RELATED: NASCAR doubles restart zone " Drivers weigh in on restart change DOVER, Del. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers appear to be pleased with NASCAR's decision to lengthen the restart zone used at tracks, but say that the move won't completely erase the gamesmanship that plays out when the field prepares to take the green flag. The sanctioning body announced earlier this week that the restart zone for this weekend's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway had been expanded from 70 feet to 140 feet. Likewise, the zones at upcoming events in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup would also be expanded, with the actual length of the zone to be determined by the size of the track. Restart zones, located prior to the start/finish line, indicate where the race leader, or control car, is allowed to accelerate when the race is either beginning or coming out of a caution period. Issues with drivers timing their starts to gain an advantage on the leader have led to complaints from competitors and explanations of how restarts are policed as well as warnings to toe the line during drivers' meetings. Beginning with the first Chase race, at Chicagoland Speedway , NASCAR stationed an official inside the track near the restart zone, and added a high definition camera to provide additional information should the need arise. At Chicagoland, Jeff Gordon appeared to jump the restart while starting second alongside Kyle Busch . NASCAR reviewed the restart and eventually ruled that no infraction took place. RELATED: What NASCAR said after the Chicagoland restart was reviewed Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , Brad Keselowski was black-flagged for jumping the restart, although he did not complete a pass of race leader Greg Biffle during the restart. "I absolutely love it," Gordon, a four-time series champion, said Friday at Dover. "I think it's a great move." Gordon's been around longer than any current full-time driver, and has seen the way NASCAR handles restarts evolve from single-file to double-file, from not allowing the leader to be passed before the start/finish line to making that line a non-factor on restarts. The use of restart zones and how they have been policed, while a good idea, was "too extreme," according to the Hendrick Motorsports driver. "It used to be a mark on the wall and it was go in the vicinity of this mark and this area, but really the way the rules were written you could kind of go all the way to the start/finish line," he said. "People pushed the limits on that and forced NASCAR to make this box that we currently have. "The box was always too small. It just makes the whole front row very vulnerable and not just the second-place car, but the leader as well. It has needed to be bigger. My only question is did they go big enough?" Gordon said he had his team's engineers do a study of the restart zones, and discovered that "the average time that you are in that box and had time to react to a restart was barely more than one second. "It may look like it's fairly big out there, (but) it is not," he said. "When you have one second to react in that area everyone can just anticipate what is going on but the people in the front row." The fact that a driver is the leader, said Joe Gibbs Racing 's Kyle Busch , should provide him with some advantage, however slight it might be. "This business isn't easy," Busch said. "... I think the biggest thing is just NASCAR making sure that they watch the roll – the people rolling up on other people. And … I feel as though the second-place guy can't beat the leader to the first (restart zone) mark, the end of the restart zone. "It doesn't matter about the start-finish line. It's the restart zone I feel like the leader should always be ahead." While extending the zone will give officials a bigger window in which to determine if a driver has jumped a restart, the change won't end drivers' attempts to push the envelope. But by finally ruling against a driver on a restart – something officials had not done recently – teams now know the possibility of the call coming down exists. "There's going to be plenty of gamesmanship still, and I think NASCAR has also set the precedent with what they did last week and enforcing the rule," Joey Logano , Keselowski's teammate at Team Penske , said. "That's something they need to continue doing. "It's not just having it happen one time and ... scare us, and then don't do anything about it for the next three weeks. "They finally put their foot down last week on what we can and can't do, and that rule needs to be consistent and make sure that when they see something they make the same call and be consistent with that."
