Brandon Jones had a hell of a driver last Saturday at the Phoenix Raceway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver passed Kyle Busch for the lead with just 20 laps remaining and never looked back en route to his second career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory. Now, the Georgia native is heading back home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway in hopes of going back-to-back.
“We are coming off a huge win at Phoenix Raceway and our 19 team is really excited about our 2020 season,” Jones said ahead of Saturday’s race. “We have a lot of momentum.”
Jones, has had a career best start to the 2020 season. He brought his No. 19 Toyota home fourth in the season opener at Daytona last month. He backed that up with a solid sixth place run a week later in the rain delayed race in Vegas. Six days later, he earned the pole at the Auto Club Speedway, a race he dominated both stages only to get caught up in an incident late and finish 30th. Then, he won last week.
That puts him fourth in the series standings overall but the win automatically places him into the postseason this Fall.
Despite all of this momentum, Jones is hoping it doesn’t go away on his home track. See, the 1.54-mile Hampton area track hasn’t always been kind to him. He did finish a career-best fourth last year, but in his three starts in the series prior, he wasn’t necessarily a factor.
“Atlanta has not always been one of my strongest tracks, but neither was Phoenix,” Jones continued “Our team is up to the challenge that the track brings with the old surface which makes saving tires part of the strategy.”
Jones said that his team has been preparing a lot for Atlanta though and that he hopes those efforts pay off with being the first repeat winner in the series this season.
“(Our) team has spent a lot of time over the offseason preparing for Atlanta; we probably put in 200-laps around the track using Toyota’s simulator,” Jones said. “It’s a fun race and the Atlanta fans are great.
“I think if we get our Supra dialed in to run the bottom of the track, we will be the team in victory lane.”