Erik Jones survives duel with Kyle Larson to take Xfinity win in Chicagoland


A 14-lap shootout resulting from Kyle Busch spinning from the lead ended with Erik Jones holding off Kyle Larson to win the Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.

Jones fended off Larson for six laps until the latter brushed the wall on the last lap, giving Jones enough space to drive to his fourth Xfinity Series win of the season.

“It was tough, I knew we were in a good spot on tires, but we were pretty far back there,” Jones told NBC Sports. “I think we restarted sixth there. I did know if the Hisense Camry was going to have enough time to get up to the front. We had a really good restart, got clear for third then had to go Chase Elliott (Sadler) down.”

Jones enters the Chase with the No. 1 seed. His win Saturday was his first this season on a 1.5-mile track after wins at Bristol, Dover and Iowa.

Jones led only 10 laps; Larson led nine. Filling out the top five were Larson, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez and Justin Allgaier.

“What an awesome day, winning right before the Chase,” Jones said. “This is great momentum for us.”

Blake Koch and Ryan Sieg clinched the last two spots on the 12-driver Chase grid heading into next week’s race at Kentucky Speedway.

The full field for the first Xfinity Chase is Erik Jones, Justin Allgaier, Brendan Gaughan, Brandon Jones, Ty Dillon, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Darrell Wallace Jr., Koch and Sieg.

MORE: Xfinity race results

MORE: Xfinity point standings

HOW ERIK JONES WON: Jones passed Elliott Sadler after the last restart and led the final nine laps of the race while fending off a charge from Larson.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Paul Menard had to make an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 14 for a left-side tire going down. Menard bounced back to finish ninth after he was running in the top five on the final restart … Under the Lap 25 competition caution, Daniel Suarez received damage on pit road, forcing him to pit twice and restart 29th. He fought back to finish fourth for his 12th top five of the year … Clint Bowyer finished sixth in his first Xfinity race since 2012.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brennan Poole had to pit on Lap 35 for a flat tire. Poole finished 21st, two laps down … Ryan Reed brought out a caution on Lap 83 when he spun trying to enter pit road. On Lap 101, Reed didn’t clear Kyle Larson while exiting Turn 2 and hit the wall after making contact. Reed went to the garage and finished 32nd … Kyle Busch had led a race high 154 laps before losing a tire while in the lead and spinning with 19 laps left. Busch finished 13th.

NOTABLE: There were eight cautions, the most in a Xfinity race at Chicagoland since nine in the 2006 race … Erik Jones’ 13 top fives are the most in the series … Joe Gibbs Racing has won all six races on 1.5-mile tracks this year.

WHAT’S NEXT: 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. on NBCSN.