RELATED: Team transporter catches fire coming home from Kentucky DOVER, Del. -- It might be the oldest transporter in the garage. Hard to say, but if there's one older … Up front in the lounge area there are mirrors on the ceiling. The cabinet includes a stereo system that features a side-by-side cassette tape deck. The lone photo on the wall is an artist's rendering of the No. 52 entry. The car in the picture is sporting sponsorship from Alka-Seltzer. Maybe it's the oldest hauler, maybe not. But the white trailer used to move the Jimmy Means Racing entry from its shop in North Carolina to Dover International Speedway this weekend served its purpose. Called back into active duty after a fire destroyed the team's primary hauler, it's a throwback of sorts to an earlier era. "Watch your head when you go up there," team owner Jimmy Means advised. "This one's old school." Driver Joey Gase finished 21st in last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race and Means was headed back to North Carolina when a wheel bearing overheated and caught a tire on fire. The fire quickly spread into the hauler. RELATED: Dover race results "We had just stopped 30 miles up the road," Means said Saturday, "fueled up and I personally went around and laid my hand on all the hubs and they were normal." In the days after the incident, other teams reached out and offered assistance. Some offered to loan trailers. One Sprint Cup team owner told his group to give Means whatever he needed to make sure he made it to the next race. Friends and fans raised more than $10,000. Fortunately, help from the No. 22 Team Penske team, which stopped to help, lessened the damage done by the fire. "If it hadn’t been for them … we used up all the fire extinguishers, 42 bottles of water, coke soda, orange soda, ice by the handful," Means said. "We actually thought we had it out and it (flared) up again and we were all out of supplies. Watched it burn for about 15 or 20 minutes until the fire department got there. "At least they helped us keep it from burning the cars up. If they hadn't have stopped it would have burned the cars up for sure." Other than damage to the hauler itself, and the pit box used on pit road, most of the damage to the contents was smoke and water related. The cars, while looking the worse for wear, were salvageable. The trailer and pit box were not. Gase competed in Saturday's Hisense 200 at Dover in the same car he raced at Kentucky. "The cars, I'm amazed they weren't hurt" Means said. "They needed to be completely taken apart, everything painted and all that. They did get warm and from the water on them naturally they all rusted. Plastic strips to keep the heat and the air in (at the rear of the transporter) melted, all that went up in the air and just settled on everything. It was just a big mess. "It really didn't hurt the equipment that much other than just being filthy and water damage to some of it. We were fortunate that our radios were in the front … did get a little water damage but didn't get any intense heat." Prepping the back-up hauler, built in 1990, was a task in itself. It had been sitting idle for several years -- Means said he hadn't kept the license plates up to date and had to rush to the courthouse to pay three years' worth of taxes to get it back on the road. Volunteers joined in to help the team prepare for this week’s race. "Definitely a thrash to get it done," he said. "Actually, by the last day it came out better than we thought it was going to be. We were prepared to be here Friday morning; we loaded Wednesday night at 9:30. Thought that was a pretty good job. "Probably the average age of the crew helping us was 65. Anywhere from 78, 74, 65, 68 working on this stuff, getting it clean. Crew chief (Tim Brown) did a whale of a job of getting everything cleaned up and hopefully putting on the truck what we needed to get through this weekend. That will give us a little more time to get this thing stocked so we can operate out of it the rest of the year." Gase called it "kind of the worst time possible for us for this to happen," but said after going through the car "as best we could," nothing seemed beyond repair. "We had a lot of guys come in, worked a lot of hours, even my girlfriend came in and helped get everything cleaned up," he said. "That was the hardest thing. But it was a group effort and I think we did pretty good to get it back and get it here." Gase's Donate Life Chevrolet started 28th Saturday as the field was set per the rulebook when qualifying was canceled. After a flat left rear early in the race, he finished 24th. It wasn't a win, but given all that the team had to overcome just to get to Dover, it was impressive just the same.
It was announced on Thursday that the NASCAR sanctioning body changed the restart zone for this weekend's races at Dover International Speedway . The zone will double from 70 feet to 140 feet, but no other rules have changed, according to NASCAR. After the news broke, drivers took to social media to express their opinions on the change. RELATED: NASCAR doubles restart zone for Dover should be even larger at the 1.5 mile tracks and plate tracks. Good change though. https://t.co/bCAy6ok1Vg — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) October 1, 2015 Glad to see @NASCAR expanding the restart zone. This is what a lot of drivers were asking for. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) October 1, 2015 I think the new restart zone is going to be great. The games will now be played in the zone. What's everyone else think? — Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) October 1, 2015 Great change by @nascar to double the restart zone. Gives leader more of a opportunity to decide when to start the race. — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) October 1, 2015 I can assure you this decision is one that the DRIVERS helped influence. We live it each week and this is a step in the right direction — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) October 1, 2015 @NASCAR good decision. The leader should have an advantage for leading the race, this will help that. — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) October 1, 2015 Just like in this picture.. Lost the race because the 2nd place car jumped the restart.. That should never happen. https://t.co/Pl4v5ruuvp — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) October 1, 2015
Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Gordon talk about issues with restarts with hopes that the new restart zone expansion will correct the process.
