Erik Jones Gets First Win in Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona

Ross Houston
July 12, 2018

In NASCAR, though, the only thing that matters is who crosses the finish line. Saturday's win was the first Monster Energy Series win for Jones.

The victory was the first Cup win for the 22-year-old Jones, a driver nurtured by Toyota's motorsports program and one of the leading representatives of the young group of drivers expected to gain traction over the next few years.

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.

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.

"He got hit from behind, so I didn't get hit anywhere", Byron said. Part two happened just 10 laps later when Stenhouse Jr. made contact with Kyle Busch who spun into William Byron and from there more with nowhere to go with McMurray again among the unfortunate (See Also: Stenhouse Spotlight)...

Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher - another odd top 10 at Daytona. "It's discouraging because even if you're fast and you get up there and race, there's a good shot you're still going to get in a wreck". "It's our first win and not much has felt better than this one". The American automaker hasn't been to victory lane since and hadn't really gotten close to a checkered. He pitted outside the designated box. Stenhouse found himself involved in five of the eight crashes, and caused two of them.

Jones passed Martin Truex Jr. with about a lap remaining after one of several earlier wrecks denied Truex from what looked like a sure victory.

Busch's brother, Kyle, got knocked out in a subsequent crash sparked by Stenhouse, and noted, "Same guy that caused the first one caused the second one there".

But the Roush Fenway Racing driver didn't feel a need to apologize.

THE BIG ONE: More than half of the 40-car field was involved in the first big crash of the night.

Defending race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started the melee when he tapped and turned Keselowski, who was running third. Cars in the following group were swept into the accident.

"Ricky (Stenhouse) was doing the best he could to give me a good push and had a great run to take the lead, and the vehicle in front of me just threw a late, bad block, Keselowski said". Truex beat him off the restart, and the No. 4 auto wound up getting caught up in a wreck that forced another overtime. "That's my fault. I'll take the credit for my team, and we'll go to Talladega, and we'll wreck everybody that throws a bad block like that". "I made the mistake of lifting instead of just driving through him, and that's my fault". He's ranked 17th in the points, the first driver outside the playoff field at the moment, and he could use a win to make the postseason.

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