The duo of David Ragan and Matt Kenseth teamed up to take the double green-white-checkered flag finish on Saturday night in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
Ragan started fifth and led for 15 laps. Kenseth led 14. Ryan Newman led the most laps with 25 and finished 23rd.
Pole sitter Mark Martin was involved in a multi-car crash in the closing laps and finished 33rd.
The driver who moved forward the most was Joey Logano. He started 37th and finished third.
The hard luck story of the night was Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. A lap four accident sent the young driver to the garage for the night and a 41st place finish.
The race finished in double overtime after a caution came out on lap 157 (of 160 scheduled) after Kasey Kahne slid up the track and had contact with Jeff Gordon who was then tapped by Mark Martin. Gordon had nowhere to go. Kyle Busch would find himself part of the action as he scraped along the wall followed by Joey Logano. Gordon was then missed by inches by the duo of Casey Mears and Landon Cassill. Somehow Gordon hit nothing hard enough to cause significant damage.
On the first overtime restart we would see the first of three accidents in ten extra laps that would be run of the race.
The first overtime green flag would have Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin who were side by side followed by Kenseth and Ragan. Newman is able to drop in front of Hamlin and it’s first the “big one” as Martin is side swiped by Brian Vickers and Logano in turn one which collects Tony Stewart, David Gilliland, Brad Keselowski, Ragan, Casey Mears, Cassill, David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr., Joe Nemechek and Clint Bowyer.
The next restart the duos of Ragan / Kenseth and Newman / Hamlin hook back up. Logano has Kahne on the outside while Newman / Hamlin are sliding back.
With one lap to go the duo of Ragan / Kenseth led, followed by Logano / Kahne heading into turn three.
Trouble behind the leaders of Ragan / Kenseth who win the race and we have two wrecks in turns three and four.
As the drivers head into turn three Reutimann was pushing Cassill in the middle while Ambrose following Allmendinger was clipped by Cassill. Marcos Ambrose spun in front of the two along with Stewart and Vickers who were on the inside were clipped by Ambrose who then came back into Cassill and Reutimann as they crashed into the outside turn three wall.
Cassill slid down into Vickers where Stewart squeaked out from the incident. The other four drivers crashed and slid down to the apron. After that more trouble hit the field coming out of turn four as Paul Menard following Kevin Harvick on the outside line came down on Jamie McMurray in the middle with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the low line see the two get together.
Earnhardt Jr. was hit from behind by Burton and Newman
[media-credit id=22 align=”alignright” width=”242″][/media-credit]. The force of the momentum pushed McMurray sideways and into the outside line of his teammate Montoya with Burton crashing into Johnson.
Earnhardt Jr. spun on the apron where he was just missed by Hamlin. Newman is hooked into the back of Burton as they hit Johnson. At this point cars were everywhere spinning and crashing into each other. Burton headed for the inside wall as Montoya and Newman are crashing on the outside wall. Hamlin and Johnson eat some grass of the infield as does McMurray. This all unfolds in front of Stewart who rides the apron dodging and ducking the others.
CHECERED FLAG for Ragan for his first time of the season. Kenseth scores second followed by Logano, Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Menard, Montoya and Allmendinger.
Onto the Lap By Lap Coverage
Well fans HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!
It’s about Daytona Duels tonight, of course we are not talking about the duels at the start of the year, we are talking about the racing duels that has been the talk of the town for the last race and last night’s Nationwide race that came down to the last lap that also ended up in a big pileup.
The duel drafting has been the interest of not only the fans, but the drivers. But as the case with Daytona, there will be drivers who like the style of the race that is run and there will be drivers who are not happy with the racing on the track.
We will see the numerous lead changes on the track like usual, but now it will most likely be due to the duos swapping the driver in the front of the two car team up with the driver pushing from behind which allows the others duos to pass on by during the change.
Last night’s race, the spring race at Talladega and the Daytona 500 did not see the big action until the closing laps of the race. And we also did not see the big pack racing like we used to see, which left many drivers in the dust as they did not hook up with any other driver on the track. If you hook up with someone, you have a chance to be in the front. We will see if the teams have learned lessons from the 500 and if they can move to the front.
Enough about the what and where, let’s go to the who and when as we start the race for the spectacular night race.
The veteran Mark Martin is on the pole with this year’s Daytona 500 winner of Trevor Bayne who will lead the 41 other drivers to the 400 miles of racing tonight.
Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon will line up in the second row. David Ragan starts fifth. Gordon’s teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson start 6th and 8th respectively. Robby Gordon and Bobbie Labonte head to the back of the pack.
NOW, LET’S GO RACING!!
GREEN FLAG as Martin is pushed by Gordon and Bayne by Bowyer. Earnhardt and Johnson are the third group and pulling away from the field. Lap 2 Andy Lally is by himself which breaks the field apart as he has no help.
