xfinity start this season.

WHAT’S NEXT: ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway at 12:30 p.m. ET on April 29 on Fox Sports 1

Xfinity drivers Ross Chastain, Jeremy Clements involved in confrontation during red flag

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Xfinity Series drivers Ross Chastain and Jeremy Clements were involved in a pit road confrontation during a red flag for rain Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The moment, a culmination of “off-the-track” incidents between the drivers and a run-in during the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, resulted in Clements visiting the infield care center during the red flag. Clements was seen leaving the medical center wearing sunglasses. He returned to his car.

Chastain, who drives the No. 4 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports, recounted his side of the incident to Fox Sports 1 and admitted he instigated it during the race while running with Clements’ No. 51 Chevrolet.

“With our two teams, we run together every week, nose to tail, one in front of the other, and we’ve run into each other for three years now,” Chastain said. “Had a bunch of off-the-track stuff happen, I’ve been good with it. Feel like I’ve been the bigger man in a lot of  the cases. I started it today. Got into it when (Darrell Wallace Jr.) and (Brennan Poole) were trying to wreck each other. Getting into (Turn) 1, I pushed (Clements) up, went on by him and ran the bottom and pulled away.

“Then the caution came out for rain and he got on my back bumper on the frontstretch and tried to wreck us. I told my owner Johnny, ‘When we get out, I’m going to go talk to him, but I’m not doing anything in the car. I don’t want to crash a race car.

“We got out, and I kind of forgot about it to be honest. Somebody grabbed me by my shoulders and kind of pushed me. I just turned around and saw who it was. I hope he realizes now that he can talk, we can talk, but you can’t grab someone by the shoulders. That happened before and I said right then I wouldn’t let it happen again. What’s done is done. … But I didn’t want to go look for it, but I’ve got to stand up for myself at some point.”
In 2015, Ryan Reed came up behind Chastain and shoved him after the Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway.
NASCAR has said it will meet with both drivers after the race. Chastain was running 19th and Clements in 20th when the red flag came out on Lap 162.