- Coke Zero 400
Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca Cola at Daytona Venue Daytona International Speedway Sponsor The Coca-Cola Company First race July 4, 1959 Distance 400 miles (643.737 km) Laps 160 Previous names
(1963-1968, 1970, 1972, 1974-1984)
Medal of Honor Firecracker 400
(1969, 1971, 1973)
Pepsi Firecracker 400
Coke Zero 400
The Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona is a 160 lap, 400 miles (640 km) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race held annually, beginning in 1959, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida; the second major stock car event held at Daytona on the Sprint Cup circuit. Since 1988, the race has been held on the first Saturday of July closest to the United State's Independence Day and in 1998 became the first restrictor plate/Daytona race to be held at night.
A ten year deal, that started in 2008, between Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and International Speedway Corporation agreed to make Coke the official soft drink, official sparkling beverage and official water for ten of ISC's operated motorsports facilities and the Daytona 500. The company replaced Pepsi-Cola, bringing a 19 year race sponsorship to an end, to showcase Coke Zero as the race's title brand through 2018.
The annual event is recently known for its close finishes, posting a (.154 ds) margin of victory in its last 21 races including the T-4th closest margin of victory in Sprint Cup history at (.005 ms); high speed high-density crashes under the lights, and a broad display of fireworks during post-race celebrations.
- 1 History
- 2 Past winners
- 3 Race summaries
- 4 Statistics
- 5 Broadcasting
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Following two separate life ending accidents to drivers Marshall Teague and George Amick during the inaugural USAC Championship (Indy Car) weekend events at Daytona International Speedway in April of 1959, speedway officials announced that extremely high speeds would prompt them to conclude any scheduled events at the track, including a 300 mile race scheduled on July 4. William France Sr., the Daytona superspeedway owner at the time, announced plans to hold a 250 mile stock car race instead that would take 100 laps scheduled for the same day.
The race came to be named the Firecracker 250, owing to the fact the race would be held on Independence Day. William France Sr. announced on July 1 that the winner of the race would receive the Marshall Teague Memorial trophy, a trophy honoring and commemorating the life of Teague who died in February. The trophy was presented by Teague's daughter and widow.
The inaugural race was held on July 4, 1959, at about midday to limit the possibility of afternoon interference from thunderstorms known to Florida, and to exploit the potential for competitors hooking up with relatives and friends for an afternoon of fun on the nearby beach. Before the race preliminary activities took place including a Miss Dixie pageant, where twenty aspiring pageant winning hopefuls marched to showcase their bathing suits. With 12,900 in attendance the race ran its scheduled 250 miles with no caution flags, and with a 57sec lead over runner-up Joe Weatherly, Daytona Beach native Fireball Roberts won in dominate fashion leading 84 of 100 laps. For the next three years a couple of Nascar's top drivers would go on to win the Firecracker 250, including Jack Smith, David Pearson and a repeat victory in 1962 for Fireball Roberts.
Expansion was needed, in just three years from the race's inaugural event attendance had grown by more than ten thousand as tourists flocked to the beaches for the holidays; so in 1963 the race was expanded from 100 laps to 160 laps, for a distance of 400 miles, and subsequently became known as the Firecracker 400. In the same year Roberts drove his '63 Ford to victory, becoming the first driver to win back-to-back events by barely beating Fred Lorenzen. Unfortunately Roberts was unable to go for three straight wins due to his death on July 2, 1964.
Richard Petty was the man to beat during the sixth annual 400 mile July race, but on lap 103 engine problems cost him a chance at victory. Over the course of the final 56 laps Bobby Isaac and rookie teammate A.J. Foyt swapped the lead fifteen times. Coming out of the fourth turn Foyt was able to barely edge out Isaac to the stripe; giving Foyt his first career NASCAR victory in only his tenth start. One year later Foyt got his second career win, becoming the second driver to win back-to-back Firecracker races.
Foyt didn't even attempt to defend the title of reigning race winner in 1966. Instead it was the dark horse 1965 Rookie of the Year driver Sam McQuagg winning the race. McQuagg collected his first and only NASCAR victory driving a 66' Dodge Charger while utilizing a new racing mechanism: the rear 'spoiler'. The air cutting spoiler allowed McQuagg to shatter Foyt's 151.451 mph race average set two years prior. Only two cars finished on the lead lap and the margin of victory to second place driver Darel Dieringer was sixty-six seconds.
