Erik Jones emerges from wild Daytona race to earn first Cup win

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Erik Jones emerges from wild Daytona race to earn first Cup win
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Jul 8, 2018, 3:24 AM

A crazy race at Daytona International Speedway produced an unexpected and first-time winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com
Huge crash on lap 54
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com
Erik Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry buyatoyota.com

Erik Jones powered to the outside and grabbed the lead from Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap of the second overtime and held on to win the Coke Zero 400, his first series victory in his 57th start.

The only lap Jones led was on the last one in a race that went eight laps over the scheduled 160-lap distance.

“How about that boys and girls?” Jones said after getting out of his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

 

A.J. Allmendinger finished third, Kasey Kahne was fourth and Chris Buescher completed the top five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Ty Dillon, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman.

"That was something else. I thought that we were out of it and we were right back in it. Took the lead and ran away. Wow, what an awesome race," Jones, 21, said. "My first win at Daytona. My first superspeedway win. What an awesome day.

"I am out of breath. Too much smoke in the car from that burnout. I can barely breathe. What an awesome finish.”

Asked about qualifying for the playoffs, Jones said: "I didn’t think we were going to have a shot to win this one about halfway. Got ourselves back into contention and our guys did a great job getting this thing fixed up.

"I’ve never been that good on superspeedways and never thought this was our shot to win. But to get here tonight, that’s pretty awesome. It’s our first win and not much that has felt better than this one."

Following pit stops between Stages 2 and 3, Ty Dillon took over the race lead followed by Clint Bowyer, Kahne, Newman and Michael McDowell when the race returned to green on Lap 87.

Bowyer moved into the lead just before the start of Lap 88, followed by Kahne and McDowell.

McDowell quickly made his way into the lead off Turn 4 with Bayne and Kahne close behind.

On Lap 92, Truex made his way into the third position followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kevin Harvick. One lap later, Stenhouse was back up to third. Stenhouse moved into second on Lap 93.

With 60 laps left in the race, McDowell continued to lead the way followed by Stenhouse, Harvick, Bowman and Jimmie Johnson.

Johnson moved up into the second position on Lap 108 and he powered to the outside and moved into the lead for the first time in the race on Lap 109.

McDowell moved back into the lead on Lap 114 as Johnson dropped back to second and Stenhouse third. Johnson quickly got back around McDowell to reclaim the lead.

On Lap 121, most cars hit pit road to begin a cycle of green-flag pit stops to ensure they had enough fuel to make it to the finish.

Johnson was penalized during the stops for pitting outside his box and was called back to pit road to serve a one-lap penalty. Bowyer was penalized for having an uncontrolled tire during his stop.

On Lap 125, Stenhouse and Kyle Larson wrecked off Turn 4 to place the race under caution. With Johnson serving his penalty, Truex inherited the race lead.

I think I cut a tire.  It just spun out on me when I turned into (Turn) 3. A little bit unlucky there for Ricky,” Larson said. “He had just blended on the track and then I drive around him and just unlucky timing on both of our parts I guess there. I am not sure how much damage he has, but I hate that for him.”

On the restart with 32 laps remaining in the race, Truex was followed by Kahne, Austin Dillon, A.J. Allmendinger and D.J. Kennington.

Kennington spun off Turn 2 on Lap 133 to bring out another caution. On the restart with 23 laps to go in the race, Truex remained in the lead followed by Kahne, Darrell Wallace Jr., Newman and Allmendinger.

Kahne moved into the lead shortly after the restart followed by Newman and Harvick. Harvick moved into second on Lap 139.

With 17 to go, Truex moved back into third behind Harvick and leader Kahne. Stenhouse, running 11th, developed a tire rub.

On Lap 150, Stenhouse spun off Turn 4 and into the frontstretch grass to bring out the caution. The race returned to green with six laps to go and Kahne clinging to the lead.

With a shove from Truex, Harvick moved into the lead with five laps remaining.

With four to go, a multi-car wreck erupted off Turn 2 that collected Johnson, Joey Gase, Aric Almirola and Michael McDowell. The wreck sent the race into overtime.

To start the overtime, Harvick led the way followed by Truex, Bowyer, Jones and Bayne.

Truex took the lead on the restart but before the field took the white flag, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Clint Bowyer made contact on the frontstretch that triggered another multi-car wreck and sent the race into a second overtime.

To start the second overtime, Truex led the way followed by Jones, Kahne, Buescher and DiBenedetto.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 168   1
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 168 0.125 20
3 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 168 0.402 1
4 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 168 0.571 17
5 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 168 0.592  
6 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 168 0.663 3
7 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 168 0.686  
8 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 168 0.797 1
9 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 168 0.925  
10 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 168 1.063 1
11 7 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 168 1.216  
12 62 united_states Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 168 1.246  
13 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 168 1.351  
14 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 167 31.814  
15 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 167 1 lap  
16 51 united_states Ray Black Jr.  Chevrolet 167 1 lap  
17 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 167 1 lap 51
18 23 united_states J.J. Yeley  Toyota 166 2 laps  
19 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 162 6 laps 8
20 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 162 6 laps  
21 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 162 6 laps  
22 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 162 6 laps 2
23 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 162 6 laps 10
24 99 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 162 6 laps  
25 00 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 161 7 laps  
26 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 155 13 laps 20
27 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 155 13 laps  
28 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 152 16 laps  
29 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 123 45 laps  
30 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 68 100 laps  
31 72 united_states Corey Lajoie  Chevrolet 65 103 laps  
32 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 64 104 laps 12
33 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 64 104 laps 1
34 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 54 114 laps 11
35 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 54 114 laps  
36 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 53 115 laps 9
37 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 53 115 laps  
38 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 53 115 laps  
39 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 53 115 laps  
40 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 53 115 laps  

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Daytona II
Location Daytona International Speedway
Drivers Erik Jones
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Race report