1. Erik Jones, July 2018
Not everyone loves a winner, but most fans love a first-time winner. Erik Jones was the most recent driver to visit Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway, but he’s the latest in a long line of drivers to find their first wins at the World Center of Racing. What Jones does from here remains to be seen, but the sophomore driver is young enough he has plenty of years of racing ahead of him.
2. Aric Almirola, July 2014
Remember that time Aric Almirola won in a Cup race? Driving for Richard Petty Motorsports, Almirola played the strategy game to a T, taking the win when the skies opened up. The current driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford came up a lap short of winning the Daytona 500 earlier this season and has shown signs he’s on the cusp of another victory in the near future.
3. David Ragan, July 2011
After taking himself out of contention earlier that season in the Daytona 500 when he jumped a late restart, Ragan made sure he did everything right when the Cup Series returned in the summer.
4. Trevor Bayne, February 2011
Trevor who? 20-year-old Bayne was a relative unknown on the Cup circuit in 2011, driving a part-time schedule for the Wood Brothers, but he made sure everyone knew his name in the sport’s biggest race. Now sharing the No. 6 Roush Fenway Ford with Matt Kenseth, there’s no telling what the future has in store.
5. Greg Biffle, July 2003
Rookie Biffle won the summer race at Daytona through a fuel strategy call. The Washington native, who hasn’t raced in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2016, won 19 times in his career — but only one restrictor plate race.
About the author
Amy is an 18-year veteran NASCAR writer and a five-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found filling in from time to time on The Frontstretch 5 (Wednesdays) and her monthly commentary Holding A Pretty Wheel (Thursdays). A New Hampshire native living in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.