Jones victory a good sign for NASCAR

Annette Crawford
July 10, 2018

Erik Jones won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway, defeating Martin Truex double overtime in the Coke Zero Sugar 400.

Logano (one win) and Hamlin (winless) have come oh-so-close before to winning the title, and an Elliott championship would link today's fans with the old-school loyalists who loved rooting for his dad, "Awesome" Bill Elliott.

Erik Jones' win was a step in silencing the doubters.

"Just missed that block a little bit".

Saunders said this week the sport needed the young guys to come along and "start to win and build their brands".

"And on the last restart, I was like, 'Well, we've got a legitimate shot at this point'". "Once cars get sideways on the backstretch, everyone just battles to try to get through the wreck".

Truex had posted only one other top-five finish - a second in the 2016 Daytona 500 - in 26 previous starts at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.

Ricky Stenhouse Junior was involved in a number of the on-track incidents Saturday that led to ten yellow flags.

That Jones Boy got it done tonight at ol' Daytona!

Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Alex Bowman held the final eight spots on Sunday - an order sure to become jumbled after next week's race at Kentucky Speedway.

But Keselowski didn't blame Stenhouse. I don't think I have finished this race in 10 years. And it was my fault because I lifted. He started two early accidents that wrecked more than half the field and was part of two more cautions late. Ten laps later a six-car wreck eliminated Kyle Busch and William Byron ... "We'll see where he takes it from here".

Jones, a native of Byron, Mich., wished his mother, Carol, had been there for the race, given all she had done to make the victory happen, too.

"What I'm doing in NASCAR is so much bigger than me", she said.

Byron lost a good chance to improve on his 21st position in the standings.

Carol Jones, her son explained, has a hard time watching him race on superspeedways, given the speed, pack racing and potential for crashes if not carnage.

"It was just kind of chaos out there", third-place finisher AJ Allmendinger said. "I think it's a great night, and it's a huge deal, and we're going to celebrate it".

"We were laying back, and dropping back, and at one point had to fix quite a bit of damage", Jones said of the way the race played out. But it stinks to be on that side of it.

Jones' improbable win amid the endless chaos and spectacular crashes of Saturday night's Coke Zero Sugar 400 also required tremendous sacrifice from two parents who made sure he even got behind the wheel. We definitely brought, I feel like, the best auto here in the field.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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