In late March 1969 William France Sr. invited all surviving American Congressional Medal of Honor recipients to attend the July 4 race dubbed the Medal of Honor Firecracker 400. Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee would arrange for the heroes and their families to be flown in via military aircraft. 100 members from 31 states would attend the race with Thomas J. Kelly the president of The Medal of Honor Society as the grand marshal. With success France Sr. invited them on two more occasions in 1971 and 1973, won by Bobby Isaac and David Pearson respectively.
In 1974 the maneuver used by David Pearson to win his third straight Firecracker race would be talked about well after he crossed the stripe. After collecting the white flag Pearson slowed his Wood Brothers 73' Mercury to allow Richard Petty to jump out to a seven car lead. Following the race Pearson was quoted saying "I thought Petty might be able to slingshot and draft past me on that last lap and that's why I didn't want to be leading..." Using the draft Pearson was able to close on Petty into the final turn and eventually passed him coming to the tri-oval for the win. Eight seconds behind the Pearson-Petty duel, Buddy Baker and Cale Yarborough seemed to have crossed the finish line at the same time. After two hours of deliberation officials announced a dead heat for third place, the only tie recorded in NASCAR history. During the race nine different drivers exchanged the lead 49 times, a race record that stood until it was broken with 57 between 25 different drivers in 2011.
In 1985, the race became known as the Pepsi Firecracker 400, when PepsiCo became the title sponsor. In 1989, the "Firecracker" name was dropped, and the race was known simply as the Pepsi 400 through 2007. From 1998-2002, the race was often subtitled the Pepsi 400 at Daytona to avoid confusion with another race titled the Pepsi 400, held at Michigan during that period.
From 1959 to 1987, the race was always scheduled for July 4, regardless of the day of the week. Beginning in 1988, the race was moved to the first Saturday of July (that date nearest July 4). The 2009 race was run on July 4, marking the first time since 1992 that the race was run on July 4.
On July 4, 1987, in the wake of Bobby Allison's massive crash at Talladega, the cars were fitted with 390 CFM carburetors. The change helped slow the cars down several mph. On the final lap, Ken Schrader flipped upside-down in the tri-oval as the field crossed the finish line. It would be the final race at Daytona without restrictor plates.
For most of its history, the race normally started in the morning (10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. eastern) to avoid hot summer temperatures and the frequent mid-afternoon thunderstorms in Florida. During live ESPN telecasts, the term "Breakfast at Daytona" was used, a gesture to NBC's popular "Breakfast at Wimbledon", taking place the same weekend.
In July 1997, Daytona International Speedway announced a massive lighting project to be done by MUSCO lighting, the same company who installed lights at Charlotte. Plans called for the 1998 Pepsi 400 to be held under the lights in primetime. At the time, it was the longest track with a night race, and the first restrictor plate race held at night.
On July 4, 1998, however, the race had to be postponed. Wildfires in Florida consumed the surrounding areas, and the track was converted into a firefighters' staging area. Track officials rescheduled the race for October that year.
With the race's fundamental link to Independence Day, U.S. Presidents have been in attendance on two notable occasions.
On Wednesday July 4, 1984, President Ronald Reagan became the first sitting U.S. President to attend a NASCAR race. The President gave the command to start the race ("Gentlemen, start your engines") by phone from aboard Air Force One. Landing at Daytona, the President proceeded to the track, and viewed the race with Bill France Jr.. During his time at the race, Reagan was interviewed by NASCAR driver Ned Jarrett, who in 1978 had begun a career as a radio race broadcaster. The 1984 Firecracker 400 is also legendary since it was the race at which Richard Petty achieved his unparalleled 200th (and final) win. Petty and President Reagan were interviewed together following the race, and the President joined Richard Petty and his family in Victory Lane.
On July 4, 1992, President George H. W. Bush attended the race, which served as a Daytona farewell tribute to Richard Petty during his "Fan Appreciation Tour." Bush, on the 1992 campaign trail, participated in pre-race festivities, gave the starting command, and rode around the track in the pace car during the pace laps. Petty qualified a strong second, and led the first 5 laps of the race and quickly fell back to the end of the field. He succumbed to heat exhaustion, however, and dropped out near the halfway point.