Lap 3 drivers are looking to hook up with someone to make their runs. Lap 5 two drivers head to the garage…
YELLOW FLAG lap 5 as Bayne heads nose first into the outside turn one wall after Brad Keselowski is offset to the left side of Bayne, which is not the side you want to be on which first sends him towards the apron to skip off the right side of Bowyer’s car then into the outside wall.
Bobbie Labonte and Jamie McMurray picked up some damage from checking up for the accident. Bayne heads to the garage with major damage.
Just to keep you up to date the two cars that headed into the garage were Kevin Conway and Michael McDowell. Mike Skinner takes his car to the garage.
GREEN FLAG lap 9 as the Martin / Gordon team get the two some going. Lap 10 Earnhardt / Johnson are the second group followed by Ragan / Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards / Biffle. Lap 12 Ragan / Kenseth are the new second group.
Lap 15 of 160 the Martin / Gordon team continue to lead followed by Earnhardt / Johnson who take the lead in turn three. Lap 16 the inside line is filled with Kurt Busch / Regan Smith followed by Edwards / Greg Biffle.
Lap 19 the top three teams run two seconds in front of Ragan / Kenseth, Joey Logano / Kyle Busch. Lap 20 we now have six groups battling for the lead. Lap 21 Kurt Busch is the leader again with Smith. Earnhardt / Johnson contend with Edwards and Biffle on the outside.
Lap 23 after the contact with Bayne, Keselowski did not have any help and was out in the cold and lapped.
YELLOW FLAG lap 24 as Edwards is spun out after there was too much momentum carried by Himself and Biffle as the drifted out towards the outside wall at the exit of turn four. Keselowski will be the lucky dog.
The leaders head to pit road. Several leaders remain on the track but the next lap we see the Hendrick teams pit the next time by. Currently the top ten drivers are Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Ragan, Kenseth, Smith, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, Casey Mears and Landon Cassill.
GREEN FLAG lap 27 as Harvick / Menard pull away from Truex Jr. / David Reutimann. Lap 29 Smith / Kurt Busch lead followed by Truex Jr. / Reutimann. Lap 31 Truex Jr. / Reutimann lead for a moment with Ragan / Kenseth on the inside.
Lap 32 new players in the mix are Kasey Kahne / Brian Vickers. Team Hendrick have dropped to the back for a strategic move to keep it safe and sane. Lap 36 Michael Waltrip racing leads Ragan / Kenseth by a car length. Red Bull racing run as the third group.
Lap 37 Ryan Newman / Denny Hamlin are the new third group followed by Harvick / Menard, Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Keselowski / Biffle and Mears / Cassill.
Lap 39 Ragan / Kenseth lead. Lap 41, we are ¼ way through the race as Kahne / Vickers take the lead. Lap 43 we see seven groups leading the race as a possible lead change will occur. Kenseth / Ragan, Kahne / Vickers, Mears / Cassill, Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Newman / Hamlin are followed by Harvick / Menard.
Lap 45 Smith / Kurt Busch run 13th / 14th and moving up. Lap 46 there are about six different groups on the track at the moment. Lap 47 on the move is A.J. Allmendinger / Marcos Ambrose moving into 11th and 12th.
YELLOW FLAG lap 48 into 49 as Dave Blaney smacks into the outside turn one wall at the same time Edwards brought his car to pit road to shut the engine off. The leaders head to pit road. We see the same move by the teams where some stay out on the track while others head in. One interesting move is Earnhardt Jr. heads into pit road while Johnson remains on track.
Your top twenty drivers are Travis Kvapil, Johnson, Bobbie Labonte, Kahne, Truex Jr., Smith, Harvick, Reutimann, Menard, Kurt Busch, Vickers, Cassill, Kenseth, Mears, Ragan, Newman, Ambrose, Allmendinger, David Gilliland and Tony Stewart. It looks like the Hendrick team heads to pit road on one lap to go like last time. After the drivers head to pit road we see Kahne, Truex Jr., Harvick, Menard, Reutimann and Vickers in front. Edwards is six laps down.
GREEN FLAG lap 54 as a shuffle occurs on the track with drivers looking for their “wingman.” Truex Jr. / Reutimann lead the race followed by Kenseth / Ragan. Lap 57 we see a duos running to the front as Smith / Kurt Busch take the lead on lap 59 followed by Kenseth / Ragan, Kahne / Vickers, Truex Jr. / Reutimann.
Lap 60 Kyle Busch and Logano are teamed up followed by Menard / Harvick and Stewart / Gilliland. Lap 63 we have been watching some of the team playing with running as a string of four drivers. In front we see Kenseth / Ragan, Kahne / Vickers then the second four pack of Menard / Harvick, Truex Jr. / Reutimann.
