Photo by: Sarah Crabill
The third superspeedway event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule was a wild one in Daytona, Florida – where a young star earned his first series victory in overtime.
This week’s Top 5 features some fresh faces that we don’t normally see, some for the first time this season.
Several drivers scored their best finishes of the year, one earning the first top-10 finish of his career.
No. 1 Erik Jones – Erik Jones earned his first career Cup win on Saturday night after passing the defending series champion on the last lap in overtime.
Jones went a lap down after being involved in a multicar wreck on Lap 65. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver failed to earn stage points, but secured his place into the 2018 playoffs with his victory.
Jones sits in the 13th position in the points standings, 301 points behind teammate Kyle Busch and 55 points from Aric Almirola, who is in 10th place.
No. 2 Kasey Kahne – Kasey Kahne earned his first top-5 finish of the year and with new team Leavine Family Racing, finishing fourth.
Kahne led 17 laps and earned stage points in Stage 2 (fourth). He was 1 of 26 cars involved in a crash on Lap 54 when Brad Keselowski was turned after bumper contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Kahne’s finish is his first top 5 since winning last year’s Brickyard 400 in July. He sits 26th in the points standings, 480 points behind the leader and 138 points from Stenhouse in the 16th place cutoff.
No. 3 Matt DiBenedetto – Matt DiBenedetto earned his first top 10 of the 2018 season on Saturday, finishing seventh.
DiBenedetto failed to earn stage points, but ran as high as third throughout 400 miles.
The Go Fas Racing driver is 30th in the points standings, 535 points behind Busch and 104 points from 20th place.
No. 4 Austin Dillon – Austin Dillon followed his Daytona 500 win up with a ninth-place finish in the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
Dillon earned stage points in Stage 1 (ninth) and Stage 2 (eighth). He ran as high as second and held a 12th place average.
Dillon is 18th in the points standings, 402 points behind Busch and 60 away from 16th place.
No. 5 Ty Dillon – Ty Dillon’s top-10 finish at Daytona wasn’t just the first of the year for the Germain Racing driver, it was the first of his MENCS career.
Dillon finished sixth on Saturday, earning him his first top-10 in a career that spans five years, three of which are full-time.
Dillon failed to earn stage points in Stage 1, but led three laps and finished fifth in Stage 2.
Dillon is 29th in the points standings, 505 points behind the leader.