Jones joins a list of many drivers who got their first win in this race. The outside lane was more organized as the final lap unfolded, and Jones got a strong run through Turns 1 and 2.
In a wild war of attrition that went to two overtimes, Erik Jones outdueled Martin Truex Jr. on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway to seize the first victory of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. He won the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. "It's our first win and not much has felt better than this one". My first win at Daytona, My first superspeedway win. "What an awesome day, man". "We needed to win to get in the playoffs, so it is what it is". 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.
Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher rounded out the top five. Ty Dillon was sixth, followed by Matt DiBenedetto and Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon.
The victory was the first Cup win for the 22-year-old Jones, a driver nurtured by Toyota's motorsports program and one of the leading representatives of the young group of drivers expected to gain traction over the next few years.
Defending race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the first stage of the Cup Series race at Daytona.
Kyle Larson, who won the Xfinity Series race Friday night, was out in a crash with Stenhouse. Jones was one of the lucky ones who avoided major damage.
On the final restart, Jones started second on the outside of Truex, his former teammate at Furniture Row Racing. "He's a good kid". Jones battled back from damage sustained in a multicar wreck on Lap 65, an accident that cost him a lap.
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"I've never been that good on superspeedways and never thought this was our shot to win". So happy for him, happy for his family and his fans. "There's not much better than this one". "We'll see where he takes it from here".
Austin Dillon celebrated his Daytona 500 victory by putting his signature, hand prints and right foot on a cement block on the track's Walk of Fame earlier Saturday.
"He wrapped his hand around mine twice when I shook it", Dillon said. "I made the mistake of lifting instead of just driving through him, and that's my fault". William Byron, also racing near the front, was involved along with several other drivers.
Daniels is believed to be the first female black crew member to compete in a NASCAR national series event. Thanks to a push from Chris Buescher, Jones was able to get ahead of Truex Jr. and stretched the advantage to a couple of vehicle lengths as the field raced through Turns 3 and 4.
"There's so much smoke in the auto from that burnout, I can hardly breathe, but what an awesome finish". That spill took out Aric Almirola, among others.
O'Leary made her third appearance overall in the Cup Series and second this season.