Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins NASCAR’s Delayed Coke Zero 400 Late Night at Daytona
Dale Earnhardt Jr. withstood rain delays and avoided crashes to win NASCAR’s Coke Zero 400 in an exciting green-white-checkered finish at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Sunday night / early Monday. The win was Earnhardt’s second victory of the 2015 Sprint Cup Series and helped him advance three places in the season’s points standings.
A three-and-a-half hour rain delay forced a late start time for the race, which was scheduled to be broadcast in prime time on NBC. Many crashes and caution flags pushed the race’s finish to 2:41 a.m. ET.
Earnhardt Jr. dominated the racing in between the delays and cautions. He led 96 of the 161 laps on his way to the win, but he had to hold off Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick on a thrilling final lap that saw Austin Dillon crash at the race’s finish, damaging the track’s catch fence in the process.
Johnson finished second, while Hamlin captured third. Harvick and Kurt Busch completed the top five.
Dillon sustained only minor injuries from the scary final lap crash. He waved to the crowd after being freed from his car.
The top finishers avoided the many multi-car wrecks that occurred at the storied race track on Sunday night. Other notable drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and Danica Patrick were not as fortunate.
Harvick remained in first place in the season’s points standings with Earnhardt Jr. moving from fifth to second as a result of his win. Johnson improved to third place, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Logano.