REWIND of NASCAR's Coke Zero Sugar 400: Erik Jones, first-time winner of July race under the lights at Daytona International Speedway

Headline Surfer YouTube download / NASCAR video / Check out this 15-minute highlights reel from Saturday night's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona as Erik Jones picked up his first career victory. Photos for Headline Surfer / Jones crosses the finish line ahead of Martin Truex Jr. Below, Jone, 22, a native of Byron, Mich, is shown in the snapshot summary of his racing career. 
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A year ago, it was Ricky Stenhouse who won the war of attrition and NASCAR's signature July race under the lights at Daytona International Speedway.

It was Stenhouse who would be the cause of attrition Saturday night with the "Big One" that claimed half the field. But it was a little-known driver, Erik Jones, who passed the reigning series champion, Martin Truex Jr by .125 of a second at the finish line to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400.

Jones was out front for the first time on the backstretch of the final lap - the only one he would lead, but that's all that mattered when all was said and done in a race that took two overtimes to complete. 

“How about that race, boys, and girls?” Jones shouted to the fans in the grandstands after a doing a burnout. “My first Cup win, my first win at Daytona, my first superspeedway win — what an awesome day, man!"

Jones continued, “There’s so much smoke in the car from that burnout, I can hardly breathe, but what an awesome finish.”

Diehard race fans like Michael Drews of Edgewater didn't know what to do since Jones was among the many unknowns in the field. There was no Dale Earnmhardt Jr. No, Michael Waltrip. No, Jeff Gordon. No, Tony Stewart. 

"Many of the fans applauded because he won but they didn't know who he was," Drews said, himself included.

 

 

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.