Lap 65 we see a few swaps in the duos to lead/ pusher as Kahne / Vickers takes the lead followed by Truex Jr. / Reutimann then Kenseth / Ragan, Menard / Harvick. Lap 68 new drivers in the mix of Joe Nemechek and Kvapil enter the mix in the top ten.
Lap 71 the team of Stewart / Gilliland take the lead for the first time tonight. Lap 73 we see a four duo battle for the lead between Stewart / Gilliland, Kahne / Vickers, Mears / Cassill and Kvapil / Nemechek. Edwards is back on pit road.
Lap 75 your top ten drivers are Mears / Cassill, Kahne / Vickers, Nemechek / Kvapil, Kyle Busch / Logano, Truex Jr., / Reutimann.
Lap 77 off pace we see Robby Gordon running 35th with help from G. Bodine. Bobbie Labonte is on his way to being lapped. It looks like Edwards is in the garage.
Lap 80 (Halfway Home) Kahne / Vickers are the leaders followed by Mears / Cassill and Nemechek / Kvapil. Lap 84 Terry Labonte / Andy Lally are in the top ten checking out the front pack. It has been a while since the last pit stops so we should see some in the next ten laps.
Lap 87 Kyle Busch / Logano make a run for the lead with Kahne / Vickers on the inside line. Lap 88 there are about ten duos in the front. Kahne / Vickers, Kyle Busch / Logano, Menard / Harvick, Mears / Cassill, Terry Labonte / Lally, Nemechek / Kvapil, Smith / Kurt Busch.
Lap 91 Kahne / Vickers are the first drivers in for green flag stops. Lap 92 Stewart / Gilliland, Terry Labonte / Lally are in. Lap 94 Reutimann / Truex Jr. are in with others. Lap 95 Kyle Busch / Logano are in with others. Martin and Jeff Gordon are in.
Lap 96 Mears / Cassill are in. Johnson / Earnhardt are in. Lap 97 Jeff Burton / Bowyer are the leaders. Lap 99 Bowyer is scored as the leader with Burton and the last leaders to pit at this time.
Lap 100 (60 to go) Vickers / Kahne will go back to the lead followed by Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Kyle Busch / Logano followed by Allmendinger / Ambrose then Keselowski / Biffle. They in turn are followed by Ragan / Kenseth, Harvick / Menard, Newman / Hamlin.
Lap 104 In the top twenty we see Juan Pablo Montoya, McMurray, Mears / Cassill, Kvapil / Nemechek.
Lap 105 Ragan / Kenseth, Keselowski / Biffle are second. Lap 108 a smooth swap in the front by Hamlin / Newman but they jam up the front running pack of Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Keselowski / Biffle and Mears / Cassill.
Lap 110 (50 to go) Truex Jr. / Reutimann have Keselowski / Biffle on their outside for the lead. Hamlin / Newman then Montoya / McMurray, Mears / Cassill, Harvick / Menard, Bowyer / Burton, Kyle Busch / Logano, Ragan / Kenseth, Kurt Busch / Smith.
So far we have seen 3 cautions for 11 laps and 45 lead changes among 22 leaders. 34 drivers are on the lead lap while 41 drivers are scored as running in the race.
Lap 115 (45 to go) it’s a battle between Harvick / Menard, McMurray / Montoya. 44 to go Bowyer / Burton are in the mix for the lead. 43 to go as we see Childress Racing working on the four car draft with Harvick, Menard, Bowyer and Burton nose to tail.
40 to go Harvick / Menard are on the inside line while Bowyer / Burton are on the outside line. 38 to go as it’s Newman / Hamlin, Vickers / Kahne, Bowyer / Burton joined by Mears / Cassill. 35 to go we hear that Logano may have melted his radiator fan as when he turns it on it trips his breaker on his car.
34 to go McMurray / Montoya are closing in on the front once again as Newman / Hamlin continue to lead.
32 to go we are closing in on the next set of green flag stops. 31 to go McMurray / Montoya head in for their stops. 30 to go Ragan / Kenseth are in. 29 to go Truex Jr. / Reutimann are in. 28 to go as Kahne / Vickers are in followed by Gilliland / Stewart. 26 to go Harvick is the leader with Menard.
26 to go Keselowski / Biffle are in with Ambrose / Allmendinger. 25 to go as Martin / Gordon are in. 24 to go Earnhardt Jr. / Johnson are in. Robby Gordon is busted on pit road for a team issue. 23 to go Lally and Terry Labonte are in.
22 to go Newman / Hamlin are in along with Logano / Kyle Busch are in. 21 to go Mears / Cassill are in. Bowyer / Burton are in with Ragan / Kurt Busch.
20 to go Harvick / Menard are on the track still and come in with 19 to go.
