Brandon Jones will return for a second season with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the team announced Friday.
Jones will pilot the No. 19 JGR Toyota Supra. After a run with Richard Childress Racing in 2016 and 2017, Jones spent the 2018 campaign with JGR, qualified for the playoffs and finished a career-best ninth in the Xfinity standings.
In 33 starts, he had two top-five and 17 top-10 finishes, led 173 laps and scored one pole. His best showing was runner-up in the spring Xfinity race at Talladega.
Jones will be paired this season with a new crew chief, Jeff Meendering.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our 19 team and the huge strides and experience we gained last year,” Jones said in a JGR media release. “There is no doubt it was a big team effort and I am very excited about being back at Joe Gibbs Racing this season.
“With the addition of our new crew chief Jeff Meendering and his leadership, we should be in the mix every weekend competing for a championship.”
Sponsorship will be announced at a later date, the team said.
The 18” tall/4.5” wide trophy for the Daytona road course race was produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It’s the same institution that’s been responsible for designing the Watkins Glen International trophy since 2012.
Sunday’s race is being held in the place of the Cup Series’ annual visit to Watkins Glen.
Incorporating a blown glass cup, the trophy is inspired by the history of NASCAR and racing at Daytona.
“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass, said in a media release. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback – like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”
Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona will mark the first time the series has competed in the track’s road course circuit.
Austin Cindric, who has won four of the last five races, is on the pole. He is joined on the front row by fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe.
Here are the details for the Xfinity race at the Daytona road course (all times ET):
START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:07 p.m by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of UNOH. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8:30 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3 p.m. by Chaplain Farzad Nourian. The national anthem will be performed at 3:01 p.m. by Temecula Road.
DISTANCE: The race is 52 laps (187.72 miles) around the 3.61-mile road course
PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 15. Stage 2 ends on Lap 30.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green followed by the race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
Marks, who once was a co-owner of an ARCA Menards West team with the late Harry Scott, said a goal of the team is to “serve America’s minorities and underrepresented youth population”
Marks told SBJ he is in negotiations to acquire a charter for the team, that his family foundation will use investment capital to fund 50% of the team’s budget and that a “nationwide family entertainment business” will be a sponsor.
One of Marks’ partners will be Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing.
The work that @NASCAR is doing on the future of the sport is 100% what is needed. It’s been a dream of mine to compete at the highest levels in the sport and the business. Announcements to come. https://t.co/f4ilQiLKBR