Unlike the Daytona 500 in February, which had to be delayed for more than 30 hours because of ran, the weather for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday night was perfect.
The racing on the track left little to the imagination, as the first half of the scheduled 160 laps were caution free. The first caution was on Lap 82, when Sam Hornish, Jr. cut a tire and spun. Hornish wasn’t even scheduled to race in this event today. He was a quick replacement for Penske Racing teammate AJ Allmendinger, who was suspended by NASCAR after receiving a positive drug test of his “A” sample taken randomly last week at Kentucky Speedway. Allmendinger has 72 hours to formally request his “B” sample be tested.
While the theme of the night was circled around Allmendinger’s issues off the track, on the track it was Roush-Fenway Racing’s dominance on the track. Matt Kenseth, who announced recently would be leaving RFR at seasons end, would clinch the most bonus pints for lead the most laps but at the end of the night it was Tony Stewart who was able to pass Kenseth with half a lap to go and capture his fourth Coke Zero 400 victory, while the rest of the field was wrecking behind him.
When asked about winning at Daytona, Stewart said “Anytime you win at Daytona, it’s special.”
The win for Stewart comes after a wild weekend. Stewart, who had originally qualified second, had his time disallowed because of an illegal air duct inside his car. Stewart would start the race in 42nd.
Other cautions of the night included Kurt Busch, winner of Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, who crashed on lap 91 while trying to split Aric Almirola and Trevor Bayne. Busch made contact with Almirola’s left rear and slid into Bayne’s car without making heavy contact. Also on lap 125 when Martin Truex, Jr hit the back of the 48 causing him to hit the SAFER barrier hard, causing a multicar crash at the entrance of pit road.
This is Stewart’s third win of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. With the win at Daytona this evening, Stewart gained four spots and is now -84 behind Matt Kenseth.
The next race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is next Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Also stay with TSB for the latest on the AJ Allmendinger news.
Unofficial Race Results:
1 42 14 Tony Stewart MOBIL 1 / Office Depot Chevrolet
2 20 31 Jeff Burton Wheaties Chevrolet
3 1 17 Matt Kenseth Zest Ford
4 19 20 Joey Logano Dollar General Toyota
5 2 39 Ryan Newman Aspen Dental Chevrolet
6 12 99 Carl Edwards Subway Ford
7 3 5 Kasey Kahne HendrickCars.com Chevrolet
8 9 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge
9 28 55 Michael Waltrip Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota
10 41 47 Bobby Labonte Kingsford Charcoal Toyota
11 39 10 David Reutimann CarportEmpire.com/TMone.com Call Centers Chev
12 5 24 Jeff Gordon PepsiMax Chevrolet
13 30 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum Chevrolet
14 13 27 Paul Menard Quaker State / Menards Chevrolet
15 24 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Natl. Guard-AnAmericanSalute/DietMntnDew Chevy
16 40 93 Travis Kvapil Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
17 18 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Batteries Toyota
18 7 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford
19 17 43 Aric Almirola U.S. Air Force Ford
20 34 32 Terry Labonte C & J Energy Services Ford
21 4 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford
22 33 36 Dave Blaney Golden Corral Chevrolet23 11
29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet
24 22 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota
25 23 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota
26 27 34 David Ragan MHP 8-hour Alert Ford
27 15 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford
28 14 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet
29 29 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota
30 10 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford
31 32 38 David Gilliland Glory Foods Ford
32 38 83 Landon Cassill Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota
33 8 22 Sam Hornish Jr.(i) Shell Pennzoil Dodge
34 25 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row / Farm American Chevrolet
35 35 51 Kurt Busch Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
36 16 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet
37 6 50 Bill Elliott Walmart Chevrolet
38 31 26 Josh Wise # MDS Transport Ford
39 26 30 David Stremme Stock Car Steel and Aluminum Toyota
40 43 49 JJ Yeley Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota
41 36 87 Joe Nemechek(i) AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota
42 37 33 Stephen Leicht # LittleJoesAutos.com Chevrolet
43 21 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford