Wreck-filled race at Day­tona ends with Jones on top

The Washington Post Sunday - - BASEBALL - NASCAR BY MARK LONG

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.

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