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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Coke Zero 400 Preview

DateSunday, July 5SiteDaytona International Speedway -- Daytona Beach, Florida
Track2.5-mile tri-ovalCapacity146,000 (Grandstand Seating)
AnnouncersRadioMotor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
Start Time7:45 p.m. ETLaps160
Pick to WinPick to Win - Kurt BuschDarkhorse
Last Week's Pick to Win (Jeff Gordon) - finished 16
Defending ChampionAric AlmirolaRunner UpBrian Vickers
Last Year's Pole WinnerDavid Gilliland (finished 35)  


Qualifying RecordsBill Elliott, 1987 (210.364 mph)Race RecordBobby Allison, 1980 (173.473 mph)
Total PursePayouts

2014 Finish

1Aric Almirola15
6Denny Hamlin37
2Brian Vickers30
7Michael McDowell27
3Kurt Busch40
8Danica Patrick29
4Casey Mears22
9Clint Bowyer34
5Austin Dillon23
10Marcos Ambrose18

Facts and Figures

Average Speed130.104 mphTime of Race2 hrs., 9 mins., 13 secs. (rain-shortened/ended after 112 laps)
Margin of VictoryUnder CautionCaution Flags6 for 29 laps
Lead Changes21 among 14 driversPole WinnerDavid Gilliland (199.322 mph)

Past Winners

YearDriverCarSpeed Time
2014Aric AlmirolaFord130.014 mph
2013Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet154.313 mph
2012Tony StewartChevrolet157.653 mph
2011David RaganFord159.491 mph
2010Kevin HarvickChevrolet135.719 mph
2009Tony StewartChevrolet142.461 mph
2008Kyle BuschToyota138.554 mph
2007Jamie McMurrayFord138.983 mph
2006Tony StewartChevrolet153.143 mph
2005Tony StewartChevrolet131.016 mph
2004Jeff GordonChevrolet145.117 mph
2003Greg BiffleFord166.109 mph
2002Michael WaltripChevrolet135.952 mph
2001Dale Earnhardt JrChevrolet157.601 mph
2000Jeff BurtonFord148.576 mph
1999Dale JarrettFord169.213 mph
1998Jeff GordonChevrolet144.549 mph
1997John AndrettiFord157.791 mph
1996Sterling MarlinChevrolet161.602 mph
1995Jeff GordonChevrolet166.976 mph
1994Jimmy SpencerFord155.558 mph
1993Dale EarnhardtChevrolet151.755 mph
1992Ernie IrvanChevrolet170.457 mph
1991Bill ElliottFord159.116 mph
1990Dale EarnhardtChevrolet160.894 mph
1989Davey AllisonFord132.207 mph
1988Bill ElliottFord163.302 mph
1987Bobby AllisonBuick161.074 mph
1986Tim RichmondChevrolet131.916 mph
1985Greg SacksChevrolet158.730 mph
1984Richard PettyPontiac171.204 mph
1983Buddy BakerFord167.442 mph
1982Bobby AllisonBuick163.099 mph
1981Cale YarboroughBuick142.588 mph
1980Bobby AllisonBuick173.473 mph
1979Neil BonnettMercury172.890 mph
1978David PearsonMercury154.340 mph
1977Richard PettyDodge142.716 mph
1976Cale YarboroughChevrolet160.966 mph
1975Richard PettyDodge158.381 mph
1974David PearsonMercury138.301 mph
1973David PearsonMercury158.468 mph
1972David PearsonMercury160.821 mph
1971Bobby IsaacDodge161.947 mph
1970Donnie AllisonFord162.235 mph
1969LeeRoy YarboroughFord)160.875 mph
1968Cale YarboroughMercury167.247 mph
1967Cale YarboroughFord143.583 mph
1966Sam McQuaggDodge153.813 mph
1965A.J. FoytFord150.046 mph
1964A.J. FoytDodge151.451 mph
1963Fireball RobertsFord150.927 mph
1962Fireball RobertsPontiac153.688 mph
1961David PearsonPontiac154.294 mph
1960Jack SmithPontiac146.842 mph
1959Fireball RobertsPontiac140.581 mph

Past Pole Winners

2014David Gilliland35
2013Kyle Busch12
2012Matt Kenseth3
2011Mark Martin33
2008Paul Menard15
2006Boris Said4
2005Tony Stewart1
2004Jeff Gordon1
2003Steve Park39
2002Kevin Harvick11
2001Sterling Marlin39
2000Dale Jarrett2
1999Joe Nemechek16
1998Bobby Labonte2
1997Mike Skinner41
1996Jeff Gordon3
1995Dale Earnhardt3
1994Dale Earnhardt3
1993Ernie Irvan7
1992Sterling Marlin2
1991Sterling Marlin8
1990Greg Sacks37
1989Mark Martin16
1988Darrell Waltrip5
1987Davey Allison20
1986Cale Yarborough17
1985Bill Elliott2
1984Cale Yarborough3
1983Cale Yarborough40
1982Geoffrey Bodine6
1981Cale Yarborough1
1980Cale Yarborough40
1979Buddy Baker34
1978Cale Yarborough2
1977Neil Bonnett8
1976A.J. Foyt4
1975Donnie Allison5
1974David Pearson1
1973Bobby Allison30
1972Bobby Isaac27
1971Donnie Allison5
1970Cale Yarborough35
1969Cale Yarborough37
1968Charlie Glotzbach9
1967Darel Dieringer3
1966LeeRoy Yarbrough24
1965Marvin Panch12
1964Darel Dieringer9
1963Junior Johnson17
1962Banjo Matthews21
1961Fireball Roberts5
1960Jack Smith1
1959Fireball Roberts1

Last Race Results

Toyota/Save Mart 350 (June 28)

SiteSonoma Raceway -- Sonoma, CaliforniaMiles219 (350 kilometers)
Laps110Pole WinnerA.J. Allmendinger (finished 37)
Time of Race2 hrs., 55 mins., 39 secs.Average Speed74.774 mph
Margin of Victory0.532 secs.Caution Flags5 for 21 laps
Lead Changes9 among 5 drivers  
Lap Leaders: A. Allmendinger - pole; Ku. Busch 1-22; A. Allmendinger 23-23; C. A. Allmendinger - pole; Ku. Busch 1-22; A. Allmendinger 23-23; C. Bowyer 24-27; Ky. Busch 28-39; Ku. Busch 40-52; J. Johnson 53-66; Ku. Busch 67-74; J. Johnson 75-105; Ky. Busch 106-110.
Winner: Kyle Busch
Second: Kurt Busch
Third: Clint Bowyer
Fourth: Kevin Harvick
Fifth: Joey Logano

Entry List

1Jamie McMurray(Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski(Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Alliance Truck Parts
3Austin Dillon(Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
4Kevin Harvick(Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser/Jimmy John's
5Kasey Kahne(Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Great Clips-Shark Week
6Trevor Bayne(Knoxville, TN)Ford/AdvoCare
7Alex Bowman(Tucson, AZ)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
9Sam Hornish Jr.(Defiance, OH)Ford/Twisted Tea
10Danica Patrick(Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy
11Denny Hamlin(Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears(Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart(Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
15Clint Bowyer(Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle(Vancouver, WA)Ford/Cheez-It
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Fifth Third Bank
18Kyle Busch(Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
19Carl Edwards(Columbia, MO)Toyota/Subway
20Matt Kenseth(Cambridge, WI)Toyota/DeWalt
21Ryan Blaney(High Point, NC)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Joey Logano(Middletown, CT)Ford/Shell Pennzoil
23J.J. Yeley(Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon(Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Axalta
26Jeb Burton(Halifax, VA)Toyota/Maxim
27Paul Menard(Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Nibco
31Ryan Newman(South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Grainger
32Bobby Labonte(Corpus Christi, TX)Ford/C&J Energy Services
33Brian Scott(Boise, ID)Chevrolet/TBA
34Brett Moffitt(Grimes, IA)Ford/CSX Play It Safe
35Cole Whitt(Alpine, CA)Ford/Speed Stick
38David Gilliland(Riverside, CA)Ford/Florida Lottery
40Landon Cassill(Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
41Kurt Busch(Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson(Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Coca-Cola
43 *Aric Almirola(Tampa, FL)Ford/Smithfield
46Michael Annett(Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Pilot Flying J
47A.J. Allmendinger(Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Kroger
48Jimmie Johnson(El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's Patriotic
51Justin Allgaier(Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/TBA
55David Ragan(Unadilla, GA)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
62Brendan Gaughan(Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/TBA
78Martin Truex Jr.(Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Matt DiBenedetto(Grass Valley, CA)Toyota/Dustless Blasting
88Dale Earnhardt Jr.(Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Nationwide
95Michael McDowell(Glendale, AZ)Ford/KLove Radio
98Josh Wise(Riverside, CA)Ford/TBA