The Coke Zero 400 has been known to produce a number of drivers' first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. Drivers include A. J. Foyt, Sam McQuagg, Greg Sacks, Jimmy Spencer, John Andretti, Greg Biffle, and David Ragan. McQuagg and Sacks, in fact, never won another race in their respective careers.
The 400 has also marked the first of multiple points-paying victories at Daytona for a total of seven drivers, including Jeff Gordon (1995) and Dale Earnhardt (after 24 previous attempts from 1978–1990). David Pearson won the 400 four times prior to finally winning the Daytona 500 in 1976.
Jeff Burton's 2000 race victory marks his only career restrictor plate win in 67 starts. Notably, Tony Stewart has won the 400 three times, but has never won the Daytona 500 (his best finish was 2nd in 2004).
Year Day Date Driver Team Manufacturer Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
Laps Miles (km) 1959 Saturday July 4 Fireball Roberts Jim Stephens Pontiac 100 250 (402.336) 1:46:42 140.581 1960 Monday July 4 Jack Smith Jack Smith Pontiac 100 250 (402.336) 1:42:09 146.842 1961 Tuesday July 4 David Pearson John Masoni Pontiac 100 250 (402.336) 1:37:13 154.294 1962 Wednesday July 4 Fireball Roberts Banjo Matthews Pontiac 100 250 (402.336) 1:37:36 153.688 1963 Thursday July 4 Fireball Roberts Holman-Moody Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:39:01 150.927 1964 Saturday July 4 A. J. Foyt Ray Nichels Dodge 160 400 (643.737) 2:38:28 151.451 1965 Sunday July 4 A. J. Foyt Wood Brothers Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:39:57 150.046 1966 Monday July 4 Sam McQuagg Ray Nichels Dodge 160 400 (643.737) 2:36:02 153.813 1967 Tuesday July 4 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:47:09 143.583 1968 Thursday July 4 Cale Yarborough Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:23:30 167.247 1969 Friday July 4 LeeRoy Yarbrough Junior Johnson Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:29:11 160.875 1970 Saturday July 4 Donnie Allison Banjo Matthews Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:27:56 162.235 1971 Sunday July 4 Bobby Isaac Nord Krauskopf Dodge 160 400 (643.737) 2:28:12 161.947 1972 Tuesday July 4 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:29:14 160.821 1973 Wednesday July 4 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:31:27 158.468 1974 Thursday July 4 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:53:32 138.310 1975 Friday July 4 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 160 400 (643.737) 2:31:32 158.381 1976 Sunday July 4 Cale Yarborough Junior Johnson Buick 160 400 (643.737) 2:29:06 160.966 1977* Monday July 4 Richard Petty Petty Enterprises Dodge 160 400 (643.737) 2:48:10 142.716 1978 Tuesday July 4 David Pearson Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:35:30 154.340 1979 Wednesday July 4 Neil Bonnett Wood Brothers Racing Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:18:49 172.890 1980 Friday July 4 Bobby Allison Bud Moore Engineering Mercury 160 400 (643.737) 2:18:21 173.473 1981 Saturday July 4 Cale Yarborough M.C. Anderson Buick 160 400 (643.737) 2:48:32 142.588 1982 Sunday July 4 Bobby Allison DiGard Motorsports Buick 160 400 (643.737) 2:27:09 163.099 1983 Monday July 4 Buddy Baker Wood Brothers Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:23:20 167.442 1984 Wednesday July 4 Richard Petty Mike Curb Pontiac 160 400 (643.737) 2:19:59 171.204 1985 Thursday July 4 Greg Sacks DiGard Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:31:12 158.730 1986 Friday July 4 Tim Richmond Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 3:01:56 131.916 1987 Saturday July 4 Bobby Allison Stavola Brothers Racing Buick 160 400 (643.737) 2:29:00 161.074 1988 Saturday July 2 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:26:58 163.302 1989 Saturday July 1 Davey Allison Robert Yates Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 3:01:32 132.207 1990 Saturday July 7 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:29:10 160.894 1991 Saturday July 6 Bill Elliott Melling Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:30:50 159.116 1992 Saturday July 4 Ernie Irvan Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:20:47 170.457 1993 Saturday July 3 Dale Earnhardt Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:38:09 151.755 1994 Saturday July 2 Jimmy Spencer Junior Johnson Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:34:17 155.558 1995 Saturday July 1 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:23:44 166.976 1996 Saturday July 6 Sterling Marlin Morgan-McClure Motorsports Chevrolet 117* 292.5 (470.733) 1:48:36 161.602 1997 Saturday July 5 John Andretti Cale Yarborough Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:32:06 157.791 1998 Saturday Oct 17* Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:46:02 144.549 1999 Saturday July 3 Dale Jarrett Robert Yates Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:21:50 169.213 2000 Saturday July 1 Jeff Burton Roush Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:41:32 148.576 2001 Saturday July 7 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:32:17 157.601 2002 Saturday July 6 Michael Waltrip Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:56:32 135.952 2003 Saturday July 5 Greg Biffle Roush Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:24:29 166.109 2004 Saturday July 3 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:45:23 145.117 2005 Sat/Sun July 2/3* Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 3:03:11 131.016 2006 Saturday July 1 Tony Stewart Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:36:43 153.143 2007 Saturday July 7 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford 160 400 (643.737) 2:52:41 138.983 2008 Saturday July 5 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 162* 405 (651.784) 2:55:23 138.554 2009 Saturday July 4 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 160 400 (643.737) 2:48:28 142.461 2010 Sat/Sun July 3/4* Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 166* 415 (667.877) 3:03:28 130.814 2011 Saturday July 2 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 170* 425 (683.971) 2:39:53 159.491
- 1977: Race had a 2-hour rain delay red flag near the halfway point
- 1996: Race shortened due to rain.
- 1998: Scheduled for July 4; postponed to October 17 due to Florida wildfires.
- 2005: Race moved from 8pm to 11pm due to rain. Ended at 2am on Sunday July 3.
- 2008 & 2011: Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish. 2011 race took 2 attempts.
- 2010: Race started 90 minutes late due to rain and ended at 12:45am on Sunday July 4. Race extended due to a Green-white-checker finish. Last race on the old asphalt.
- 1963: The Firecracker race was lengthened from 250 miles to 400 in 1963, and one of Fireball Roberts' final wins came in this race. In a highly competitive race (39 official lead changes) Junior Johnson won the pole and battled Roberts until falling out with a burned piston while leading with 50 laps to go. Fred Lorenzen took over and the two Fords battled until Roberts passed Lorenzen on the final lap.
- 1964: The hemi-head Dodges dominated the big tracks in 1964, and in the Firecracker that July Richard Petty led all but one of the first 103 laps, but then blew up. That season's Indianapolis champion, A.J. Foyt, was entered in a Ray Nichels Dodge and after Petty fell out Foyt fought it out with teammate Bobby Isaac; the lead bounced around 17 times between the two before Foyt won on the final lap. The weekend was marred, however, as Fred Lorenzen was injured in a bad crash during practice, and word came down that Fireball Roberts had died of injuries sustained in a savage fire in the World 600 six weeks earlier.
- 1971: Restrictor plates debuted in NASCAR in August 1970 and had become a constant source of controversy in 1971 over differing plate sizes for different engines. Team owner Nord Krauskopf withdrew the #71 Dodges of Bobby Isaac after the Motor State 400 in June, but for July was persuaded by crew chief Harry Hyde to enter with a wedge-head engine, which was allowed a larger plate than hemi-head engines. Isaac started the Firecracker 21st but raced to the front quickly. His Dodge and that of Buddy Baker raced the Plymouths of Richard Petty and Pete Hamilton all day; these four cars led 145 of 160 laps and Isaac led a four-car sweep of the top spots, this despite nearly being black flagged for a broken hood pin that began bending his hood toward his windshield. The lead changed 35 times among eight drivers.
