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The 2015 Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that was held between July 5 and 6th, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Contested over 161 laps – extended from the scheduled 160 laps – on the 2.5 mile (4 km) superspeedway, it was the 17th race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race, his second win of the season. His teammate Jimmie Johnson finished second while Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.

2015 Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola
Race details[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
Race 17 of 36 in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2015 Coke Zero 400 logo.png
Date July 5–6, 2015
Location Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
Distance 161 laps, 402.5 mi (644 km)
Scheduled Distance 160 laps, 400 mi (640 km)
Weather Rain with a temperature of 81 °F (27 °C); wind out of the southwest at 5 mph (8.0 km/h)
Average speed 134.941 mph (217.166 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Hendrick Motorsports
Time 44.492 (Qualifying rained out; lineup set according to opening practice speeds)
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 96
Winner
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network NBC
Announcers Rick Allen, Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte
Nielsen Ratings 2.6/7 (Overnight)[10]
2.7/7 (Final)[11]
4.0 Million viewers[11]
Radio in the United States
Radio MRN
Booth Announcers Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace
Turn Announcers Dave Moody (1 & 2), Mike Bagley (Backstretch) and Kurt Becker (3 & 4)

With qualifying rained out, the field was set by first practice speeds and Earnhardt, Jr. was given the first starting spot as a result. Further rain delays pushed the race's green flag back to 11:42 p.m., with the race concluding at 2:40 a.m. ET the following morning. Earnhardt Jr. led a race high of 96 laps on his way to winning the race. The race had 22 lead changes among twelve different drivers, as well as nine caution flag periods for 43 laps. The race's finish featured a major wreck, most notably featuring Austin Dillon's car flipping into the outside catch fence.

It was Earnhardt, Jr.'s 25th career victory, tenth career restrictor plate race win (in points competition), fourth at Daytona, and 14th at the track for Hendrick Motorsports. The win moved him up to second in the points standings. Chevrolet left Daytona with an 83-point lead over Ford in the manufacturer standings.

Contents

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

 
Daytona International Speedway, the track where the race was held.

Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, USCC, SCCA, and Motocross. It features multiple layouts including the primary 2.5 miles (4.0 km) high speed tri-oval, a 3.56 miles (5.73 km) sports car course, a 2.95 miles (4.75 km) motorcycle course, and a .25 miles (0.40 km) karting and motorcycle flat-track. The track's 180-acre (73 ha) infield includes the 29-acre (12 ha) Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing. The speedway is owned and operated by International Speedway Corporation.

The track was built in 1959 by NASCAR founder William "Bill" France, Sr. to host racing held at the former Daytona Beach Road Course. His banked design permitted higher speeds and gave fans a better view of the cars. Lights were installed around the track in 1998 and today, it is the third-largest single lit outdoor sports facility. The speedway has been renovated three times, with the infield renovated in 2004 and the track repaved twice — in 1978 and in 2010.

On January 22, 2013, the track unveiled artist depictions of a renovated speedway. On July 5 of that year, ground was broken for a project that would remove the backstretch seating and completely redevelop the frontstretch seating. The renovation to the speedway is being worked on by Rossetti Architects. The project, named "Daytona Rising", was completed in January 2016, and it costed US $400 million, placing emphasis on improving fan experience with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances (called "injectors") as well as wider and more comfortable seating with more restrooms and concession stands. After the renovations, the track's grandstands include 101,000 permanent seats with the ability to increase permanent seating to 125,000.[12][13] The project was completed before the start of Speedweeks 2016.

Kevin Harvick entered Daytona with a 53-point lead over Martin Truex, Jr. Joey Logano entered 57 back, Jimmie Johnson entered 70 back, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. entered 71 back.

