DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Erik Jones has won a crash-filled NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway, passing defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap and then wildly celebrating the first victory of his Cup Series career.
Jones was involved in one of the many wrecks Saturday night, but his No. 20 Toyota was still in good enough shape to get by Truex. Truex blamed himself for failing to see Jones’ run coming in his rear-view mirror.
Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher — another odd top 10 at Daytona. Ty Dillon was sixth, followed by Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman and Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon.
For Jones, a 22-year-old Michigan native driving in his first season for Joe Gibbs Racing, the breakthrough victory came in his 57th career start.
“Oh boy,” he said. “How about that race boys and girls? I thought we were out of it and all of a sudden we’re right back in it. My first Cup win. My first win at Daytona, My first superspeedway win. What an awesome day.”
Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher — part of another odd top 10 at Daytona. Ty Dillon was sixth, followed by Matt DiBenedetto and Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon.
Last year’s race winner, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., had the most memorable run of the night. He started two early accidents that wrecked more than half the field and was part of two more cautions late.
Stenhouse took out Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and others. Jones was one of the lucky ones who avoided major damage.
“Definitely …read more