NASCAR Cup Daytona: Jones beats Truex to maiden win in chaotic race

Erik Jones scored his maiden NASCAR Cup series victory in a chaotic Daytona race, in which more than half the field was eliminated in various accidents

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Jones narrowly edged out his former team-mate and reigning champion Martin Truex Jr, biding his time with a quiet run to victory as others crashed out.

Kevin Harvick had been battling with Truex for the lead late on until a late pile-up caused an aborted race finish, which resulted in Harvick being collected in a collision between Darrell Wallace Jr and Clint Bowyer and meant the lap counter was wound back to two laps remaining.

A similar approach to Jones paid dividends for AJ Allmendinger, who finished third after a quiet run in midfield throughout.

Kasey Kahne led several laps and drew alongside Truex after the race's final restart, but ran out of momentum and dropped to fourth by the chequered flag.

Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon in fifth and sixth were further beneficiaries of high attrition. A fuel pressure problem early in stage two for Dillon proved to be a blessing in disguise, helping him avoid a large pile-up shortly after.

A 20-car accident early in stage two eliminated several leading contenders, including the three Penske-entered cars of Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney, plus Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr contributed to that accident when he spun Keselowski into the path of oncoming traffic behind, though a late block by Hendrick rookie William Byron had caused Keselowski to slow in front of Stenhouse immediately beforehand.

Despite winning both stages one and two, Stenhouse had a difficult race through involvement in multiple cautions thereafter.

He understeered wide and spun championship leader Kyle Busch into Byron almost immediately after his contact with Keselowski, forcing both to retire from collision damage.

Stenhouse's recovery drive was thwarted twice, firstly after being collected by a spinning Kyle Larson, then spinning out himself with a puncture caused by panel damage from clashing side-on with Aric Almirola. He eventually finished 17th.

Go FAS driver Matt DiBenedetto scored a season-best result of seventh, ahead of Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon in eighth and ninth.

Despite being involved in multiple accidents, Alex Bowman emerged mostly unscathed on each occasion, nursing his Hendrick car home in 10th place.

Michael McDowell had been a surprise contender for victory throughout but his hopes were also ended by attrition, as StarCom Racing part-timer Joey Gase spun out and collected him, Almirola and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Result - 168 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 3h13m12.s
2 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 0.125s
3 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 0.402s
4 Kasey Kahne Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 0.571s
5 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 0.592s
6 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 0.663s
7 Matt DiBenedetto Go FAS Racing Ford 0.686s
8 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.797s
9 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.925s
10 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1.063s
11 Jeffrey Earnhardt Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 1.216s
12 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports Chevrolet 1.246s
13 D.J. Kennington Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 1.351s
14 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 1 Lap
15 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 1 Lap
16 Ray Black Jr. Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 1 Lap
18 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 2 Laps
19 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Accident
20 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford Accident
21 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet Accident
22 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Accident
23 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Accident
24 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 6 Laps
25 Joey Gase StarCom Racing Chevrolet Accident
26 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford Accident
27 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Accident
28 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 16 Laps
29 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Accident
30 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Accident
31 Corey LaJoie TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet Accident
32 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Accident
33 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Accident
34 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Accident
35 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Accident
36 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford Accident
37 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Accident
38 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Accident
39 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford Accident
40 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford Accident

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