ChangesEdit

During the Xfinity Series' Alert Today Florida 300 earlier in the year, a crash occurred in which Kyle Busch slammed into a concrete wall just past the exit to pit road, breaking his leg and sidelining him for the first eleven races of the Sprint Cup season. In response to the accident, the entire outer wall of the race track was fitted with SAFER barriers.[14] The grass near the entrance of turn 1 and towards the exit of the tri-oval, where Busch's accident occurred, were paved over.[14]

At the request of the race's broadcaster, NBC, the 2015 Coke Zero 400 was moved from its traditional Saturday night scheduling to Sunday night. Track president Joie Chitwood III explained that NBC wanted to treat the race as a special event to launch its revived coverage, similarly to NBC's Sunday Night Football. The move also removed a potential conflict with NBC's annual Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular special.[15][16][17]

Entry listEdit

The entry list for the Coke Zero 400 was released on Monday, June 29 at 11:41 a.m. EDT. Forty-five cars were entered for the race. All but the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford driven by Ryan Blaney were entered for the previous race at Sonoma Raceway. Driver changes for this race include Bobby Labonte in the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford normally driven by Mike Bliss, Brian Scott in the No. 33 Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet normally driven by Alex Kennedy, and Brett Moffitt returning to the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford.

No. Driver Team Manufacturer
1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
2 Brad Keselowski (PC3) Team Penske Ford
3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
4 Kevin Harvick (PC1) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford
7 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet
9 Sam Hornish, Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet
14 Tony Stewart (PC4) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford
17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford
18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
20 Matt Kenseth (PC6) Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
21 Ryan Blaney (i) Wood Brothers Racing Ford
22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford
23 J. J. Yeley (i) BK Racing Toyota
24 Jeff Gordon (PC7) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
26 Jeb Burton (R) BK Racing Toyota
27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
32 Bobby Labonte (PC8) Go FAS Racing Ford
33 Brian Scott (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet
34 Brett Moffitt (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford
35 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford
38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford
40 Landon Cassill (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet
41 Kurt Busch (PC5) Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
48 Jimmie Johnson (PC2) Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
51 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet
55 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota
62 Brendan Gaughan (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet
78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
83 Matt DiBenedetto (R) BK Racing Toyota
88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
95 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford
98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford
Official initial entry list
Official final entry list
Key Meaning
(R) Rookie
(i) Ineligible for points
(PC#) Past champions provisional

PracticeEdit

First practiceEdit

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was the fastest in the first practice session with a time of 44.492 and a speed of 202.284 mph (325.545 km/h).[18] Ten minutes into the session, Brad Keselowski made contact with Kyle Busch and sent him spinning in the middle of the pack.[19] Michael Annett, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Sam Hornish, Jr., Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex, Jr. were all collected in the wreck.[19] “The 2 car got on my back rear and just spun us around,” Busch said. “There’s room to lift and sometimes you don’t.”[19] “A couple of guys got in front of me right there,” Truex said. “They started checking up in front of me and the 18 went sideways, a lot of damage. We’re going to a backup car.”[19]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 44.492 202.284
2 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 44.540 202.066
3 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 44.556 201.993
Official first practice results

Final practiceEdit

Danica Patrick was the fastest in the final practice session with a time of 45.424 and a speed of 198.133 mph (318.864 km/h).[20]

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.424 198.133
2 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.466 197.950
3 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.467 197.946
Official final practice results

QualifyingEdit

 
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., seen here the week before at Sonoma Raceway, was awarded the first starting spot as a result of qualifying being canceled.

Two rounds of single-car qualifying were scheduled to take place on Saturday at 4:35 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, but were cancelled due to rain. The lineup was set by first practice results. So Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was declared as the polesitter per the NASCAR rulebook.[21] “I asked Greg (Ives, crew chief) before we went out to practice what we were trying to accomplish in that first practice and that was the first thing he mentioned was to go out that first run and try to put a lap down because the weather wasn’t looking real good for today," Earnhardt said. "That was his decision. It ended up working out for us.”[21] "This track has been very special to me, we know how important is to the sport," said Jeff Gordon, who'll start 23rd in his 46th and final career race at Daytona. "I'm kind of bummed out that it was rained out."[22] Despite posting the 22nd fastest lap in first practice, Ryan Blaney failed to make the race.[23] When qualifying is rained out, NASCAR's rules state that the number of attempts a race team has made determines the starting lineup before practice times.[23] As a result, the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford failed to qualify for the first time in seven years.[23] “I really hate this for Motorcraft/Quick Lane and all of our guests,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said in a release. “We’ve been lucky. This is the first time this has happened since we started part-time in 2009. We’ve dodged a lot of bullets, including last time in Michigan. This one got us, but if it has to happen, I’d rather it be for something we can’t control instead of for a lack of performance on our part.”[23]