A statistical look ahead to the 17th race of the Sprint Cup season DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 29, 2015) – Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida going into the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola on July 5 (7:45 p.m. ET on NBC). DAYTONA-SPECIFIC STATISTICS Greg Biffle (No. 16 CHEEZ-IT Ford) · One win, three top fives, eight top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.2 · Average Running Position of 17.1, 10th-best · Driver Rating of 81.8, 12th-best · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,132 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.161 mph, sixth-fastest · 1,978 Laps in the Top 15 (52.7%), ninth-most · 2,382 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 12th-most Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota) · Three top fives, nine top 10s · Average finish of 15.5 · Average Running Position of 17.5, 11th-best · Driver Rating of 84.0, 10th-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 3,939 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.212 mph, second-fastest Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet) · 11 top fives, 14 top 10s · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 15.8, seventh-best · Driver Rating of 90.5, third-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 3,864 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most · 2,161 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), sixth-most · 2,724 Quality Passes, seventh-most Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) · One win, five top fives, six top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 19.1 · Series-best Average Running Position of 12.8 · Series-best Driver Rating of 96.2 · 85 Fastest Laps Run, third-most · 4,023 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.207 mph, third-fastest · Series-high 2,488 Laps in the Top 15 (70.1%) · 2,869 Quality Passes, fourth-most Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet) · Three wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 13.1 · Average Running Position of 14.1, second-best · Driver Rating of 91.9, second-best · 89 Fastest Laps Run, second-most · 4,353 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.086 mph, 10th-fastest · 2,475 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), second-most · 2,968 Quality Passes, second-most Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AXALTA Chevrolet) · Six wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s; four poles · Average finish of 16.6 · Average Running Position of 14.3, third-best · Driver Rating of 88.0, fifth-best · 4,157 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most · 2,274 Laps in the Top 15 (60.6%), fifth-most · 2,709 Quality Passes, eighth-most Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota) · Four top fives, five top 10s · Average finish of 18.7 · Average Running Position of 15.4, sixth-best · Driver Rating of 87.7, seventh-best · 82 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most · 4,018 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.154 mph, seventh-fastest · 1,901 Laps in the Top 15 (56.1%), 12th-most · 2,444 Quality Passes, 11th-most Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet) · Three wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles · Average finish of 17.5 · Average Running Position of 14.6, fourth-best · Driver Rating of 87.9, sixth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.067 mph, 12th-fastest · 2,378 Laps in the Top 15 (63.4%), third-most · 2,753 Quality Passes, sixth-most Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Great Clips-Shark Week Chevrolet) · Two top fives, eight top 10s · Average finish of 19.4 · Average Running Position of 16.6, ninth-best · Driver Rating of 83.3, 11th-best · 71 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most · 4,572 Green Flag Passes, second-most · 2,001 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), seventh-most · 2,825 Quality Passes, fifth-most Matt Kenseth (No. 20 DeWalt Made In The USA Toyota) · Two wins, six top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 17.8 · Average Running Position of 15.3, fifth-best · Driver Rating of 89.9, fourth-best · 80 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most · 2,277 Laps in the Top 15 (60.7%), fourth-most · 2,556 Quality Passes, ninth-most Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford) · One win, three top fives, four top 10s · Average finish of 18.3 · Average Running Position of 16.5, eighth-best · Driver Rating of 85.8, ninth-best · Average Green Flag Speed of 190.144 mph, eighth-fastest Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) · Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole · Average finish of 18.5 · Driver Rating of 86.6, eighth-best · 76 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most · 1,958 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2%), 10th-most The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 10 at Daytona International Speedway Driver Races Poles Wins Top Fives Top 10s DNFs Average Finish Driver Rating 1 Kevin Harvick 28 1 2 7 12 3 16.2 81.6 2 Martin Truex Jr. 20 1 0 0 2 4 22.5 76.7 3 Joey Logano 13 0 1 3 4 2 18.3 85.8 4 Jimmie Johnson 27 2 3 10 13 6 17.5 87.9 5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 31 1 3 12 18 3 13.1 91.9 6 Brad Keselowski 12 0 0 2 3 4 21.8 75.5 7 Jamie McMurray 25 0 2 3 5 8 23.7 79.5 8 Kasey Kahne 23 0 0 2 8 5 19.4 83.3 9 Matt Kenseth 31 1 2 6 14 5 17.8 89.9 10 Kurt Busch 28 0 0 11 14 1 17.5 90.5 * – Based on last 21 races at Daytona International Speedway. Daytona International Speedway Data Season Race #: 17 of 36 (07-05-15) Track Size : 2.5-mile Banking/Turns 1 & 2 : 31 degrees Banking/Turns 3 & 4 : 31 degrees Banking/Straights : 3 degrees Banking/Tri-Oval : 18 degrees Frontstretch Length : 3,800 feet Backstretch Length : 3,000 feet Race Length : 160 laps / 400 miles Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona Kyle Busch ................................. 