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Truex Jr. Qualifies 13th at Daytona

10 July, 2018, 11:16 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • NASCAR drivers at Daytona International Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones (20) celebrates after winning the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., July 7, 2018.

Following Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Stenhouse didn't shy away from the fact that his actions on the track triggered two multi-car accidents and he ended up collected in three others. "My first Cup win, my first win at Daytona, my first superspeedway win - what an awesome day, man!"

Erik Jones' win was a step in silencing the doubters. "There's not much better than this one".

The 22-year-old Jones had his motorcoach wrapped in toilet paper as a prank and awoke to a steady string of congratulatory tweets ranging from Kyle Busch to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Martin Truex Jr. also was discouraged by the way some raced Saturday night. He beat second-place Alex Bowman by almost a quarter of a second.

Maybe these so-called "Young Guns" do know how to find victory lane.

Truex finished second, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne and Chris Buescher. Harvick led the field to green on Lap 162 to start the first overtime, but he fell victim to the nine-car wreck before that circuit was completed. That spill took out Aric Almirola, among others.

Lowe's, one of the last remaining corporate giants in NASCAR, announced it was cutting ties with Johnson at the end of the season, and that guarantees a new sponsor on the hood of the No. 48 Chevy in 2019.

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At one juncture in the final third of the race, Truex emerged into the lead despite being outside the top 20 not too much earlier.

"He got hit from behind, so I didn't get hit anywhere", Byron said. SHR has dominated this season with Harvick, Bowyer and Kurt Busch regular contenders and Almirola, in his first season as Danica Patrick's replacement in the No. 10 Ford, has proved it was the driver and not the vehicle that was the weak link in the top team in NASCAR. This was the final restrictor-plate race prior to the playoffs, which begin in September.

The first overtime restart saw a crash right before the start-finish line the involved Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Bubba Wallace, Johnson, Trevor Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ross Chastain, Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Newman. The 51 laps he led Saturday night were the most he's led in a race this season.

"When one auto sits sideways in front of the field at 200 miles per hour, you can't get through it", driver Joey Logano said of the mishaps. He pitted outside the designated box, and finished 23rd.

International Speedway Corp. President John Saunders pinned some of NASCAR's woes on the failure of the new crop of drivers, who have struggled to replace the sport's retired crop of stars. Larson, coming off a second-place finish last weekend at Chicagoland, exited with a torn-up tire and a visit to the medical center.

"Ricky was doing the best he could to give me a good push and had a great run to take the lead, and the vehicle in front of me (Byron) just threw a late, bad block", Keselowski said.

Stage One: Polesitter #9 Chase Elliott was able to lead the first 10 laps until #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr traded the lead between himself and Elliott for a couple laps before leading the rest of the stage and capturing his first stage win of the year.

Elliott was on the pole on the front with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman. But Elliott, Bowman and rookie William Byron are not only winless this season, they are 0 for their careers. Count Kurt Busch among those not happy with Stenhouse. He hasn't won since that season-opening victory.

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