Starting lineupEdit

Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Time Speed
1 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 44.492 202.284
2 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 44.540 202.066
3 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 44.556 201.993
4 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 44.561 201.970
5 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 44.582 201.875
6 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 44.597 201.807
7 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 44.612 201.739
8 55 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 44.676 201.450
9 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 44.818 200.812
10 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 44.822 200.794
11 9 Sam Hornish, Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 44.857 200.638
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 44.866 200.597
13 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 44.873 200.566
14 34 Brett Moffitt (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford 44.969 200.138
15 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 45.021 199.907
16 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 45.027 199.880
17 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 45.043 199.809
18 46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 45.057 199.747
19 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.063 199.720
20 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 45.063 199.720
21 51 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 45.088 199.610
22 40 Landon Cassill (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet 45.135 199.402
23 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 45.199 199.119
24 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.238 198.948
25 16 Greg Biffle[N 1] Roush Fenway Racing Ford 45.242 198.930
26 33 Brian Scott (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet 45.255 198.873
27 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.264 198.834
28 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.271 198.803
29 35 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 45.292 198.711
30 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 45.349 198.461
31 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.353 198.443
32 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 45.360 198.413
33 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 45.389 198.286
34 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 45.467 198.111
35 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 45.477 197.902
36 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 45.024 195.550
37 7 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 47.428 189.761
38 32 Bobby Labonte Go FAS Racing Ford 47.572 189.187
39 23 J. J. Yeley (i) BK Racing Toyota 47.707 188.652
40 26 Jeb Burton (R) BK Racing Toyota 47.939 187.739
41 83 Matt DiBenedetto (R) BK Racing Toyota 48.039 187.348
42 98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford 0.000 0.000
43 62 Brendan Gaughan (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 0.000 0.000
Failed to qualify
44 21 Ryan Blaney (i) Wood Brothers Racing Ford 45.117 199.481
45 95 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 46.937 191.746
First practice results
Official starting lineup

RaceEdit

The race was scheduled to begin at 8:04 p.m. EDT on Sunday, but was delayed by rain that had been falling all afternoon.[24] The green flag eventually fell at 11:42 p.m, marking the longest start delay of the race since the 2005 race. Race finished at 2:40 am EDT on Monday [25][26]

First halfEdit

StartEdit

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led the field to the green flag at 11:42 p.m. Austin Dillon drove to Earnhardt's outside on the backstretch to lead the first eight laps. The first caution of the race flew on lap 3 for a multi-car wreck exiting turn 4.[27] It started when David Gilliland tried to drop in behind Earnhardt on the inside line, failing to see Clint Bowyer, and got turned around by Bowyer, and ten cars piled in.[27] Michael Annett, Greg Biffle, Sam Hornish, Jr., Bobby Labonte, reigning Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano, and Danica Patrick were also collected in the melee.[27] A. J. Allmendinger, Annett, Biffle, Jeb Burton, Brendan Gaughan, Gilliland, Hornish, Jr., Logano, and Patrick were tagged for pitting before pit road was open and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field, although this was moot as they were going to restart at the rear of the field anyway as they had all taken on crash damage. Annett and Logano were held a lap on pit road for running the stop/go sign at pit exit.[28]

The race restarted on lap 9. Earnhardt passed Dillon going into three to take the lead on lap 10. While trying to pass Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch got loose and pounded the wall in turn 2 on lap 17.[29] To make matters worse for Busch, the race remained green. The second caution of the race, a scheduled competition caution to allow teams to check tire wear, flew on lap 26. Jimmie Johnson exited pit road with the race lead. Biffle and Kyle Busch were tagged for having too many crew members over the wall to service the car and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field. Gaughan was busted for both speeding on pit road and running the stop/go sign on pit exit. He was held a lap on pit road and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field.[28]

