Late Move Gives Stewart The Win At Daytona
Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17
July 8, 2012
Tony Stewart had all the right moves, outlasting the dominant duo of Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle from Roush Fenway Racing to win the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Stewart made his move around Kenseth on the final lap and crossed the finish line as most of the remaining cars in the field crashed behind him coming out of turn four.
Jeff Burton made an incredible save in turn two of the final lap to avoid late crash, finished second in front of Kenseth, who settled for third. Joey Logano and Ryan Newman avoided the late carnage to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
The first half of the race was all green-flag racing with Kenseth and Biffle teamed together to dominate the first 81 laps.
The first caution of the race came on lap 82 when Sam Hornish Jr., a last-minute replacement for the suspended A.J. Allmendinger, blew a rear-tire causing heavy damage to the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge.
During the first caution, a scary moment on pit road ensued as Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman collided while leaving their pit stall after being pinched to the inside by Jeff Gordon. With the contact, Newman’s car slide sideways into Brad Keselowski’s car as the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge was being serviced in his pit stall. A NASCAR official and several crew members were forced to acted quickly to avoid the Newman’s on-coming car.
A second caution waved on lap 91 when Kurt Busch lost control of his car while in the middle of a three-wide pack of traffic. Busch slid up the track and made contact with Trevor Bayne forcing Bobby Labonte off the track while avoiding the incident.
On lap 124, Jimmie Johnson and others had planned to make a green-flag pitstop, but as Johnson slowed contact from Martin Truex Jr. from behind resulted in a multi-car crash near the entrance to pit road. Johnson’s car went head-first into the inside retaining wall in turn four, ending his evening for his third DNF at restrictor-plate tracks this season. Several others involved in the accident included, Truex, Gordon, Logano, Michael Waltrip, Bill Elliott and Regan Smith.
A number of cars, including the duo of Kenseth and Biffle, had already entered the pit road entrance when the caution came out but had not crossed the commitment line. With pit-road closed, Biffle continued down pit road and elected to stop for service, while teammate Kenseth made his way down pit road without stopping.
For his miscue, Biffle was forced to the back of the field for the restart for pitting while pit road was closed.
However, it didn’t take but a few laps before Biffle would catch Kenseth to re-establish the dominant duo that lead for much of the race. With just 20 laps to go, they had powered their way through the field to run fifth and sixth with the leaders in their sights.
The fourth caution of the race came on lap 144 of the race as Keselowski lost control of his car exiting turn two.
Stewart was the leader on the restart with 12 laps to go. The tandem of Kenseth and Biffle rocketed past Stewart with eight laps remaining as Kenseth regained the lead. Within seconds of the lead change, Denny Hamlin, who was among the leaders in the front pack, lost control of his car triggering a 14-car accident that left debris from multiple cars scattered across turn one. Trevor Bayne, Clint Bowyer, Gordon, Truex, Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose and Paul Menard were just a few of the drivers that suffered damage in the incident.
With just two-laps remaining when we returned to green-flag racing, it appeared Kenseth was in position to sweep both races at Daytona this season. As the pack came out of turn two on the final lap, Kenseth had separated from Biffle and elected to wait for his partner to re-engage with his rear bumper. That left the door open for Stewart, aided by a huge push from Kasey Kahne, to overtake Kenseth and hold on for the win.
Results of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona:
|1||42||14||Tony Stewart||MOBIL 1 / Office Depot Chevrolet||160||47||4||RUNNING||2||22|
|2||20||31||Jeff Burton||Wheaties Chevrolet||160||42||RUNNING|
|3||1||17||Matt Kenseth||Zest Ford||160||43||2||RUNNING||3||89|
|4||19||20||Joey Logano||Dollar General Toyota||160||40||RUNNING|
|5||2||39||Ryan Newman||Aspen Dental Chevrolet||160||39||RUNNING|
|6||12||99||Carl Edwards||Subway Ford||160||38||RUNNING|
|7||3||5||Kasey Kahne||HendrickCars.com Chevrolet||160||37||RUNNING|
|8||9||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||160||36||RUNNING|
|9||28||55||Michael Waltrip||Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota||160||35||RUNNING|
|10||41||47||Bobby Labonte||Kingsford Charcoal Toyota||160||34||RUNNING|
|11||39||10||David Reutimann||CarportEmpire.com/TMone.com Call Centers Chevrolet||160||33||RUNNING|
|12||5||24||Jeff Gordon||PepsiMax Chevrolet||160||32||RUNNING|
|13||30||1||Jamie McMurray||Bass Pro Shops / NRA Museum Chevrolet||160||31||RUNNING|
|14||13||27||Paul Menard||Quaker State / Menards Chevrolet||160||30||RUNNING|
|15||24||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Natl. Guard-An AmericanSalute/DietMntnDew Chev||160||29||RUNNING|
|16||40||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota||160||28||RUNNING|
|17||18||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Batteries Toyota||160||28||1||RUNNING||1||2|
|18||7||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||160||27||1||RUNNING||1||1|
|19||17||43||Aric Almirola||U.S. Air Force Ford||160||25||RUNNING|
|20||34||32||Terry Labonte||C & J Energy Services Ford||160||24||RUNNING|
|21||4||16||Greg Biffle||3M Ford||160||24||1||RUNNING||1||35|
|22||33||36||Dave Blaney||Golden Corral Chevrolet||160||22||RUNNING|
|23||11||29||Kevin Harvick||Budweiser Folds of Honor Chevrolet||159||21||RUNNING|
|24||22||18||Kyle Busch||Interstate Batteries Toyota||159||21||1||RUNNING||2||6|
|25||23||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Office Toyota||156||19||RUNNING|
|26||27||34||David Ragan||MHP 8-hour Alert Ford||154||19||1||Accident||1||1|
|27||15||21||Trevor Bayne(i)||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford||152||0||Accident|
|28||14||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||152||16||Accident|
|29||29||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||152||15||Accident|
|30||10||9||Marcos Ambrose||DeWalt Ford||152||14||Accident|
|31||32||38||David Gilliland||Glory Foods Ford||152||14||1||Accident||1||1|
|32||38||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota||151||12||RUNNING|
|33||8||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||149||0||RUNNING|
|34||25||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row / Farm American Chevrolet||133||10||RUNNING|
|35||35||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet||132||9||RUNNING|
|36||16||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe’s Chevrolet||123||8||Accident|
|37||6||50||Bill Elliott||Walmart Chevrolet||123||7||Accident|
|38||31||26||Josh Wise||MDS Transport Ford||47||7||1||Transmission||1||3|
|39||26||30||David Stremme||Stock Car Steel and Aluminum Toyota||25||5||Rear Gear|
|40||43||49||JJ Yeley||Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota||16||4||Overheating|
|41||36||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota||10||0||Overheating|
|42||37||33||Stephen Leicht||LittleJoesAutos.com Chevrolet||4||2||Overheating|
|43||21||98||Michael McDowell||Phil Parsons Racing Ford||3||1||Overheating|
Posted: July 8th, 2012
Categories: Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Results.
Tags: COKE ZERO 400, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, kasey kahne, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish Jr., Tony Stewart