Race report

Leaders collide as Brandon Jones takes ARCA win at The Glen

Brandon Jones only led one lap at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Friday but it was enough for his first road course victory.

Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Menards/Criterion Appliances Toyota Supra

Jones, 25, inherited the lead when the first and second-place cars of Sammy Smith and Taylor Gray wrecked and veered off course on a restart with one of 41 laps remaining.

He then held off series points leader Nick Sanchez by 0.600 seconds to earn the victory, his third win in four ARCA Menards Series starts this season. It’s his eighth career series win.

“My first road course win ever, man. It’s really, really big for us,” said Jones, a regular in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. “They were really tough to beat all day long – (Gray) and (Smith) were the ones that were really competitive toward the end.

“We were all on top of each other, really, so it was all about timing that last restart trying to force that issue a little bit. I saw it before that (Gray) was really aggressive. So, I was kind of waiting for something bad to happen and those late restarts helped out.”


Jesse Love finished third, Daniel Dye was fourth and Smith rallied to finish fifth. Smith led all but two of the 41 laps.

Until the final restart, the only time Smith lost the lead was when Conner Jones stayed out at the halftime break and did not pit, which allowed him to restart in the lead.

Smith quickly took it back on the restart on Lap 24.

The ARCA series has a quick turnaround and returns to action on Sunday at the Springfield Mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

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