The race restarted on lap 31. Earnhardt took back the lead on lap 32. Johnson got a run on him going into turn 2 to retake the lead on lap 34. The third caution of the race flew on lap 53, when exiting turn 4, Carl Edwards snapped loose and turned down the apron. The culprit was a flat tire.[30] “This is really frustrating,” said Edwards. “I never have flat tires. Goodyear does a pretty job. We got it back together, and then this happened.”[30] Johnson swapped the lead with Earnhardt on pit road with the latter exiting with the lead. Biffle, Edwards, and Gaughan were tagged for pitting before pit road was open and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field. Casey Mears was tagged for driving through more than three pit boxes getting to his stall and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field.[28]

Second quarterEdit

The race restarted on lap 58. The fourth caution of the race flew on the same lap when, out of turn 4, Gilliland spun and then stalled on the track. Biffle, Burton, Kyle Busch, and Logano were tagged for pitting before pit road was open and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field. Annett was tagged for having too many crew members over the wall to service the car and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field.[28]

The race restarted on lap 64. After riding single file for the first few laps, Kevin Harvick got a second line moving to the front of the pack. Johnson drove to Earnhardt's outside to take back the lead. Matt Kenseth used the outside line to briefly take the lead on lap 80. Johnson used the inside line to take back the lead on lap 81.[31] The fifth caution of the race flew on lap 86 for a multi-car wreck in turn 2, when Kyle Larson spun, and Edwards spun trying to avoid him, then was hit from behind by Brian Scott, submarining under Edwards' car. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. also spun, but was able to save his car. Denny Hamlin exited pit road with the lead. Allmendinger, Edwards, and Larson were tagged for pitting before pit road was open and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field. Larson was also held a lap on pit road for running the stop/go sign at pit exit. Kyle Busch and Dillon were tagged for too many crew members over the wall to service the car and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field.[28]

Second halfEdit

HalfwayEdit

The race restarted on lap 93. Kasey Kahne used a push from Harvick to take the lead. Hamlin used the outside line to take back the lead on lap 95. Earnhardt, Jr. drove under Hamlin to retake the lead on lap 104. The sixth caution of the race flew on lap 105 for a multi-car wreck on the front stretch. This one started when, out of turn 4, Kenseth got turned by Kasey Kahne. Kenseth's car then washed up the track, collecting nine additional cars: those of Aric Almirola, Larson, Martin Truex, Jr., Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Logano, Sam Hornish, Jr., David Ragan and Trevor Bayne.[32] "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."[32]

The race restarted with 46 laps to go. Johnson retook the lead. Earnhardt, Jr. dove underneath his teammate to retake the lead with 43 laps to go. The seventh caution of the race flew with 33 laps to go when Patrick cut a right front tire in turn 2 and hit the outside wall. Michael Annett was tagged for speeding on pit road and restarted the race from the tail-end of the field.[28]

The race restarted with 28 laps to go. The eighth caution of the race flew with twelve laps to go when Ragan got loose and turned down into the backstretch grass. Ragan did not suffer major damage, and stayed on the lead lap. He would manage to get back up to twelfth place at the checkered flag.[28]

Final lapsEdit

The race restarted on lap 151. The ninth and final caution of the race flew three laps later when Hornish, Jr. spun out on the backstretch in the same place that Ragan had spun in, and slid through the grass, getting airborne and almost flipping.[28]

Green-white-checkerEdit
Attempt #1 and the "Big One"Edit
 
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., seen here at the 2015 Daytona 500, scored the 25th victory of his career at Daytona International Speedway.

