NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona results, standings: Erik Jones wins first career race
Jones is finally a winner on NASCAR's biggest stage
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Erik Jones passed Martin Truex Jr. on the final lap to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. The win is the first of Jones' career.
With the win, the 22-year-old Jones becomes the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the July race at Daytona, and the youngest driver to win this season. His teammate, Kyle Busch, previously held the record by winning the race at age 23 nearly a decade ago. Jones also becomes the second Toyota driver in NASCAR history to win at the track.
Jones had already made a name for himself before his first career win, claiming Rookie of the Year honors in all three major NASCAR Series before taking over for Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing this season.
Chase Elliott started on the pole, but surrendered the lead to last year's winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. after about 10 laps. Stenhouse went on to block his way to a Stage 1 victory. Kyle Busch finished the stage second followed by Kyle Larson, William Byron and Elliott.
A massive pile-up struck early in Stage 2, involving nearly half the field. Heavy hitters Ryan Blaney, Logano, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski and Elliott were forced to the garage. It appeared Stage-1 winner Stenhouse got into the back of Keselowski, causing the big wreck.
After the restart, Stenhouse went on to take out Kyle Busch, who spun into and wrecked the leader Byron. Despite all the madness, Stenhouse still went on to win Stage 2. The No. 17 was on the receiving end of a few wrecks in the Final Stage, but was able to recover and stay on the track throughout.
Wrecks continued throughout the final stage up until the very end. We encourage you to keep reading along to see who was involved and where each driver finished.
Coke Zero Sugar 400 results
- Erik Jones
- Martin Truex Jr.
- AJ Allmendinger
- Kasey Kahne
- Chris Buescher
- Ty Dillon
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Ryan Newman
- Austin Dillon
- Alex Bowman
- Jeffrey Earnhardt
- Brendan Gaughan
- DJ Kennington
- Bubba Wallace
- David Ragan
- Ray Black Jr.
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- JJ Yeley
- Kevin Harvick
- Trevor Bayne
- Ross Chastain
- Clint Bowyer
- Jimmie Johnson
- Landon Cassill
- Joey Gase
- Michael McDowell
- Aric Almirola
- Paul Menard
- Kyle Larson
- Jamie McMurray
- Corey LaJoie
- William Byron
- Kyle Busch
- Chase Elliott
- Daniel Suarez
- Brad Keselowski
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Joey Logano
- Ryan Blaney
2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season standings
Martin Truex Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stage 1: Stenhouse dominates early
Elliott started on the pole with Hendrick teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson right behind him. Last year's Daytona July race winner Stenhouse began challenging Elliott for the lead 10 laps in and eventually took it on Lap 12.
Stenhouse worked the high lane as Elliott fell out of the top 10. Michael McDowell trailed in second with Dillon in third. Drivers began to challenge Stenhouse with five to go in the stage, with Dillon moving to second and Larson grabbing third.
The No. 17 drove on to win the stage, while Kyle Busch came out of nowhere to finish second. Elliott rebounded strongly, coming in fifth when the green-and-white checkered flew.
Stage 1 results
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (10 points plus 1 playoff point)
- Kyle Busch (9 points)
- Kyle Larson (8 points)
- William Byron (7 points)
- Chase Elliott (6 points)
- Kurt Busch (5 points)
- Ryan Newman (4 points)
- Brad Keselowski (3 points)
- Austin Dillon (2 points)
- Alex Bowman (1 point)
Stage 2: Wrecky Stenhouse Jr.
Truex was penalized for an uncontrolled tire and was sent to the rear between stages. Jones also suffered a setback, missing his pit box and losing multiple positions. However none of the contenders had it worse than Harvick and Blaney, who each had to make multiple trips down pit road for issues.
Keselowski won the race off pit road and led the field to green to begin Stage 2. As Keselowski continued to lead, Paul Menard went spinning into the infield grass, nearly losing his hood as the caution flag flew.
Byron took the lead on the restart before all hell broke loose when Stenhouse and Keselowski caused a massive pile-up involving most of the leaders. All three Penske cars, Keselowski, Logano and Blaney were eliminated from contention. Elliott, Hamlin and Kurt Busch were also forced to the garage after being caught up in the wreck.
You thought it was over? Think again… This time on the restart, Stenhouse got into the back of Busch and sent him spinning into the leader Byron. Both saw their days come to a close as they took their cars to the garage.
Stenhouse remained undamaged and resurfaced as the race leader. He was able to drive on unchallenged to win Stage 2 against a hampered field.
Stage 2 results
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (10 points plus 1 playoff point)
- Michael McDowell (9 points)
- Alex Bowman (8 points)
- Kasey Kahne (7 points)
- Ty Dillon (6 points)
- Jimmie Johnson (5 points)
- Kyle Larson (4 points)
- Austin Dillon (3 points)
- Trevor Bayne (2 points)
- Ryan Newman (1 point)
Final Stage: Marathon of wrecks continues
Stenhouse suffered an extended stop on pit road and was bumped from the lead. Ty Dillon led the field to green to begin the final stage but was passed by Bowyer on the first lap. A few laps later, Bowyer fell back, as McDowell charged to the lead ahead of Trevor Bayne.
McDowell continued to hold serve in the front while Stenhouse and Harvick approached. After 19 laps led, McDowell surrendered the lead back to Stenhouse. One lap later, Johnson took the lead from the No. 17.
Johnson came down pit road from the lead for a green flag stop with 40 to go but was caught for pitting outside his box and lost a lap. Stenhouse and Larson stayed out, and it was for the worst. Ryan Newman got loose and made contact with Larson, who spun and collected Stenhouse in the process. Larson took it to the garage while Stenhouse was able to stay on the track.
Truex restarted from the lead paced the field for 10 laps before DJ Kennington went spinning to bring out the seventh caution of the evening.
The No. 78 again restarted from the lead but lost it quickly to Kasey Kahne. The No. 95 immediately had to play defense against Harvick and Alex Bowman while Truex lingered near the front. Things cooled off a bit for Kahne over the next 10 or so laps before Stenhouse went down with a blown tire (for the record, he remained in the race out of contention).
Kahne restarted from the lead, but immediately gave it up to none other than Harvick. Just as Harvick crossed the start-finish line, McDowell, Almirola, Johnson and Joey Gase got caught up in a huge wreck that absolutely totaled McDowell's No. 34 and caused Almirola's tire to fly off.
Harvick led Truex and Bowyer to green in NASCAR overtime with the No. 78 getting the jump on the restart. However, before Truex could take the white flag, Bubba Wallace got into the back of Bowyer and caused another massive pile-up. Harvick and Johnson were also collected for good in the wreck.
Truex held the lead on the restart but was instantly challenged by Jones. The No. 20 moved ahead of Truex coming down the backstretch and drove on unchallenged to win his first career race.
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