96.2 Dale Earnhardt Jr ........................ 91.9 Kurt Busch. ................................. 90.5 Matt Kenseth .............................. 89.9 Jeff Gordon ................................ 88.0 Jimmie Johnson .......................... 87.9 Denny Hamlin ............................. 87.7 Tony Stewart ............................... 86.6 Joey Logano .............................. 85.8 Clint Bowyer ............................... 84.0 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Daytona International Speedway. Qualifying/Race Data 2014 pole winner : David Gilliland, Ford 199.322 mph, 45.153 secs 07-04-14 2014 race winner : Aric Almirola, Ford 130.014 mph, (02:09:13), 07-06-14 Track qualifying record (July race): Cale Yarborough, Ford 203.519 mph, 44.222 secs 07-02-86 Track race record (July race): Bobby Allison, Mercury 173.473 mph, (02:18:21), 07-04-80 AT DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: History · Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd. · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959 – won by Bob Welborn . · The first summer race at Daytona International Speedway was held on July 4, 1959 – won by Fireball Roberts (140.581 mph). · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona. · Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since. · The track underwent a repave in 2010. Starts · There have been 136 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 57 have been 500 miles, 52 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races. · 445 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series July race at Daytona International Speedway; 277 in more than one. · Richard Petty leads the series in July race starts at Daytona with 32. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 22 starts – this weekend will be Gordon’s final start at Daytona. · Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Daytona International Speedway, though none were during the July race: Tony Stewart (2/14/99), Casey Mears (2/16/03), Kasey Kahne (2/15/04), Brendan Gaughan (2/15/04) Danica Patrick (2/27/12), Alex Bowman (2/23/14), Michael Annett (2/23/14). Poles · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole for the July race at Daytona in 1959 with a speed of 144.997 mph. · 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Daytona for the July event, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough with eight. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Daytona July race poles, with two. Gordon started first in 2007 due to qualifying being cancelled as well. · Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles for the July race at Daytona: Cale Yarborough (1970-’71; 1980-’81, 1983-’84), Sterling Marlin (1991-’92) and Dale Earnhardt (1994-’95). · Youngest Daytona July race pole winner: Jeff Gordon (07/06/1996 - 24 years, 11 months, 2 days); all-time track record belongs to Austin Dillon (02/23/2014 – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days). · Oldest Daytona pole winner: Mark Martin (07/02/2011 – 52 years, 5 months, 23 days). · Six active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Daytona International Speedway: Greg Biffle (2/15/04), Kevin Harvick (7/6/02), Jimmie Johnson (2/17/02), Paul Menard (7/5/08), Danica Patrick (2/24/13) and Austin Dillon (2/23/2014). Wins Drivers who have swept both races (Daytona 500 and the July race) at Daytona: Fireball Roberts – 1962 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 250) Cale Yarborough – 1968 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) LeeRoy Yarborough – 1969 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Bobbie Allison – 1982 (Daytona 500, Firecracker 400) Jimmie Johnson – 2013 (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola) 35 different drivers have won the July race at Daytona International Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson with five wins. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with four; followed by Jeff Gordon with three. · Five drivers have posted consecutive wins in the July race at Daytona International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (1972 - 1974). · Tony Stewart (2005-’06) is the only active driver to win consecutive July races at Daytona. · Youngest Daytona July race winner: Kyle Busch (07/01/2008 – 23 years, 2 months, 3 days); all-time track record - Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 – 20 years, 0 months, 1 day). · Oldest Daytona July race winner: Bobby Allison (07/04/1987 – 49 years, 7 months, 1 day); all-time track record - Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 – 50 years, 5 months, 23 days). · The Wood Brothers have the most wins at Daytona in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 13. · Seven different manufacturers have won the July NSCS race at Daytona: Manufacturer Daytona July Race Wins Chevrolet 18 Ford 17 Mercury 7 Dodge 5 Pontiac 5 Buick 3 Toyota 1 Eight of the 56 (14.