COKE ZERO (Firecracker) 400


JULY 7th, 7:00PM on NBC-TV

2.5 MILES, 31 Degrees of Banking

If it is 4th of July it must be time for the Firecracker 400 – oops make that the Coke Zero 400. Whatever you call it, nothing says summer like this race. I remember many a 4th listening to this race on the radio wherever I was. I remember even more vividly sweating profusely in the stands at Daytona on a couple of very hot July race weekends. As much as I revere tradition, I fully supported the idea to change this to a night race. Not only does it add to any holiday weekend to have a night race, it makes it a much more comfortable race to attend. Currently we are back to Saturday night and under the lights, where this race shines. This is our third restrictor plate race of the year and we have six different winners in seventeen races run this season. There is a very good chance that we’ll have a first-time winner at this race – after all it was seven years ago that Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 in a partial-season ride and David Ragan had his first win later that year at the 400. Trevor’s win was the start of a three-race streak for Ford and Roush Yates Motors. In the last ten years Ford has had nine wins. The most from Roush Fenway Racing-four wins.  Also Chevrolet has nine wins in the last twenty races. Hendrick Motorsports has four of those wins. Toyota has only had two wins in the last 20 races. More recently Ford has won three of the last four races spread amongst three different teams. Will Ford dominance continue? And will we see a seventh different winner for the season or a return victor to Victory Lane? We’ll know Saturday night.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 drivers on restrictor plate tracks in advance of the Coke Zero 400, Thursday we’ll rank the Top 30 drivers for that race.