Erik Jones dominates final stretch to win Xfinity race at Dover

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
0 Comments

Erik Jones didn’t win a Heat race, but he led a race high 76 laps in the main event of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200 to win his second Xfinity Series race of 2016 and the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Jones ran away from the field during a five-lap shootout at Dover International Speedway, claiming his fourth-career win in the Xfinity Series.

The Joe Gibb Racing driver stayed out front despite him and three other drivers having older tires. Most of the field pitted during a caution period that started with 11 laps to go. Jones, Darrell Wallace Jr., Joey Logano and Justin Allgaier stayed on the track.

“At first I couldn’t see how many came to pit road,” Jones told Fox Sports. “I was anxious to see how man came and how many stayed out. Fortunately, enough stayed out to make it viable for us to still get the win here.”

Jones’ win comes after he failed to win a heat race for the first time in three tries this year.

“We were pretty good there on the short run, but not on the long run,” Jones said. “It ended up coming down to a short run and we were able to hold them off.”

Jones was followed by Darrell Wallace Jr. and Alex Bowman, who both earned career-best results in the Xfinity Series. Wallace’s performance came in a backup car after wrecking in practice. Bowman, driving the No. 88 for JR Motorsports was competing in his first race of 2016.

“We were kind of in the Catbird seat, I was hoping Erik would have messed up but it’s really hard to mess up in those cars,” Wallace told Fox Sports.

HOW ERIK JONES WON: Jones led the final 43 laps and survived a restart with five laps to go to capture the win.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler, after getting penalized on a restart and speeding on pit road in his Heat race, climbed from 32nd to fourth in the main event, before finishing sixth … Darrell Wallace Jr. finish second in a backup car thanks to pit strategy. His previous best finish was third at Fontana … Alex Bowman finish third in his first NASCAR action since last season. His previous best Xfinity finish was fifth at Kentucky Speedway in 2013. ”

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Paul Menard fell off the pace and began smoking on Lap 82 due to a broken shock. Menard finished 29th, eight laps down … Justin Marks crashed on Lap 27 of his Heat race and wasn’t able to continue in the main, finishing 40th … Brendan Gaughan was running in 11th when he spun in Turn 2 with 11 laps left in the main. Gaughan finished 15th, a lap down … Daniel Suarez started fourth, but was caught speeding on pit road, leading to a ninth-place finish.

NOTABLE: Erik Jones’ win is the 10th for Joe Gibbs Racing at Dover International Speedway in the Xfinity Series …

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s not the first time it’s happened to me, unfortunately. If I remember the first time, I was pretty upset and this time I was pretty calm and collected and wasn’t too worried about it.” Erik Jones on what he thought when the final caution came out.

NEXT: Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.