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2010. · The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (eight) than any other starting position in the July race at Daytona International Speedway. · 15 of the 56 (26.7%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from the front row: eight from the pole and seven from second-place. · 41 of the 56 (73.2%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona have been won from a top-10 starting position. · Four of the 56 (7.1%) July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona have been won from a starting position outside the top 20. · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Daytona is 42nd, by Tony Stewart in the 2012 July race. · Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Daytona International Speedway; two were during the July race: Trevor Bayne (2/20/11), Greg Biffle (7/5/03), David Ragan (7/2/11) and Michael Waltrip (2/18/01). · Greg Biffle won the July race at Daytona in his first appearance. · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Daytona with 710 laps led in 45 starts. · Tony Stewart leads the series among active drivers in laps led in the July race at Daytona with 369; followed by Jeff Gordon with 318 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 243. · Fewest laps led by a July race winner at Daytona are one lap led by Jimmy Spencer in 1994. The fewest laps led by an active July race winner at Daytona are three laps led by Jamie McMurray in 2007. Additional Finishing Position Stats · Buddy Baker leads the series in runner-up finishes in the July race at Daytona with five; followed by Richard Petty and Sterling Marlin with four. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch lead all active drivers with two each. · NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in top-five finishes in the July race at Daytona with 13; followed by Richard Petty with 12. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven. Additional Finishing Position Stats · David Pearson leads the series in top-10 finishes in the July race at Daytona with 19; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 18. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 11. · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Daytona with a 9.926. · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Daytona with a 13.065. · Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Daytona without visiting Victory Lane at 28. Female Competitor Stats · Five female drivers have competed in the July event at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Christine Beckers, Lella Lombardi, Patty Moise and Shawna Robinson. Below they are ordered by best finish: Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Date Danica Patrick 29 8 7/6/2014 Danica Patrick 11 14 7/6/2013 Shawna Robinson 27 40 7/6/2002 Patty Moise 35 39 7/1/1989 Patty Moise 33 26 7/2/1988 Janet Guthrie 36 11 7/4/1978 Christine Beckers 37 37 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 20 40 7/4/1977 Lella Lombardi 29 31 7/4/1977 Janet Guthrie 33 15 7/4/1976 Track Event Stats · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway for the July race was the July 7, 2007 race won by Jamie McMurray over
Vice Chairman: XFINITY race 'example of unintended consequences' NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton warned drivers about blocking in Sunday's Coke Zero 400 (7:45 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM), addressing the 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pilots during the drivers' meeting at Daytona International Speedway. Following a video highlighting the rules for the 160-lap, 400-mile race, Helton discussed the evolution of the double yellow stripe, which is in place at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. "The rationale behind that came from the evolution of actions and the equipment on the race track gave you the ability to move around," Helton said. "It got to a point where the drivers , you, were comfortable enough to make moves that ended up putting the rest of the field or many other cars in jeopardy. "So those actions, over time, we tried to figure out how NASCAR would respond to that, and we created that double yellow line that's only in Daytona and Talladega. "And I point to that because blocking is kind of creeping that way here and in Talladega. Last night's race, I think, was an example of the unintended consequences that can come from a blocking move." Late in Saturday's Subway Firecracker 250 , leader Brian Scott moved down the track to block Elliott Sadler , sending both cars into the outside wall on the backstretch and leading to a 10-car pileup. "We were definitely in the catbird seat there going down the back straightaway there; we had Joey Logano pushing us and had a lot of momentum coming off Turn 2 and were making our way to the front," Sadler said. "I think either Brian or his spotter made the block too late; I was already up to his right rear tire. He made the block to late and wrecked us. It was nothing intentional, it's just racing." RELATED: Scott blocks Sadler in Saturday's race Ryan Newman asked Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck what constituted going below the double yellow line, and Buck responded left-side tires on the inside of the inside line. Helton noted he was "not telling you how to drive the race cars ... but drivers , be conscious about the moves that you're making on the race track, particularly when it comes to what we call blocking. So just think about that tonight in the race." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Check out the best in-car audio from a wild Coke Zero 400 including in-car audio from cars involved in the crazy last-lap wreck.
