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NASCAR driver Erik Jones led the race in the winning laps at Kansas City Speedway Saturday (Oct. 21), seemingly on his way to his third XFINITY win of the season. However, the race took a turn when Jones was spun out in lap 198 of 267, the crash affecting 14 cars in the process.
In the winning laps, race-winner Christopher Bell maneuvered his No.18 Toyota around Jones in the lead, the driver gliding down the track resulting in Jones’ dominant No. 20 car becoming airborne.
“I just don’t think that’s the way to do it,” Jones shared in an interview with NASCAR. “I get he was clear, but he wasn’t clear for the run I was having on the top. I was in the gas and there’s no way I could slow up enough to let him in. It’s just unfortunate. It took me out of the race. Obviously, it worked out for him. I don’t know, I just don’t really appreciate that. I don’t think many people do. It is what it is.”
While Jones stands firm that the contact was made unavoidable as a result of his Joe Gibb’s Racing teammate’s actions, Bell disagrees.
“I tried to drive in really deep into Turn 3 and clear him and get back to the top. I hate that we didn’t get to race it out and he didn’t get to finish, but it’s my first XFINITY win and it’s something I’m really proud of,” Bell said after driving into Victory Lane.
21-year-old Jones was hit with a disappointing 15th place ranking, his teammate earning the first career win in just his fifth series start.
“I’m going to apologize and it sucks that we couldn’t race it out or that he didn’t finish the race. I don’t know man, I cleared him there. We were both on old tires and we were both sliding around,” Bell said.
Bell also shared with reporters he plans on reaching out to Jones immediately on the incident, Jones sharing with NASCAR.com that he plans on “absolutely” having a conversation with his teammate.
You can watch the moment of impact below.