The Fourth of July weekend always means restrictor plate racing at Daytona International Speedway. In days gone by the Monster Energy Cup Series race was known as the Firecracker 400; today it is known as the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
After a summer afternoon shower moved through the area, the Monster Energy Cup drivers had their qualifying delayed to later in the afternoon.
Forty-one teams brought cars to the track; as a result, one team will not make the race.
After two rounds of qualifying with a time of 46.381 seconds, Chase Elliott puts his number nine Hendrick Motorsport Chevrolet on the pole – sprained ankle and all. Team mate Alex Bowman will start the race alongside Elliott on the front row.
The starting lineup for the Coke Zero Sugar 400:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Martin Truex Jr
Ray Black Jr
Timothy Peters failed to qualify for the race.
Stages one and two of the race are 40 laps each with stage three lasting 80 laps for a total of 160 laps around the two and a half mile track.
After the pomp and circumstance surrounding a holiday weekend to salute the military, pole sitter Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and jumps out in front of the field to take the lead.
Lap two, Chase Elliott leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second and Kevin Harvick in third.
Lap three and the drivers are already three wide across the track. Chase Elliott leads field with Alex Bowman in second and Brad Keselowski in third.
Lap four Chase Elliott has the lead with Alex Bowman n second and Jimmie Johnson in third for a Hendrick Motorsports 1-2-3.
Lap six, Chase Elliott leads, Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.
Lap seven, Hendrick Motorsports holds on to the top three spots with Chase Elliot in the lead and Alex Bowm and and Jimmie Johnson behind.
Lap eight, Chase Elliott leads with Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Brad Keselowski rounding out the top five.
Lap 12 Ricky Stenhouse Jr challenges Chase Elliott for the lead and becomes the new leader.
Lap 14 Ricky Stenhouse Jr is in the lead with Michael McDowell in second and Austin Dillon in third.
Lap 16 Ricky Stenhouse is out in front, Michael MdDowell is in second and Austin Dillon in third. There are 39 cars on the lead lap with Ladon Cassill laps down.
Lap 18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr holds on to the lead with Michael McDowell and Austin Dillon following.
Lap 20 the top five are Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, and Ty Dillon.
Lap 25 Ricky Stenhouse Jr continues to lead the race with Michael McDowell in second and Austin Dillon in third.
Lap 28, the top five are Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, and Ty Dillon.
Lap 31 Ricky Stenhouse Jr continues to lead the pack; Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, and Ty Dillon round out the top five.
Lap 34 – only six more laps remain in stage one – Ricky Stenhouse jr has taken the lead from Chase Elliott and has refused to give it up.
Lap 36, as drivers on the low side begin to make moves, leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Michael McDowell jump down to block and hold on to the lead.
Lap 37, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is in the lead with Austin Dillon in second.
Lap 38, Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads with Austin Dillon in second and Kyle Larson in third.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins stage one for his first stage win of the season.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr,
Kevin Harvick has some hose issues inside his car and will have to make a longer than usual pit stop in order to make repairs.
Maritn Truex Jr was charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road and will have to restart the race from the back of the field.
After taking only two tires, Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road with Ryan Blaney behind hm also taking only two tires.
Michael McDowell has some tow issues.
Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two and holds on to the lead.
Ty Dillon has no oil pressure and has to limp his car around to pit road.
Lap 47, Brad Keselowski leads the race with William Byron in second and Kurt Busch in third.
Lap 48 Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead with Kurt Busch in second and William Byron in third.
Paul Menard spins out and brings out the caution flag on lap 49. He gets the tires airborn and makes a run through the grass after making a little contact with Jimmie Johnson. Paul Menard is on the six minute crash clock.
Ryan Blaney’s team did not get the fuel cell full and had to make a second trip down pit road to fill the tank.
Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 53. Keselowski edges out in front but William Byron makes it nose to nose and gets out in front for the lead thanks to a little push from behind by Kurt Busch.
Lap 54 William Byron leads with Brad Keselowski behind.
Brad Keselowski gets loose after a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr, spins out, and causes “the big one” that collects half the field. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon,Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Matt DiBenedetto, David Ragan, Kyle larson, Bubba Wallace, Jimmie Johnson, Corey LaJoie, Alex Bowman, and Kasey Kahne were all involved in the crash.
William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 63. With a push from Kyle Busch, William Byron gets out in front of Ricky Stenhouse Jr for the lead.
The caution flag comes out on lap 65 when Kyle Busch and William Byron make contact after Ricky Stenhouse Jr hits Busch’s rear quarter panel. Both cars hit the wall hard. Jamie McMurray was also involved in the crash.
Before going to the ambulance for the mandatory trip to the infield care center, Kyle Busch goes to William Byron’s car to make sure Byron is ok.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 70 with Stenhouse and Ryan Newman going nose to nose. After making the lap side by side for a few laps, Ricky Stenhouse Jr finally takes over the lead of the race.
Lap 72, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is in the lead with ichael McDowell in second and Alex Bowman in third.
Lap 84 Ricky Stenhouse Jr holds on to the lead; Michael McDowell, Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne, and Trevor Bayne round out the top five.
