Catch up quickly for the Coke Zero 400 (Sunday, NBC) RELATED: Full lineup for Sunday's race " See all 43 cars that will be on track What: Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola Where: Daytona International Speedway, 2.5-mile oval in Daytona Beach, Florida When: Sunday, July 5, 11 p.m. ET TV/Radio: NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Distance: 160 laps, 400 miles Pit road speed: 55 mph Caution car speed: 70 mph Fuel window: 36 laps Competition caution: Lap 25 On the front row: Two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . will start from the pole at Daytona for only the second time in his career (he won the pole for the 2011 Daytona 500 ) after bad weather cancelled qualifying Saturday night and the field was set by first practice speeds, per the NASCAR rule book. Austin Dillon , who won the 2014 Daytona 500 pole position, will start alongside Earnhardt. RELATED: Dale Jr. wins Coors Light Pole at Daytona Fastest in practice: Earnhardt's pace-setting 202.284-mph lap in Friday's opening practice was good enough to put his No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet on the pole. Dillon, Clint Bowyer , Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five. Danica Patrick was fastest in the second practice, but will start 28th -- her best effort in the first practice. Last year's winner: Aric Almirola gave team owner Richard Petty's famous No. 43 its first win on the Daytona high banks since 1984 after rain forced the event to be called 48 laps short of its 160-lap scheduled finish. On the line: With only 10 races remaining to set the 16-car Chase field, several top-shelf drivers are still trying to earn their first win of the season and automatic entry into the Chase playoff. Preseason favorites such as Clint Bowyer , three-time Cup champ Tony Stewart , Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMuray and Kyle Larson and Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne are among the A-list names still looking for a victory. RELATED: Which winless driver has best Daytona stats? Farewell: This will be the last Sprint Cup Series start at Daytona for three-time Daytona 500 winner Gordon, who is retiring at the end of the season from his famed No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Daytona International Speedway is home to Gordon's very first NASCAR victory -- a win in the 1993 Daytona 500 qualifying race in his first start. Gordon's track record here is among the all-time bests with three wins in the summer Coke Zero 400 to go with his three Daytona 500 wins, five Budweiser Duel victories, two wins in the Sprint Unlimited and a victory in the 1998 IROC race. He will start his No. 24 Axalta Chevy 23rd in his final start. Overdue: Stewart may be enduring the toughest season start of his storied career, but Daytona has been a good place for Stewart with the exception of the Daytona 500 . He has 19 career wins here -- multiple victories in every race he's entered outside the 500. He leads all active drivers with four wins in the Coke Zero 400 and is the only active driver to score back-to-back wins in the race (2005-06). And he has led more laps (369) in this race than any other active driver. Although he will start the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy from the 31st position, he was fourth-fastest in the second practice session Friday. He won this race in 2012 after starting 42nd. Stewart is ranked 26th in the championship standings with only one top-10 finish on the season. RELATED: Stewart has a shot at Daytona Nuts and Bolts: A whopping 73 percent of all Daytona summer races have been won from a top-10 starting position. ... If pole sitter Earnhardt Jr. stays in front of the field for 46 laps Sunday he will have led 8,000 laps in his Sprint Cup career. ... Kurt Busch has the longest Daytona winless streak on the starting grid with an 0-for-28 record here. He said it: "I come into restrictor plate races feeling like we have very fast race cars and that we have a chance to come out of here with a great finish, if not a win, as much or more so as the field. And at the same time, that thought and confidence is followed right up with, 'When was the last time I finished one of these races?'" -- Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet) MORE: Gordon, Earnhardt Jr. on the drivers' council FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Complete news and notes on all 43 drivers in the Coke Zero 400 RELATED: Full race results " Series standings " Chase Grid Breaking down how the full 43-car field fared at Daytona International Speedway 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr ., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . It was initially a muted celebration for Earnhardt's second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory of the year as he watched Austin Dillon 's horrifying crash from his rear-view mirror after the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway. His No. 88 ride dominated, leading six times for 96 laps in the 161-lap main event. " WATCH: Dale Jr. on big week, scary crash 2. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt's stablemate was one of few drivers within striking distance at the finish. Johnson paced 35 laps, the only other driver with more than 10 laps led in the Coke Zero 400 . " MORE: Johnson pleased with 1-2 Hendrick finish 3. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . The JGR driver landed his first top-five finish since winning at Martinsville Speedway in March, but came across the finish line sideways at the checkered flag after contact with Kevin Harvick ignited the final massive crash of the night. " WATCH: Hamlin reacts to wild wreck 4. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick took the checkered flag at the leading edge of the race-ending melee, making the cool-down lap with heavy front-end damage. He remained the Sprint Cup Series points leader with his fourth top-five finish in the last five races. " MORE: See the updated Chase Grid 5. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Busch held on to avoid the brunt of the damage erupting around him on the final-lap crash to secure his fourth straight top-five finish, moving him to eighth in Sprint Cup Series points despite missing three races to start the season. 6. Jeff Gordon , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Gordon wound up sliding out of control after taking the checkered flag for the final time at the 2.5-mile track, but clinched his ninth top-10 finish of the year. Barring an unexpected return to competition, Gordon's career will end with six Daytona wins on his resume. 7. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon, the NASCAR XFINITY Series winner the night before, emerged largely unscathed after his No. 3 entry went tumbling into the catch fencing not far from the start-finish line. He walked away from the crash and offered a wave to the crowd with a nod to former professional bull rider Lane Frost. " MORE: Dillon shaken, but OK after massive wreck 8. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman caught part of the massive crash at the finish. His RCR entry led its first lap since Martinsville in March as Newman posted his second straight top-10 effort. 9. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne went skidding as part of the pileup at the checkered flag, but recorded his second top-10 finish of the year in the No. 6. 10. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . The MWR driver eked out his third consecutive top-10 finish in spite of early contact in the first crash of the day and being caught in the midst of the race-ending tangle, with Dillon's airborne car sailing over his No. 15. Bowyer was among seven drivers credited with leading just one lap. " WATCH: See the contact Bowyer had 11. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears' team recovered from an early pit-road penalty and repairs of a faulty sensor that caused the No. 13 to lose power. He just missed his second top-10 of the season; the first came in the Daytona 500 . 12. David Ragan , No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Ragan brought out the next-to-last caution period with a long slide on the backstretch and was collected in the major crash as the curtain fell on the Coke Zero 400 , but still managed to register his best finish thus far in his seven-race stint with the Michael Waltrip -owned team. 13. Landon Cassill , No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Cassill ran with the powerhouse teams in the third restrictor-plate race of the season, emerging with damage but also with his best Sprint Cup finish of 2015. 14. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Stewart had a prime but unfortunate seat for the race-ending crash, watching Austin Dillon 's car sail into the catch fencing. Smoke matched his car number in the results column for his fourth top-15 performance of the season. 15. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray was among the drivers wrapped up in the final multicar crash of the day. Though four of his seven Sprint Cup wins have come at either Daytona or Talladega, he's yet to record a top-10 finish in three races on restrictor-plate tracks this year. 16. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Menard's fourth-place starting spot was his best of the season, awarded based on first practice speeds after Coors Light Pole Qualifying was rained out. He dipped from his position in eighth place on the final restart to miss out on a top-10. 17. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch's first race back at Daytona was a rocky one. He scraped the wall in the 17th lap and twice received the free pass during caution periods to rally, but his No. 18 suffered further damage in the race-ending wreck. " MORE: How is Busch positioned to make the Chase 18. Justin Allgaier , No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Allgaier went spinning after the checkered flag, but his best restrictor-plate finish of the year helped him gain two spots in the standings to 29th place. 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Stenhouse surfaced from the carnage to notch his best Sprint Cup finish since a fourth place at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. 20. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle was involved in the first yellow flag of the race, then was sent scraping past the finish line at the checkered flag to end an eventful day in the No. 16. 21. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . The recent dry spell extended to 14 races without a top-10 finish for the JTG Daugherty crew, which had its No. 47 returned to the Daytona garage by a wrecker after the race-ending crash. 22. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . The reigning Daytona 500 champion's chances at a Daytona season sweep fizzled early with involvement in the first large crash of the day and a black flag for racing with a flapping rear fender. Logano rallied with help of the free pass on the next-to-last caution, turning the rough day into a lead-lap finish. 23. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth was at the center of an 11-car stack-up just past the midway point, spinning in tight racing with Kasey Kahne off Turn 4. " WATCH: See Kenseth and Kahne make contact to trigger wreck 24. Alex Bowman , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Bowman, who failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 , converted a lead-lap finish despite his No. 7 ride sustaining damage as he took the checkered flag. 25. Cole Whitt , No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Whitt described his car's handling as "darty" in radio communications but held on to end the race as the Front Row team's top finisher. 26. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . The former NASCAR Next driver secured his first lead-lap finish since placing a season-best 18th at Talladega Superspeedway in May. 27. Brett Moffitt , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Though it's a distant result from his season-best of eighth place, Moffitt's early morning finish was his best in eight races driving for team owner Bob Jenkins. 28. Brendan Gaughan , No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. The NASCAR XFINITY Series regular, who has failed to qualify for eight Sprint Cup races this season, secured his first lead-lap finish of the season as the last driver to complete all 161 laps. 29. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . A day that started with radio communications trouble ended with Keselowski's out-of control No. 2 sliding through fluid and wreckage into the mangled No. 3 of Austin Dillon after the race. Keselowski was also involved in the race's fifth caution period, just past the halfway point. 30. Sam Hornish Jr ., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Hornish's sour luck continued with his involvement in three Daytona crashes, the final of which finally broke the No. 9 with heavy damage after a wild ride through the backstretch grass. 31. Josh Wise , No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise finished seven laps off the leader's pace after a battery cable came unfastened, requiring a tow back to the garage. 32. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne ran among the top five with his Hendrick teammates in early portions of the race, but was caught up in Matt Kenseth 's spin that touched off a sizable wreck in Turn 4 on Lap 105. " WATCH: Kahne and Kenseth involved in big wreck 33. J.J. Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Yeley returned from repairs after a Lap 87 pileup collected his No. 23 and six other cars, but finish 22 laps down to the front-runners. 34. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . A crash in the wake of Matt Kenseth 's spin in heavy traffic dashed Almirola's hopes for a Coke Zero 400 repeat, sending the Petty-owned No. 43 to the garage. He was listed as running at the finish after extensive repairs. 35. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Patrick was caught by the race's first crash, just four laps in, but any dwindling hopes of contending were thwarted by another hit with the outside retaining wall in the 129th lap, sidelining her for the balance of the event. " WATCH: Trouble at Daytona for Danica 36. Jeb Burton , No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate lost plenty of ground after the first big wreck of the event, finishing 40 laps off the pace. 37. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . A part in the first multicar crash of the day doomed Annett's effort almost from the outset, relegating the second-year driver to his sixth consecutive finish of 30th or worse. 38. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . "The weekend didn't start off well for us and it ended worse," was the sentiment of Truex after a crash in practice and another multicar wreck in the 105th lap. After reeling off top-10 finishes in 14 of the first 15 races of the season, Truex now has back-to-back DNFs related to crashes. " RELATED: Truex among big names taken out in 'Big One' 39. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . The 105th-lap crash that snared 11 cars hit Larson's No. 42 hard with heavy nose-first contact against the Turn 4 inside retaining wall. The second-year driver has three DNFs this season, all at restrictor-plate tracks. 