The race restarted with two laps to go. Earnhardt, Jr. held off the field to take the victory.[33] "I had a lot of fun tonight," said Earnhardt, who led a race-high 96 laps. "Our car was fast. I had to block a lot and you’ve got to run real, real hard to win here."[33] As the field raced to the checkered flag, Harvick tapped Hamlin from behind, instigating a massive wreck involving at least 24 cars. In the resulting chaos, Dillon's car struck Hamlin at such an angle that it flipped over and flew into the catch fence, ripping out the engine. Dillon's car landed back on the track upside down, coming to a rest at the exit to pit road, and was then hit again by Keselowski, who spun in oil while trying to avoid the crash. The impact was eerily similar to Bobby Allison's 1987 Winston 500, Geoff Bodine's 2000 Daytona 250, and Kyle Larson's 2013 DRIVE4COPD 300 wrecks.[original research?] Five fans were injured by debris, with one taken to Halifax Medical Center and later released, while the other four were treated and released from the infield care center. Upon coming to a stop, Dillon was helped out of his car by Earnhardt's and Mears's pit crews to loud cheers, and walked away. He was treated and released from the infield care center with a bruised tailbone and forearm.[citation needed]

Post-raceEdit

Driver commentsEdit

"It was very vicious," Dillon said of the crash. "It's twisting you around in there, and the belts are loosening with each hit, so the hits are getting more and more violent. By the fourth hit, you've separated enough so that the fourth one is going to hurt more than others. I held on to the steering wheel as hard as I could. I'm sure I'm going to find more bumps and bruises during the week, but right now I feel all right. It was just crazy. It's part of this racing. Everybody is pushing as hard as they can — pushing in a tight pack. I was pushing the 24 (Jeff Gordon) and the people behind are pushing me, It was just a wad right there at the end. At these speedway races, you're just praying and hoping that you get through it. I thought the wreck was over and I was sliding on the roof. I thought, 'We made it. We made it.' And then there was a big bang. I think it was the 2 car (Keselowski) that ran into me. Literally I had just got done stopping and crew members were everywhere. I thought that was really cool and special. It was comforting to me. They got to me pretty quick. I just wanted to get out of there and let the fans know I was OK."[34]

Dillon also spoke about the safety of the fans. "It's not really acceptable, I don't think," Dillon told reporters after exiting the care center. "We've got to figure out something. Our speeds are too high, I think. I think everybody could get good racing with slower speeds. We can work at that, and then figure out a way to keep the cars on the ground. That's the next thing. We're fighting hard to make the racing good. I hope the fans appreciate that. We don't, but it's our job. You go out there and hold it wide open to the end and hope you make it through."[34]

Other drivers commented on Dillon's wreck after the race.[35] "You are just on the verge of tears," Earnhardt said in victory lane. "I saw everything in the mirror pretty clearly ... I just was very scared for whoever that car was. I didn't care about anything except figuring out who was OK. The racing doesn't matter anymore."[35] "I'm shocked that Austin Dillon is even alive," said Jimmie Johnson after finishing runner-up. "I expected the worst when I came back around."[35]

Race resultsEdit

Pos Grid No. Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Points
1 1 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 161 48
2 12 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 161 43
3 35 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 161 42
4 34 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 161 40
5 28 41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 161 39
6 23 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 161 38
7 2 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 161 38
8 17 31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 161 37
9 5 6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 161 35
10 3 15 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 161 35
11 15 13 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 161 33
12 8 55 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 161 32
13 22 40 Landon Cassill (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet 161 0
14 31 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 161 30
15 9 1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 161 29
16 4 27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 161 28
17 13 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 161 27
18 21 51 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 161 26
19 30 17 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 161 25
20 25 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 161 24
21 7 47 A. J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 161 23
22 33 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 161 22
23 20 20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 161 22
24 37 7 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 161 20
25 29 35 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 161 19
26 41 83 Matt DiBenedetto (R) BK Racing Toyota 161 19
27 14 34 Brett Moffitt (R) Front Row Motorsports Ford 161 18
28 43 62 Brendan Gaughan (i) Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 161 0
29 32 2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 159 15
30 11 9 Sam Hornish, Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 154 14
31 42 98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford 154 14
32 10 5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 149 13
33 39 23 J. J. Yeley (i) BK Racing Toyota 139 0
34 36 43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 137 10
35 27 10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 126 9
36 40 26 Jeb Burton (R) BK Racing Toyota 121 8
37 18 46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 110 7
38 19 78 Martin Truex, Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 105 6
39 16 42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 103 5
40 6 38 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 96 4
41 24 19 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 85 3
42 26 33 Brian Scott (i) Hillman-Circle Sport LLC Chevrolet 85 0
43 38 32 Bobby Labonte Go FAS Racing Ford 2 1
Official Coke Zero 400 race results

