Jones wins Martinsville Xfinity race marred by fight, wrecks

Brandon Jones came away with a surprise NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Martinsville which featured a 20-car pile-up and a fight on pit road.

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Ty Gibbs dominated much of the race – leading 197 of 261 laps – and led the way on the start of a second two-lap overtime.

After taking the white flag, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones nudged him out of the way and moved into the lead, holding off Landon Cassill for his first victory of the 2022 season.

After getting passed, Gibbs ended up in a three-wide battle with Sam Mayer, who knocked him up the track and he ended up finishing eighth.

Gibbs tried to spin out Mayer on the cool down lap and after both parked on pit road, Gibbs went to confront Mayer. The two had a brief conversation before a fight broke out between the two and NASCAR officials had to separate them.

Gibbs was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race.

It was sort of a role reversal of last week at Richmond, when Gibbs nudged JGR teammate John Hunter Nemechek out of the way in the final turn of the final lap to gain his third victory of the season.

The win is the fifth of Jones’ career and first since the 2020 season.

“What a day,” Jones said. “I can’t say we could have played it out any better. I loved the call to stay out to get stage points. Drove the thing from all the way in the back to the front on older tires than all those guys there at the end.

“This is driver’s race track right here. I’ve won at a lot of different race tracks now and this is one where you have to get after it. Ty ran a really hard race. He had a strong car.

“It’s fun to beat him. He’s hot right now – he’s tough to beat – so that’s a good one.”

Allmendinger finished third and collected the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus, Austin Hill was fourth and Mayer ended up fifth.

Jones, Cassill, Allmendinger and Hill will be eligible for the $100,000 bonus in the next race, April 23 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr., making his only racing start of the 2022 season, finished 11th.

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Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, several drivers pit but Stefan Parsons remained on the track and inherited the lead when the race resumed on Lap 129.

Riley Herbst quickly got around Parsons for the lead on the restart but Gibbs ran down Herbst to regain the lead on Lap 130.

Justin Allgaier spun and hit the wall in Turn 1 on Lap 157 to bring out the caution. Most of the lead-lap cars decided to pit with Noah Gragson the first off pit road.

Sheldon Creed, who was among those who stayed out, inherited the lead. On the restart on Lap 163, Creed was followed by Jones and Brandon Brown. Gragson lined up seventh.

Just as Jones grabbed the lead for the first time on Lap 166, Ryan Truex spun after contact with Alex Labbe to force another caution. On the restart on Lap 172, Jones was followed by Creed, Brown and Gibbs.

Josh Berry wrecked on Lap 172 after contact with Earnhardt, which brought out the 11th caution of the race.

“That sucks for Josh. I don’t know what I could’ve done,” Earnhardt said over his team radio after the incident.

The race returned to green on Lap 179 with Jones out front followed by Gibbs, Creed and Gragson.

Almost immediately after the restart, Matt Mills and Natalie Decker wrecked to put the race back under caution on Lap 180. The race returned to green on Lap 187.

Gibbs quickly went to the outside of Jones on the restart and moved back into the lead.

On Lap 221, Parsons hit the wall to bring out the 12th caution of the race amid reports of light rain around the track.

Most drivers elected not to pit and Gibbs remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 227.

Daniel Hemric spun in Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 230 from a flat tire he received after contact with Creed. Gibbs continued to lead the way on the restart with 16 laps remaining.

With 15 laps to go, Mayer worked his way around Gragson to move into the runner-up position and hoping to challenge Gibbs for the lead.

Derek Griffith and Jade Buford wrecked on Lap 237, which brought out the 14th caution of the race. Gibbs led the way on the restart with eight laps to go followed by Mayer and Gragson.

Earnhardt spun on Lap 243 after contact with Jeremy Clements to place the race back under caution. Gibbs remained in command as the race went into overtime.

On the restart, Allmendinger got into the back of Mayer, who then turned into Gragson and a massive 20-car wreck erupted on the frontstretch, brining out a red flag and sending the race into a second overtime.

Following a nearly 20-minute stoppage to clean the track, Gibbs still led entering the second overtime followed by Jones and Mayer.

Stage 2

Jones held off Cassill in a one-lap shootout to take the Stage 2 win, his first stage victory of the 2022 season.

Ryan Sieg was third, Brown fourth and David Starr rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit but Gragson stayed out and inherited the lead.

The race returned to green on Lap 70 with Gragson followed by Hill, Myatt Snider and Earnhardt. Gibbs lined up eighth.

Jade Buford spun in Turn 4 on Lap 73 after contact with Joe Graf Jr. to bring out another caution.

The race resumed on Lap 80 with Gragson still out front.

On Lap 88, Gibbs went to the inside of Gragson and reclaimed the lead in the race.

Parsons got turned after contact by Graf on Lap 102, which brought out the fifth caution of the race.

A handful of cars elected to pit but Gibbs remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 108.

Griffith went for a spin on Lap 115 after contact with Anthony Alfredo which brought out a caution just before the conclusion of the stage.

Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit but Jones stayed out and inherited the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 120.

Stage 1

Gibbs easily held off Allgaier to take the Stage 1 win, his second of the 2022 season.

Truex was third, Cassill fourth and Hemric rounded out the top-five.

After a brief delay for rain, the race got underway about 8:15 p.m. ET with Gibbs on the pole. Less than a lap was completed when Brennan Poole’s No. 47 went up in smoke to bring out a caution as the car dropped fluid on the track.

On the restart on Lap 14, Gibbs led the way followed by Creed and Allgaier.

Howie DiSavino stalled on track in Turn 4 to bring out another caution. Some drivers elected to pit under the caution but Gibbs stayed out and remained in the lead. The race returned to green on Lap 46.

Five drivers – Griffith, Kyle Weatherman, DiSavino, Earnhardt and Gragson – had to start the race from the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments.


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