Jones takes ‘Clash’, Stenhouse on pole for Great American Race

(MRN) Denny Hamlin couldn’t win the Busch Clash at Daytona for himself, but he made sure his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate did.

For nearly the entire final lap in the third attempt at overtime, Hamlin pushed the mangled Toyota of Erik Jones all the way to finish line in a race that saw only six of 18 cars running at the finish.

With the nose of his car caved in and held together with tape, Jones led only the final lap-the 88th of the race and the 13th of overtime-in collecting his first victory in the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series exhibition race.

Jones’ No. 20 Toyota Camry sustained heavy damage during a spate of wrecks that started on Lap 66 of a scheduled 75 and continued into the extra circuits. Hamlin, whose No. 11 Toyota was damaged in the Lap 66 and spun with a flat tire in the first overtime attempt, lost two laps on pit road after the incident.

But Hamlin’s car was still running at the finish, and he was there to push Jones past the lead-lap cars of Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer on the last circuit.

For more in Sunday’s wreck-filled Clash, follow this link:

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the pole for Sunday’s Daytona 500 yesterday as well and will be joined on the front row by Alex Bowman.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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