Rajan Khanna/Staff Reporter
This past weekend’s XFINITY race saw Erik Jones win from pole position. Jones completely dominated this race, leading 142 of the 200 laps scheduled for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. Although Jones, a rookie in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competed, this race was very important for the XFINITY playoff drivers. William Byron and Elliott Sadler came into the race close in points. Daniel Hemric lost his primary vehicle in a crash during practice and was forced to move to a backup car. On just lap 10 of the race, Ty Dillon spun to bring out the first of seven cautions. He noted that his car was far too loose for comfort. On lap 56, Angela Ruch slammed into the inside barrier and was forced to retire. The restart on lap 61 was quite hectic. Jones lost the lead to William Byron while the field stacked up behind him. Brandon Jones was spun by Michael Annett in an unavoidable racing incident, bringing the caution out once again. The redesign of turns one and two were blamed for the crash because the track does not have much grip on the higher lines. Brendan Gaughan and Ross Chastain had a rivalry brewing during the race. The pair raced extremely hard against each other, rubbing constantly while racing. They were both involved in an altercation post-race. Jones was determined to beat his teammate, Christopher Bell, who took victory the last time they competed together in a controversial slide. Bell overdrove the final corner and moved up directly in front of Jones, resulting in contact and damage for Jones. The next race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is at Phoenix Raceway, for the Ticket Galaxy 200. The defending winner is Kyle Busch, who is ineligible to compete due to new participation rules throughout the three national NASCAR Series.