Erik Jones continued the dominance of Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY series on Saturday by winning the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway in his No. 20 DeWalt Toyota. Jones won his third career race and his third of the season by passing Ty Dillon’s No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for the lead with 16 laps to go and won the race having led 154 of 250 laps.
“It’s a great day,” Jones said after the race. “We had a great car. One that definitely deserved to win the race. The fastest car I feel like won tonight, which is always a good feeling. It was an awesome day for us.
“I feel like we deserved to win when we came here earlier this year, we had a really fast car. It was nice to get some redemption for that one.”
It’s the 13th win in the first 19 races of the season for JGR.
Jones led most of the race from his start on the front row in second before the final caution with 100 laps to go. Jones had a mediocre pit stop and was beaten off pit road by Dillon and Elliott Sadler. Dillon was able to keep a comfortable lead for the next 60 or so green flag laps before fading away to being 3.533 seconds behind Jones in second at the finish.
“I want the win so bad,” said a disappointed Dillon, who has not won since 2014 at Indianapolis. “That was all I had. They (Joe Gibbs Racing) are good right now. That was all I had.
“I’m proud of my guys. They gave us a great opportunity tonight. My heart’s been broken every race since Indy. I want to get in victory lane again. We’re close; we just have to get a little better.”
Sadler finished third and took over the points lead after Daniel Suarez struggled after that last caution. First, Suarez got into Josh Berry on the last restart. Then, he was forced to retire from the race with 76 laps to go due to engine problems. The Monterrey, Mexico native ended the night 30th after starting from the pole.
Brennan Poole roared his way through the field from his starting position of 25th to fourth by the time the checkered flag waved. It’s just the second top five in the young Chip Ganassi Racing driver’s career. Dakoda Armstrong, in the No. 18 Toyota for JGR this week instead of his usual ride with JGL Racing, rounded out the top five in fifth.
All told there were seven lead changes among four leaders, with the field being shown the yellow caution flag six times. Darrell Wallace Jr. had two accidents during the race and ended the night in 27th.
Sam Hornish Jr., the part-time driver who led 183 of 250 laps en route to a victory at Iowa in June for JGR, finished sixth in this race for Richard Childress Racing. Brad Keselowski was the only Sprint Cup series regular in the field and returned to Pocono with a finish in eighth for his efforts.