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2018 Coke Zero 400 Daytona Highlights

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Published on July 09, 2018 with No Comments

Erik Jones hImage result for Coke Zero 400 erik jonesas won the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in double overtime at Daytona International Speedway.

It was his first NASCAR Cup Series win.

Martin Truex Jr. finished second followed by AJ Allmendinger.

10:55 p.m. Update — Bubba Wallace turned Clint Bowyer exiting Turn 4 in the first overtime to send the Coke Zero Sugar 400 into a second overtime at Daytona International Speedway.

This latest crash took out several cars including Kevin Harvick, who had the lead going into the first overtime.

Martin Truex Jr. will start at the head of the field with teammate Erik Jones on the front row.

10:05p.m. Update — The sixth caution period came out when Kyle Larson, who won Friday’s Xfinity Series race, spun and took out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Turn 4.

After the lead pack went to the pits for service, Martin Truex Jr. emerged with the lead.

Behind him on the restart are Kasey Kahne, Austin Dillon, AJ Allmindinger and DJ Kennington.

Jimmie Johnson was penalized one lap for pitting outside the box during a green flag stop. He led 10 laps before the penalty was issued.

9:25 p.m. Update — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. grabbed Stage 2 of the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

“I tried to side draft (Kyle Busch) and it went wrong,” Stenhouse told NBC Sports during the Stage 2 caution.

“It’s been an eventful race for us,” he told MRN radio. “We need to finish this one off.”

Stenhouse, who drives the No. 17 Ford, who won both of the stages, was in the middle of two “Big One” crashes.

Michael McDowell finished second in Stage 2 followed by Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne and Ty Dillon.

There are 16 cars on the lead lap while 11 cars are out because of the massive pileups.

Stenhouse restarted 15th after an extended pit stop to fix some body damage.

9:10 p.m. Update — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bumped into Kyle Busch in Turn 3 creating another “Big One” crash in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Busch got into William Byron and half the field is in the garage.

This is the second wreck that Stenhouse has been involved in this race.

The race went back to green on Lap 70, 10 laps to complete Stage 2.

8:55 p.m. Update — Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s car tapped the rear bumper of Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford igniting a huge crash in Turn 3.

Twenty cars were either damaged or completely trashed in the melee.

Among those drivers getting beat up pretty bad were Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch and many more were effected by the crash.

“I was running in the line and we got clipped from behind,” Kurt Busch said.

“The No. 2 got wrecked and so did everybody else,” Hamlin said. “It’s unfortunate.”

“Ricky was pushing me and didn’t do anything wrong,” Keselowski said then added, “Look out at at Talladega.”

NASCAR kept the cars rolling instead of throwing a red flag.

The cars leading for the restart are William Byron, Stenhouse and Ryan Newman.

8:36 p.m. Update — Paul Menard spun off the course on the backstretch bringing out the first yellow flag for an incident.

Menard said he got a bump from Jimmie Johnson that caused him to go sideways.

Brad Keselowski is leading the race followed by William Byron and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

None of the leaders came to pit road for service.

8:20 p.m. Update — Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who won this race last year, scored the Stage 1 victory leading Lap 40 in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Stenhouse, who drives the No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford, led 28 laps in the first segment.

Kyle Busch pushed his way up to second place followed by Kyle Larson, William Byron and pole winner Chase Elliott.

There were no cautions in Stage 1.

7:50 p.m. Update — The 60th Coke Zero Sugar 400 has gone green at Daytona International Speedway.

The No. 99 Chevrolet of Landon Cassill was pushed by a wrecker around the 2.5-mile tri-oval and went straight to the garage.

Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and David Ragan went to the back of the field for unauthorized work on their stock cars.

7:25 p.m. Update — The Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway is about 30 minutes from the opening green flag.

There are showers in the area, but so far the 2.5-mile tri-oval has not been touched by rain. There are flashes of lightning in the distance.

The driver introductions are done and the opening ceremonies are about to begin.

The stadium is filling up with spectators as pit road is being cleared by Speedway personnel.

6:50 p.m. Update — Driver introductions are under way at Daytona International Speedway and after a threat of rain, the cars are uncovered and the race remains on target for a little less than an hour from now..

6:00 p.m. Update — Clouds are looming at Daytona International Speedway and the National Weather Service and Speedway staff are watching the skies closely.

Moments ago, NASCAR officials ordered the teams to cover the race cars, where they are lined up on the grid for the start of tonight’s race.

The storms are still a few miles west of the Speedway but moving very slowly east, said Derrick Weitlich, a meteorologist with the Weather Service office in Melbourne.

Driver introductions are scheduled to start at 6:20 with the green flag at 7:44.

4:30 p.m. UPDATE: The crowds are building at Daytona International Speedway as the green flag approaches for the Coke Zero Sugar 400.

It’s 83 degrees at the Speedway, with the wind blowing about 10 mph. So far, the weather appears to be holding.

Lots of military members are in the FanZone and infield as NASCAR concludes its annual six-week NASCAR Salutes tribute to the military.

Three Medal of Honor Recipients are here as guests for the race, including Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Staff Sgt. Dan Jenkins and Command Sgt. Major Gary Littrell, both Vietnam veterans. All three served in the U.S. Army.

“Freedom is not free, freedom is paid for by the lives and limbs of our men and women serving in the U.S. military,” Littrell said.

Memorial Day this year was the day that Petry celebrated his “10 year alive day.” He choked up in talking about what he has seen from the NASCAR teams this weekend.

“I fell in love with NASCAR last night,” Petry said.

Country music artist Josh Turner spoke to the media in the media center, and will soon begin his pre-race concert.

Turner confessed he prefers trucks to sports cars, but admitted he once drove as fast as 120 mph.

“I actually spun out,” he said, “and nearly hit a pine tree.” After that, he said, he drives “like a grandpa.”

Asked about his favorite venue for performing, Turner said it kind of comes down to the crowd.

“It doesn’t matter how great the venue is if you’re not connecting with the crowd like you want to.”

It could be “a rat hole of a venue, if you’re getting something out of it and connecting with the fans,” he said. “That’s what it’s always been about for me, it’s the people.”

“Unless you have that crowd that’s really into what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter.”

Driver introductions are scheduled to begin at 6:20 p.m. and the green flag is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m.

Chase Elliott is on the pole, with teammate Alex Bowman beside him on the front row

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