40. David Gilliland , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Gilliland was a focal point of the first large crash of the race, spinning in front of a large pack after contact with the car of Clint Bowyer . He returned to the race, enduring a solo spin just before halfway and taking the checkered flag 65 laps down. " WATCH: Gilliland brings out first caution 41. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Two crashes curbed Edwards' efforts, the first causing rear-end damage in the 53rd lap and the latter lifting his No. 19 Camry up onto the hood and windshield of Brian Scott 's No. 33. " WATCH: Hard hit for Edwards 42. Brian Scott , No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Scott's fifth Sprint Cup race of his part-time season ended with a too-close-for-comfort view of Carl Edwards ' car on top of his. Scott has DNFs in his last three races in NASCAR's top division. 43. Bobby Labonte , No. 32 Ford, Go FAS Racing. The former series champion's third race of the season ended early as the Archie St. Hilaire-owned No. 32 completed just two laps before tangling in Sunday's first multicar shunt. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Start of Coke Zero 400 pushed back because of inclement weather RELATED: Track live weather updates " See all 43 cars in the field DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Intermittent rain showers postponed the start of Sunday's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Activities at the track remain on-hold after poor weather pushed back the scheduled 8:08 p.m. ET start. The fleet of Air Titans were deployed to dry Daytona at approximately 9:23 p.m. ET. RELATED: Snapshot from Daytona Light rain began falling about 6 p.m. local time, at times developing into heavier showers and forcing fans to take occasional cover, while drivers waited to participate in the traditional pre-race ceremonies and 20 NASCAR Air Titans and 10 jet dryers ready to dry the 2.5-mile track. Two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . will start from the pole position alongside second-year Cup driver Austin Dillon . The 43-car grid was set according to Friday's first practice sessions speeds -- per the NASCAR rule book -- after bad weather Saturday evening forced the cancellation of Sprint Cup Series qualifying. RELATED: Relive Dale Jr.'s road trip down to Daytona Drivers seemed to take the situation in stride. Afternoon showers are commonplace in Florida during the summer. Last year's race was delayed a day and called 48 laps short of completion because of poor weather; however, it marked only the second time in this race's history the event was rain-shortened. Competitors this weekend were more concerned with race strategy than radar watching. "There's something about this place -- every time you come here, the facility -- you just get taken in by it," Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer said, addressing media Sunday afternoon. "Watching the XFINITY race last night, learned a lot of things just watching those guys and kind of what you think is going to play out with our program when you get the Cup boys out there on the race track. Learned a little bit of what not to do. That's the thing about this weekend and coming to these restrictor plate tracks, you're constantly learning and you're being a student of what you see and you don't really have a lot of practice time anymore, at least you shouldn't. "It's the same plan everybody else has, which is to roll their happy butt into Victory Lane with a big smile on their face." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 33 driver holds off Sadler, Elliott in green-white-checkered finish RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Austin Dillon led just nine laps Saturday night, including the one that mattered most. Dillon, grandson of legendary team owner Richard Childress, outlasted Elliott Sadler and Chase Elliott during a green-white-checkered finish to claim the crash-filled Subway Firecracker 250 , the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. "This is Daytona , man," Dillon said during the post-race celebration. "There are so many family memories here. ... I'm just happy for my grandfather. He told me once when we were here in Victory Lane with Dale Earnhardt that you'll have this opportunity one day. It means so much to be here." A multi-car crash on Lap 96 of the 100-lap race took out Brian Scott , who led 84 laps and was in front when the crash started. Scott moved to the outside line to block Elliott Sadler , but was spun out, collecting several cars. Dillon slipped through the crash, then stayed ahead of Elliott after the final restart. Sadler recovered from the crash and surged past Elliott as the field reached the checkered flag to finish second. Afterward, he blamed Scott for the crash. "Either Brian's spotter or Brian tried to make the move too late to block us," Sadler said. "We were already up to his right rear door. It wrecked us, man. This is Daytona . It's a shame. We had a car good enough to win." Scott admitted the move was aggressive and poorly timed, but said he thought Sader could have given him room. “I told myself I was going to be aggressive, and I was going for the win," Scott said. "I was trying to time that run. I knew the outside lane was coming. Obviously I mistimed it a little bit, but I still felt like I gave them room to split