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NASCAR Barometer: Jones Avoids Carnage, Captures Maiden Win

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2015 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Erik Jones survived Saturday nightís wild Coke Zero Sugar 400 to outduel teammate Martin Truex Jr. and collect his first series victory. Early crashes took out most of the top contenders, and most who survived were involved in later wrecks. Jones and Truex both smartly played their hands by running cautiously throughout the distance to be at the front for the final Overtime restarts. The pair battled door-to-door the final two laps until Jones received a helpful push on the back straight that put him in sole possession of the lead.

Saturdayís high attrition opened the door for a first-time winner to burst through the door, but with Truex, Harvick and Bowyer still in contention in the final miles, it appeared as though no one would take advantage of the opportunity. One final crash on the first attempt at an Overtime finish took the remaining Stewart-Haas Racing drivers out of the picture, setting up the intramural battle for the Furniture Row Racing boys.

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