FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Elliott Sadler kept losing ground late while Erik Jones cruised to a Texas season sweep in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday night.
The veteran driver gained on the competition that mattered most, though.
Jones led 137 of 200 laps for the first Texas sweep of NASCAR’s No. 2 circuit in eight years, and Sadler took the points lead with one race remaining to set the final four in the run for the series championship.
Jones and fellow Cup driver Ryan Blaney pulled away from Sadler over the final 30 laps in Jones’ third Xfinity victory of the season and third in six tries on the 1.5-mile Texas track.
Sadler was the top finisher among the playoff contenders, taking fourth, one spot ahead of fellow playoff driver Cole Custer. Sadler moved up from third in the point standings, five ahead of William Byron, who took ninth.
Justin Allgaier, the points leader coming in, finished 11th and dropped to third in points. Brennan Poole, who took seventh, is fourth in points, 24 back.
The championship field for the finale at Homestead will be set next week in Phoenix.
The first two Xfinity wins for Jones were back-to-back in the spring at Texas and Bristol, Tennessee. He’s the first with an Xfinity sweep at Texas since Kyle Busch in 2009.
Matt Tifft, who was sent to the back of the field for a crew member coming over the wall early on a pit stop, recovered the finish eighth and is fifth in points. He’s five points behind Poole, who holds the final qualifying spot at the moment.
Custer bounced back from an early flat tire and moved from eighth to sixth in points. He trails Poole by 13 points.
Cup driver Kyle Larson was third.Christopher Bell, coming off his first Xfinity win in finished sixth.