me and go high. Instead of going high on me, he turned me into the wall.” Dillon scored his third XFINITY Series win of 2015 and fifth of his career, putting a smile on his grandfather's face. "It's cool any time you win here at Daytona ," Childress said. A 12-car pile-up with 10 laps to go collected the top two in the XFINITY points standings -- Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon -- and set the stage for a restart with five laps remaining. Scott restarted ahead of Sadler and Austin Dillon . Sadler fell behind in the outside line but regained momentum and appeared to be ready to pass Scott, who was leading the inside line. Scott moved up to get in front of Sadler, but didn’t have enough room and was turned into the wall. The crash left only nine cars on the lead lap. Dillon restarted ahead of Dakoda Armstrong and Chase Elliott for the green-white-checkered finish, and Elliott quickly moved into second on the low line. He finished third, followed by Kasey Kahne , Benny Gordon and Armstrong. The XFINITY Series picks up again on Friday at Kentucky Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chitwood pleased with safety measure, says track will analyze situation RELATED: Watch the last-lap wreck DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Daytona International Speedway track president Joie Chitwood III said 13 fans were seen by medical personnel following the last-lap crash at the 2.5-mile superspeedway, with one being transported to a local hospital and later released. "We assessed 13 individuals in the grandstands," Chitwood said following a vicious crash on the final lap of the Coke Zero 400 that included Austin Dillon going airborne. "Eight declined any medical attention. We had four treated on property in our first aid and care centers, and we had one transported off property to a local hospital. That individual was reported as stable when they were transported off property." A track spokesman announced at 4:55 a.m. ET that the individual had been released. Names of those treated were not disclosed. Dillon's Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet was launched into the catchfence along the frontstretch following contact between several cars, and then was thrown back onto the racing surface. A section of fencing was destroyed and fans were struck by debris. Dillon's car, or what was left of it, had barely come to a stop, on its roof, when it was struck by the No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski . Crewmen from race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s Hendrick Motorsports team, stationed just across the infield from the crash scene, quickly rushed to Dillon's aid. Moments later, after rescue personnel had arrived on the scene, Dillon scrambled from his mangled car, and after walking away from the crash, took off his helmet and raised his arms in response to cheers from those in the grandstands. Chitwood said he was proud of the fact "that the fence worked" and "the additional safety enhancements" performed as anticipated. "We'll take this situation, we'll learn from it, we'll analyze it, and we'll round up our engineering team and see if there's any additional things we can learn to get better the next time," he said. It was the second time in three years that a car had impacted the fencing that separates the racing surface from the grandstands on the frontstrech at Daytona . In February of 2013, driver Kyle Larson 's car also struck the fencing. More than a dozen fans were transported to area hospitals after being hit by debris. "Obviously through the last couple years, we've learned a lot, whether it's fencing or the facility itself in terms of enhancements," Chitwood said. "One of the elements of the project of Daytona Rising was no longer having fans or individuals on Rim Road and closing off the grandstands on the front row, so those were in the new sections, and that was what was in place today, and I think it did a very good job." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 88 takes the checkered as another 'Big One' erupts behind him RELATED: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chase Grid SHOP: Dale Jr. gear DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . endured a weekend of rain, a three-hour-plus pre-race delay, and nine caution flags to win the Coke-Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway early Monday morning. The race ended at 2:41 a.m. ET and concluded with a large crash featuring Austin Dillon 's No. 3 Chevrolet going airborne and smashing into the catch-fence near Turn 1 after he crossed the start-finish line. Dillon walked away from the wreck, the fourth major crash of the night. After being released from the infield care center, Dillon said he suffered a bruised tailbone and forearm. Pole-sitter Earnhardt dominated the night, leading 96 laps in his No. 88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet. He also had the convincing support of the fans remaining at the track following the 154-minute rain delay. The delay was a harbinger for the race itself, which included four multi-car crashes and those nine caution flags that covered 43 of the scheduled 160 laps before the green-white checkered finish. It was Earnhardt’s fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup career victory on the 2.5-mile Florida track. "I had a lot of fun tonight," a somewhat subdued Earnhardt said after the race. "We have such great motors and good cars. We ran very fast. I had to block a lot, get a lot of pushes from everybody. I had to run real hard to win this race here. We got shuffled back a few times." RELATED: Dillon shaken, but OK after big wreck " Daytona president discusses safety Driver Paul Menard could have been speaking for everyone at the speedway when he said on his radio during the race that Earnhardt’s No. 88 was “ridiculously” fast. Earnhardt consistently outran the competition on re-start after re-start. Earnhardt’s crew raced onto the track after the last-lap crash to check on Dillon’s condition. The catch fences at Daytona International Speedway were reinforced following an accident in 2013 during a NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Denny Hamlin finished third, with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch rounding out the top five. Harvick leads the Sprint Cup points standings by 63 points over Earnhardt. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Kentucky Speedway this week where it will debut its new aerodynamic package in the NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 1 driver caught up in multi-car pile-up during final laps It’s difficult to be too disappointed with second-place when second is your best result of the season. It’s difficult to be too disappointed with second when only a handful of laps earlier, your car was pinched hard against the outside wall and thoughts of seeing the checkered flag were quickly fading. But Elliott Sadler finished second in Saturday night’s Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. And he was disappointed. “Tonight was really a ‘what could have been race,’” the Roush Fenway Racing driver said after trailing Austin Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ) across the finish line at DIS. Sadler’s No. 1 Ford Mustang managed only two top 10s through this year’s first eight races. But Saturday night’s was Sadler’s fifth in his last seven starts. After avoiding trouble in a 12-car crash with 10 laps remaining, Sadler was running second, outside of leader Brian Scott , three laps from the finish when Scott move up the track in an attempt to halt Sadler’s progress. Contact sent both cars into the outside wall. Ten more cars were swept up in the incident on the 2.5-mile track. “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. It just stinks that it’s it happened to us. Two restrictor-plate races in a row we were in really good shape with less than four laps to go and couldn’t pull it off. “But tonight really stinks because we were fast all night. In the top-four or five all night and then the wreck happened. “Second place is a good finish; it’s our best finish of the year. But it’s not what we came to Daytona to do but we’ll have to take it and move on.” Defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) finished third while teammate Kasey Kahne was fourth. Benny Gordon completed the top five. Points leader Chris Buescher , involved in the first of the two multi-car incidents, managed a 12th-place finish. More importantly, he managed to retain his hold on the points lead as well. He now leads Elliott by 34 points. Ty Dillon (26th) fell from second to third. Buescher said he nearly avoided the wreck, “but then got trunked from behind and at that point you are just along for the ride. “The guys did a nice job fixing it and it was a good recovery considering where we were. To come home P12 isn’t bad.” Scott led the most laps (84) but wound up 23rd. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Best clips from the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola Follow the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action at Daytona with video highlights of action in the Coke Zero 400 .
Truex Jr., Almirola among several drivers wiped out after wreck RELATED: Nine-car wreck on Lap 3 MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne made contact and crashed, bringing out the race's sixth caution on Lap 104 of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Other cars involved in the melee were David Ragan , Jamie McMurray , Kyle Larson , Aric Almirola , Brad Keselowski , Sam Hornish Jr ., Martin Truex Jr ., Trevor Bayne and Danica Patrick , who cut a tire as she ran over a piece of debris from the incident. Almirola is the defending race winner. "I was following Jeff Gordon up through there and he got shuffled out and I kind of committed to him and we started moving back up there pretty good," Almirola said. "I was happy about the momentum we had and next thing I know some cars got together on the inside, and I heard the noise and heard them start to spin. ... It is a game of inches here sometimes, and I think a couple feet more forward and we wouldn't be in this. It stinks. I am certainly disappointed." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman recaps an eventful night at Daytona International Speedway that saw Dale Earnhardt Jr. get his second win of the 2015 season.