Leading Contenders

Aric Almirola------------------1938Won
Kurt Busch33457143563
Casey Mears7193434---321894
Austin Dillon------------------------5
Denny Hamlin1743263241325366
Danica Patrick---------------------148
Clint Bowyer10792917362949
Jeff Gordon405302836123412
Dale Earnhardt Jr.133683941915814
Martin Truex Jr291317253535174115
Paul Menard---211523188144316
Joey Logano---------1929344017
Brad Keselowski---------24301582118
Matt Kenseth583815233320
David Ragan---1251328Won262222
Ryan Newman11143620262351024
Kasey Kahne2597152473227
Kyle Busch22Won14405241228
Greg Biffle31643182018211729
Jamie McMurray8Won3211392213730
Kyle Larson------------------------36
Carl Edwards3942463762937
Kevin Harvick9341226Won723339
Tony StewartWon3820Won2511Won240
Jimmie Johnson3210232312036Won42
The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway is the 17th race on the 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule. Groundbreaking for DIS took place on 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. Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July Cup Series race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race of the season has been held under the lights since then. Daytona has 31 degrees of banking in all of its turns, as well as 18 degrees of banking on the tri-oval and 3 degrees on the straights. The length of the frontstretch is 3,800 feet, and the backstretch measures 3,000 feet. The track was repaved in 2010. There have been 136 races in NASCAR's premier series held at Daytona. Fifty- seven of the races have been the Daytona 500, while 52 were 400-mile events and four were 250-mile events. There also have been 23 Daytona 500 qualifier races that were points paying. The first Cup Series race at this famed track was a 100-mile qualifying event for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959. Bob Welborn won that event. The first summer race at Daytona was held on July 4, 1959, with Fireball Roberts taking the checkered flag. Richard Petty won a Cup points-paying race at this track 10 times, which is more than any other driver. Seven of his victories occurred in the Daytona 500. Petty won his 200th and final career race in NASCAR's top series on July 4, 1984 at Daytona. Petty leads the series in July race starts at Daytona with 32. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 23 starts in this event. This is Gordon's final season in the series. Trevor Bayne is the youngest Sprint Cup race winner at this track. Bayne won the Daytona 500 one day after he celebrated his 20th birthday on Feb. 20, 2011. When he was 50 years, 2 months and 11 days old, Bobby Allison became the oldest driver to win at Daytona on Feb. 14, 1988. A driver has won both points-paying races at Daytona (Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400) in the same season five times. In 2013, Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag for the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400, becoming the first driver since Bobby Allison in 1982 to score a season-sweep at this track. Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 earlier this year. Thirty-five different drivers have won the July race at this track, led by David Pearson with five victories in it. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with four wins in this race. Stewart picked up the victory at Daytona three years ago. He won it from the 42nd starting position, which is the furthest back a driver has started and won there. The July 1980 race at Daytona, won by Bobby Allison, was completed in a record time of 2 hrs., 18 mins., 21 seconds and ran at a pace of 173.473 mph. Three drivers entered in this weekend's race scored their first career Cup Series victories in the July event at this track: Greg Biffle (July 5, 2003), David Ragan (July 2, 2011) and Aric Almirola (July 6, 2014). Last year's race was shortened to 112 laps due to rain. It was also delayed one day because of inclement weather. Two drivers on the entry list posted their first career poles in the series in July at Daytona: Kevin Harvick (July 6, 2002) and Paul Menard (July 5, 2008). Since NASCAR began using electronic timing and scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in a Cup race at Daytona occurred on July 7, 2007 when Jamie McMurray beat Kyle Busch by only 0.005 seconds, making it one of the closest finishes in series history. The next race is the July 11 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. Brad Keselowski won last year's event there.
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