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NASCAR Cup Series: Results, 3 takeaways from Saturday’s wreck-filled race at Daytona

Erik Jones celebrates after winning Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway. Will any other young guns join Jones in Victory Lane in 2018?
Erik Jones celebrates after winning Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway. Will any other young guns join Jones in Victory Lane in 2018? AP Photo

Erik Jones won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, the first Cup Series win of his career, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Saturday’s race at Daytona International Speedway:

1. Finally a win for the young guns

At last! NASCAR’s marketing executives went all-in this season on the emergence of the next generation of drivers – people such as Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Bubba Wallace. Only problem was, to date, none of them had managed a win. Jones, 22, now becomes the first. Jones may be the best young driver of the bunch (or if not, he’s certainly in the conversation with Blaney), and this win is a friendly reminder of what’s next to come in NASCAR. It would be unusual and unexpected for Jones to start ripping off wins – we’ve only had seven total this season, after all – but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Now we wait and see if any other young guns can join him in Victory Lane in 2018.

2. Truex’s second-place finish still a sign of dominance

Martin Truex Jr., one of the so-called Big 3 that has emerged in NASCAR this season, didn’t manage to win at Daytona on Saturday. He’s never won a restrictor plate race in his storied Cup Series career, and while he was a lap away from changing that Saturday, ultimately it wasn’t his turn. But so what? That Truex, who is notorious for poor finishes at Daytona, was even in Saturday’s race at all is a testament to how good and creative his team has been all year. The 78 may not have as many wins as Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch, but as Saturday night proved, he can go the distance on any given weekend – and down the stretch in the playoffs, that’s what matters most.

3. A new NASCAR villain slowly emerging

For all the terrific storylines on Saturday night, from Jones’ first Cup win to Truex, there had to be someone unhappy at the end of the night. That person, without a doubt, was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse was the catalyst behind two massive wrecks in the second stage that wiped out nearly half the field, and during an in-race interview soon after, he sounded somber and off his game. Understandably so. Stenhouse drew lots of ire on social media for his driving, and at this point in his career, he’s developed a reputation as an aggressive, threatening driver in restrictor plate races. He definitely isn’t quite at the same villain status as someone like Kyle Busch, but a few more races like Saturday night and he’ll be right there.



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Ross Chastain (15), Trevor Bayne (6), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (17) and Brendan Gaughan (62) collide along the front stretch during Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway. Phelan M. Ebenhack AP Photo

Coke Zero Sugar 500

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup

Coke Zero Sugar 400

Saturday

At Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Fla.

Lap length: 2.50 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (29) Erik Jones, Toyota, 168 laps, 0 rating, 40 points.

2. (13) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 168, 0, 35.

3. (24) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 34.

4. (28) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 40.

5. (25) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 32.

6. (19) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 37.

7. (31) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 168, 0, 30.

8. (7) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 34.

9. (10) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 33.

10. (2) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 36.

11. (34) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 168, 0, 26.

12. (16) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 168, 0, 25.

13. (35) D.J. Kennington, Toyota, 168, 0, 24.

14. (22) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 167, 0, 23.

15. (21) David Ragan, Ford, 167, 0, 22.

16. (39) Ray Black Jr, Chevrolet, 167, 0, 0.

17. (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 167, 0, 40.

18. (40) JJ Yeley, Toyota, 166, 0, 0.

19. (5) Kevin Harvick, Ford, accident, 162, 0, 18.

20. (20) Trevor Bayne, Ford, accident, 162, 0, 19.

21. (33) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, accident, 162, 0, 0.

22. (9) Clint Bowyer, Ford, accident, 162, 0, 15.

23. (4) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, accident, 162, 0, 19.

24. (37) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 162, 0, 13.

25. (36) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, accident, 161, 0, 0.

26. (8) Michael McDowell, Ford, accident, 155, 0, 20.

27. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, accident, 155, 0, 10.

28. (30) Paul Menard, Ford, 152, 0, 9.

29. (14) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, accident, 123, 0, 20.

30. (27) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, accident, 68, 0, 7.

31. (38) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet, accident, 65, 0, 6.

32. (18) William Byron, Chevrolet, accident, 64, 0, 12.

33. (15) Kyle Busch, Toyota, accident, 64, 0, 13.

34. (1) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, accident, 54, 0, 9.

35. (32) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, accident, 54, 0, 2.

36. (3) Brad Keselowski, Ford, accident, 53, 0, 4.

37. (23) Kurt Busch, Ford, accident, 53, 0, 6.

38. (17) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, accident, 53, 0, 1.

39. (11) Joey Logano, Ford, accident, 53, 0, 1.

40. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford, accident, 53, 0, 1.



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Chase Elliott (9), Darrell Wallace Jr (43), Joey Logano (22) and Daniel Suarez (19) wreck during Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway. Ron Sander AP Photo

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 130.425 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 13 minutes, 12 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.125 seconds.

Caution Flags: 10 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes: 25 among 16 drivers.

Lap Leaders: C.Elliott 1-10; R.Stenhouse 11; C.Elliott 12; R.Stenhouse 13-42; Ky.Busch 43; B.Keselowski 44-52; W.Byron 53-64; R.Stenhouse 65-69; R.Newman 70; R.Stenhouse 71-81; A.Bowman 82; A.Allmendinger 83; T.Dillon 84-86; C.Bowyer 87-88; M.McDowell 89-107; R.Stenhouse 108; J.Johnson 109-112; M.McDowell 113; J.Johnson 114-119; R.Stenhouse 120-122; K.Harvick 123; M.Truex 124-137; K.Kahne 138-154; K.Harvick 155-161; M.Truex 162-167; E.Jones 168

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): R.Stenhouse, 6 times for 45 laps; M.McDowell, 2 times for 18 laps; M.Truex, 2 times for 18 laps; K.Kahne, 1 time for 16 laps; W.Byron, 1 time for 11 laps; C.Elliott, 2 times for 9 laps; J.Johnson, 2 times for 8 laps; B.Keselowski, 1 time for 8 laps; K.Harvick, 2 times for 6 laps; T.Dillon, 1 time for 2 laps; C.Bowyer, 1 time for 1 lap; A.Allmendinger, 1 time for 0 laps; A.Bowman, 1 time for 0 laps; Ky.Busch, 1 time for 0 laps; E.Jones, 1 time for 0 laps; R.Newman, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: Ky.Busch, 5; K.Harvick, 5; M.Truex, 3; C.Bowyer, 2; A.Dillon, 1; E.Jones, 1; J.Logano, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. Ky.Busch, 749; 2. K.Harvick, 692; 3. M.Truex, 629; 4. J.Logano, 618; 5. B.Keselowski, 596; 6. C.Bowyer, 594; 7. Ku.Busch, 566; 8. K.Larson, 544; 9. D.Hamlin, 538; 10. A.Almirola, 503; 11. R.Blaney, 496; 12. J.Johnson, 461; 13. E.Jones, 448; 14. C.Elliott, 444; 15. A.Bowman, 426; 16. R.Stenhouse, 407.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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