Race statisticsEdit

  • 22 lead changes among 12 different drivers
  • 9 cautions for 43 laps
  • Time of race: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 58 seconds
  • Average speed: 134.941 mph (217.166 km/h)
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took home $300,040 in winnings
Lap Leaders
Laps Leader
1-8 Austin Dillon
9-26 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
27 Clint Bowyer
28 Ryan Newman
29 Jimmie Johnson
30-32 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
33-54 Jimmie Johnson
55 Denny Hamlin
56 J. J. Yeley (i)
57-75 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
76-78 Jimmie Johnson
79 Matt Kenseth
80-86 Jimmie Johnson
87 Matt DiBenedetto (R)
88 Josh Wise
89-93 Kasey Kahne
94-102 Denny Hamlin
103-111 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
112 Brett Moffitt (R)
113-114 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
115-116 Jimmie Johnson
117-161 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Total laps led
Leader Laps
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 96
Jimmie Johnson 35
Denny Hamlin 10
Austin Dillon 8
Kasey Kahne 5
Ryan Newman 1
Clint Bowyer 1
Matt Kenseth 1
Matt DiBenedetto (R) 1
Brett Moffitt (R) 1
Josh Wise 1
J. J. Yeley (i) 1

Race awardsEdit

MediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

The 2015 Coke Zero 400 marked the return of NBC Sports to NASCAR, as part of a new ten-year deal replacing TNT and ESPN as broadcaster of the second half of the season; it was the first race broadcast by NBC since the 2006 Ford 400.[36] Rick Allen, 2000 race winner Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte had the call in the booth for the race. Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast handled pit road for the television side.

NBC
Booth announcers Pit reporters
Lap-by-lap: Rick Allen
Color-commentator: Jeff Burton
Color-commentator: Steve Letarte
Dave Burns
Mike Massaro
Marty Snider
Kelli Stavast

RadioEdit

MRN had the radio call for the race, which was simulcast on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Joe Moore, Jeff Striegle and Rusty Wallace called the race from the booth when the field was racing through the tri-oval. Dave Moody called the race from the Sunoco tower outside turn 2 when the field was racing through turns 1 & 2. Mike Bagley called the race from a platform on the inside of the track towards turn 3 when the field was racing down the backstretch. Kurt Becker called the race from the Sunoco tower outside turn 4 when the field was racing through turns 3 & 4. Alex Hayden, Winston Kelley and Steve Post worked pit road for the radio side.

MRN
Booth announcers Turn announcers Pit reporters
Lead announcer: Joe Moore[37]
Announcer: Jeff Striegle[37]
Announcer: Rusty Wallace[37]
Turns 1 & 2: Dave Moody[37]
Backstretch: Mike Bagley[37]
Turns 3 & 4: Kurt Becker[37]
Alex Hayden[38]
Winston Kelley[38]
Steve Post[38]