Lap 87, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has a tenth of a second lead on Michael McDowell; Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne, and Trevor Bayne round out the top five.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr wins stage two.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ty Dillon wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires. Clint Bowyer also took two tires. Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s team is taking extra time on pit road to make some repairs.
Ty Dillon brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 87 with Ty Dillon in the lead.
Clint Bowyer edges out for the lead with Kasey Kahne in second, Michael McDowell, Ty Dillon, and Trevor Bayne wounding out the top five.
Lap 89, Clint Bowyer leads the race but gets passed by Michael McDowell to lead the race.
Lap 90 Michael Mcowell leads the race with Kasey Kahne in second, Martin Truex Jr in third, Rcky Stenhouse Jr in fourth Kevin Harvick in fifth.
Lap 92 Michael McDowell continues to lead the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second and Kasey Kahne in third.
Lap 94, Kevin Harvick has moved into the third spot behind leader Michael McDowell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Lap 96, Michael McDowell is in the lead, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Kevin Harvick for the top three.
Lap 101, Michael McDowell continues to lead the race, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is second and Kevin Harvick in third. Martin Truex jr has backed up to the back of the field.
Lap 104, Michael McDowell continues to lead. Martin Truex Jr ran the fastest lap on the track with 46.00 seconds.
Lap 106, Michael McDowell has a tenth of a second lead on Ricky Stenhouse Jr with Kevin Harvick in third.
Martin Truex jr has moved back into the pack.
Lap 109, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has gotten around Michael McDowell for the lead with Jimmie Johnson in second.
Lap 111, Jimmie Johnson takes the lead to uproarious cheers from the fans.
Jimmie Johnson is in the lead with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second, with Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr, and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.
Lap 113 Michael McDowell gets a push from Ricky Stenhouse Jr to take over the lead of the race.
Lap 114 Jimmie Johnson gets back out in front of the field for the lead with Ricky Stenhouse Jr in second and Michael McDowell in third.
Lap 116 Jimmie Johnson leads with Ricky Stenhouse a tenth of a second behind.
Lap 117 drivers begin preparing to make green flag pit stops. Jimmie Johnson leads the race with Ricky Stenhouse Jr a tenth of a second behind; martin Truex Jr, Michael McDowell, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.
Lap 120, Jimmie Johnson leads the race but gives it over to Ricky Stenhouse Jr when he makes his pit stop. Many teams are taking only two tires.
Lap 122, Ricky Stenhouse Jr leads the race by a tenth of a second over Michael McDowell; Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Trevor Bayne round out the top five.
Lap 123, the top five drivers come down pit road for service.
After green flag pit stops cycle through Jimmie Johnson retakes the lead of the race, but has been charged with pitting outside of his pit box.
Lap 124 the caution flag comes out when Kyle Larson spins out and collects Ricky Stenhouse Jr after blowing a tire.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart with 32 laps remaining in the race and gets out in front for the lead.
Lap 129, Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, and Bubba Wallace rounding out the top five.
Thirty to go, Martin Truex Jr leads the race with Kasey Kahne in second and AJ All in third.
DJ Kennington spins out and stops on the track and brings out the caution flag on lap 133.
With only 23 laps remaining in the race Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the restart of the race but it is Kasey Kahne that gets out in front for the lead of the race.
Lap 138, Kasey Kahne leads the race with Ryan Newman in second and Kevin Harvick in third.
Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick battle back and forth for second place behind leader Kasey Kahne.
Twenty to go, Kasey Kahne leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second and Alex Bowman in third.
Lap 141, Kasey Kahne leads with Kevin Harvick in second and Alex Bowman in third.
Lap 145, kasey Kahne leads with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman and Clint Bowyer rounding out the top five.
The top nine drivers have broken away from the rest of the field.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings out the caution flag when he spins out after blowing a tire on lap 149. Stenhouse rives through the grass straight to pit road.
Kasey Kahne brings the field down for the green flag restart with only six lap to go with Kevin Harvick right beside him.
Five to go and Kevin Harvick gets out in front for the lead with Martin Truex Jr on his bumper; Clint Bowyer is in third.
The caution flag comes out when Joey Gase, Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, and Jimmie Johnson were all involved in a crash. Michael McDowell’s car is on fire in the grass. There’s a wheel rolling down the track.
In an overtime event, Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the restart with Martin Truex Jr alongside. With a push fro Erik Jones, Martin Truex Jr gets out in front for the lead with Jones in second and Kevin Harvick in third.
Just before the white flag waves, Clint Bowyer gets into the wall for another big crash that involves Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Trevor Bayne, and Brendan Gaughan were all involved in the wreck.
NASCAR has red flagged the race.
Once the race resumes, there will be a second overtime attempt for the finish.
After a short delay, NASCAR displays the caution flag and the cars begin moving around the track.
Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the second overtime start with Truex getting out in front for the lead.
Kasey Kahne comes from the outside lane to take over the lead. Making it three wide Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr, and Erik Jones battle for the lead with Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr battling for the lead.
With a push from Chris Buescher, Erik Jones gets out in front of the field and wins his first Monster Energy Cup win! Jones’ car disappeared in the smoke from the burnout. “How about that race boys and girls,” said Jones.
The unofficial results of the Coke Zero Sugar 400:
Martin Truex Jr
Ray Black Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr