Erik Jones earns a victory at Daytona Speedway

Erik Jones earns a victory at Daytona Speedway

Jeffrey Earnhardt, Brendan Gaughan and D.J. Kennington were the final cars on the lead lap.

"Oh boy, how 'bout that race boys and girls?"

"That was something else, man". It was Stenhouse's first stage win of the year.

"What an awesome day", he said afterward.

AJ Allmendinger finished third, followed by Kasey Kahne, Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon.

"He wrapped his hand around mine twice when I shook it", Dillon said. Stage One top 10 was as follows #17Ricky Stenhouse Jr, #18 Kyle Busch, #42 Kyle Larson, #24 William Byron, #9 Chase Elliott, #41 Kurt Busch, #31 Ryan Newman, #2 Brad Keselowski, #3 Austin Dillon, and #88 Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10.

Defending race victor Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the first stage of the Cup Series race at Daytona.

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He likely didn't earn a lot of fans on social media or from his fellow competitors in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage.

Jones was in second place trailing Truex at the time of that near-finish mark. As the checkered flag waved, Jones had enough of a margin to take his first career victory.

He won the first two stages of the race, collecting a pair of playoff points in the process, but the second stage saw him initiate a pair of accidents that together collected more than half of the 40-car field.

Who Had a Bad Day: It seemed nobody was immune to getting caught in a huge accident Saturday night and that tone started on lap 54 when almost half the field was involved in a multi-car melee. As the race got going again rookie William Byron looked like he was becoming a contender when Ricky Stenhouse turned Kyle Busch into Byron sending them crashing in a wreck that also included Jamie McMurray, Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones and Corey Lajoie.

With 11 laps left to go in the stage, things got back underway with Stenhouse Jr. leading the way. Just five laps from the finish McDowell, who had run upfront all night, got caught in an accident with Aric Almirola and Joey Gase ending his night...

That put the race into what NASCAR calls overtime because it couldn't end under caution. Jones was one of the lucky ones who avoided major damage. Keselowski's No. 2 Ford slammed into the side of Busch, and more than a dozen cars were unable to slow down.

The win for Jones, 22, was a landmark moment for the Michigan-born driver, as he broke through to claim the victory in his first season and 57th start with Joe Gibbs racing. I don't think I have finished this race in 10 years.

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