Jones wins night race at Daytona

Tanya Simon
July 12, 2018

Erik Jones, a 22-year-old driver who was the points champion during the 2015 Camping World Truck Series season, found his way to Victory Lane after passing Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap.

"No, it's aggressive speedway racing", he said. "I thought we were out of it and all of a sudden we're right back in it". Wow, what an awesome race. "It's our first win and not much has felt better than this one".

Shortly before that wreck on the initial would-be final lap, Kahne and Kevin Harvick were side-by-side with six laps to go when another wreck caused a significant delay with cars spread around the infield. Rounding out the top 10 were Ty Dillon, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman.

Two massive wrecks in Stage 2, both involving Ricky Stenhouse Jr., eliminated the majority of the contending cars and opened the door for a new victor. "My first Cup win, my first win at Daytona, my first superspeedway win - what an awesome day, man!"

How Jones Won: He was in position on the second overtime restart to get to the front and took advantage of the opportunity. Truex Jr. ended up finishing second in Saturday's race.

Notes: Stenhouse won the first and second stages, garnering his first playoff points of the season, before sustaining serious damage in a Lap 124 wreck.

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Who Had a Bad Day: It seemed nobody was immune to getting caught in a huge accident Saturday night and that tone started on lap 54 when almost half the field was involved in a multi-car melee. As the race got going again rookie William Byron looked like he was becoming a contender when Ricky Stenhouse turned Kyle Busch into Byron sending them crashing in a wreck that also included Jamie McMurray, Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones and Corey Lajoie.

Defending race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started the melee when he tapped and turned Keselowski, who was running third. Stenhouse Jr. was able to continue but cut a tire later in the race to take him from contention...

The overtime period was initially set up by a wreck with four laps to go in the original 160-lap distance involving Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Gase.

Chase Elliott is on the pole and the green flag has dropped for the start of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. But some drivers felt he drove too aggressively.

The first crash happened when Keselowski tried to go for the lead on William Byron, who threw a block.

For Jones, a 22-year-old MI native driving in his first season for Joe Gibbs Racing, the breakthrough victory came in his 57th career start. Both JTG-Daugherty Racing cars finished in the top-five for the first time and it was the third straight race at Daytona that both finished in the top 10...

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