WINNERS & LOSERS: Daytona
The Coke Zero 400 featured plenty of two-car tandem racing and a feel-good story in winner David Ragan.
But several drivers left Daytona disappointed after a pair of late multicar wrecks overshadowed an otherwise tame race.
Here’s a look at tonight’s winners and losers:
David Ragan – Not only earned his first Sprint Cup victory but a huge measure of redemption after late-race gaffe in the Daytona 500.
Matt Kenseth – Played the role of good teammate in pushing Ragan to the victory and took home a runnerup finish.
Joey Logano – Banner weekend for the 21-year-old at DIS. Logano followed up his win in yesterday’s Nationwide race with a third-place finish in the Coke Zero 400.
Kasey Kahne – Fourth-place finish a nice early parting gift for Red Bull. Would not be a surprise to see Kahne win one for the company before year’s end.
Jeff Gordon – Incredible save after spin with three to go allowed Gordon to take home sixth-place finish.
Kevin Harvick – Happy’s seventh-place result combined with Carl Edwards’ early misfortune helped Harvick grab the points lead.
Tony Stewart – Involved in both late-race wrecks but managed to escape with an 11th-place finish and keep Chase hopes intact.
Trevor Bayne – Bid for repeat after Daytona 500 win ended early when Brad Keselowski turned Bayne on lap 5.
Carl Edwards – Tough break for Edwards after contact with Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle on lap 24 led to contact with inside retaining wall. Finished 37th and lost the points lead to Kevin Harvick.
Dave Blaney – Made his presence felt earlier this year at Talladega but lap 49 wreck put him out early at Daytona.
Mark Martin, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Landon Cassill, Regan Smith, Joe Nemechek, Casey Mears and David Reutimann – All of these drivers were involved in the first big crash on lap 163 and unable to overcome the inevitable late wreck at Daytona.
Jamie McMurray – Involvement in final 15-car wreck left him 22nd in the rundown. Tough season continues after last year’s dream run.
“It’s not fun, I can promise you. It takes about a half-second and you say, ‘Oh, here it goes,’ because you get sideways and you know the point of correction. You know at what point you can still correct and then you know when it’s too far.” – Trevor Bayne, after getting spun early by Brad Keselowski
“We had a plan made out yesterday and stuck to it and it worked out.” – Matt Kenseth, on working with winner David Ragan
“Carl and I just got caught up racing too hard too early.” – Greg Biffle, who finished 18th, on his contact with teammate Carl Edwards
“Regan [Smith] and I were making our move and then I just saw smoke and cars spinning in front of us. I was just about to miss it on the high groove, but got clipped and that nearly ripped the entire driver-side door off.” – Kurt Busch, who finished 14th despite being caught in the lap 163 wreck
“We led some laps, we ran up front, I was able to push Joey [Logano] and we got fourth, so it’s a really good night for Red Bull.” – Kasey Kahne
“How we finished sixth is unbelievable.” – Jeff Gordon
“I thought I could save it but there were cars everywhere.” - Polesitter Mark Martin on his crash on the first green-white-checkered restart