Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Report
July 7, 2014
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Coke Zero 400 Post Race Report
Daytona International Speedway
Sunday, July 6, 2014
- Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Ryan Newman finished fifth, 16th and 24th, respectively.
- Newman ranks eighth in the Sprint Cup Series championship point standings, trailing current leader Jeff Gordon by 117 points, while Menard ranks 10th and Dillon ranks 13th.
- Aric Almirola earned his first victory of the 2014 season and was followed to the finish line by Brian Vickers, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Dillon.
- The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Camping World RV Centers 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 13, which is scheduled to be televised live on TNT beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time and is broadcast live on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Satellite Radio, channel 90.
Austin Dillon Earns Top-Five Finish In Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon earned a fifth-place finish in the Coke Zero 400 presented by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway, securing Rookie of the Race honors and his highest finishing position of the season in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet. The race, which is traditionally run Saturday night under the lights in Daytona, was pushed back one day due to inclement weather in the area and eventually shortened by 52 laps. Dillon started from the 23rd position and worked with spotter Billy O'Dea to maneuver around the 2.5-mile superspeedway. He successfully avoided two multi-car incidents, which completely blocked the racing surface on laps 21 and 99. Following the lap-99 multi-car incident, Dillon pitted for four tires and fuel. He restarted in the fifth position when green-flag racing resumed on lap 105, but the caution flag was displayed on lap 108 for rain. With no break in the weather, the race was called complete and Dillon was credited with a fifth-place finish in the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Chevrolet. He moved up to 13th in the driver point standings heading into the next race on the schedule, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Start - 23rd Finish - 5th Laps Led - 0 Points - 13th
AUSTIN DILLON QUOTE:
"It was a great day for the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Museum Team. There were a few accidents on the track that we got through and I'm still scratching my head. I'll have some stories to tell my kids one day, that's for sure. There were cars in the air right in front of me. I would have liked to try and finish the race, but we had a solid points day. I'm off to run some dirt races this week before we race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway next weekend."
Paul Menard Finishes 16th in Rain-Shortened Race at Daytona International Speedway
Paul Menard drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 27 SPLASH/Menards Chevrolet SS to a16th-place finish in Sunday's rain delayed 400-mile event at Daytona International Speedway. The Eau Claire, Wis., driver started 21st and remained in the rear of the field as part of the team's early-race strategy. Menard raced three-wide for many of the beginning laps until the caution flag fell on lap 13 for rain. After a 25-minute red flag delay, the Slugger Labbe-led team would restart in the 30th position and continue to ride in the back. Menard would pit during the lap-40 caution for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Once the field took the green flag, the SPLASH/ Menards Chevrolet team thought it was time to move forward from the 30th spot and gain positions. Menard would go on to race in the top 15, until lap 93 when an on-track incident collected Menard causing damage to the No. 27 Chevrolet. The Richard Childress Racing team would pit four times during the caution to make repairs and maintain their lead-lap status. Menard would retain his 16th-place run, until rain shortened the race with 48 laps to go. Up next for the No. 27 team is Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Start - 21st Finish - 16th Laps Led - 0 Points - 10th
PAUL MENARD QUOTE:
"We battled weather all weekend and knew today would be a fight, as well. Our strategy was to ride around in the back and miss all the wrecks, but with rain coming we knew it was time to move towards the front. Of course, when we got to the front someone got turned around and we were caught up in a huge mess. Fortunately, my guys did a great job on pit road to repair damage and were able to keep us on the lead lap. I think we moved up in points, so all-in-all it wasn't a terrible day."
Crash Costs Newman and the WIX Filters Team a Solid Finish in Sunday's
Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway
Ryan Newman drove Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet SS to a 24th-place finish in Sunday's rain-delayed event at Daytona International Speedway. The South Bend, Ind., driver started 20th after rain washed out Friday's final two sessions of knockout qualifying. Then on Saturday, Mother Nature put a damper on the festivities to postpone the scheduled 160-lap event until 11 a.m. on Sunday. When the green flag finally waved, Newman drove conservatively and dropped to the back of the lead pack. The strategy paid off when 15 cars were collected in a crash on lap 20. The No. 31 WIX Filters Chevrolet rode it out unscathed with the driver crediting his degree in engineering as an asset in maneuvering out of harm's way. By halfway, Newman raced in the top 15 and started to make a gradual move to the front, while crew chief Luke Lambert monitored the weather in the surrounding areas. Then on lap 95, Newman attempted to take evasive action when more than 20 cars collided. This time, his No. 31 Chevrolet sustained damage. NASCAR red flagged the event as the No. 31 team surveyed the damage on pit road. As soon as NASCAR threw the yellow flag, Newman drove to the garage and the WIX Filters crew worked vigorously to repair the damage. Their hard work enabled the No. 31 driver to return to the track in 24th place on lap 112. Moments later, rain began to fall forcing NASCAR to once again throw the red flag and eventually deemed the race complete. Newman's 24th-place result keeps the team in eighth place in the championship standings. Up next for the No. 31 team is Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.
Start - 20th Finish - 24th Laps Led - 0 Points - 8th
RYAN NEWMAN QUOTE:
"I really spent most of the race managing and avoiding trouble by riding in the back. I had a really good idea where the leaders were and we were conservative with how we raced and by pitting on the extra lap by ourselves. It was all about staying out of trouble and keeping the fenders on our WIX Filters Chevrolet for most of our race. We kept it clean until the biggest crash of the Coke Zero 400. It's so unfortunate these fans have sat through all of this for an extra day as we continue to fight Mother Nature. I hate seeing all these race cars get torn up like this. I think today is a product of being here an extra day, guys racing in the rain and a chance for the win. What happened today is just a product of racing together, it is what it is."