18 to go Newman / Hamlin are the new leaders followed by Kyle Busch / Logano. They are followed by Burton / Bowyer, Harvick / Menard, Kahne / Vickers, Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Kenseth / Ragan, Johnson / Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon / Martin.
15 to go Newman / Hamlin are followed by Kyle Busch / Logano, Harvick / Menard and Burton / Bowyer.
13 to go Newman / Hamlin, Kyle Busch / Logano are almost stringing to a four car team.
11 to go Newman / Hamlin, Kenseth / Ragan as Kyle Busch / Logano break up.
10 to go Newman / Hamlin continue in front with Kenseth / Ragan, Harvick / Menard, Kahne / Vickers, Truex Jr. / Reutimann, Kyle Busch / Logano.
8 to go as Newman / Hamlin are in front Jeff Gordon and Martin close in on the top ten.
7 to go Kenseth / Ragan jump to the front as Newman / Hamlin slip back.
6 to go Kenseth / Ragan, Harvick / Menard, Kahne / Vickers, Newman / Hamlin, Kyle Busch / Logano.
5 to go as Harvick / Menard are all over Kenseth / Ragan.
4 to go as three wide teams drive through turns one and two with Jeff Gordon / Martin move into 7th and 8th.
3 to go Kenseth / Ragan continue to lead as it is three wide in turn four as Jeff Gordon is sideways in the middle three wide as Kahne slides up in front of Gordon and is tapped by Martin when Gordon has nowhere to go. Kyle Busch scrapes along the wall followed by Logano. Gordon is missed by inches by Mears / Cassill.
Johnson / Gordon come in leaving Earnhardt Jr. on the track. Gordon remains on pit road for additional repairs as the others who came in for a stop.
We are going to a GREEN-WHITE-CHECKERED finish. Currently we see Newman, Hamlin, Kenseth, Ragan, Vickers, Kahne, Harvick, Menard, Logano, Martin, McMurray, Mears, Montoya, Cassill, Truex Jr., Reutimann, Bowyer, Burton, Smith and Kurt Busch are the top twenty.
GREEN FLAG as we are plus 2 on the counter as Newman and Hamlin are side by side followed by Kenseth and Ragan. Newman is able to drop in front of Hamlin and it’s the big one as…
YELLOW FLAG as Martin is side swiped by Vickers and Logano in turn one which collects Stewart, Gilliland, Keselowski, Ragan, Mears, Cassill, Reutimann, Truex Jr., Nemechek and Bowyer. Clean up will take a while
Lap 166 we are at one to go as Newman, Ragan, Kenseth, Hamlin, Harvick, Menard, Logano, Kahne, McMurray, Montoya, Earnhardt Jr., Gilliland, Keselowski, Burton, Kyle Busch, Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Vickers and Allmendinger are the top twenty.
GREEN FLAG #2 as Ragan / Kenseth and Newman / Hamlin hook back up. Logano has Kahne on the outside while Newman / Hamlin are sliding back.
WHITE FLAG as Ragan / Kenseth lead followed by Logano / Kahne heading into turn three.
Trouble behind the leaders of Ragan / Kenseth who win the race and we have two wrecks in turns three and four.
As the drivers head into turn three Reutimann is pushing Cassill in the middle while Ambrose following Allmendinger is clipped by Cassill. Ambrose spins in front of the two along with Stewart and Vickers on the inside are clipped by Ambrose who then comes back into Cassill and Reutimann as the crash into the outside turn three wall.
Cassill slides down into Vickers where Stewart squeaks out from the incident. The other four drivers crashing and sliding down to the apron. After that more trouble hits the field coming out of turn four as Menard following Harvick on the outside comes down on McMurray in the middle with Earnhardt Jr. on the low line see the two get together.
Earnhardt Jr. is hit from behind by Burton and Newman then chain reacts by Hamlin. The force of the momentum pushes McMurray sideways and into the outside line of his teammate Montoya with Burton crashing into Johnson.
Earnhardt Jr. spins on the apron just missed by Hamlin. Newman is hooked into the back of Burton as they hit Johnson. At this point cars go everywhere spinning and crashing into each other. Burton heads for the inside wall as Montoya and Newman are crashing on the outside wall. Hamlin and Johnson eat some grass of the infield as does McMurray. This all unfolds in front of Stewart who rides the apron dodging and ducking the others.
CHECERED FLAG for Ragan. Kenseth scores second followed by Logano, Kahne, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Menard, Montoya and Allmendinger.
The race lasted for two hours and forty-three minutes.
We saw 58 lead changes among 25 leaders. 6 cautions were on the track that lasted for 20 laps. 26 drivers finished on the lead lap with 41 drivers were shown running the race.
|Unofficial Race Results|
|Coke Zero 400, Daytona International Speedway|
|19||6||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||26|
|27||7||71||Andy Lally *||Ford||17|
|35||34||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||10|