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July 7, 2013

Sprint Cup Post Race Report for Daytona

                              Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola      
                                     
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Daytona International Speedway      
July 6, 2013 

Race Highlights: 

•Richard Childress Racing teammates finished 3rd (Kevin Harvick), 16th (Jeff Burton) and 43rd (Paul Menard) in the Coke Zero 400.
•Following the event at Daytona International Speedway, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, trailing leader Jimmie Johnson by 73 markers, while Menard ranks 20th, 198 points back, and Burton sits 21st, 201 points out of the top position.
•The No. 29 Chevrolet SS team ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 27 team 21st in the standings and the No. 31 team 22nd.
•According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Harvick posted the fastest Green Flag Speed of the race with a lap time of 197.465 mph and completed three of the Fastest Laps Run.
•Harvick ranked third in Speed in Traffic (197.506 mph), was the eighth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run and the 10th-Fastest Driver Early in a Run.
•Burton made 162 green-flag passes and was the only RCR driver to be credited with a lap led.
•Menard completed 23 laps at Daytona International Speedway, all of which he ran within the top 10.
•Jimmie Johnson earned his fourth victory of the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season and was followed to the finish line by Tony Stewart, Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip.
•The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 14. The 19th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on TNT beginning at Noon Eastern Time and broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.

                 Menard Finishes 43rd Under the Lights at Daytona

Paul Menard started the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway from the sixth position, but was relegated to a 43rd-place result on Saturday evening after experiencing mechanical issues early in the 161-lap event. Menard quickly moved up to third at lap eight and radioed to crew chief "Slugger" Labbe that the Rheem/Menards Chevrolet was handling to his liking. After settling into position, the field began to spread out single-file and Menard remained in the top three until lap 24 when his car caught fire forcing him to go to the garage. After accessing the damage, the team diagnosed the No. 27 with a terminal engine issue, ending Menard's night early. The Eau Claire, Wis., native was credited with a 43rd -place finish and now sits 20th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standing heading into New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

            Start - 6         Finish - 43         Laps Led - 0          Points - 20th

PAUL MENARD QUOTE
: "We had a really fast Rheem/Menards Chevrolet tonight, and it's really unfortunate our evening ended so early. It is a tough break for our team, but we'll keep our heads up and go to New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend hoping for better results."

              Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Team Finish Third 

Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser team collected their eighth-consecutive top-10 finish after taking the checkered flag third under the lights at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday evening. Starting from the 26th position, Harvick dropped back in the field during the early laps of the 400-mile event to avoid the troubles synonymous with superspeedway racing. As the race progressed, the California native waited for the right opportunity to begin working his way toward the front of the field, which came at lap 101 when he drove up to the sixth position. Following a fuel-only pit stop on lap 127, Harvick returned to the track in the fourth position and held a spot near the front of the field, working his way up to as high as second. The Richard Childress Racing driver was shuffled around in the pack during the green-white-checkered finish, but maintained ground crossing the finish line third. Following his 10th top-10 finish of the season, Harvick remains fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

              Start - 26         Finish - 3         Laps Led - 0         Points - 4th

KEVIN HARVICK QUOTE
: "I thought we were in a good spot. The whole thing on the restarts is just getting your line to form.  Everybody on our Budweiser Chevrolet team did a great job. We were able to hold Jimmie (Johnson) door-to-door until the exit of turn two, but on both of those restarts the No. 14 and No. 15, and whoever was behind them. just couldn't get our line formed up. All night it seemed like the top line would form pretty fast and those guys were able to get going a lot quicker than the inside line."
 
            Jeff Burton Locks in a 16th-place finish in Kwikset Chevrolet at Daytona

When the initial green flag waved for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Kwikset Chevrolet were lined up 17th. Right from the start, Burton and the Luke Lambert-led team elected to drop back through the field and maintain a position far enough away from the lead pack to avoid trouble, but close enough they could quickly get back and race with the leaders. For the early portion of the 161-lap race, Burton was running in the 30s with few handling issues. Through the first three caution periods, Lambert and Burton agreed to make pit stops for four tires, fuel, minor air pressure and chassis adjustments. During a caution on lap 130, Burton stayed out to lead a lap while others hit pit road as soon as it opened. Just as Burton was starting to make his move towards the front, the caution came out on lap 149 for a multi-car wreck on the frontstretch tri-oval. This brought out the red flag for eight minutes and 53 seconds, before the yellow was displayed to restart the race with Burton in 28th with 27 laps remaining. Burton dodged cars spinning in front of him with five laps remaining while he was up to 19th place. This set up a green-white-checkered finish and, as usual at a restrictor-plate race, mechanical mayhem ensued after the white flag was waved. Burton worked his way up to 16th and maintained his position until crossing under the checkered flag. Right after he took the checkers, he was caught up in a multi-car wreck damaging his Kwikset Chevrolet, but walked away unharmed. With his finish of 16th, Burton and team remain 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings.

             Start - 17         Finish 16           Laps Led - 1          Points - 21st

JEFF BURTON QUOTE:
"This wasn't the finish this Kwikset team deserved tonight. We played it safe there for most of the race and were just getting wound up to go to the front when that caution waved with five to go. That set up the green-white-checkered-finish and it just wasn't enough time to get to where I know that car could have run."
 
 

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