Annett, DiBenedetto helped to care center after 5-hour ENERGY 301 RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings LOUDON, N.H. – Following Sunday's race, a pair of drivers were taken to the infield care center to receive treatment for heat-related issues. No, this wasn't the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in the middle of July, it was ... New Hampshire? MORE: Dale Jr. 'had to drive real hard all day long' After relatively cool -- but somewhat expected -- temperatures for practice and qualifying sessions Friday and Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sunday's 5-hour ENERGY 301 was run under steamy, Daytona-like conditions. Humidity spiked, thermometers rose and drivers drooped. Michael Annett and Matt DiBenedetto each had to be helped to the care center after the checkered flag dropped, spending about an hour and a half receiving treatment before being released. AJ Allmendinger also needed to be tended to in his hauler before leaving the track. I'm fine. Had strep throat all weekend. Was warm in the car. Nothing a little water and ice after couldn't fix afterwards. All good here. — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) July 19, 2015 Brad Keselowski , Sunday's runner-up, looked paler than his white No. 2 Team Penske Ford when he was in the media center and all but needed to cut his press conference short just to regain his breath. "Ready to go home," Keselowski said. "Ready to go home." "It was hot out there," Dale Earnhardt Jr . agreed. DiBenedetto was feeling better after being treated later tweeting "Thanks for the concern everyone ... I got dehydrated and sick but the infield care center gave me fluids and I'm a little better. It was hot!" It was abundantly clear that heat was the overlying theme of the race, as several drivers made a point to say how much the temperatures affected them and their race cars. Hottest race of the year so far today. I drank 100oz of electrolyte fluids in the car (5 bottles), and another 60oz after. Still behind. — landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 19, 2015 "That was a tough one for sure. It was hot out there. We worked hard," said Austin Dillon . "The heat of the day kind of threw us for a loop and we just weren't very good," explained Ryan Blaney . Even super-athlete Jimmie Johnson , who has battled heat exhaustion before, noted that, "It was toasty for sure. It's weird how much hotter we are in the cars at Dover and Loudon." An added condition that Allmendinger was battling was the dreaded mid-summer cold, too. "I wasn't as my best today either," said Allmendinger, who finished 13th. "I've been battling strep throat. It was very hot today and I got frustrated at times because I wasn't feeling good." One driver who was able to brave the elements and come out on the other side healthy -- and in Victory Lane -- was race-winner Kyle Busch . "I'm definitely warm," said Busch, who needed to fill up his water bottle and take long sips from it before answering questions in his post-race press conference. "I'm still trying to cool down right now, as cold as it is in (the media center). You get that brisk when you walk through the door but then after that you're like ‘OK, I need more.' "It's warm. This is one of the warmest days I think I've ever remembered up here in this part of the country. Fortunately for me, I was all good. I've got a really good team of guys that work on my seat for me and I've really been nitpicking them this year to try and get more comfortable each week and it's really paying off. Hopefully now that they see us winning some races and I'm thankful to them for giving me the right cooling and everything." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Debate raised after Austin Dillon's crash at Daytona RELATED: NASCAR poring over data from Dillon's Daytona wreck SPARTA, Ky. -- Jamie McMurray couldn't see much. His No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet propelled wildly across the start-finish line under a shower of debris after being collected in the last-lap wreck that sent Austin Dillon ’s airborne No. 3 into the catch fence in Sunday's midnight Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Judging by restrictor plate track history, McMurray expected that the steady rhythm of drafting was about to hit a sharp note in the race's final whirl around the superspeedway. "When we came off Turn 2, there was a huge pack of cars and you're gently pushing the guy in front of you and pushing him into the guy in front of him," McMurray recalled at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday. "And I think all of us knew heading into Turn 3 that when we came into Turn 4, it would not be gentle anymore. You're just going to mash the gas and shove the guy as hard as you can and hope that you make it through the wreck because all of us knew there was going to be a wreck either before the finish line or afterwards." But this wreck's severity may have been a tad more than McMurray and the rest of the field anticipated. Brad Keselowski experienced a firsthand look at the scene outside his window net, as his spinning No. 2 ride smacked hard into Dillon's upside-down vehicle seconds after the rest of cars cleared. It's a difficult subject to talk about for the 31-year-old driver, as his Team Penske Ford slipped in oil around 200 mph, allowing driver control to fall to the wayside. "Kind of the sad part is that I was honestly embarrassed that I hit Austin that long after the wreck," Keselowski said at Kentucky Speedway Thursday. "… There was just so much debris that even being as far behind as I was, you couldn't slow down at 200 mph. And that was frustrating. I felt very, very lucky when I got out of the car, went to Austin, saw that he was OK. "… Race cars are very, very well-designed and built for high impacts. They're not ever going to be very well-designed for multiple high impacts. So, when I hit Austin the second time, yeah I saw his first impact and when I knew I was going to hit the second time, his odds were a lot lower walking away." With the cars' tight drafting and high speeds, the "Big One" has become synonymous with restrictor plate racing at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway. And with the startling images of the wreck emblazoned in the minds of spectators and drivers alike, Dillon's wild ride resurfaced the ongoing question: are restrictor plate races' speeds safe enough? For fellow Sprint Cup Series driver Greg Biffle , whose No. 16 ride was also caught up in the final lap frenzy, driver/spectator welfare is -- and has been -- the first priority. Despite Keselowski's testimony that he wasn't able to slow down in time to avoid hitting Dillon, Biffle doesn't believe that slowing down the cars will mitigate the wrecks. Rather, he raises the point that the style of restrictor plate racing itself is what manifests into multicar melees. "Your first reaction is that these cars are really safe," Biffle said on Thursday at Kentucky Speedway. "… These cars, when you get bunched up and one guy gets jammed underneath the other guy and you're pushing these cars, they're gonna get upside-down or flip up in the air no matter what speed we're going. If we're going 125 miles an hour when you jam a wedge underneath another one, it's gonna pick it up in the air." MORE: Dillon discusses how he is feeling " Exclusive video of wreck, 88 crew reacts To Biffle, Dillon's mangled No. 3 Chevrolet and smashed catch fence serve as proof of safety rather than a cause for alarm. Rather than shaking a finger in disapproval, the Roush Fenway Racing driver applauded the efforts of the industry and its strides to making the sport safer. "It's just a testament to how safe our sport is," Biffle said. "NASCAR has done an unbelievable job with SAFER barriers, and run-off areas, and paving areas. I think about how dangerous Pocono was and how safe of a race track it is now with all of the paving and the SAFER barriers they've done on the inside. "I know it takes time for these tracks to react to these situations, but it just goes to show you that the engineering and what-not on that fence is what it needs to be and what it's supposed to be and it did its job. The safety equipment did the job inside the car and the good thing is we can learn from that and try to make improvements if we can." The incident still serves as a call to action for many drivers , as the sport continues to learn from past wrecks and on-track instances. "… You hope that you can learn from it and figure out a way to keep the cars on the ground, contain them from the fans even better than what we have." McMurray said. "You look back in the years in the sport and everything that we have has evolved from something like that. NASCAR has done a really nice job of learning from their mistakes and learning from accidents on the track and hopefully we'll learn from this one as well." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Read the notes NASCAR provides during the drivers' meeting