Wreck-filled race at Daytona ends with Jones on top
daytona beach, fla. — Erik Jones won a crash-filled NASCAR race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, passing defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap for the first victory of his Cup Series career.
Jones was involved in one of the many wrecks, but his No. 20 Toyota was still in good enough shape to get by Truex.
Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher. It was 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 night. He started two early accidents that wrecked more than half the field.
Stenhouse started the melee when he tapped and turned Brad Keselowski, who was running third. Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford slammed into the side of Kyle Busch, and more than a dozen cars were unable to slow down.
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.
“The 2 got wrecked, and so did everyone else,” Hamlin said.
Pole sitter Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and former Daytona 500 winners Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were also involved in the 25-car crash.
But Stenhouse was just getting warmed up in his No. 17 Ford. He wiped out two more contenders a few laps later.
Stenhouse tapped Kyle Busch and caused him to lose control. Busch’s No. 18 Toyota slid right and took out Byron. Byron and Busch were running 1-2 at the time.
Later, Stenhouse got caught in a wreck himself. Kyle Larson spun sideways coming out of Turn 4 because of a flat tire, and Stenhouse slammed into him. After the earlier wrecks, his bad luck was met with cheers from the crowd.