Standings after the raceEdit

NoteEdit

  1. ^ Greg Biffle changed engines after crashing in the first practice session. As a result, he started the race from the rear of the field.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2015 NASCAR Schedule" (PDF). NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. August 26, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  2. ^ "Daytona International Speedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "Entry List". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. June 29, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "First Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. July 3, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Final Practice Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. July 3, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Starting Lineup". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. July 4, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "Coke Zero 400 Results". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  8. ^ "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. NASCAR Statistics. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "Manufacturer standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  10. ^ Paulsen (July 6, 2015). "NBC's Rain-Drenched NASCAR Return Struggles in Overnights". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Paulsen (July 9, 2015). "Delayed NASCAR From Daytona Up From Last Year's Postponement". SportsMediaWatch.com. Sports Media Watch. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  12. ^ Reed, Steve (January 22, 2013). "Daytona International unveils plans for upgrade". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  13. ^ "Daytona Rising". Daytona International Speedway. December 5, 2013. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  14. ^ a b DeGroot, Nick (July 2, 2015). "After the crash: Daytona's new safety upgrades". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  15. ^ Patten, Dominic (July 5, 2015). "Macy's July 4th Fireworks Ratings Cool, Fox's Baseball Hits Home Run". Deadline.com. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  16. ^ Kelly, Godwin (August 26, 2014). "2015 Coke Zero 400 to be on Sunday night, July 5, on NBC". Daytona Beach News-Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  17. ^ Olmstead, Christopher (July 5, 2015). "Daytona President Explains Why Coke Zero 400 Is On Sunday". FanSided. Time Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  18. ^ McFadin, Daniel (July 3, 2015). "Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads first Sprint Cup practice at Daytona". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  19. ^ a b c d Spencer, Lee (July 3, 2015). "Multi-car wreck stalls first Daytona practice - video". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  20. ^ McFadin, Daniel (July 3, 2015). "Danica Patrick leads Stewart-Haas Racing sweep of final Coke Zero 400 practice". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Weather Cancels Daytona Qualifying". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. July 4, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  22. ^ Spencer, Lee (July 4, 2015). "Coke Zero 400 qualifying rained out". Motorsport.com. Motorsport.com, Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
  23. ^ a b c d McFadin, Daniel (July 4, 2015). "Canceled Coke Zero 400 qualifying ends Wood Brothers' seven-year qualifying streak". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  24. ^ Bonkowski, Jerry (July 5, 2015). "Start of Coke Zero 400 delayed by rain". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  25. ^ "NASCAR hoping to start rain-delayed Coke Zero 400 at around 11 p.m." nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. July 5, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  26. ^ James, Brant (July 5, 2015). "Coke Zero 400 at Daytona goes green after long rain delay". USA Today. Daytona Beach, Florida: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  27. ^ a b c Bianchi, Jordan (July 6, 2015). "Early Daytona wreck collects 9 cars; Danica Patrick, Joey Logano involved". sbnation.com. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h "2015 Coke Zero 400". Sprint Cup Series. Season 67. Daytona Beach, Florida. July 5, 2015. Event occurs at 11:42 p.m. NBC Sports. NBC. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  29. ^ Long, Mark (July 6, 2015). "Kyle Busch brushes wall in 1st Daytona race since crash". AP Sports. Daytona Beach, Florida: Associated Press. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  30. ^ a b Kelly, Godwin (July 6, 2015). "Earnhardt Jr. wins Coke Zero 400; Dillon hits catch fence, is unhurt". news-journalonline.com. News-Journal Online. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  31. ^ Bonkowski, Jerry (July 6, 2015). "Jimmie Johnson leads at halfway point of Coke Zero 400 at Daytona". nascartalk.nbcsports.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Take two: Another 'Big One' hits Daytona hard". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  33. ^ a b Pistone, Pete (July 6, 2015). "Earnhardt Jr. Wins at Daytona". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  34. ^ a b Gluck, Jeff; James, Brant; Olson, Jeff; Tucker, Heather (July 6, 2015). "Austin Dillon in horrifying crash; five fans injured". USA Today. Daytona Beach, Florida: Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  35. ^ a b c Fryer, Jenna (July 6, 2015). "Earnhardt wins rain-delayed Daytona ahead of Dillon's crash". racing.ap.org. Daytona Beach, Florida. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  36. ^ "NBC wins NASCAR TV rights, signs 10-year deal to replace ESPN, Turner". The Sporting News. July 23, 2013. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  37. ^ a b c d e f Motor Racing Network [@MRNRadio] (July 5, 2015). "Booth: @Jomo4, Jeff Striegle, @RustyWallace Turns: @DGodfatherMoody @TheMikeBagley @BeckerTrackside. #AskMRN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  38. ^ a b c Motor Racing Network [@MRNRadio] (July 5, 2015). "Pits: @WinstonKelley @TheAlexHayden @ThePostman68 @kimmiecoon. #AskMRN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.


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