Erik Jones wins at Daytona in overtime for first career victory

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Erik Jones won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway in a second overtime attempt, claiming his first Cup Series win.

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

The win comes in the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s 57th career start.

On the final restart, Jones started second on the outside of Truex, his former teammate at Furniture Row Racing.

“Oh boy, how ’bout that race boys and girls?” Jones asked the crowd while being interviewed at the start-finish line by NBC. “That was something else, man. I thought we were out of it and all of a sudden we were right back in it, take the lead and ran away. Wow, what an awesome race. … My first Cup win, my first win at Daytona, my first superspeedway win. What an awesome day, man.”

Jones had been caught up in a six-car wreck on Lap 65 in Stage 2. By the end of the race, he was the only JGR driver left. He led only the final lap.

“I was thinking about mom and dad after the checkered,” Jones said of Carol and Dave Jones. Dave Jones passed away in 2016.

“My mom stayed home from this one, she’s going to miss my first Cup win, so hi, mom,” Jones said. “My dad, he would have been so proud the work we did to get here.”

Jones is the youngest driver to win this season and just the seventh different winner in 18 races.

The overtime period was initially set up by a wreck with four laps to go in the original 160-lap distance involving Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Gase.

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 race ended after 168 laps.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Martin Truex Jr. earned his first top 10 at a restrictor-plate race since coming in second in the Daytona 500 in 2016 … Kasey Kahne earned Leavine Family Racing its second top five ever. The first came in this race last year … Matt DiBenedetto finished seventh for his first top 10 of the season and his fourth in 122 career starts .. Jeffrey Earnhardt (11th) and DJ Kennington (13) earned their career-best finishes.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: The race was marred by two large wrecks in Stage 2, with the first on Lap 54 involving 26 cars and eliminating pole-sitter Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and other contenders … Ten laps later a six-car wreck eliminated Kyle Busch and William Byron … After winning the first two stages, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was involved in four accidents, the 26-car crash, an incident with Kyle Larson with 37 laps to go, a single-car spin with 11 laps to go and the wreck on the first overtime restart.

NOTABLE: Erik Jones is the 19th driver to get his first career win at Daytona, which leads all tracks … In three of the last four Daytona races, the winner led only the last lap … Jones is the fifth driver to earn his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Always good to see a first-time winner, now maybe (International Speedway Corp.) and those guys can be a little bit happier about things.” – Martin Truex Jr. referencing comments made earlier this week by ISC President John Saunders about young drivers needing to win.

WHAT’S NEXT: Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart at Kentucky Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on July 14 on NBCSN.

NASCAR Open starting lineup at Bristol

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Michael McDowell will start on the pole for the NASCAR Open at Bristol Motor Speedway after a random draw. Aric Almirola joins him on the front row.

Click here for NASCAR Open starting lineup

The winners of each segment advance to the All-Star Race, along with the fan vote winner. Last year, Kyle Larson won a segment in the Open to advance to the All-Star Race and then won that event. Other segment winners last year were William Byron and Bubba Wallace. Alex Bowman advanced through the fan vote a year ago. Bowman has already qualified for this year’s All-Star Race.

 

NASCAR Open at Bristol 

Race Time: 7 p.m. ET Wednesday

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tennessee (0.533-mile speedway)

Length: 85 laps over three segments, 45.3 miles

Segments: Segment 1 is 35 laps. Segment 2 is 35 laps. Segment 3 is 15 laps.

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Texas (200 laps, 300 miles), 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Saturday at Texas (167 laps, 250.5 miles) 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Martin Truex Jr. to start on pole for All-Star Race at Bristol

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Martin Truex Jr., who is seeking his first All-Star Race win, will start on the pole for Wednesday night’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway after a random draw.

Truex will be joined on the front row by Alex Bowman.

Rookie Cole Custer, who earned a spot in the All-Star Race with his win Sunday at Kentucky, will start eighth.

Click here for All-Star Lineup

  • Positions 17-19 will go to segment winners from the NASCAR Open. The 20th starting spot goes to the fan vote winner, which will be announced after the NASCAR Open

Among the special rules for the race:

# The Chose Rule will be used. As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart.

# The car number will move from the door toward the rear wheel to give sponsors more exposure.

# Cars that have automatically qualified for the All-Star Race will have underglow lights on their cars.

 

NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol 

Race Time: 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesday

Track: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tennessee (0.533-mile speedway)

Length: 140 laps over four segments, 74.6 miles

Segments: Segment 1 is 55 laps. Segment 2 is 35 laps. Segment 3 is 35 laps. Segment 4 is 15 laps (only green flag laps count in this segment).

TV coverage: FS1

Radio: Performance Racing Network (also SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Streaming: Fox Sports app (subscription required); goprn.com and SiriusXM for audio (subscription required)

Next Xfinity race: Saturday at Texas (200 laps, 300 miles), 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Next Truck race: Saturday at Texas (167 laps, 250.5 miles) 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Xfinity playoff grid after Kentucky doubleheader

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The Xfinity Series went to Kentucky Speedway for a doubleheader and Austin Cindric left the track with two wins and a spot in the playoffs.

Cindric, who claimed the first oval track NASCAR wins of his career, is now third on the playoff grid among the six drivers locked into the postseason. He has 15 playoff points.

Noah Gragson, who is second on the grid, won three of four stages in Kentucky and has 18 playoff points.

Six spots remain to be filled on the playoff grid. The last two drivers currently in the top 12 are Ryan Sieg (+57 points above cutline) and Brandon Brown (+14).

The first four drivers outside the top 12 are Myatt Snider (-14 points from cutline), Jeremy Clements (-30), Alex Labbe (-42) and Jesse Little (-47).

Cup playoff grid after Kentucky Speedway

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Cole Custer delivered the first curveball to the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoff chase Sunday when he won at Kentucky Speedway.

Custer entered the race 25th in the points, nine spots back from the cutoff line for 16-driver field.

Now, Custer is one of nine drivers locked into the playoffs, meaning the cutoff for the postseason is 15th in points.

Among those currently in the playoff grid who are not locked in, the last two are William Byron (+30 points) and Jimmie Johnson (+24).

The first four drivers sitting outside a playoff spot are Austin Dillon (-24 points from cutoff), Tyler Reddick (-41), Erik Jones (-42) and Bubba Wallace (-84).