- 1974: The most audacious finish in NASCAR history. David Pearson had become a superspeedway power in the Wood Brothers Mercury starting in April 1972 and by the 1974 Firecracker had won 20 times in the #21. The '74 Firecracker began as a multicar battle between Pearson, the Allison brothers (Bobby and Donnie), A.J. Foyt, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, and Richard Petty. The lead changed 45 times (a race record broken in 2010) among nine drivers. Bobby Allison debuted in Roger Penske's AMC Matador and led 50 laps; a broken intake valve dropped him out of contention in the final 20 laps. Pearson, Petty, Baker, and Cale were now alone for the win and the finish shook into a Pearson-Petty showdown with Baker and Cale left half a straightaway back racing for third. Petty was in the draft of Pearson, waiting for the last moment to storm past with no chance of a counterattack by Pearson. Knowing this, Pearson took the white flag and immediately hit his brakes, forcing a surprised Petty to swerve right and take the lead; Petty took a seven car-length lead, but Pearson got back on the gas and caught Petty's draft; he shot forward and in Four swung underneath Petty, who swerved to cut him off but left room for Pearson to clear. Pearson took the win and it left Petty angry enough that he confronted Pearson in the press box after the race. Amid all this, Baker and Cale hit the stripe for third at an exact instant, the first tie in modern NASCAR history.
- 1977: Petty won the Firecracker in 1975, and in 1977 he rebounded from a disappointing 1976 season to win four races in the season's first half. This race saw the entry of female racers Janet Guthrie, Christine Beckers, and Lella Lombardi; none, however, were around at the end as an early Bobby Allison/Cale Yarborough fight gave way to a runaway by Petty. "I wish people would stop complaining about the Chevrolets," runner-up Darrell Waltrip said afterward. "A Dodge (Neil Bonnett) won the pole and Petty blew my doors off."
- 1980: The lead changed 41 times among nine drivers as sophomore sensation Dale Earnhardt tried to run down the Bud Moore Mercury of Bobby Allison; Earnhardt, though, got into a race with David Pearson and this allowed Allison to breeze to the win. The final lap, however, saw a huge crash well after Allison took the win, as Phil Finney spun off Four, plowed into an earth embankment, and flew 20 feet off the ground before landing at the pit entrance.
- 1982: "Geoff Bodine tried to kick my Pontiac for a field goal," said Richard Petty of a late-race melee that eliminated him, Harry Gant, and several others chasing Bobby Allison. Allison edged Bill Elliott for the win and a Daytona season sweep.
- 1984: Petty ground past Cale Yarborough racing to the race-ending yellow in front of President Reagan for his 200th NASCAR win.
- 1986: Tim Richmond won his only Daytona race as a late-race wreck knocked out Buddy Baker and Dale Earnhardt.
- 1987: The race was run with smaller carburators following Bobby Allison's Talladega crash; Allison got back on the lead lap in the final laps, then in a five-lap finish bolted past Dave Marcis, Harry Gant, and Ken Schrader to the win, to the surprise of many (including the race's broadcaster ABC Sports) who thought he was still a lap down. On the final lap Schrader blew a tire and flipped into Gant, nearly climbing the fencing; NASCAR went from smaller carburators to restrictor plates after 1987.
- 1988: In the first restrictor plate Firecracker 400 since 1973, Bill Elliott edged upstart Rick Wilson in a five-car scramble.
- 1989: Mark Martin came back from a mid-race spin, but ran out of gas in the final laps. Davey Allison edged Morgan Shepherd, who misread the flags and thought the final lap was two to go. Lake Speed survived a violent melee on the backstretch when he sideslammed Sterling Marlin and Marlin bounced back into him.
- 1990: Dale Earnhardt won his first Winston Cup race at Daytona after a plethora of wins in Busch Clash's, IROC, and Gatorade 125s over the years. A 20-plus car melee erupted at the end of the opening lap as Greg Sacks made contact with Derrike Cope as they were racing for seventh with Richard Petty; the two cars spun into Petty and most of the field behind them plowed into the mess. Earnhardt dominated the race against a depleted field the rest of the way.
- 1994: Jimmy Spencer authored one of the biggest upsets in the event's history as he ran down Ernie Irvan and beat him by a wheel for his first Winston Cup win and the first for car owner Junior Johnson since 1992. Spencer went low down the backstrech on the final lap to take the lead into turn 3, and led only 1 lap (the final lap) in the entire race.
- 1997: John Andretti dominated en route to his first Winston Cup win and the only win for Cale Yarborough as a car owner. Following a crash with five laps to go between Michael Waltrip, Hut Stricklin, and Ricky Rudd he sweated out a one-lap restart; in Turn Three Mark Martin tried to pass between two other cars and it detonated a huge melee.
- 2001: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won his first race since Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed. It was also the first race at Daytona since then. Him and Michael Waltrip finished in reverse order of the Daytona 500
- 2007: Perhaps the greatest finish in the race's history came in a ferocious scramble over the event's final seven laps, the final laps run at Daytona before the debut of the Car of Tomorrow. Jeff Gordon had the lead on the restart; teammate Kyle Busch jumped from seventh spot with six to go but Jamie McMurray, rallying from a penalty for passing below the line earlier, jumped in front of him and stormed past Gordon at the stripe; Busch then jumped to the low side and tho two were locked in a ferocious side draft with the rest of the field stacked behind them; McMurray stormed into a clear lead with three to go but Busch caught back up and stormed ahead with two to go, but the two sidedrafted all the way to the stripe and McMurray squeezed ahead by inches, his first Winston Cup win since 2002.
- 2009: On the final lap, going into the tri-oval, Kyle Busch was hooked head on into the wall by Tony Stewart. Busch's car was then hit by the car Kasey Kahne at an estimated 180 mph, sending the rear of the car airborne. After crossing the start finish line, Busch suffered a third hit from teammate Joey Logano. Busch walked away from the car uninjured but contends to this day that Stewart, a former teammate of Busch, intentionally wrecked him.
- 2010: The 400 was delayed nearly two hours by rain and saw numerous crashes, including a 20-car melee in which Mark Martin had to be helped out of his burning car on pit road. Kyle Busch was leading when he lapped Juan Montoya on the backstretch and Montoya hooked Busch head-on into the wall, a virtual carbon copy of the last-lap wreck from the year before. Kevin Harvick took the win as RCR Chevrolets raced together in the top three for much of the race's final quarter. The lead changed 47 times, a new race record. It was the final race at Daytona on the pavement laid down in 1978; the day before a pothole opened in the section of Turn Two that had seen a much larger pothole during the 500; the section was fixed in time for racing activity to proceed without delay.
- 2011: With the two-car tandem draft in effect, drivers sought out drafting partners for the race. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was knocked out early, and David Ragan with assisstance from Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth grabbed his first career Sprint Cup victory, redeeming himself for the restart lane violation that cost him the 500 in February. The race set a new race record for lead changes (58) and also saw three large crashes in two green-white-checker restarts.
- 5 victories
- David Pearson (1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978)
- 4 victories
- Cale Yarborough (1967, 1968, 1976, 1981)
- 3 victories
- 2 victories
- 3 consecutive victories
- David Pearson (1972—1973—1974)
- 2 consecutive victories
Rank Manufacturer Wins 1 Ford 15 1 Chevrolet 15 3 Mercury 7 4 Pontiac 5 4 Dodge 5 6 Buick 4 7 Toyota 1
Coke Zero 400 & Daytona 500
Many drivers who have won the Daytona 500 have also won the Coke Zero 400 at some point in their career. In addition, every single multiple-time winner of the Daytona 500 has won the Coke Zero 400 at least once. Among the most notable, David Pearson won the 400 four times prior to finally winning the Daytona 500 in 1976.
The drivers who have won the Coke Zero 400 and the Daytona 500 are as follows (Bold indicates winning both in the same season):
Driver Daytona 500 win(s) Coke Zero 400 win(s) Richard Petty 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1981 1975, 1977, 1984 Cale Yarborough 1968, 1977, 1983, 1984 1967, 1968, 1976, 1981 Bobby Allison 1978, 1982, 1988 1980, 1982, 1987 Jeff Gordon 1997, 1999, 2005 1995, 1998, 2004 Dale Jarrett 1993, 1996, 2000 1999 Bill Elliott 1985, 1987 1988, 1991 Sterling Marlin 1994, 1995 1996 Michael Waltrip 2001, 2003 2002 David Pearson 1976 1961, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978 Fireball Roberts 1962 1962, 1963 A.J. Foyt 1972 1964, 1965, LeeRoy Yarbrough 1969 1969 Dale Earnhardt 1998 1990, 1993 Buddy Baker 1980 1983 Ernie Irvan 1991 1992 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2004 2001 Davey Allison 1992 1989 Jamie McMurray 2010 2007 Kevin Harvick 2007 2010
In the 1970s and 1980s, the race was shown tape delayed on ABC's Wide World of Sports on the Saturday following the race. Typically, since July 4 often fell during the week, the broadcast would not air the same day the race was held. If July 4 fell on a Saturday, the race was aired later in the day, taped and edited.
From 1989 through 1997, the race switched to a live flag-to-flag broadcast on ESPN. The 1989 event was noteworthy in that it was the event's first live coverage (actually slightly time shifted), and the first opportunity for ESPN to broadcast an event from Daytona. The switch came one year after the race was planted firmly on Saturday morning. The 1990 race was live flag-to-flag.
When it was scheduled to become a night race in 1998, broadcast rights changed to CBS, which also at that time covered the Daytona 500. However, the 1998 event was postponed until October due to Florida wildfires. CBS partner TNN broadcast the race live instead. For 1999-2000, the race reverted back to live broadcast on CBS in primetime. Between 2001-2006, the race was shared between NBC and Fox (NBC odd years, Fox even years, the opposite of the Daytona 500 coverage).
In 2007, TNT took over television rights under the new contract, and introduced their "Wide Open Coverage" for this race. It is similar to ABC and ESPN's Side-by-Side commercial format for IndyCar broadcasts. The race was broadcast in splitscreen format, with the race footage on the top half of the screen in 16:9 format, and scoring and graphics on the bottom half. Commercials were broadcast in a box in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and various special two-minute advertisements were filmed for the telecast by the respective advertisers. In 2010, the race was broadcast in 3-D on NASCAR.com and DirecTV In 2010 One HD, an australian sport channel, got the rights to show live lap by lap coverage of the daytona 500 and the coke zero 400 and it will continue showing coverage through till contract ends
Live flag-to-flag coverage
Year Network Lap-by-lap Color commentator(s) 1988 ABC Paul Page Johnny Rutherford 1987 ABC Keith Jackson Donnie Allison 1986 ABC Keith Jackson Donnie Allison 1985 ABC Al Trautwig Sam Posey 1984 ABC Jim Lampley Sam Posey 1983 ABC Keith Jackson 1982 ABC Keith Jackson Chris Economaki 1981 ABC Keith Jackson Jackie Stewart 1980 ABC Keith Jackson 1979 ABC Keith Jackson 1978 ABC Keith Jackson 1977 ABC Keith Jackson 1976 ABC Keith Jackson 1975 ABC Keith Jackson 1974 ABC Keith Jackson Jackie Stewart and Chris Economaki 1973 ABC Keith Jackson Jackie Stewart and Chris Economaki 1972 ABC Keith Jackson Chris Economaki 1971 ABC Jim McKay Chris Economaki 1970 ABC Jim McKay Chris Economaki 1969 ABC Jim McKay Chris Economaki 1968 1967 ABC Jim McKay Fred Lorenzen and Chris Economaki 1966 1965 ABC Bill Flemming Chris Economaki 1964 1963 ABC Bill Flemming Chris Economaki 1962 ABC Bill Flemming Chris Economaki 1961 ABC Bill Flemming Chris Economaki
- List of current NASCAR races
- Subway Jalapeño 250 - A NASCAR Nationwide Series race that takes place during the same weekend of the Coke Zero 400
- Brumos Porsche 250 - A Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series race that takes place on the same day as the Coke Zero 400
- ^ Hoagland, Brian (July 5, 1987). "Firecracker 400 Set for Saturday Closest to July 4". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JD4sAAAAIBAJ&sjid=jM4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=6919,944255&dq=firecracker+400+moved+to+saturday&hl=en. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ Trout, Ben (October 15, 1998). "Pepsi 400 at Daytona is finally here". Williamson Daily News. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=hrFDAAAAIBAJ&sjid=K68MAAAAIBAJ&pg=3518,1397301&dq=1998+pepsi+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ Atlanta Business Chronicle (July 9, 2007). "Coke enters victory lane with NASCAR". Bizjournals.com. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2007/07/09/daily2.html. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ Times Wire Services (April 8, 1959). "'Speedway' Races Out at Daytona". St.Petersburg Times. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=kotIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8XYDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5655,4115640&dq=indy+cancel+daytona&hl=en. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ "Hottest in 'Firecracker' gets first Teague trophy". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. July 1, 1959. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NnooAAAAIBAJ&sjid=78kEAAAAIBAJ&pg=904,39778&dq=firecracker+250&hl=en. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ Menzer, Joe (July 9, 2009). "Daytona's July race has a rich history all of its own". NASCAR.com. http://www.nascar.com/2009/news/features/07/01/enterprise.inside.nascar.daytona.july.race/index.html. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ "Dixie Festivities get under way". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. June 29, 1959. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7HwoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9skEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3944,4984140&dq=firecracker+250&hl=en. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f g "Racing Reference". http://racing-reference.info/tracks/Daytona_International_Speedway. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- ^ "1959 Firecracker 250 Results". RacingReference.info. July 4, 1959. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7HwoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9skEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3944,4984140&dq=firecracker+250&hl=en. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- ^ Watt, Kristin (June 27, 2011). "Fatal crashes in the early history of NASCAR: A fan’s look". Yahoo! News. http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news?slug=ycn-8699491. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- ^ Associated Press (July 6, 1964). "Foyt Won Firecracker 400 Like Racehorse -- By A Nose". Ocala Star Banner. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=OWtPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_wQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3258,916453&dq=firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- ^ Foster, Jim (July 5, 1965). "Foyt Wins Second Firecracker 400". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TnQsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=9MsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6098,898494&dq=firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- ^ UPI (July 5, 1966). "McQuagg Wins Firecracker 400 Crown". Williamson Daily News. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Ko9DAAAAIBAJ&sjid=l64MAAAAIBAJ&pg=5936,204423&dq=1966+firecracker+400+spoiler&hl=en. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
- ^ "Medal of Honor Winners invited to 'Cracker 400". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. March 22, 1969. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=N7QtAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ocsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2354,4951607&dq=medal+of+honor+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ Macfeely, F. T. (June 27, 1969). "Living Heroes Will Watch As Guests of Firecracker". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6zdAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IVkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6040,5925214&dq=medal+of+honor+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ UPI (July 5, 1971). "Firecracker Winner". The Sumter Daily Item. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UpciAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VKoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5652,530221&dq=medal+of+honor+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ Associated Press (July 5, 1973). "Pearson Snares Firecracker 400". St. Joseph Gazette. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=78hiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nXgNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2684,582923&dq=medal+of+honor+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ a b Associated Press (July 5, 1974). "Firecracker". St.Petersburg Times. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Yz9SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oHkDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7371,2779030&dq=1974+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ Associated Press (July 5, 1974). "Pearson Edges Petty for Firecracker 400 win". St.Joseph Gazette. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=uBpdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=f1oNAAAAIBAJ&pg=844,579021&dq=1974+firecracker+400&hl=en. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ Frederick, Henry (July 3, 2011). "Dale Earnhardt Jr. caught up in Daytona wreckage". NSBNEWS.net. http://nsbnews.net/content/406610-dale-earnhardt-jr-caught-daytona-wreckage. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- ^ Phil Finney crash at Daytona
- ^ 1987 Firecracker finish
- ^ 1988 Firecracker 400 finish and postrace
- ^ Lake Speed crash at 1989 Firecracker 400
- ^ 1994 Firecracker 400 finish
- ^ 2007 Firecracker 400 finish
- ^ a b "A Coke and a frown.". Sports Media Watch. 2009-07-08. http://sportsmediawatch.blogspot.com/2009/07/coke-and-frown.html. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- ^ 41st Annual Pepsi 400 (1999) home page at Hollywood.com
- ^ 1998 television ratings from "RACER Magazine" posted on Bob Jenning's World O' Racing, Dated 5/19/99
- ^ 1997 television ratings from "RACER Magazine" posted on Bob Jenning's World O' Racing, Dated 5/19/99
- ^ 1996 television ratings from "RACER Magazine" posted on Bob Jenning's World O' Racing, Dated 5/19/99
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