Coke Zero 400: Tony Stewart Claims Fourth Summer Daytona Victory

Tony Stewart won the Coke Zero 400 for the fourth time Saturday, denying Matt Kenseth a season-sweep at Daytona. Bill Elliott crashed on lap 124.

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Coke Zero 400 Results: Tony Stewart Wins Fourth Summer Daytona Race

For most of the night it looked like Matt Kenseth would become the first driver in three decades to sweep both points-paying races at Daytona International Speedway in one season, but a bevy of last-lap action allowed Tony Stewart to sneak through for the victory in the Coke Zero 400. It is Stewart's third win of the year, his fourth in the summer Daytona 400-miler, and the 47th of his Sprint Cup career.

Jeff Burton finished second ahead of Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, and Ryan Newman. Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Michael Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, and David Reutimann completed the top-10.

Stewart and Kenseth were side-by-side ahead of Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle starting the last lap. Kahne and Burton got together in turn one, breaking Kahne from behind Stewart and Biffle from Kenseth. Stewart cleared the dominant Roush Fords on the backstretch but they were closing back on him entering turn three. Kenseth, Biffle, and Kevin Harvick all came together, triggering a massive pileup that swept up Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, and others. Stewart held off Burton to the line to score his 18th win in any circuit at Daytona, second all-time to Dale Earnhardt. The winner started 42nd after failing post-qualifying inspection Friday.

Georgia's Bill Elliott had a solid run for most of the evening, but his race ended in a wild accident entering the pit lane on lap 124. Jimmie Johnson was bumped from behind by Martin Truex as Johnson slowed to head to pit lane. Elliott's car was collected by Truex and Regan Smith, sending the No. 50 Chevrolet sliding into Jeff Gordon and doing extensive front-end damage to Elliott's ride. Johnson slammed the inside wall after his bump from Truex, also ending his night in a fashion reminiscent of his lap 2 accident in the Daytona 500.

The true "Big One" - at least prior to the last-lap crash - broke loose exiting the tri-oval when Biffle and Hamlin touched, sending Hamlin's Toyota towards the inside of the track. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver over-corrected into traffic, slamming hard into Trevor Bayne and setting up a wild accident that wrapped up Clint Bowyer, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose, David Gilliland, and Kyle Busch.

Sam Hornish Jr., substituting for the suspended A.J. Allmendinger, had a shredded right-rear tire do extensive damage to his Dodge and limped to a 33rd-place finish.

Visit NASCAR.com for the full results.

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Coke Zero 400: A.J. Allmendinger Suspended, Sam Hornish Jr. To Drive No. 22 Dodge

NASCAR has announced that Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger has been suspended for a positive drug test, making him ineligible to compete in tonight's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge in his place.

Allmendinger's "A sample" tested positive for a banned substance. The driver can and has requested a test of his "B sample." If that sample likewise comes back positive, Allmendinger will become the first driver in NASCAR's top division to be indefinitely suspended by the sanctioning body for a drug violation since Jeremy Mayfield was banned at Darlington in 2009. That test, of course, has led to an ongoing debacle of lawsuits and he-said, he-said accusations that dragged both the sanctioning body and Mayfield - a five-time Sprint Cup race winner - through the mud.

Allmendinger entered tonight's race 23rd in the standings. His first season with legendary car owner Roger Penske has left much to be desired, with just three top-10 finishes in the first 17 races of 2012. He was widely expected to be the breakout driver of the season, winning his first race and then some and making his first Chase, but it has not panned out thus far. While teammate Brad Keselowski has won a series-high three races, Allmendinger has struggled to find anything resembling consistency at the front of the field, with mechanical gremlins spoiling several promising runs.

Hornish Jr., a former Indianapolis 500 champion, races for Penske full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He finished tenth in last night's 250-miler for that series.

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NASCAR At Daytona 2012: Coke Zero 400 TV Schedule, Start Time And More

NASCAR returns to Daytona on Saturday night, for the Coke Zero 400.

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Coke Zero 400 Qualifying: Daytona 500 Champ Matt Kenseth On Pole, Bill Elliott Sixth

Only four men have swept the season at NASCAR's most venerated track, and none have done so in 30 years. Daytona 500 champ Matt Kenseth will be looking to change that this weekend, and he will have the best possible starting spot to do that.

Kenseth toured the legendary 2.5-mile superspeedway in 46.781 seconds to score the eighth pole of his career. The Sprint Cup point leader will share the front row with Stewart-Haas Racing's Ryan Newman. The top-five is rounded out by Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, and Jeff Gordon.

NASCAR icon Bill Elliott of Dawsonville will start from the sixth position in the first Sprint Cup race for Turner Motorsports. It is also the first time in the 50-year history of Walmart that the retail giant has sponsored a race car, appropriately commemorated by the No. 50 emblazoned on Elliott's Chevrolet.

Completing the top-10 are Casey Mears, A.J. Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski, and Marcos Ambrose. The other Georgian in the field, defending event champion David Ragan of Unadilla, will start 27th.

Defending Spint Cup champion Tony Stewart had turned the second-fastest lap, but his time was disallowed because of an open cooling hose into the cockpit. The three-time Coke Zero 400 champ will roll off from 42nd.

Visit Jayski.com for the full 43-car starting grid.

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Coke Zero 400: NASCAR Returns To Daytona For Annual July Classic

NASCAR returns to the Daytona International Speedway for the annual July 400 miler. Georgia's own David Ragan won last year's race.

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