Jones Wins First NASCAR Race

Chase Elliott

Last year's victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was out in front for 51 laps and won the first two stages of the race, but, with 36 laps to go, he and Kyle Larson were involved in a collision.

Aric Almirola, left, loses a tire as he goes by Michael McDowell after they were involved in a crash during NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 7, 2018, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Then as Keselowski was trying to get the lead back, Stenhouse Jr. got into the back of Keselowski and turned him into Kurt Busch, causing the "Big One" in turn 3. The caution enabled Jimmie Johnson to return to the lead lap. It was Stenhouse's first stage win of the year.

Shortly before that wreck on the initial would-be final lap, Kahne and Kevin Harvick were side-by-side with six laps to go when another wreck caused a significant delay with cars spread around the infield.

Jones, 22, beat Martin Truex Jr, AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher in a two-lap shootout.

"He (Jones) got a big run getting into (Turn) 1 and through the center, and I just didn't block him good enough in the middle of 1 and 2", Truex said.

"I've never been that good on superspeedways and never thought this was our shot to win".

"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. He went crashing off Stenhouse's bumper and chaos ensued. Rounding out the top 10 were Ty Dillon, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon and Alex Bowman.

Stenhouse was involved in five crashes and was the root cause of two of them.

"I just think it's cool for Erik", said Truex, who had Jones as a teammate at Furniture Row Racing previous year. "There's not much better than this one". "We'll see where he takes it from here".

Chevrolet extended its winless streak to 18 races, its longest since a 31-race drought in 1981-82.

Dillon has enjoyed the spoils that come with winning NASCAR's biggest race, including a visit with retired National Basketball Association great Shaquille O'Neal.

But the Roush Fenway Racing driver didn't feel a need to apologize. "He just told me some pretty cool things, so it was cool hanging out with him because I've always been a great fan of him".

"What I'm doing in NASCAR is so much bigger than me", she said. Thanks to a push from Chris Buescher, Jones was able to get ahead of Truex Jr. and stretched the advantage to a couple of auto lengths as the field raced through Turns 3 and 4.

O'Leary and Daniels, roommates in North Carolina, are the fifth and sixth female NASCAR Drive for Diversity crew members to reach the Cup series.



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