Jones Wins First NASCAR Race

Jones Wins First NASCAR Race”

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.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing team had to know that the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona was their best chance of making the playoffs.

"How about that race, boys and girls?"

Jones, 23, earned Monster Energy Cup Rookie of the Year honors a year ago with Furniture Row Racing before joining Joe Gibbs Racing this season. "What a day", Jones said.

"I think it's going to be so close competition that we're going to leave each other no room for error and more than likely it's going to lead to big crashes", Hamlin said.

That Jones Boy got it done tonight at ol' Daytona! It was Stenhouse's first stage win of the year. Jones led for a grand total of one lap.

Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Brendan Gaughan and D.J. Kennington were the final cars on the lead lap.

Truex appeared to be in good shape after grabbing the lead in the first overtime.

On what would have been the last lap, with Truex apparently headed for the win, a major pile-up developed that claimed Jimmie Johnson, with Bubba Wallace and Clint Bowyer initiating the mess. He turned Kyle Busch who went to pass Byron for the lead. He spun onto the frontstretch grass.

KENNINGTON SPINS: D.J. Kennington, who ran as high as second after much of the field was pounded in accidents, caused the night's seventh caution with a spin with 27 laps to go.

Defending race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the first stage of the Cup Series race at Daytona. He pitted outside the designated box. He was penalized a lap, drawing a complaint from crew chief Chad Knaus.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got caught in a wreck after causing two earlier at Daytona.

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.

Stenhouse tapped Kyle Busch and caused him to lose control.

Brehanna Daniels and Breanna O'Leary worked as tire changers for Rick Ware Racing driver Ray Black Jr.

"There was a ton of torn-up cars so I figured we'd be able to salvage something", Larson said, not knowing there would be a few more added to the wreckage by night's end. With 36 laps to go Larson had a tire go down and Stenhouse Jr. drove into the rear of the No. 42 Chevrolet.

Twenty of the 40 cars were eliminated by accidents in Saturday's race.

Keselowski blamed leader William Byron for the crash, pointing out that a Byron blocking move forced the issue.

Keselowski said it actually started with a "bad block" by William Byron, who cut in front of Keselowski and prompted him to lift off the gas. I've got to get better at my mirror-driving. Jones battled back from damage sustained in a multicar wreck on Lap 65, an accident that cost him a lap. I thought we were out of it and all of a sudden we were right back in it, take the lead and ran away. Menard took a ride in the dirt on the backstretch, which tore up his vehicle. As the auto slid across the apron and adjacent grassy areas, its left front was damaged, and its hood nearly broke loose from the vehicle.

Stenhouse finished 17th in the race and is 19 points out of the final playoff spot.

That affected some of the top contenders, like Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.

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