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FORT WORTH, Texas – Teenager Erik Jones pulled away to his first career Xfinity Series victory Friday night, outrunning Sprint Cup stars Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the same Texas track where he picked up his high school diploma a year ago.
The 18-year-old Jones turned away a strong bid from Keselowski on a restart with 28 laps remaining, winning by 1.6 seconds as he was never seriously challenged again.
A year earlier, Jones ran a Camping World Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway rather than attend his high school graduation in Michigan, and track president Eddie Gossage presented him his diploma during introductions.
Jones, who won from the pole, became the youngest winner in the truck series in 2013 at Phoenix. He won three truck races last year.
Keselowski was second, and Earnhardt Jr. was third.